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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

November 14, 2022


  • Styling is elegant
  • Comprehensive list of safety tech
  • Big infotainment display
  • Peppy twin-turbocharged V-6 engine


  • Potentially very expensive
  • More cachet from competitors
  • More sportiness would be welcome
  • Unimpressive fuel economy ratings

Buying tip

The Lincoln Nautilus hits the sweet spot in Reserve trim with the option of the 335-hp turbocharged V-6 and plenty of desirable amenities.

features & specs

Black Label AWD
Reserve AWD
Reserve FWD

19 city / 25 hwy

20 city / 25 hwy

21 city / 26 hwy




For 2023, the Lincoln Nautilus offers up a charming yacht-rock approach to smooth sails along the highway.

What kind of car is the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus? What does it compare to?

Lincoln’s 2023 Nautilus is an elegant luxury crossover SUV with a stunning interior, top-flight comfort and convenience features, and seating for five. This mid-size vehicle competes with the likes of the Audi Q5, Lexus RX, and Cadillac XT5.

Is the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus a good car?

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Yes. It’s spacious, attractive, and comfortable, though it’s not at all sporty. On the TCC Rating scale, it earns 6.8 out of a possible 10 points. (Read more about .)

What’s new for the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus?

After a minor reshuffling of features in 2022, the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus carries over unchanged, in the choice of base Standard, mid-spec Reserve, and top-tier Black Label trims. The styling is fresh in the sense that it’s still fairly new, classic in the sense that it employs this generation of Lincolns’ characteristic yacht-rock aesthetic. It’s successful overall, with subdued LED lighting and graceful trim highlighting subtle curves, and a cabin design that straddles the fine line between too simple and too expressive.

The base Nautilus sports a turbo-4 paired with front-wheel drive, rated for 250 hp and capable of smooth acceleration. The ride is calm and soothing, thanks to optional adaptive dampers and generous sound deadening.

The Nautilus is also available with a 335-hp turbocharged V-6, which can make the scenery along the road blur more, though it’s not especially quick nor the suspension particularly rigid, even when fitted with optional 21-inch tires. It’s more clipper ship than land yacht, with a somewhat numb response from its rudder.

Inside, you’ll find elegant dress, particularly with any of the available Black Label curated themes, and ample seating for five. Total cargo capacity can expand to 68.8 cubic feet. 

The Nautilus fares well in crash evaluations, though the IIHS is not impressed with its stock headlights. Every Nautilus comes equipped with blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and automatic emergency braking. Options include a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic park assist.

How much does the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus cost?

At $44,825, the Nautilus Standard features front-wheel drive, power-adjustable and heated front buckets, digital gauges, a 13.2-inch touchscreen, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For our money, we’d choose the $51,040 Reserve model for the leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, wireless device charging, and navigation, and add the Revel 13-speaker sound system. The Black Label, $67,245, offers themed interiors and more features.

Where is the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus made?

Ontario, Canada.


2023 Lincoln Nautilus


The Nautilus finally sticks its luxury landing.

Is the Lincoln Nautilus a good-looking car?

With a familiar profile, but great interior and exterior design, the Lincoln Nautilus nails an attractive and convincing luxury look. It earns a 7, with the exterior and interior each scoring an additional point.

This Lincoln’s rectangular grille is discreet by today’s standards, pairing a Lincoln badge atop a meshed panel. The nose is bracketed by LED headlights and slender running lights, with fog lights beneath. The overall look is toned though not athletic, which carries down the Nautilus’ body; it shows curves but no ribs, and a sturdy stance without appearing too hefty, right until you get to the full-width rear lighting.

The cockpit features the horizontal design used throughout the current Lincoln range, with contrasting trim that accents the 13.2-inch touchscreen mounted at the dash’s center. A traditional shifter is replaced with push buttons. Quality materials abound regardless of trim, but the distinctive Black Label version combines colorful leather and elegant wood trim to share some Navigator magic with the rest of the brand’s more affordable models.

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2023 Lincoln Nautilus


The Nautilus leans into corners like it leans into luxury.

The Nautilus abandons the pretense of the “sport” factor of an SUV. It cruises along contentedly, quietly, and quickly. The confident acceleration and composed ride earn a score of 7 here.

Is the Lincoln Nautilus 4WD?

In base form, front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. If you choose to upgrade to the turbocharged V-6 engine, all-wheel drive is compulsory.

How fast is the Lincoln Nautilus?

With the base 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine, rated for 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the Nautilus eases through traffic and with admirable silence courtesy of generous sound dampening. Front-drive versions occasionally experience a tug of the wheel from torque steer. 

Upgrade to the 335-hp 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, with 380 lb-ft of torque, and you can expect a sub-six-second 60-mph run, accented by a more attention-getting sound from the engine that swells under load.

In either case, you’ll get Lincoln’s 8-speed automatic transmission, geared for acceleration that’s smooth and free of drama. For higher engine revs and swifter downshifts, switch to sport mode. The available tow package allows a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

With wheels ranging in size from 18 inches to 21 inches, combined with a slow steering ratio, direction changes take effort. This SUV tracks cleanly along a highway, but the tradeoff is numb feel and a lack of feedback. For long-distance cruises, consider adding the adaptive dampers; they’ll improve the Nautilus’ ability to absorb bumps and potholes.

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2023 Lincoln Nautilus

Comfort & Quality

The Nautilus trims out its expansive interior well.

The 2023 Nautilus scores a 9 on the TCC scale for utility and comfort, thanks to its top-tier materials, generous cargo capacity, and comfortable front seats.

The Nautilus’ elegant dash comes adorned with soft-touch trimmings, accented by wood and metal. Black Label versions get soft leather in sumptuous color palettes, set off by a glint of the Revel speaker grilles, elevating the look above that of more sober competitors.

It’s big and wide for a mid-size SUV, at roughly 190 inches in length, though that space offers adult-grade accommodations for five, with ample leg, head, and knee room all around. The front’s the place to sit, though, thanks to 10-way or 22-way power-adjustable seats and optional heating and cooling.

There’s plenty of storage throughout. The center console hides a tablet-sized caddy, bins and pockets abound, and the cargo hold, which measures at 37.2 cubic feet, can expand to 68.8 cubes with the rear seats folded.

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2023 Lincoln Nautilus


The Nautilus still needs better standard headlights.

How safe is the Lincoln Nautilus?

The Nautilus performs well during crash evaluations, but its standard headlights are reason for concern. We award a 9 on the TCC scale, with an asterisk.

In NHTSA testing, the 2023 Nautilus earns a five-star overall rating. The IIHS hasn’t yet tested the 2023 Nautilus, but awards the Top Safety Pick rating to the 2022 model. There’s a caveat, though, as that rating applies only when the Nautilus is equipped with upgraded headlights; base headlights earn the “Poor” rating; therefore, no award.

The 2023 Nautilus includes blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. Automatic park assist, adaptive cruise control, and surround-view camera system are all available, and we recommend them, since the Nautilus’ rear pillars impede some of the rear vision. 

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2023 Lincoln Nautilus


Lincoln fits great infotainment and features to the Nautilus.

The Nautilus is well equipped with standard features, lots of desirable options, and a great infotainment system. We award an 8 on the TCC scale, though Lincoln’s warranty coverage almost earns another point.

The $44,825 Standard Nautilus has front-wheel drive, synthetic leather seating surfaces, power-adjustable and heated seats up front, a 13.2-inch touchscreen display, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, adaptive LED headlights, a power tailgate, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The list of options includes a power-adjustable steering wheel and navigation.

Which Lincoln Nautilus should I buy?

We like the $51,040 Reserve model, with upgrades such as real leather upholstery, wireless device charging, heated and cooled front seats, panoramic sunroof, and navigation. Options include all-wheel drive, a hands-free power tailgate, and a Revel 13-speaker audio system.

How much is a fully loaded Lincoln Nautilus?

For $67,245, the Black Label model ups the ante with a Revel 19-speaker audio system, 22-way power-adjustable seats, 21-inch wheels, and the choice of curated interior themes. 

Lincoln backs the Nautilus with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. This coverage includes pickup as well as delivery for service, but doesn’t cover scheduled maintenance itself, unlike some competing brands.

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2023 Lincoln Nautilus

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy isn’t the Nautilus’ best look.

Is the Lincoln Nautilus good on gas?

Gas mileage is about average for the Nautilus’ size, though a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid option would help a lot. We award a 2 according to the EPA ratings for the 2022 base model equipped with all-wheel drive of 20 mpg city, 25 highway, and 22 combined. The 2023 ratings aren’t in yet, though last year’s should carry over unchanged.

With front-wheel drive, mileage improves slightly, up to 21/26/23 mpg, but choosing the twin-turbo powertrain sends ratings back down, landing at 19/25/21 mpg.

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