The Lincoln Nautilus entered the 2019 model year with reworked exterior styling that brought its looks in line with those of the Lincoln Navigator, which the brand redesigned for 2018. It’s interior design, however, did not follow the template of its full-size stablemate, hewing largely to an older format. This changes for 2021, as the updated Nautilus features a reworked dash and center console that takes on the design cues of Lincoln’s other crossovers and SUVs.
2021 Lincoln Nautilus: In Sync With the Times
More importantly, the 2021 Nautilus welcomes Ford Motor Company’s latest infotainment system, Sync 4, into its dashboard. Working with a massive 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Sync 4’s arrival in the Nautilus follows its earlier reveal in late Ford-badged products such as the 2021 F-150, 2021 Mustang Mach-E, and 2021 Edge, the latter of which shares its underpinnings with the Nautilus. As in those products, the new infotainment system offers features such as a more natural voice recognition system, available over-the-air updates, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
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In order to differentiate its Sync 4 infotainment experience from Ford’s, Lincoln relies on a horizontally mounted display, as opposed to a tall, vertically mounted one. We wager it’s a superior setup for users, as it inherently keeps more information higher up and closer to the driver’s line of sight. It also doesn’t hurt that the screen’s position better complements the horizontal lines of the Lincoln’s dashboard design. Additional Lincoln-specific Sync 4 cues include a so-called “Constellation” theme that features varying blue and orange hues designed to mimic the horizon and galaxy.
Although Lincoln put most of its efforts into the interior of the 2021 Nautilus, the brand still gave the midsize crossover a minor exterior update. Notably, the lower fascia features a cleaner design relative to last year. It’s a small design difference, but one that hints at the bigger changes inside of the 2021 Nautilus.
2021 Lincoln Nautilus: Same As It Ever Was (Under the Hood)
Mechanically, the 2021 Nautilus largely mirrors last year’s model. Power once again comes courtesy of a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 250 hp or an available twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 that produces 335 hp. Both mate to eight-speed automatic transmissions, however, the four-cylinder defaults to sending its power to the front wheels. All-wheel-drive, which comes standard with the V-6, is an optional extra on four-cylinder models.
Despite a small increase to its curb weight (21 pounds for front-drive four-cylinder models and 16 pounds for all-wheel-drive V-6 ones), we expect the 2021 Nautilus to maintain much the same behind-the-wheel experience as before. In other words, look for the most powerful model to manage the same 6.0-second trot to 60 mph we achieved from an all-wheel-drive 2019 Nautilus equipped with the V-6 engine.
Similarly, we anticipate the starting price of the 2021 Nautilus will remain close to that of the 2020 model’s $42,035 entry fee. Look for the 2021 Nautilus to go on sale early next year.
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