By on November 29, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

As we learned yesterday, the midsize Lincoln MKX will soon be no more, replaced by a vehicle that’s very similar in appearance but definitely not in name. Nautilus, the Jules Verne-inspired moniker that graces the crossover’s flanks starting next summer, is a signal that real names are back, baby. Take note, rival automakers.

Besides freeing the former MKX from the abyss of alphanumeric naming hell, the arrival of Nautilus means significant powertrain changes and a design detour — pushing Lincoln’s best-selling model ever so slightly further upscale while adding a dose of fuel savings.

“With the introduction of Nautilus, Lincoln has a strong, distinctive portfolio with a common and recognizable identity,” said Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra in a media release.

This is key for the resurgent brand. By the middle of next year, all Lincolns will wear the corporate, Continental-esque one-piece grille, replacing the longstanding (and controversial) split waterfall opening of years past. The smallest member of the family, the MKC, adopts the look for 2019. Arguably, the MKX Nautilus wears it better.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

Carrying the “all in the family” theme even further, it’s no surprise to see the Nautilus sporting wheels that look remarkably similar to those found on some Continentals.

Besides a remolded front fascia and minor alterations to the rear taillamps and reflectors, the 2019 model also receives a new base engine. The 3.7-liter V6 is gone, replaced with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. That mill churns out 245 horsepower and 275 horsepower. Buyers who aren’t living beyond their means will want to spring for the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which carries over as the upgrade engine. Power figures remain the same: 335 hp and 385 lb-ft.

In the interests of fuel economy, both engines transfer power through Ford’s new eight-speed automatic, replacing the previous six-speed unit. Auto Start-Stop capability comes standard.

Lincoln’s making a big fuss over the standard and available technology found in the 2019 model. One feature that we found lacking in the MKX (and other Ford products) stands to see an upgrade. The Nautilus’ new lane-holding system uses radar and cameras to hopefully keep the vehicle planted between the lines. This system works with an adaptive cruise system with stop-and-go-capability. Evasive steer assist, now available, uses the same tools to analyze the road ahead and, if possible, help drivers head off a rear-end collision.

Both of these features join a list of returning driver’s aids, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, active park assist, and a lane-departure warning.

Technology is nice, but supple materials have a way of catching the eye. Hoping to lure customers used to the finer things, Lincoln has revamped the model’s Black Label offerings for 2019. Gone are Indulgence and Modern Heritage themes, replaced by Chalet and Gala. Thoroughbred carries over. Springing for the high-zoot Chalet brings Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and Silverwood appliqués — trappings you no doubt remember from your last trip to the ski slopes. Gala brings Onyx leather and an Alcantara headliner, plus Nouveax Armor aluminum accents.

Alas, no Givenchy or Bill Blass editions. There’s no opera window in sight, either.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

However, one needn’t spring for Black Label living just to feel privileged behind the wheel of a Nautilus. Besides the standard pickup and delivery service afforded to new Lincoln owners, customers receive a six-month complimentary CLEAR membership if they buy after January 1st, 2018, thus allowing for smoother passage through airports. Black Label customers receive a 12-month membership.

Lincoln boasts of a 40-percent customer conquest rate for the soon-to-be-defunct MKX nameplate, making it a hugely important vehicle for the brand. Still, the model’s overall sales fall behind that of several rivals, including Cadillac’s XT5 (which outsells it 2 to 1). Capturing buyers from other brands is a nice, but Lincoln needs more showroom traffic. Will a name change and facelift bring more suitors to Lincoln’s door?

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

48 Comments on “2019 Lincoln Nautilus: Former MKX Dials Up the Brougham...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    OK so I know I’ve made fun of the name but I do think that the updates to the styling are handsome.

    All this Brougham has me thinking about a new Malaise Era.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Nahh, for that, we’d need huge engines with 125 HP and 12 MPG.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Quilted leather is still the new button tuffed velour. ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          What’s the worst application of button tuffed velour? I’d have to vote for the FWD stretched K cars in the 80s/90s.

          Then again, I’m not much of a fan of the look at all, unless its contained in the wrappings of an Oldsmobile.

          I found a sweet Ninety-Eight coupe with a sunroof. Unfortunately, the guy decorated it with one of those boomerang limo antennas and curb feelers. Yuck.

          I’d have to strip that crap off of it, but its a helluva car otherwise.
          https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/d/1982-oldsmobile-98-regency/6360010397.html

          No interior pics, and I am not exactly a fan of the refrigerator white exterior paint. Depending on the interior color, I’d love it painted a deep blue or a cinnamon red. I would keep the white top for contrast.

          Oh, and the naked ladies on the decklid gots to go.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      We entered one at some point in the last three years. Jack wrote a nice piece on the subject maybe a year or so ago.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      Let’s not forget that while the Verne reference is unavoidable, a nautilus is a very cool-looking mollusk considered a “living fossil” for having survived relatively unchanged for the last half-billion years.

      In other words, it’s never had a major facelift like this!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    As if we needed more proof Ford’s only aspirations for Lincoln is to be a trill level on a mediore Ford.

    Nautilus? Really? You named your vehicle after a deformed sea creature?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      EBFlex? Really? You chose to name your Ford trolling screenname after a Ford engine and vehicle? Very trill.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Deformed? The Nautilus is a lovely expression of Nature’s (and mathematics) most elegant design, the Fibonacci series, from which we get the Golden Section that defines classical architecture. It’s also damned successful have been around for a very, very long time.

      That the Nautilus is a mollusk, well, that could be problematic.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        “You call that a Brougham, this is a Brougham” he declares while driving past in his 1974 LTD Brougham.

        Otherwise tufted velour and matching colour interior plastics are always welcome, and in the best of taste.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Actually I was thinking more of a harness booster car seat from Graco. You know, the affordable one that gets the job done but not upscale.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      Deformed?

      Descartes and later Jacob Bernoulli, described the logarithmic spiral, which is what a nautilus shell is, as “the marvelous spiral”.

      It’s a self similarity: the size of the spiral increases but its shape is unaltered with each successive curve.

      It how the arms of spiral galaxies are formed and arranged. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has several spiral arms, each of which is roughly a logarithmic spiral with pitch of about 12 degrees.

      The bands of hurricanes form this way as well.

      Do you not know about the Fibonacci sequence? Nature’s math for architecture?

      Nautilus is a pretty ambitious name if you ask me.

  • avatar
    Heino

    Better a deformed sea creature than the nonsense of ICX, SIX, and DIS with an X.

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    We used to have a GE Nautilus. I sure hope the interior of this Lincoln is quieter than that loud cheap dishwasher!

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    Has anyone else noticed a lack of Lincoln dealers thier area? Here in Memphis, we have none. We have at least one large dealership for each luxury brand. (Including 2 Mercedes and one large standalone Cadillac dealer). But the nearest Ford Lincoln dealer (small one at that) is 73 miles away. All the standalone L-M dealers closed during the recession. After that Autonation [email protected] sold Lincolns on the side, but they gave up last year.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Sounds like an opportunity for an upstart stand-alone Lincoln dealership. With plenty of fresh products and a new lease on life, it may be just the time.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        I should hope so

      • 0 avatar
        James2

        The Ford-Lincoln dealer nearest me had a Shell gas station taking up the corner of the intersection site the dealer had otherwise covered. The gas station closed down and I thought it was the perfect spot for a stand-alone Lincoln “display”, separated from the Ford showroom.

        Instead, so far, they parked a bunch of new Acuras (?) and now a fleet’s worth of F-150s on the site.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      This is certainly a problem. I live in a fast-growing MSA with a current population of 525,000 people, and the only Lincoln dealership we had closed during the great recession along with the Ford dealership it was pared with. There were 3 other stand alone Ford dealerships to cover the Ford business, but Lincoln has not come back. I’ve spoken several times to the leadership at the Ford dealer where I bought my F150 regarding this, and the answer is always the same…”Lincoln wants too fancy a showroom, and it has to be separate from Ford.” The fact that they’re already making a mint selling hundreds of Platinum trim pickups a year was unspoken.

      So, if I wanted to seriously buy a Lincoln (and if I had the money a Navigator would be on my short list), I’d have to drive 70 miles or cross over into another state (and those dealerships are small-town, legacy dealers).

      Meanwhile, my area has stand-alone Cadillac, BMW, and Mercedes dealerships.

  • avatar
    slawinlaw

    I’m from the Memphis area too and started to post the same thing yesterday. This is alarge market in which to have no presence. If it’s going on elsewhere, I wonder why Ford is bothering to change the front clips and the names.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      I don’t know how much control automakers have over the number of dealers they have in metropolitan areas. But it is sad to not see any new Lincoln’s on Memphis roads and frustrating that the reason why is there are no dealers in the area. I’ve only seen 2 2017 Continentals so far, That’s the same number of Mclaren’s I’ve seen in the past year!

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        We only have 2 in KC, one is in North KC, and and one in Olathe, far SW. Both are away from the more affluent sections of the metro.But I guess it doesn’t matter if the dealers picking up the car for servicing. Might as well build on cheaper land though.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        I wish I had seen a Continental. Every time I think I see one coming, it turns out to be an MKZ. Sigh.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I liked the grill of the ‘07 – ‘10 a lot but this is nice too.

    Once Lincoln finishes its MKT replacing Aviator and Buick Encore copy/ LincoSport subcompact crossover, can we PLEASE get some Mustang-based sedan/coupe?

    I know Ford has it in them to make a handsome four door coupe, and I get sedan sales are over, but something sporty would be nice. Plus, where else do you go once you have 5 SUVs/Crossovers?

  • avatar

    I want there to be a lighted BLACK LABEL… label on the D-pillar.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think Black Label is a complete waste of money.

    However, I’m fond of the re-name and the re-style. This is actually a product I’d consider. The MKX / Nautilus punches above its weight with the 2.7-liter twin-turbo / AWD combo, which is a performance upgrade that neither of its closest competitors—the XT5 and RX—bothers to offer.

    I do worry about the 2.0T, though. Maybe they should have done the 2.3T as a base engine.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Love those red seats. It’s about time we had some color back.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Maybe it’s just the angle, but the headrest in the photo looks crooked.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I don’t understand why Ford ever uses the 2.0T in medium to large crossovers when the 2.3T is right there in the portfolio. It would have been a crossgrade, rather than a clear downgrade, from the 3.7 V6.

    The Black Label also should have stepped up to the 3.0T from the sedans.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    +1 for settling on a name. -1 as I don’t see how a squid-like animal or a submarine used by a proto-Bond villain or a strength training machine relates to luxury or performance or utility

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Looks like Lincoln finally stumbled on a grille design that doesn’t look ridiculous.

    But don’t worry, there are still the fugly wheels and La-Z-Boy interior to remind us that this isn’t actually a premium SUV. Oh, and the base turbo 4.

  • avatar
    slawinlaw

    I’m going to commit news here, which will only be of interest to two or three of us in the Memphis area. Umansky Automotive Group will open Lincoln of Memphis in Spring 2018. It’s been a long dry spell for Lincoln in this area. The new dealership will be next to its Acura store and across the street from the Lexus dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      @slawinlaw

      Thank you so much for sharing that information! I had no idea about that, And I’m always trying to keep up with the latest Memphis development news. I actually googled “Lincoln dealer Memphis” and didn’t find anything earlier. All I find is a rendering. Looks like it’s going to be built on that little plat of land behind the Acura dealer based on the address. Only about 5 acres.

      • 0 avatar
        slawinlaw

        This has been bugging me too. I finally googled a 2016 news story that said Umansky had applied to OPD to allow the new dealership. Then i went to the Umansky site and saw a reference to the new Lincoln store in spring 2018. Now if they will just have some nice 2017 CPO MKZs for me!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Gotta love how the rear lights are misaligned in the press photos:

    https://www.netcarshow.com/lincoln/2019-nautilus/1600×1200/wallpaper_30.htm

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I cannot put my finger on it specifically, but the package seems to me to replicate the desperate “Gucci” and other so-called specials of the late 1970’s. I have two Lincolns in the driveway now, so do not brand me a hater. Unfortunately, the newest is 14 years old. As Jack tries to point out semi-annually, there is quality luxury and faux luxury. The real thing has no need to call attention to itself. Like a 1928 Mathey-Tissot compared to an equally expensive modern Rolex. One has to exclaim its price while the other is quietly (except the chime)competent. I would posit that since the brand isn’t profitable, why not build to a quality standard instead of a price standard? They have been chasing their tail for almost 20 years now so they have little to lose. First off, the front drive has to go. Second, to differentiate themselves, why not the Coyote V8 for all models? Something has to be done. I’m a believer and they haven’t lured me to a showroom since 2002.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Lie2me: They also had a maple leaf on the steering wheel hub
  • DevilsRotary86: Back in 2015/2016 when I was considering a new car, Mr Kyree Williams on here suggested that I should...
  • Superdessucke: This makes me realise how much I miss the hot hatch. We have the ancient GTI which is pretty much...
  • -Nate: Oy, vey . -Nate
  • EBFlex: “They finally get the styling right and we can’t have it. Sonofasnitch.” Ford would rather you...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States