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2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label AWD Review by John Heilig - It's E15 Approved

Lincoln Nautilus Black Label  (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label AWD

ENGINE: 2.7-liter turbocharged V6

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic

HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 335 hp @ 5,500 rpm/380 lb.-ft. @ 3,250 rpm

WHEELBASE: 112.2 in.

LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 190.0 x 86.1 x 66.2 in.

TIRES: P245/50R20

CARGO CAPACITY: 37.2/68.8 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)

ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/21.3 mpg test


CURB WEIGHT: 4,305 lbs.


COMPETITIVE CLASS: Lexus RX, Volvo XC60, Buick Envision

STICKER: $66,635 (includes $995 delivery, $7,245 options)

BOTTOM LINE: The Lincoln Nautilus is everything a luxury midsize SUV should be, offering comfort and amenities that should be expected.

Luxury vehicles of any sort must first and foremost LOOK like a luxury vehicle. Our tester Lincoln Nautilus Black Label certainly fit the bill. The exterior was painted in “Burgundy Velvet Metallic,” which was a deep burgundy flecked with metal. The interior matched the exterior with “Onyx Venetian” leather surfaces. We felt we had to dress up just to drive the Nautilus. 

Besides the color, the Nautilus has a nicely designed interior. Everything is within reach of the driver and controls are intuitively marked.

Formerly know as the MKX, the Nautilus may signal an end to Lincoln’s confusing MK nomenclature that gives no indication of what the vehicle is supposed to be. Its underpinnings are similar to the Ford Edge. 

The Nautilus drives like a larger SUV. In fact, we were next to an MKX at a traffic light and were shocked by how small the MKX appeared to be, even though the two vehicles are essentially identical in size. 

Ride quality is very good, but on the verge of being too soft. There is a tendency toward a “boaty” ride where the Nautilus tends to wander rather than offering a firm handling ride. In fairness, most Nautilus owners probably won’t subject their vehicles to the kind of back-country ride we did as we searched in vain for a peach farm.

Under the hood is a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 that heads up the option list with a $2,070 charge. I’m impressed that Ford engineers are able to extract 335 horsepower from 2.7 liters. Turbocharging helps, of course, but still it’s an impressive number. Acceleration is good, even though the Nautilus packs on a few pounds.

Shifting the 8-speed automatic transmission is through pushbuttons located on the dash. While I am more accustomed to a console-mounted shifter, the pushbuttons require a second of thought and that may result in a safety factor.

Seating is what is to be expected. Front seats are comfortable and offer some side support. They are heated and cooled. Rear seats offer good legroom, and they are heated. In addition, there’s a low center hump on the rear floor.

Lincoln Nautilus Black Label  (select to view enlarged photo)

Instrumentation is clear, with the tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. The speedometer is a combination analog and digital affair, so you can watch the needle climb or simply look for the number to see if you’re still within the limit.

The burgundy leather-coated wheel is fat with multiple functions.

In the center of the dash is a clear infotainment screen with a full menu of choices. 

Interior storage consists of a large cubby in the center console as well as a large center console/arm rest. Both have USB outlets. There is room for water bottles in all the doors. 

Cargo capacity is excellent. The rear hatch has a “kick to open” feature that works to close as well. Power switches to lower the rear seat backs are located in the cargo area. Multiple tie-downs add to the cargo area’s practicality, and there is some small storage space around the space-saver spare.

The Lincoln Nautilus feels and drives like a larger SUV and has larger SUV features like cargo capacity. It’s definitely a luxury SUV, especially in the Black Label edition.

(c) 2019The Auto Page Syndicate

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)