Recall that since 2007, Ford’s luxurious model has used letters to call some fashions, together with MKZ and MKX, and conventional names on others like Navigator and Continental. Properly, now it is ditching the letters and renaming these automobiles. The MKX is now the Nautilus. The smaller MKC is rumored to grow to be the Corsair, which was a reputation utilized by Edsel again within the Nineteen Fifties. The seven-passenger Aviator will go on sale in 2019, and the MKZ’s new identify is anyone’s guess. Zephyr once more, perhaps? NordicTrack is already taken.
Lincoln has additionally been rolling out a brand new grille design, which debuted on the Continental in 2017 and replaces the unloved winged look that was imagined to remind luxurious consumers of the magnificence of the 1939 Lincoln Continental — however did not. Becoming the brand new grille to the 2019 Nautilus completes that rollout, and the 5-passenger SUV is definitely extra good-looking than earlier than. Its mesh is a repetition of the Lincoln Star emblem, and it really works. The SUV’s entrance fascia, headlamps and hood are new as nicely, and the hood has grown a large and engaging middle peak.
Beneath that hood is a brand new 2.zero-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with direct injection. It is the identical engine used within the smaller MKC and the Ford Edge, which shares the Nautilus’ chassis, however Lincoln does not use the identify EcoBoost for this and its different powerplants. The two.zero-liter replaces the naturally aspirated three.7-liter V6 because the standard engine, and it is rated 250 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque at three,000 rpm on ninety three octane fuel.
These numbers are down from the V6, which was rated 303 hp at 6,500 rpm and 278 lb-ft of torque at four,000 rpm. However Lincoln has additionally changed the antiquated six-velocity automated transmission with an eight-velocity, so general efficiency is comparable, and metropolis fuel financial system is up considerably. With the V6 and entrance-wheel drive, the MKX was rated 17 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg freeway. The brand new mixture has a 21 mpg metropolis score. The significantly extra highly effective twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 stays non-compulsory, rated 335 hp at 5500 rpm and 380 lb-ft of torque at 3250 rpm. It additionally advantages from a brand new eight-velocity automated, which improves its fuel financial system from 17 mpg to 18 mpg within the metropolis and 25 mpg to 27 mpg on the freeway.
Each engines are provided in all trim ranges with standard entrance-wheel drive or optionally available all-wheel drive, which is a brand new system to Lincoln that disconnects the rear driveshaft to enhance freeway fuel financial system. All-wheel drive provides 163 kilos to the SUV.
We drove two Nautiluses (Nautili?) round Santa Barbara in Southern California, each with all-wheel drive and 21-inch Continental rubber. The primary was a 2.zero-liter-powered Nautilus Reserve, and the opposite was a prime-of-the-line Black Label with the two.7-liter V6. Each have been fast and quiet. The two.zero-liter is clean and refined. Energy supply is linear, and the brand new eight-velocity is a large enchancment, with tightly spaced ratios, no reluctance to downshift and agency 6,000 rpm upshifts at large open throttle.
As anticipated, the V6 is noticeably faster, with a surge of energy at three,000 rpm and a robust pull as much as six grand. This engine makes use of a special eight-velocity (each are designed and constructed by Ford, in line with engineer Jim Pfeiffer), and its distinctive gearing is properly-matched to the V6. The brand new mixture ought to shave a number of tenths off the MKX’s 6.9 second run to 60 mph. Paddle shifters are standard, and each engines have very clean cease-begin methods.
Lincoln has additionally added acoustic aspect glass to quiet the interior, which is impressively remoted from wind and street noise, even above eighty mph on the uneven concrete of California’s one hundred and one freeway. Different interior modifications embrace some new interior colours and trim decisions, wi-fi telephone charging and the digital and configurable gauge cluster lifted from the Navigator. The very snug 22-means energy adjustable seats, which embrace therapeutic massage, stay an choice.
The eight-inch touchscreen for the Sync three infotainment system additionally stays, as does the pushbutton shifter, which may take some getting used to. Choose S (Sport) as an alternative of D (Drive), and the Nautilus will get a bit extra steering effort and tighter throttle response. It additionally remaps the transmission for extra aggressive gear choice, which incorporates downshifting beneath onerous braking.
Faucet a couple of buttons on the steering wheel and you can even arrange the suspension to your liking, anchoring your choice to the D and S modes. There are three settings: Consolation, Regular and Sport. The variations between the three are delicate, however noticeable. There’s significantly extra physique management in Sport. Round city the Consolation setting is pleasantly plush, however its softer damping fails to regulate these huge wheels and tires as nicely, and there is some street floor intrusion into the entrance seats at freeway speeds. Regular is an excellent compromise with spectacular isolation, compliance and no float. It feels the best more often than not, and it will be our go-to together with S mode.
On the twisty two-lanes round Castaic Lake, that are clean as glass, the Nautilus might hold a satisfying tempo. Its all-wheel drive and 265/40R21-sized tires offering admirable grip, and there is loads of energy to get you to the subsequent nook. Lincoln revised the suspension damping and altered the rear suspension bushings, however its engineers say the objective was to enhance the experience, to not add dealing with efficiency. I might say they achieved each.
In contrast to the MKX, each Nautilus, even the decrease base and Choose trim ranges, comes with Lincoln Co-Pilot360 – a large assortment of driver aids together with a blind spot warning with cross-visitors alert, pre-collision help with automated emergency braking and a lane-preserving system. Consumers pays additional for evasive steer help, which can also be new. It’s going to steer the SUV to assist keep away from collisions if braking alone isn’t sufficient.
A drivers help package deal is obtainable on Reserve and Black Label fashions, including Adaptive Cruise Management with Lane Centering know-how. This system will steer the SUV down the street, however it does ask you to maintain your palms on the wheel. Utilizing the system on the freeway, we discovered it to be too simply confused by damaged lane markers. It did not really feel as locked in as different methods we have tried. The Lincoln’s automated emergency braking can also be a bit tough across the edges. Like a brand new teen driver, it over-applies the brakes at occasions.
With the two.zero-liter and FWD, pricing begins at $forty one,335, and jumps to $forty five,540 for the Nautilus Choose and $forty nine,870 for the Reserve. That is one or two grand greater than the 2018 MKX, however it’s aggressive with the category-main Lexus RX. Lincoln says lower than 10 % of MKX consumers went for the Black Label trim, however it expects extra Nautilus clients to step up. Lincoln limits Black Label gross sales to solely its best sellers and standalone shops, which is about 25 % of its 800 retailers nationwide. Black Label costs begin slightly below $fifty eight,000, an almost $three,000 improve from final yr.
For years, Lincoln has been speaking about its comeback. It retains telling us about its resurgence. However the merchandise simply have not been there. The MKS and Continental have been disappointments, and the MKC is nothing particular in a really aggressive class. Properly, it is lastly starting to truly occur. Lincoln’s resurgence is actual. Or, it is getting actual. It started with the brand new Navigator, which makes the Cadillac Escalade really feel like a farm truck, and now the Nautilus, which seems like far more than a tweaked MKX with a brand new grille. Perhaps the Aviator can maintain it going.
However the executives operating Lincoln can be smart to comprehend that no one actually cares what the car is known as. Letters, numbers or nouns, none of it makes any distinction. It is the car that issues. Simply make it good.
– 2019 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive Review –
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