8 Top Lincoln Nautilus Competitors

The 2022 Mercedes Benz GLE-class is just one of the Lincoln Nautilus’ competitors you should consider if you’re in the market for a new mid-size SUV.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The luxurious Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, the stylish and sporty Audi Q8, and the fuel-efficient and futuristic-looking Lexus RX 350 are just some of the Lincoln Nautilus’ competitors you should take a look at while in the market for a mid-size luxury SUV.
If you think of a luxurious yacht when you think of the Lincoln Nautilus, you wouldn’t be mistaken—both are vehicles, luxurious, and powerful, and the fact that one goes on the road and the other in the water? Minor detail. Anyway, as luxurious as the Lincoln Nautilus is, it’s not the be-all-end-all of luxury midsize SUVs, with its poor fuel efficiency, unexciting handling, and pricey top trims.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of luxury alternatives to consider if the Lincoln Nautilus doesn’t float your boat (pun strenuously intended).
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1. Mercedes-Benz GLE-class

Starting price: $57,200 to $81,200
Selling points: High-tech, upscale, and roomy first and second rows
Weak spot: Ride is stiff, best options are not cheap
If you’re expecting the best from a Mercedes SUV, you likely won’t be disappointed. The
Mercedes-Benz GLE-class
SUVs are slick, high-tech beasts—you’ll be wowed by two 12.3-inch screens that make up the digital cluster gauge and instrument panel, not to mention Apple CarPlay & Android Auto capability, as well as the MBUX Voice Recognition System. Both screens take up the entire dashboard, making up a gorgeous, glittering display.
But what about the ride? Even if you stick with the base GLE 350, you’ll still be impressed. The 2.0 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine sports 255 horsepower and delivers enough pop for all but the most aggressive luxury drivers. The base 350 is also the most fuel-efficient trim, but still goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a quick 6.6 seconds.

2. Genesis GV80

Starting price: $50,200 to $75,200
Selling points: Pleasant cabin, smooth and quiet ride, lots of standard features
Weak spot: Standard 4-cylinder engine lacks guts, tight 3rd row
If you’re looking for a smooth and silky ride paired with minimalist interior luxury, the
Genesis
GV80 could be just your ticket. The GV80’s standard engine is the turbocharged 2.5 L 4 cylinder that sports 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. But despite those gaudy numbers, the GV80 is more of a smooth operator than it is an aggressive ute. You won’t be intimidating anyone in the GV80. You’ll probably evoke feelings of envy, though.
And why wouldn’t that be the case, considering the GV80’s elegant-yet-minimalist cabin? It sports a leather-lined interior with burled wood trim and metal accents, along with ambient interior lighting. And that touchscreen! This 14.5-inch rectangular beauty centers the middle of the dashboard, and it features a handy click-wheel controller so the driver doesn’t have to reach to change the settings. Very thoughtful.

3. Audi Q8

Starting price: $71,995 to $82,095
Selling points: A barrel of fun to drive, gorgeous interior with plenty of tech 
Weak spot: Slightly impractical, better suited to the highway than the city
Who wouldn’t want to drive an
Audi Q8
? This striking, aerodynamic SUV turns heads with its fighter jet-like driving demeanor, especially on wide open roads. The Q8 sports a 3.0 L V6 engine with 335 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque, 8-speed automatic transmission, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. The Q8 is built for highway driving, and it provides a smooth—not to mention fast—ride. 
That all being said, the Q8’s impracticalities are hard to ignore. The interior, while gorgeous and spacious, offers just two rows of seating for five occupants—as opposed to the three rows common in this class. Owing to its sleek and somewhat short design, its cargo space leaves much to be desired, with just 60.7 cubic feet of it. And as delightful as the Q8 is on the highway, its lagging acceleration doesn’t lend itself as well to zipping around town.
The Q8’s tech is quintessentially Audi. A sleek digital display is integrated into the dashboard, and the base version boasts touch input, voice command capability, steering wheel controls, a WiFi hotspot, and a panoramic sunroof. It can also tow 7,700 pounds when properly equipped.

4. BMW X5

Starting price: $60,600 to $106,100
Selling points: Multiple excellent powertrain options, beautiful cabin
Weak spot: Top engine choice is pricey, duller steering than you’d expect
Arguably the most well-rounded midsize luxury SUV, the
BMW X5
offers top-notch performance, a traditionally-opulent interior, and great engine options at every trim, even if the uppermost trims are very expensive.
Driving an X5 feels typically Bavarian—robust acceleration,a brisk 0 to 60 time of 4.8 seconds, and cornering verve. True, the steering on the X5 does feel a bit rigid, but that’s a small price to pay considering the rest of the ultimate driving machine-awesomeness you get with the X5. You’ll get this driving experience starting from the base trim, with its spunky inline-6 cylinder engine boasting 330 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. 
TheX5 interior is fit for a wealthy German industrialist (or you), with leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, plenty of charging ports, dual climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and other standard features. You’ll also have access to BMW’s iDrive software and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the twin 12.3-inch touchscreens.

5. Lincoln Aviator

Starting price: $53,340 to $89,280
Selling points: Poised twin-turbo V6, stately cabin, slick exterior looks
Weak spot: Fuel economy is wanting, top models are expensive
If you’re hankering for a Lincoln but go cold with the thought of all the boat-taunts you’ll have to withstand by driving the Nautilus, the
Lincoln Aviator
could be the ute-cruise for you. Its relaxed and composed driving demeanor, combined with its plush interior,could make you almost forget how powerful this thing is. Until, that is, you remember you’re driving a twin-turbo 3.0 L V6 with 400 horsepower that accelerates swiftly. It’s like driving a
Navigator
but without all that extra heft—or trading in a cigarette boat for a smaller, more nimble jet boat.
Relaxing in the Aviator’s luxury won’t be difficult, as this sumptuously-appointed cabin sports a traditional, luxe feel combined with the latest tech gadgetry, including twin digital displays, WiFi hotspot, Apple and Android compatibility,and a host of other features. 
The biggest knock on the Aviator? You won’t get very far driving this tug—it gets an anemic 20 miles per gallon combined (city & highway).
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6. Audi Q7

Starting price: $57,500 to $88,500
Selling points: Slick handling and high-tech cabin
Weak spot: Pricey upper trims and lack of cargo space
The
Audi Q7
is a more practical, family-hauling SUV, starkly compared to the flashier Q8 SUV.
Despite the Q7’s more demure nature, there is still some fun in this large SUV—the entry-level Premium trim sports a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with 273 horsepower,taking you from A to B with plenty of gumption. The Q7 is great on curves, and there’s minimal body roll despite its larger size. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system gives the Q7 added precision at higher speeds, along with more maneuverability when driving more slowly. True, there’s not a ton of cargo space (just 69.6 cubic feet),and the Prestige trims get very pricey, but the entry-level Q7 brings enough sizzle and substance to keep most drivers happy.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Audi’s terrific Virtual Cockpit digital gauge, with its intuitive and responsive navigation system and configurable settings. 

7. Lexus RX 350

Starting price: $45,570 to $55,800
Selling points: Fuel efficient and very comfortable 
Weak spot: Relaxed drive makes it one of the slowest in its class
With its space-age styling, you might assume the
Lexus RX 350
would leave other cars in the dust once the light turns green—but alas, this languid SUV won’t be winning any street races with its unhurried driving demeanor. Even with a 3.5 L V6 engine and 295 horsepower,the Lexus RX 350 is no speedster. But what it lacks in power, it makes up for in a placid and quiet ride, making it an excellent choice for long road trips.
Fuel efficiency is solid, with the RX 350 getting 23 miles per gallon combined. It seats five occupants but offers up just 32.6 cubic feet of cargo space.But the driver and passengers will be comfortable thanks to the 350’s soft leather upholstery, wood and textured metal finishes, and soft plastics around the cabin. Lexus’ Enform infotainment system is slick, offering up a 12.3-inch touchscreen,a dual DVD/CD player, in-dash navigation,and a 12-speaker stereo.

8. Volvo XC90

Starting price: $50,900 to $72,600
Selling points: Upper-class exterior and gorgeous interior 
Weak spot: Noisy gas engine, doesn’t do bumpy roads well
As per usual, Volvo knocks style and safety technology out of the park with the stylish
Volvo XC90
. This three-row SUV boasts a slew of standard driver-assist technology. It’s also a dream to sit in, with supple front seats, synthetic leather upholstery,lots of head and legroom,and spacious first and second rows. Of course, don’t forget the wireless charging, USB ports, 10-speaker stereo,and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability—there’s something to keep everyone happy.
The drive-side is where things fall down a bit with the XC90. Despite its turbocharged 2.0 L inline-4 cylinder engine,the XC90 is not exactly a monster on the road. While it's fine in the city, this Volvo feels plodding at high speeds, making it somewhat of an unexciting drive. Its tall frame can cause it to lean a bit around curves, too.

Lincoln Nautilus vs. the competition

Here’s a side-by-side look at all the key specs you’ll want to look at when considering a Lincoln Nautilus or any of its midsize SUV competitors.
Model
Starting price range
Engine options
Maximum seating capacity
Maximum cargo volume
Maximum towing capacity
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined)
$44,285 to $67,905
inline-4 cylinder, V6
5 seats
68 cubic ft
2000 lb
21/26/23 mpg
$57,200 to $81,200
inline-4, inline-6, V8, hybrid
up to 7 seats
67.8 cubic ft
5950 lb
19/26/22 mpg
[2022 Genesis]GV80 (https://getjerry.com/car-insurance/genesis-insurance-cost)
$50,200 to $75,200
inline-4 cylinder
up to 7 seats
84 cubic ft
6000 lb
21/25/22 mpg
$71,995 to $82,095
V6, hybrid
5 seats
60.7 cubic ft
7,700 lb
18/23/20 mpg
$80,600 to $101,100
V6, V8, plug-in hybrid
5 seats
72.3 cubic ft
7,200 lb
21/25/23 mpg
$53,340 to $89,280
V6, plug-in hybrid
7 seats
63.4 cubic ft
6,700 lb
17/24/20.5 mpg
$57,500 to $88,550
V6, hybrid
7 seats
69.6 cubic ft
7,000 lb
17/19/18 mpg
$45,570 to $55,800
V6, hybrid
7 seats
32.6 cubic ft
3,500 lb
20/27/23 mpg
$50,900 to $72,600
inline r-cylinder, plug-in hybrid
7 seats
85.7 cubic ft
5,000 lb
20/27/23 mpg

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