Two short years since Lincoln’s new mid-size luxury SUV was first introduced, replacing the MKX nameplate, the 2021 Nautilus gains new updates to further separate it from the pack. As Lincoln says, they’ve taken the best features from the flagship Navigator, best-selling compact Corsair, and new Aviator to improve what is already a well-designed premium hauler with arguably the best-handling characteristics in its class (based on this writer’s SUV comparison) courtesy of its optional 2.7L twin-turbocharged V6 making 335-hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque (a 250-hp 2.0L turbo comes standard).
Bolder yet elegant new front grill
The Nautilus updates for 2021 aren’t extensive but they’re worthy. The exterior gains a tweaked front grille redesign that appears more bold but without looking too aggressive; it looks more elegant now, flanked by LED lights. The new model finds more chrome coast-to-coast, and available in three clean colours — including the signature, aviation-influenced Flight Blue. Lincoln says these updates ensure the Nautilus is now more consistent with the other SUVs in the lineup.
Interior updates include more premium wood, updated shifter, and largest touchscreen in the Lincoln SUV lineup
Inside, expect more premium wood throughout, an updated Piano-key shifter, updated doors, and a 2-tone high-grade steering wheel. Overall, the horizontal design cues remains for 2021 throughout — a theme the luxury brand says creates a sense of calm, serenity, mimicking the constellations.
This is all backed by a new partnership with the app Calm, part of Lincoln’s commitment to wellness. This collaboration with an app is new frontier for the company; an industry-first, Ford says. Paired to Matthew McConaughey’s chilled-out, relaxing commentary, we’d say they’re on the right path.
Three other big interior updates include the introduction of a 13.2-inch centre-stack screen — the largest screen of any Lincoln SUV, thus far — a more intuitive SYNC4 system featuring cloud-based updates, and a new searchable digital user’s manual replacing the thick manual collecting dust in the glovebox; the Nautilus’ digital manual is also a Lincoln SUV first. The new 2021 Lincoln Nautilus will arrive at dealerships early 2021.