Lincoln Nautilus vs. Lincoln Aviator

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 14, 2022
2022 Lincoln Aviator

For better or worse, Lincoln became an SUV-only automaker a few years ago. While the automaker made a name for itself with its upscale sedans, the automaker’s lineup only consists of SUVs now. In addition to changing what kind of cars Lincoln sells, the automaker is switching to offering SUVs with real names, not the odd nomenclature we’re used to seeing. The changes represent a large shift at the American luxury brand.

While the Nautilus is one of Lincoln’s older SUVs, the Aviator is one of the newer ones. Both SUVs compete in the midsize segment, but they have quite a few differences that separate them from one another. We’ll compare the two SUVs to see which one comes out on top.

What the Lincoln Nautilus Gets Right

2022 Lincoln Nautilus

The Nautilus has an edge over the Aviator when it comes to pricing. Pricing for the Nautilus starts at $44,755 (prices include destination), while the Aviator has a starting price tag of $54,535. The $9,780 difference in the Nautilus’ favor can be used toward moving up to the mid-level Reserve trim that starts at $51,165 and still saving $3,370 over the base Aviator.

Thanks to its standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Nautilus is the more efficient of the two. The most efficient Nautilus is rated to get up to 23 mpg combined, while the base Aviator with the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine can get up to 21 mpg combined.

Despite being the more affordable SUV of the two, the Nautilus has a more impressive list of standard features. A 13.2-inch touchscreen, Lincoln’s SYNC 4 infotainment system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and wireless smartphone compatibility. The Aviator comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, the SYNC 3 infotainment system, wired smartphone compatibility, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Read Our Overview of the Lincoln Nautilus

What the Lincoln Aviator Gets Right

2022 Lincoln Aviator

While the Nautilus offers seating for up to five, the Aviator comes with seating for up to seven as standard. The Aviator also has a more spacious interior than the Nautilus, offering more passenger space than the Nautilus. Consumers also get more cargo area with the Aviator, as it offers a total of 77.7 cubic feet of space compared to 68.8 cubic feet of space.

Lincoln offers both the Nautilus and Aviator with two engines, but the Aviator is the SUV that has the more well-rounded lineup of powertrains. The Nautilus comes with a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and is available with a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that’s rated at 335 hp. The base Aviator comes with a 400-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 and is available with a plug-in hybrid version of the engine that makes 494 hp. The PHEV is rated to travel up to 21 miles on electricity.

In one of its available Black Label themes, the Aviator feels downright luxurious. The SUV has alert chimes by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, soft-close doors, 30-way power-adjustable front seats, massaging front seats, a Revel 28-speaker audio system, and premium leather upholstery. These features, and more, make the trim feel just as luxurious as anything else in the midsize segment. While the Nautilus is available in a Black Label trim, it doesn’t feel as upscale as the Aviator.

Read Our Overview of the Lincoln Aviator

Much Better Tech

The newer, more spacious, more powerful, and more high-end Aviator wins this comparison. If there’s one area where the Nautilus easily bests the Aviator, it’s on the tech front. The Nautilus’ larger standard touchscreen and more advanced infotainment system are large upgrades over the Aviator’s 10.1-inch touchscreen and SYNC 3 infotainment system.

Our Verdict

The Lincoln Aviator may be far more expensive than the Nautilus and comes with an older infotainment system, but its more spacious cabin, standard third row, more powerful engines, and more upscale features make it worth the extra money.

Compare Side-By-Side: Lincoln Nautilus vs. Lincoln Aviator »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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