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Lincoln Nautilus Black Label: Gala Inspired

By Arv Voss, May 18th, 2019

If you thought the Lincoln MKX was attractive, then you'll appreciate the new-for-2019 Lincoln Nautilus. It shares its underpinnings with the MKX and the Ford Edge. The Nautilus is a midsize, two-row crossover SUV with accommodations for five.

-- OVERVIEW

Despite its Ford and Lincoln DNA, the Lincoln Nautilus bows with more visually appealing exterior styling, an all-turbocharged model lineup, and a heaping dose of active safety features. 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 turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6, available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter turbo-four 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.

Both engines mate to a new eight-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with smooth gear transitions selected using 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. Enhanced finishes have been incorporated into the dash, but the center stack still displays a large amount 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.

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.

-- APPEALING DESIGN

The Nautilus name is new, but in reality the vehicle itself is basically last year's Lincoln MKX with an exterior facelift. The newly styled front and rear fascias match the DNA from Lincoln's most recently redesigned models, with a long, low, and pleasing profile and bold rectangular grille featuring the same chrome-laden pattern found on the Nautilus' larger stablemates.

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 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.

-- PERFORMANCE

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus provides a pleasant and silent ride quality along with more-than-adequate acceleration from its twin-turbo V-6, and gear changes are silky smooth from the eight-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox. 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.

-- SAFETY FEATURES

All Nautilus models come with standard blind-spot monitors and active lane control, along with forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking. A host of tech features are bundled into the Co-Pilot360 package, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and steering assist in evasive maneuvers.

-- THE FINAL TAKE

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label is an ideal choice as a premium midsize 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

Base price $59,390 (as tested: $67,630)
Curb weight 4,142 lbs.
Displacement 2.7-liter
Engine type EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 w/DI
Epa mileage rating 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 18 gal.
Horsepower (net) 335 at 5500 rpm
Overall length 190.0 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 380 at 3250 rpm
Transmission eight-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger FWD SUV
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