Stay with me now… the midsize Lincoln Nautilus SUV arrived for 2019 as essentially a name change for the Ford Edge-based MKX, which was in its second generation. It then quickly got a big update for 2021, taking on a whole new styling theme. And now, for 2024, the second generation of the actual Nautilus is setting sail. So, let’s see if it will be a big boom in sales for Lincoln.

The 2024 Lincoln Nautilus is the first Nautilus to actually be all-new. Since its days of being a rebadged and restyled MKX, and gussied up Ford Edge are gone, we arrived at our early California drive time with some naturally high expectations.

Now, there was a time when vehicle press releases bragged about items like horsepower, acceleration times and fine Corinthian leather; these days we get things like the in-vehicle user experience, screen sizes, vegan materials, and now Lincoln Rejuvenate, which is a “multi-sensory in-cabin experience including lighting and digital scenting.”

And it is that in-cabin sanctuary that Lincoln is definitely most proud of. Chances are you’ve already heard about the immense 48-inch screen which stretches almost the full-width of the windshield, integrated into a housing on the tabletop-style dash that flows smoothly into the door panels; they’ve even given the steering wheel more of an oval shape, just so you can see the screens better. And there’s another screen too, an 11-inch tablet-style touchscreen above the center console for controlling it all.

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Fortunately, it all manages to look more classy than over-the-top techy, thanks to crystal-inspired details, subtle ambient lighting, piano-key shifter and a 28-speaker sound system that turns the interior into a recording studio control room. Creature comforts are essentially everywhere you look in the cabin, including the rear seat.

The Nautilus now rides on a different chassis than the current Ford Edge and will be assembled in China. It remains a midsize five-passenger utility, though overall length is about 3 inches longer than before. And, Nautilus also has more presence. The face is tall with slim headlights and finely detailed grillwork. Door handles are beautifully integrated into the beltline, providing smooth uninterrupted door panels without going the pop out handle route that many others have taken. Wheel sizes range from 19 to 22 inches, and the roof is painted black on all but the base Premiere model.

Highlights in the rear include standard dual chrome exhaust outlets integrated into the bumper, full width LED taillights, and lighted Lincoln script. Behind the standard power liftgate is 35.2 cubic-feet of cargo space; folding the rear seatbacks allows for a sizable 68.8 cubic-feet of gear.

Other than some touchy brakes, it was a sublime driving experience.

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbo I4 rated at 250 horsepower, but a hybrid version of that 2.0-liter adds 100 kW of electric assistance for a 310-horsepower combined output. With the hybrid comes a beltless eCVT, or electronic continuously variable transmission. The standard turbo, on the other hand, works with a traditional eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard on all.

No word on if an EV version is in the works, or if Lincoln’s EV plans will revolve around launching entirely new vehicles like the Mustang Mach E-based Lincoln Star concept shown back in ’22.

The latest edition of BlueCruise hands-free driving is included, providing better lane positioning, and suggesting lane changes when appropriate. It worked great, though most of our early drive time involved keeping our hands on that oddly shaped steering wheel, relying on power from the hybrid powertrain. And, other than some touchy brakes, it was a sublime driving experience.

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Power from the hybrid always seemed to be readily available, whether for getting off the line quickly or up to speed for highway merging. Handling performance was more than adequate, with plenty of grip in corners and only moderate amounts of body roll. And that huge screen was not as distracting as we were expecting.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the standard turbo are 21 City, 29 Highway, and 24 combined; the hybrid comes in at 30 City, 31 Highway, and 30 Combined. So, its Energy Impact Score is slightly better than average, using 9.9 barrels of oil yearly, while emitting 4.8 tons of CO2.

Pricing starts with Premiere trim at $52,010; from there it’s a reasonable step up to Reserve trim at $56,345, but a substantial leap to top Black Label which starts at $75,845. The hybrid powertrain is only $1,500 more, and we think well worth it.

Big changes have happened for 2024 in the Lincoln Nautilus world, and from our experience they’re all good. It’s bigger, quieter, more luxurious, and techier without being in your face about it. We love it when Lincoln actually puts more Lincoln into their vehicles, and we expect to see more of the same in the future.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I4
  • Horsepower: 250 | 310
  • EPA (gas): 21 City / 29 Highway / 24 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto | eCVT
  • Torque: 275 lb-ft | 295 lb-ft
  • EPA (hybrid): 30 City / 31 Highway / 30 Combined