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2021 Lincoln Nautilus: Luxury on Parade

Niel Stender

The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is a parade of luxury with features like open pore wood trim and 22-way massaging seats. Not to mention Bridge of Weir leather.

Ready to Experience Lincoln?

2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

2021 Lincoln Nautilus – lincoln.com |  Shop Lincoln Nautilus on Carsforsale.com

Lincoln has come a long way from its badge engineering days, as proven with the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus. Taking over the MKX in Lincoln’s lineup back in 2019, the Nautilus is roughly the same size as Ford’s Edge, but that’s where the similarities end.

Strong character lines define the exterior, complimented by turbine-style wheels ranging in size from 18 all the up to 21 inches. For 2021, the Nautilus has a freshened interior with “design elements inspired by the horizon” per Lincoln marketing-speak. Other descriptors used for their Quiet Flight DNA, like “harmony” and “calming”, drive home the gist of the new Nautilus as a soft, luxurious cruiser.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Specs

2021 Lincoln Nautilus 2.7L V6 - carsforsale.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus 2.7L V6 - carsforsale.com

The twin-turbo power plant used in 2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label trim is a 2.7-liter V6 making an ample 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Even with a 4500-pound curb weight, that’s enough grunt to get around with ease. The lineup standard 8-speed automatic promises smooth shifting but fuel-economy, with the standard AWD, is so-so at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

A single-turbo, 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor is the only option on base, Standard models. Nautilus Reserve trim has the option for either engine. Making 250 hp, the smaller motor improves fuel efficiency to 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, but you have to subtract one from each figure when hooked up to AWD.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus 2.0L I4 - carsforsale.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus 2.0L I4 - carsforsale.com

Driving at night is safer with optional full LED multi-projector headlamps. In conjunction with adaptive bending tech, the lenses cam change position to widen or narrow the path of light and bend it through curves. Canyon carving is not part of the Nautilus DNA but MacPherson front struts and an integral-link rear suspension setup will deliver confident, planted dynamics.

Standard, Reserve, and Available Technology

2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

There is an extensive list of included equipment on every 2021 Lincoln Nautilus, starting with the Standard model. For about $42,000, you’ll find 18-inch wheels, LED lighting front and back plus a powered liftgate. Add $2000 for an AWD drivetrain featuring torque-vectoring control.

Inside, upmarket items like a Wi-Fi hotspot, 10-speaker stereo and wireless integration for Apple and Android smartphones deliver on the luxury promise. All of which is controlled via SYNC 4, the latest infotainment software from Lincoln. A standard – and massive – 13.2” LCD touchscreen interface, centrally mounted atop the dashboard handles control duty.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

Occupant coddling comes in the form of dual-zone automatic climate settings and Active Noise Control for cancelling out unwanted engine noise. The frameless, auto-dim rear view mirror looks sharp and auto-folding side mirrors tuck in after you lock up. An EasyFold lever makes quick work of the 60/40 rear seatback folding functionality, which opens up a substantial 69 cubic feet of storage volume. With the seats raised, the number is about 37.

The mid-pack Nautilus Reserve starts at $49,410 for FWD with the 2.0-liter motor. You can tack on AWD for $2000 or step up to the twin-turbo, AWD V6 for $54,495. At this level, the interior luxury improves with open pore wood trim, a panoramic sunroof and Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather seating. With material like that, it’s no surprise that the front seats are heated and ventilated while the rear outboard positions can be warmed as well.

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2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

Reserve models offer a handful of packages on the tech and comfort fronts. A rear-seat entertainment system is available for $1995. As is a $3420 option that nets Co-Pilot 360 Plus and the Phone As A Key feature, which is exactly what it sounds like. The 22-way seats are also on tap here as a $1500 check box. Prefer a muted look? Check out the $1900 Monochromatic Package for black 20-inch rims and darkened exterior trim available only with an Asher Gray or Infinite Black paint job.

The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label - lincoln.com

For maximum luxury, start at the top with a Nautilus Black Label. Though it has an eye-watering sticker of $65,000, there is quite a pile of high-end amenities up here. For one thing, Black Label trim is only available with the bigger, twin-turbo motor and AWD. It also comes with 21-inch alloys, whose tendency for a sharp ride is tempered by an adaptive suspension.

Black Labelers can choose from interior themes like Chalet, which channels Swiss Alp slopes and après-ski hors d’oeuvre. If you’re more of a jet-setter type, check out the Flight theme. Regardless, buyers are treated to Venetian leather seating and an Alcantara headliner. For an extra $1500, the Ultra Comfort front seats offer 22 forms of adjustability thanks to 11 independent air cushions. Seven of which will massage thee.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Chalet Theme - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus Chalet Theme - lincoln.com

A hands-free liftgate, 360-degree exterior camera view and 19-speaker audio system from Revel are included at this price point. As is the Co-Pilot 360 plus suite of driver aids. Building on regular ol’ Co-Pilot, in the Black Label it adds adaptive cruise with stop-and-go capability plus evasive steering assist amongst others. Like it sounds, if you’re about to rear-end someone, the Nautilus can help you maneuver around by providing additional steering support.

Buying a Nautilus Black Label grants you access to an array of member privileges. Four complimentary maintenance services are included along with pickup and drop-off of your vehicle, plus a Lincoln loaner. Free car washes are another touch as is membership to the Avis rental-car Presidents Club. An included 1-year subscription to Calm provides app-based daily meditations, all in keeping with that Quiet Flight theme.

Added Safety Measures

2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

Safety is a priority for the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus from Standard trim on up to Black Label. Dual frontal, driver’s knee, front side and full curtain airbags are found across the board. As is Co-Pilot 360, which includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Automatic emergency braking works in conjunction with pre-collision assistance while automated high beams simplify nighttime driving. And don’t miss the tiny washer nozzle that cleans back up camera dirt.

Be Sure to Check This Luxury SUV Out

2021 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

2021 Lincoln Nautilus – lincoln.com |  Shop Lincoln Nautilus on Carsforsale.com

The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is a gateway to the company’s Black Label program as it’s not available on the Corsair. If top-of-the-line luxury is what you’re looking for in an SUV, the Nautilus Black Label certainly has you covered. But at a nearly $25,000 premium over the base model, it may be a tough sell. Especially considering the laundry list of tech, amenities and safety included on Standard models. All things considered, the Nautilus Reserve nails middle-of-the-road duties as you can select the more powerful motor without breaking the Black Label bank.

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Niel Stender
Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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