Gone is the gear shifter with gearing now being selected by means of a vertical push buttons that sit left of the infotainment screen that now balances out the centre console design.
An optional 22-way Ultra Comfort driver seating has been made available with the designers consulting with Orthopaedic surgeons find the best seating position to help reduce fatigue on longer drives.
The driver’s instrumentation has been borrowed form the Navigator and now is digital and programmable and can be set up in a multitude of ways with numerous displays available to assist and enhance the drive.
The Reserve model I was driving was loaded with technology but most came at a price.
The Technology Package that includes the new 360° camera, active park assist and front park aid sensors will add another $1,100 to the final price with the Drivers Assistance Package adding a further $2,500 that includes lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and adaptive steering.
Adding the Ultimate Package will include the LED matrix speed dependant headlamps and will add a hefty $5,500 to the final ticket.
Under the hood of this Reserve model was the new 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder EcoBoost engine matched to the new super smooth eight-speed transmission that produces 250hp and 275lb/ft of torque. This combination puts the power down to all four wheels through a full time AWD system.
The Nautilus isn’t exactly a light vehicle and I wasn’t too sure how a 2.0-litre engine would handle hauling a luxury truck along.
My worries were put to rest as soon as I drove it for the first time.
The engine and transmission were a super smooth combination and managed to get it up to highway speeds without hindrance. I was surprised on how quiet the engine was when accelerating under normal conditions.
There were a couple of occasions that I did stomp the gas and the engine noise was more noticeable in the cabin but not enough to interfere with any conversation.
At highway speed the Nautilus is super quiet, acoustic side glass has been added that reduces wind noise for rear passengers as well.
The adaptive suspension makes for a smoother ride and includes pothole mitigation – the system reacts in milliseconds when it detects a wheel dropping into a pothole adjusting the damping and controlling the wheel before it hits bottom.
The Nautilus is perfect for long hauls on highways but it is just as adaptable on back roads. The suspension does a good job of keeping the vehicle upright and stiff even when pushing it into some corners.
The electrical assisted steering gave me more road feel than I was expecting and was crisp and precise. Acceleration isn’t mind blowing but I had to remind myself that this is a luxury SUV and needs to be driven as such.
Heavy braking is easily controlled and very manageable.
Over all I was very pleased with the performance and driveability of the Nautilus.
I found that the 2.0-litre engine was more than capable for every day driving and I thought that the fuel savings were more important than getting up to 100 km/h a fraction of a second faster.
I wasn’t a fan of the winged grille of the old MKX, it seemed to soften the looks too much for my liking, and the new design of the Nautilus makes it far more appealing with a new rugged twist.
The Nautilus is a strong and luxurious SUV that comes with all the added comfort creatures without compromising on safety or technology.
I am sure that with the new design and enhancements for 2109 the Nautilus will continue to be a sales leader for Lincoln and into the foreseeable future.