The 2020 Lincoln Nautilus starts at $41,040 in the U.S. and at $55,600 in Canada, freight and delivery charges not included.
Comfortable ride, plenty of interior room, good performance with 2.7L V6 engine.
Brand perception still a work in progress, some Ford-grade switchgear, reliability track record could be better.
Some luxury SUVs are more flamboyant than others, and as a result, shoppers are attracted to them instead of looking at all that’s available on the market. The 2020 Lincoln Nautilus is one of those utility vehicles that we could easily forget, but that certainly deserve more attention.
What are we looking for in an SUV exactly? An extroverted design that stands out? A sporty character? Showing off our wealth and good taste with a luxury badge? The Nautilus may not be the best choice for these criteria. On the other hand, if we prefer a supple ride, absolute comfort as well as a quiet and relaxing cabin, Lincoln’s offering becomes pretty interesting.
In the United States, the 2020 Lincoln Nautilus is available in three trim levels: Standard, Reserve and Black Label. A front-wheel drivetrain is included with the first two, while AWD is optional, but standard in the Black Label. Only the Reserve AWD is offered in Canada.
A turbocharged, 2.0L inline-four serves as the entry-level engine, producing 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, with city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings of 21/26/23 mpg in FWD configuration, and 20/25/22 mpg with AWD in the U.S., or 12.0/9.6/10.7 L/100 km in Canada. Buyers can upgrade to a twin-turbo, 2.7L V6 with 335 horses and 380 pound-feet, delivering ratings of 19/26/21 mpg or 12.5/9.2/11.0 L/100 km. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The midsize, five-passenger 2020 Lincoln Nautilus can also be equipped with an Adaptive Suspension, which is bundled with the V6 engine. It offers several drive modes, including extra-soft and sport settings so drivers can configure the SUV’s ride to their preference.
The Nautilus comes standard with LED exterior lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster, leather upholstery, an intelligent key, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, a remote engine starter, an 11-speaker sound system with a SYNC 3 infotainment interface. It also includes advanced safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert as well as forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking.
Many other appearance, comfort and convenience items are offered as well, including alloy wheels sized up to 21 inches, premium leather seating, navigation, a wireless charging pad, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, interior wood trim, a 360-degree camera system, , adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, a panoramic sunroof, Ultra Comfort 22-way power front seats with massage function as well as Revel surround sounds systems—one with 13 speakers, one with 19.
The 2020 Lincoln Nautilus starts at $41,040 before freight and delivery charges in the U.S., while the Reserve and the Black Label are respectively listed at $48,500 and $63,800. In Canada, the Nautilus Reserve starts at $55,600. It rivals two-row crossovers such as the Cadillac XT5 as well as the Lexus RX, but also three-row models like the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the BMW X5, the Audi Q7, the Acura MDX, the Infiniti QX60 and the Cadillac XT6. And of course, the new Lincoln Aviator with which it shares the showroom floor.
Why You Should Buy a 2020 Lincoln Nautilus
- The midsize SUV’s ride comfort is impressive. Some may find the extra-soft suspension setting too spongy, but overall, the Nautilus soaks up road imperfections with ease. For luxury vehicle buyers who find the German products too sporty and stiff, this Lincoln is worth a look.
- The 2.7L V6 has plenty of power and lots of low-end torque, and consumes only a few drops of fuel more than the 2.0L engine. In addition, both mills can run fine on regular unleaded. We averaged 22 mpg or 10.8 L/100 km during our test.
- The 2020 Lincoln Nautilus offers plenty of room for all five passengers, while the cargo hold—rated at 37.2 cubic feet (1,055 litres) with the rear seatbacks in place and 68.8 cubic feet (1,948 litres) with the seats folded down is generously sized, despite not being class-leading.
- It’s impossible to not find a comfortable driving position with the optional 22-way power-adjustable front seats. They’re simply awesome.
- The Nautilus is priced right, undercutting its rivals by several thousand dollars. Even equipped with the 2.7L V6 engine and the Adaptive Suspension, the Lincoln is a deal.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2020 Lincoln Nautilus
- The brand still needs to figure out who its target audience is. While Cadillac is slowly but surely attracting a younger audience, Lincoln is still perceived as an older-generation brand. It’s a work in progress.
- Inside the Nautilus, some buttons and switches look too familiar with what is found in Ford products—namely the Ford Edge which shares its architecture with the Lincoln.
- The transmission selector, which consists of a stack of buttons on the left side of the infotainment screen, isn’t intuitive. It’s too easy to get confused and press the wrong button, which doesn’t normally happen with a conventional shift lever.
- The SYNC 3 infotainment remains easy to use while driving, but it’s starting to show its age. Ford’s new SYNC 4 should interface should start to appear in Lincoln products, but for now, the 2020 Lincoln Nautilus is stuck with the old system.
- Unfortunately, the Nautilus doesn’t have a strong reputation for reliability. U.S. publication Consumer Reports gives the SUV a rating of 1 out of 5, citing issues with the transmission and the in-car electronics.
The 2020 Lincoln Nautilus obviously doesn’t have the prestige factor we’ll find in the BMW X5, the Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Audi Q7. It might not impress the neighbours as well as the German-brand products, and owners might have to justify their purchase on a regular basis.
On the other hand, as a luxury SUV, the Nautilus delivers performance, decent handling, and especially, a refined and comfortable ride as well as a quiet cabin. There’s ample space for the family and won’t cost an arm and a leg at the gas station. It’s priced to sell and should make many consumers happy during long-term ownership.