The elegant, layered look of Lincoln makes the Nautilus feel like a whole new car.
The last time this mid-size SUV had a significant facelift was back in 2017 when the Lincoln MKX was given the Lincoln signature exterior look and renamed Nautilus. But for the 2021 model year, we’re practically talking about a whole new car. Open the door and climb into the delicious leather interior, and it’s like walking into a whole new world of luxury. It’s the Nautilus exterior you know and love with so many interior updates that it’s practically unrecognizable.
And it came just in time, too. Lincoln’s classic midsize SUV is a roomy, comfortable ride, but its interior has long been a point of contention for consumers, car reviewers, and Lincoln alike—this new refresh is exactly what we needed to take the Nautilus to the next step.
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An Interior Inspired By The Horizon
The interior of the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus can be summed up in one word: luxe. While some people mistakenly correlate opulence to luxury, Lincoln knows the benefit of well-crafted materials and a sleek design.
According to Lincoln, designers looked to the horizon when it came to crafting the Nautilus’ interior: long, straight lines; soft, earthy tones, lush leather, minimal screen, and just a pop of color when you need it most. It’s like stepping into a secluded meadow, except that meadow is your favorite midsize SUV. Lincoln says it’s “sanctuary-like,” and I have to agree. Some interiors can feel cluttered as more and more features make it onto the dashboard. The Nautilus, though, is simple. Add in the gentle rays soaking through the sunroof, and every trip to the store will be like a foray to the coast.
There are some great interior color combinations:
- Black Label Chalet: Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers, silver design touches, designed to convey the comfort of an après-ski lodge.
- Black Label Flight: Rich leather paired with gentle tones to convey an airplane journey. Available next year.
- Sandstone: Neutral but high-contrast tones to create a sophisticated but vibrant interior.
- Black Ebony: Roast accents on seats, doors, console armrests, and instrument panel. Chocolatey tones with black contrast, real wood finish, and eye-catching chrome accents
You’ll also be able to choose from a selection of equally sophisticated exterior colors: Asher Gray (which comes with a monochromatic package), Green Gem, and the signature Lincoln Flight Blue. You can take the best of nature and cruise around on four wheels.
Brighter Tech for a Brighter Experience
Lincoln is debuting a whole new technology with the 2021 Nautilus: Sync 4. Basically, Sync 4 transforms the infotainment device into an easily navigable, cellphone-like display that allows for easy syncing to your phone without having to plug anything in. The whole goal is to make the infotainment system more intuitive for anyone who’s used a smartphone.
There are also quite a few other handy upgrades:
- Use cellphone as your key
- Lincoln Way app to start and drive your Nautilus without a key
- Constellation theme that turns the infotainment system blue and orange to mimic the horizon
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Voice recognition
- Automatic, over-the-air updates
The system just looks nice, too. The 13.2-inch screen is placed straight on the center stack, and it blends in beautifully with the rest of the interior. It’s a pretty big screen, but at the same time, it’s minimal enough that it doesn’t look intrusive. Lincoln did a good job integrating all of its new tech into the design of the car.
In terms of safety upgrades, the Nautilus comes standard with five of the most popular driver assistance technologies: blind spot monitoring, predictive collision braking, lane keep assist, rearview camera, and automatic high-beam headlamps. An upgraded version of the new Nautilus comes with a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, and steering assistance.
The Same Lincoln You Know and Love
In terms of the exterior, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus hasn’t deviated too far from its predecessors—but that’s not a bad thing. You can expect the same smooth ride and that signature Lincoln grille. The things that needed to be upgraded—the interior and the technology—have been spruced up. The rest is just as luxurious as before.
There are two different engines available for the 2021 model:
- A 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque
- A standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with its 250 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque
Both engines have an automatic start-stop feature and an eight-speed transmission to provide for smooth acceleration.
Right now, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is expected to start at $42,935.