2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label Test Drive
“2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label”
Nautilus Adds Enhanced Luxury Features
If you thought the Lincoln MKX was nice, you should love the new for 2019 Lincoln Nautilus even though it shares its underpinnings with the MKX and the Ford Edge. For starters, it has a real name rather than a confusing alpha code designation that really has no significant meaning. The Nautilus is a mid-size, two-row crossover SUV with accommodations for five.
Despite its Ford and other Lincoln model’s DNA, the Lincoln Nautilus bows with a more visually appealing exterior styling, an all turbocharged model lineup and a heaping dose of active safety features. In other words, it comes with more style and technology. Nautilus is available in four levels of trim: Standard, Select, Reserve and Black Label.
TURBO POWER SOURCES
The Nautilus draws its motive force from either a 2.0-liter turbo-4 or a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6, available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 is standard fare for all models, generating 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The 2.7-liter V-6 delivers 335 horsepower along with 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Each engine does an acceptable job of reducing engine noise and vibration that often emanates from direct injection and/or stop/start.
Both engines mate to a new eight-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with smooth gear transitions with gear selection made through dash mounted push-buttons. When equipped with a Class II hitch, the Nautilus is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The cockpit of the Nautilus serves up a lushly outfitted environment with influences taken from both the Lincoln Navigator and Continental fit well on its wagon architecture, particularly up front with its lead design. Enhanced finishes have been incorporated into the dash, but the center stack still displays a large content of plastic, which is somewhat dated.
The Nautilus provides ample space for five adults, with 22-way power front seats in top trim levels. The second row delivers spacious shoulder room, but would benefit from plush padding or firmer bolsters. Cargo space is plentiful as is small-item storage space.
The entire Nautilus lineup comes with automatic emergency braking, but even Black Label models must pay for a surround-view camera system and adaptive cruise control. Every Nautilus comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, touchscreen infotainment, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and power features; Lincoln increases upscale touches as the price increases, including a 19-speaker Revel audio system, a panoramic roof, perforated leather upholstery, 21-inch wheels, and LED headlights.
The 22-way front seats get heating and cooling and infinite adjustments, and the second row seats fold totally flat, and cargo space is 68.8 cubic feet behind the front seats, 37.2 cubic feet aft of the second row.
The Nautilus name is new, while in reality the vehicle itself is basically a last year’s Lincoln MKX with an exterior facelift – but a very appealing facelift mind you. The newly styled front and rear fascias match the DNA from Lincoln’s most recently redesigned models, with bold rectangular grilles featuring the same chrome-laden pattern found on the Nautilus’ larger stablemates.
The Nautilus displays a long, low and pleasing profile.
Out back, Nautilus-specific modifications are minimized—serving as a positive, since the MKX has always been attractive from the rear.
My test Lincoln Nautilus was in Black Label trim in an AWD confguration, with an Infinite Black metallic exterior finish and a rich Onyx and Venetian Red interior with satin silver trim elements. The base price was set at $59,390., while option packages and the destination and delivery charge elevated the final sticker to $67,630.
The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus provides a pleasant and silent ride quality along with more than adequate acceleration from its twin-turb0 V-6 and gear changes are silky smooth from the eight-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox.
The front-strut/independent rear suspension is carried over from the MKX, with a selection of all-season tires ranging from 18 to 21 inches. The Black Label’s adaptive steering carries over a system formerly found on the Ford Edge that uses a steering-wheel hub motor for added assist at parking-lot speeds, adjusting to less input at higher paces.
Handling characteristics are nimble if not all-out sporty, which serves its purposeful focus. The Nautilus can enter and exit a parking place itself and the vehicle entry and exit height are ideal.
Front passengers also get lots of storage, from a covered bin to shallow storage under the center console, to deep door pockets.
The base 2.0-liter turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined in FWD. With all-wheel drive, the ratings are 20/25/22 mpg. V-6 versions start at 20/27/22 mpg for front-wheel drive, and are 19/26/21 mpg with AWD.
All Nautilus models come with standard blind-spot monitors and active lane control, along with as forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking. A host of tech features are bundled into a package called Co-Pilot360, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and steering assist in evasive maneuvers.
OUR FINAL TAKE
The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label is an ideal choice as a premium mid-size SUV. It isn’t inexpensive, but it is superior to the models that it’s based on. Lincoln currently has no plans to build a hybrid version of the Nautilus.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label
Base Price: $59,390.
Price as Tested: $67,630.
Engine Type and Size: 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 with gasoline direct injection
Horsepower (bhp): 335 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 380 @ 2,750 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed SelectShift automatic
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD.
Suspension: Front – Strut
Rear – Multilink
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, RSC, ESC and Traction Control.
Tires: Continental CrossContact LX Sport 265/40 R21 101V M&S mounted on 15-spoke machine face with painted inner aluminum alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length Overall: 190.0 inches
Width: 76.1 inches – without mirrors
Height: 66.2 inches
Curb Weight: 4,387 lbs.
Turning Circle: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 18 gallons – approx
EPA Mileage Estimates: 20 mpg city / 25 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not iisted.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.