2019 Lincoln Nautilus Reserve First Drive: Standing In The Shallow End

In an attempt to bottle some of the success of the new Navigator (but on a smaller scale), Lincoln is introducing the Nautilus. Its fresh face – reminiscent of its three-row sibling – and new engine options provide the crossover previously known as the MKX with a much-needed makeover. But if the Navigator was a dive head-first into the deep-end of the luxury pool, then the Nautilus is still splashing around in the shallows.

Ahoy, It's The Nautilus:

The Nautilus rides on the same platform as the outgoing MKX. Visually, at least, the Nautilus is a much more appealing product. It ditches the split-wing grille for the latest Lincoln design language. It’s the same look you’ll find on the larger Navigator, the smaller MKC, and the Continental luxury sedan. It's an attractive look, even if the front fascia is a little busy.

All those silver vents and sharp creases on the front fascia carry over from the larger Navigator, and they mostly do the shape of the Nautilus justice. Same goes for the rear; even though the design is nearly the same as the outgoing MKX, a subtle restyle of the taillights and trim pieces complete the SUV's updated look.

But the Nautilus is more than just a pretty new face. The midsizer now has a brand-new entry-level engine: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 245 horsepower and comes standard with stop-start technology and an eight-speed automat...