Lincoln introduced the Nautilus in 2019 as the replacement for the MKX. For the 2021 model year, the Nautilus will receive a slight refresh to become more competitive in the midsize class and fit in with the automaker’s larger SUVs.
From the outside, the 2021 Nautilus will retain the current model’s striking, upscale design, but gets a few subtle changes. The Nautilus will continue to feature a tidy grille, prominent air intakes, and stylish headlights, but the texture of the grille will be updated, a new chrome accent will be added to the front, and new colors will be added to the lineup. Around the back, the SUV’s round taillights are connected in a way to look like one single unit, while the rear bumper houses two exhaust outlets. A liberal use of chrome helps the Nautilus fit into the luxury segment.
The interior design of the 2021 Nautilus will get the grunt of the changes for the new model year. The SUV features a new horizontally oriented dashboard that sees a new center console design, a larger touch screen, and more opulent interior materials. Instead of last year’s push-button shifter, the 2021 Nautilus moves to have a piano-style shifter that’s found on other Lincolns.
Lincoln is also giving the Nautilus a much-needed tech update for 2021. A new 13.2-inch touchscreen will sit atop of the redesigned dashboard and features Lincoln’s latest SYNC 4 infotainment system. The Nautilus will also come with Lincoln’s Phone As A Key feature, allowing owners to use their smartphone instead of a traditional key fob. Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and over-the-air updates will all be included as standard equipment on the Nautilus. Optional features will include a high-end audio system, navigation, and wireless charging.
Lincoln’s real ace in the hole with the Nautilus is the available Black Label trim. It will be offered with two different themes – Chalet and Flight. Venetian leather upholstery, a more powerful V6 engine, adaptive suspension, an Alcantara headliner, and more tech features are all included with the Black Label.
Under the hood, Lincoln will offer two engines with the Nautilus. The standard motor is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard for the powertrain. All-wheel drive is offered as an option.
A turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine that’s rated at 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque is available. The V6 engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard.
Every 2021 Nautilus will come with Lincoln Co-Pilot360 as standard. The safety suite includes automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection. Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus is available and brings adaptive cruise control, an automated parking system, a surround-view camera, and adaptive steering.