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Auto Talk: 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve

Comfort is number one in this handsome looking SUV

Lincoln’s top-selling SUV obtained a new name and a new look for the 2019 model year.  Once known as the MDX, now it carries the Nautilus moniker and a base 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. As Lincoln Nautilus the price has jumped, now putting it into the same class as the Lexus RX Volvo XC60, BMW X3, Audi Q5/Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

The Nautilus is worth considering as it’s a handsome looking rig on the outside and very nicely designed on the inside. The new Lincoln mesh grill design sets the tone at the front of the Nautilus with the rest of the exterior elegant and toned down from other SUVs in the same class. Gaudy it's not, with body lines that nicely flow from front to back and along to the horizontal light bar. The 21-inch Ultra Bright wheels on my tester nicely accent the colour and style of the Nautilus.

The 2.0L turbo four makes 250 h.p. and 280 pound-feet of torque. For an extra $3,000 you can upgrade to a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 rated at a healthy 335 h.p. and 380 lb.-ft. Both engines are hooked to a new eight-speed auto. My test Nautilus had the twin-turbo and, in my opinion, that’s the engine you should have under the hood. It has lots of thrust and fuel consumption on the open road is more than acceptable with the best I achieved at 7.7L/100km.

My test Nautilus was the AWD Reserve which starts at $55,350 and includes the 2.7 litre V6, leather trim, navigation, adaptive damping, blind spot detection, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, LED headlights and more. Packed with $15,800 in options, the final total was an eyewatering $73,150 and, for this, you get all the luxury trappings and driver aids. My favourite? The massaging front seats that Mrs. M and I leave on all the time when highway driving.

Comfort is number one in the Nautilus and no one riding in this big rig will complain about a lack of seating comfort or legroom. This is a roomy two-row ute with generous rear seat room, reclining rear seats and plenty of cargo space.

The spectacular Revel 19-speaker audio system – part of the $5,500 Ultimate Package – offers top-notch sound for your ears. Select the $2,500 driver assistance package and you get adaptive cruise, lane keep assist and adaptive steering, which in combination will provide a modicum of “autonomous” motoring.

On the road, it is a convincing luxury conveyance with the ride impressively quiet and compliant, yet body motions are tightly controlled. Push it into a tight curve and you’ll be surprised how capable it is. Steering feel is good, too. Sure, it’s not as sporting as some of the European competition, but most luxury SUV shoppers will take a comfy ride and hushed cabin over the ability to play race car driver. On the highway, very little wind and road noise intrudes. All the better for enjoying that killer Revel audio.

I think the quality and finish of the Nautilus is very good, feeling a lot more luxurious on the inside than many of its competitors. If you have the means for a Nautilus to haul the family, you won’t be disappointed.

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