2024 Lincoln Nautilus Puts Lexus RX in its Sights


Palm Springs, CA—The Lincoln Nautilus enters its second generation with a completely new design inside and out, pushing it closer to the Aviator in size and appearance. If the Nautilus name doesn’t sound familiar, it was only adopted halfway through the first-generation model run, formerly known as the MKX. We like the name Nautilus much better and feel it will be easier to remember.

The Nautilus wasn’t a bad vehicle by any stretch, but its low ranking in the sales charts was far eclipsed by giants like the Lexus RX, which Lincoln says is Lincoln’s main competitor. Going up against the Lexus isn’t going to be easy, but Lincoln has thrown everything it can at the new Nautilus. 

Performance and Driving Impressions: More Power, Improved Handling

The Nautilus comes with a gas-only powertrain, or you can get it as a hybrid for about $3,500 more. The base engine is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to an 8-speed automatic. It’s primarily a carryover from last year, making 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The more significant news is the availability of a new hybrid engine that also uses a 2.0L turbo four but adds two electric motors integrated into the transmission. Combined, the system makes 310 hp, which is a healthy increase. It’s also a lot more efficient and well worth the upgrade.

Silver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus rear profileSilver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus rear profile
The hybrid-powered Nautilus is the most powerful in the range, with over 300 horsepower. Photo: Kunal D’souza

Out in the mountains surrounding Palm Springs, the new Nautilus proves energetic with the hybrid powertrain, mainly when driven in the “Excite” drive mode, which engages both the gas engine and electric motors simultaneously. In “Normal” mode, the hybrid transitions seamlessly from gas to electric power and is smooth and refined. Standard adaptive dampers and foam-filled tires on the optional bigger wheels provide a very quiet and serene ride. And while the Nautilus is an SUV that emphasizes comfort and luxury, it handles twisty roads confidently despite its size and weight. 

Silver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus side viewSilver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus side view
2024 Lincoln Nautilus. Photo: Kunal D’souza
Spec Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 Engine
Horsepower 250 @ 5,500
Torque 275 @ 3,000
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Valvetrain DOHC 16-valve
Wheels (standard) 19-Inch Premium Painted Bright-Machined Aluminum (Premiere)
Tire Size 19-Inch All-Season BSW tire – P255/60R19
Spec Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 Engine (HEV)
Horsepower 310 @ 5,500
Torque N/A
Transmission CVT
Valvetrain DOHC 16-valve
Wheels (standard) 21-Inch Bright-Machined with Tarnished Dark Painted Pockets (Reserve) 22-Inch Bright-Machined with Ebony Painted Pockets (Black Label)
Tire Size 21-inch Bright-Machined with Tarnished Dark Painted Pockets (Reserve) 22-inch Bright-Machined with Ebony Painted Pockets (Black Label)

Styling

The new Lincoln Nautilus takes a page from the Aviator’s design book. It has a large, imposing grille and elegant, flowing lines capped off by a lightbar that spans the width of the tailgate. It’s a handsome SUV that will definitely draw some envious looks when parked on your driveway.

Silver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus new front grillSilver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus new front grill
The new Nautilus design details are inspired by birds in flight, from the rear quarter panel look at the C-pillar, to the front headlight details up front where there are four new handcrafted grills. Photo: Kunal D’souza

Depending on selected packages, there are a few different grille options and a “Jet” appearance package that adds black trim and 22-inch wheels. But it’s worth noting that the Canadian market does not get the top-end Black Label trim or the base Nautilus, both of which are available in the U.S. and other markets.

Interior:

The interior will set the 2024 Nautilus apart from its competition with an innovative new 48-inch widescreen display that sits up high in the driver’s line of sight at the base of the windshield. The display is highly customizable, with gorgeous graphics and quick response times. It’s split into three main sections, with critical information like speed and fuel to the right, navigation in the middle and weather, media, and less critical information to the left. It’s all controlled via a central touch screen, which is based on an Android operating system.

2024 Lincoln Nautilus interior front cabin2024 Lincoln Nautilus interior front cabin
Unlike many other front cabins promoting a more ‘driver-centric’ approach, the front cockpit design starts from the centre point — a more symmetrical layout that doesn’t ignore the passenger. Photo: Kunal D’souza

The cabin is beautifully crafted with door panel lighting that looks like ocean waves and high-quality materials like real leather and metal. There are 24-way power seats and an optional 28-speaker Revel audio system, and rear-seat passengers have loads of space to kick back and relax. It’s a comfortable, airy, and inviting cabin.

Takeaway

silver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus front profilesilver 2024 Lincoln Nautilus front profile

The 2024 Lincoln Nautilus has undergone a considerable transformation and moves much closer to the type of luxury provided by its bigger sibling, the Aviator. It also introduces a new generation of in-vehicle digital technology ahead of its rivals, including the Lexus RX. Whether that will be enough to gain more recognition and significant sales numbers is yet to be seen, but its chances are better than ever.



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