What do our experts think of the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus? We look at powertrain, interior options, trim levels, and more. Find out our thoughts here.

What’s for the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus

Though the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus is still in its first generation, the vehicle itself dates to 2016 when it was called the MKX. A mid-cycle refresh in 2019 introduced the Nautilus nameplate, but technically this Ford Edge counterpart is seven model years old.

Slotting between the Corsair and Aviator in Lincoln’s lineup, the Nautilus has not changed dramatically since the freshening delivered to the 2021 model. Jewel Sandstone color has been added to the paint palette for 2023, but the big news is really next year’s all-new Nautilus. Still, for those interested in a luxurious and spacious SUV, the Nautilus

2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

2023 Lincoln Nautilus – lincoln.com |  Shop 2023 Lincoln Nautilus on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $46,865

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

21 City / 26 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Well-executed badge engineering

Properly elegant

Potent V6 option

Unimpressive fuel economy

Oddball piano key shifter

Big-time Black Label price

Long in the tooth but still luxurious

2023 Nautilus Specs

Trims & Pricing

Standard - $46,865
Reserve - $53,080
Black Label - $69,285

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Powertrain

2023 Lincoln Nautilus 2.7L V6 - Raiti's Rides on YouTube
2023 Lincoln Nautilus 2.7L V6 - Raiti's Rides on YouTube

Sitting on the same chassis as Ford’s Edge, the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus is powered by the same engines as its Blue Oval brethren. The base setup is a turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 making 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels or all four when the $2,500 AWD drivetrain is selected.

For an extra $2,700, the Reserve model can be fitted with a twin-turbo 2.7L V6 rated for 335 hp and 380 torques. The same 8-speed handles transmission duty and this bigger motor requires AWD, the better to manage torque steer my dear.

Black Label models help justify the heady price tag by coming only with the blown V6 and AWD. Torque vectoring control is included with any models running AWD and all three Nautilus’ (Nautilii?) ride on a fully independent suspension featuring a MacPherson strut front setup and multi-link rear.

Exclusive to the Black Label is a set of adaptive dampers that aim to smooth out bumps in the road. But as a Lincoln, the ride and handling are tuned for serenity and comfort, not canyon carving. This elegance-over-excitement mindset is invoked by the “Piano Key” shifter, so named for its resemblance to that instrument’s ivories and a potential headache when it comes to shifting.

Towing & Payload

2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

The base 2023 Lincoln Nautilus can tow 1,500 pounds, which is good when planning a classy sunset canoe ride. If your adventuring requires a bit more substance, you’ll need the trailering package. It adds a Class II hitch and trailer sway control to move that figure up to 3,500 pounds. In case you were wondering if Lincoln charges a premium over the Ford Edge on everything, it does. This identical package costs $435 on the Edge. But Lincoln nudges pricing up to $630.

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Fuel Economy & MPG

In base form, the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus delivers 21 mpg in city driving and 26 on the highway. It’s ok efficiency, but the Caddy XT5, which we compare to the Nautilus here, manages 22/29 mpg in city/highway driving in a comparable FWD, 2.0L setup. Adding AWD drops both Nautilus figures by one mpg and stepping up to the big V6 drops fuel economy to 19 mpg around town and 25 on the open road.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Without doubt, the Lincoln Nautilus cabin is ritzy. Base models come with pleasant leatherette upholstery. The Reserve boasts Scotland’s finest Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather. And if that’s not fancy enough, the Black Label can be fitted with either a Flight or Chalet cabin theme, both of which essentially wrap the entire interior in “Alpine Venetian” leather with Lincoln star-shaped perforations and endless lines of stitching. The Ebony and Roast style, found on the Reserve trim line, is particularly fetching.

With room for five – two up front and three across the rear bench – the 2023 Nautilus likes to coddle. Active noise control and acoustic glass on the windshield and front windows ensure an exceedingly quiet atmosphere. Heated front seats and dual-zone automatic control are standard. Climatized and massaging front seats are available as is a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade.

Storage space in the Lincoln Nautilus is impressive. The rear bench folds down in a 60/40 configuration to offer 69 cubic feet of cargo space or 37 with the second row upright. That’s quite a bit more than the Cadillac XT5’s 63 and 30 cubic foot cargo measurements.

Entertainment & Technology

2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com
2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

Every 2023 Nautilus comes with a fully digital gauge cluster screen measuring 12 inches and a 13-inch infotainment touchscreen sprouting from the center stack. Wireless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also part of the deal along with a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Audio systems range from the standard 10-speaker setup to an available 13-speaker system by Revel to an absolutely epic Revel Ultima miniature concert hall that runs through 19 speakers and is included on Black Label models. Other notable tech includes connected navigation and the Phone As A Key feature that negates the need for a key fob.

Safety Features

The 2023 Nautilus rates very highly on safety with a 5-Star overall score from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. Lincoln fits all models with a suite of advanced driver aids including a lane-keeping system, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. At this price point, adaptive cruise control is surprisingly not standard, requiring a package to access and Ford’s Blue Cruise semi-autonomous driving software is not available on any Nautilus.

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Trims & Pricing

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Lincoln Embrace - lincoln.com
2023 Lincoln Nautilus Lincoln Embrace - lincoln.com

Standard – $46,865

The entry-level 2023 Nautilus, Standard models feature full exterior LED lighting, 18-inch alloys, a power-operated liftgate, and Lincoln Embrace which projects a Lincoln logo on the ground at the owner’s approach. Cabin amenities include a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum trim, and power-adjustable front seats. Wireless smartphone mirroring is managed via the 13-inch central touchscreen and rear parking sensors are included.

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Ambient Lighting - lincoln.com
2023 Lincoln Nautilus Ambient Lighting - lincoln.com

Reserve – $53,080

Midpack Reserve trim brings rain-sensing windshield wipers, a panoramic moonroof, ambient cabin lighting, and a heated steering wheel. Leather in black or a black/brown two-tone is included along with climatized front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a wireless charging pad. For a cool 10 grand, the Reserve II package adds killer 21-inch rims, AWD, the 19-speaker Revel stereo system, Active Park Assist, and more.

2023 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label Chalet Theme - lincoln.com
2023 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label Chalet Theme - lincoln.com

Black Label – $69,285

Consult the latest new car incentives before shopping the Nautilus Black Label. Easily cresting $70,000 with options like a $2,000 Chroma Caviar paint job, this top model has adaptive headlights, a hands-free liftgate, an Alcantara headliner, and your choice of a Flight or Chalet cabin theme. The big stereo system is included as is self-parking, Evasive Steering Assist, and a surround-view monitor. For $1,500, you can fit the Black Label with front buckets with 22-way adjustment, massaging seatbacks, and a power-extendable thigh cushion.

Warranties

Lincoln’s basic warranty runs for four years or 50,000 miles with the powertrain and roadside assistance coverage extending to six years or 70,000 miles. There is a complimentary maintenance program good for a 4-year/50,000-mile term that also includes a loaner vehicle, but it requires the Black Label model.

What we think

2023 Lincoln Nautilus - lincoln.com

2023 Lincoln Nautilus – lincoln.com |  Shop 2023 Lincoln Nautilus on Carsforsale.com

There is a lot to like about the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus. Handsome styling, ample technology, and loads of luxury. But it’s missing some key features like Blue Cruise and complimentary maintenance for the entire lineup not to mention the need for better fuel economy. How about a hybrid Lincoln? For those shopping for the Nautilus, look to the Reserve as it adds a whole lot of upgrades for a reasonable uptick in sticker price over the Standard trim. But if you can, hold off until the 2024 model shows up as this final gen-one Nautilus has gotten a bit long in the tooth.

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Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his 1990 Cherokee and 1989 Starion, so it’s not surprising that he would put his mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Hampshire to use in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer. Now engineering sentence structures, his writing infuses his auto experience with his time in marketing and his sales experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he focuses on some of the more technical mechanical systems that are found under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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