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Lincoln rolls out reimagined, impressive Navigator
Smoother, buttoned-down SUV is a winner
Published Sunday, March 17, 2019 7:07 pm
by Winfred Cross | For The Charlotte Post

Lincoln’s 2019 Navigator Nautilus is an upgrade on the discontinued MKX.

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Lincoln has been busy lately. It reintroduced its flagship Continental sedan a few years back to critical acclaim.

The reimagined Navigator ranks with the best of the biggest SUVs available. Now there is this thing called the Nautilus that looks to take on upscale midsize crossovers and trucks.

The Nautilus replaces the MKX, which was based on the Ford Edge. The basic chassis has been used with a spanking new body. Gone are most of the sharp edges of the MKX, replaced by a smoother, more buttoned down appearance. It reminds me of a Brooks Brothers suit. It’s not quite bespoke tailoring, but close enough. The Nautilus does not scream at you but instead exudes an upscale, luxurious look. It has the corporate face shared by the Continental and Navigator, but for me seems to make the best use of the face.

Open the doors and that tailored look continues. The interior is a masterful blend of leather, wood and metal surfaces. The look depends on what trim you choose. I would suggest either Reserve or Black Label. That’s where the interiors shine.

My test vehicle was the Chalet trim level from the Black Label offerings. The silver wood inserts with the Alpine and Espresso colored leathers was really something to behold.

The Venetian leather seats bore the Lincoln star pattern logo, while the steering wheel was a two-toned leather wrapped wonder. The combination looked good enough to taste.

About those seats: If Lincoln gets out the car business it should dive head first into the luxury furniture market. These seats were fabulous. The rear seats reclined and the manual controls to do so were so easy to reach it was scary. Why aren’t all automobiles built like this? The comfort level was something special.
The front seats, as well as the rear, were perforated so they were cooled and heated. My test car had a welcome option – lumbar massage. Yep, both front seats can be adjusted in 22 different ways and can offer massages. It’s a $1,500 option but if you test it before you buy, you will buy.

May I also point out the brilliant audio system by Revel? It is one of the best original equipment sound systems I’ve ever heard. Its highs were breathtaking and the bass, while not the deepest, delivered solid, round notes.

The Nautilus comes with an 8-inch touch screen, which handles most of the vehicle’s functions. I think it could be bigger, considering some of the mammoth sizes being found in lesser vehicles. Still, it’s easy to use and comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which I think make most other interfaces obsolete with their ease of use.

The Nautilus is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower, and 280 pounds-feet of torque. That’s’ enough to move the Nautilus around town and on the highway with ease. It’s a quiet engine if not a bit bland. It replaces the MKZ’s 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V6.

My vehicle came with the upgraded 2.7-liter V6, which has twin turbos. This is really an upgrade. It’s used in the Ford F-150 and makes 335 horses and 380 pounds-feet of torque. It is in no way truck-like when used in this vehicle. The power delivery is extremely smooth and is fairly muted when pressed hard. It has a gurgle that sounds more befitting in a luxury vehicle. Combined with a buttery eight-speed transmission, the engine powers the vehicle around town with authority and dare I say with a bit of finesse.

You will not mistake the Nautilus for a sports ute, even with the optional all-wheel-drive and setting the vehicle dynamics to sport. It drives well, really well. It’s not afraid of curved roads or twists and bends. Yet, it’s still more


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