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Grab the popcorn we’re going to the movies. 

Well, that’s what it feels like when you shimmy behind the very funky wheel of Lincoln’s brand-new Nautilus. There, cascading across the leather-trimmed dashboard, like some in-car IMAX, is a massive 48-inch, full-width glass display. 

2024 Lincoln Nautilus preproduction model shown. Available early 2024. Actual production vehicle may vary.

Yes, we’ve seen oversized screens on Teslas, electric Mercs and even in the back seat of an i7 BMW. But this is bigger, wider and curves majestically from pillar to pillar. Expect passengers to squeal with delight. 

 

The main display in front of the driver shows the usual speed and fuel level, while the middle portion is a navigation screen using Google Maps. The fun starts with the configurable passenger side section, which can show weather, music, time and tire pressures.

Add to all this there’s an 11.1-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash where you can watch movies or play video games, with content courtesy of YouTube or Amazon Prime.

 

And, in keeping with Lincoln’s mantra of quiet luxury, this new Nautilus comes with a Rejuvenate button. It’s for those times you’re parked in the school pick-up line or outside Starbucks, or have a few minutes to kill and just need to chill. Sessions are five, or 10 minutes.

At the tap of the screen, the driver’s seat reclines, the massage function starts giving you a Helga-the-Swedish-Masseuse back rub, soft Kenny G-style elevator muzak wafts from the 28-speaker Revel stereo, while aromatic scent flows from the vents. 

Don’t get too excited, the smell is more akin to a New York taxi cab than the advertised Mystic Forest or Violet Cashmere. 

Lincoln has certainly done a fine job of giving its mid-size Nautilus a full-body makeover. Yes, the all-new sheetmetal blends elements from its smaller Corsair and bigger Aviator SUVs, but this newcomer is brimming with surprise-and-delights. 

Like the pencil-thin, full-width LED light bar across the nose that delivers the coolest light show when you lock and unlock. Lovely exterior door handles too that are almost hidden away along the belt line.

Under the hood, the punchy 335-hp twin-turbo V6 is no more with only the carry-over 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, modified for better fuel efficiency, on offer. 

 

Talking of efficiency, there’s also an optional hybridized version that packs 310-hp, with the four-cylinder aided and abetted by a 100kW electric motor. It’s good for 30 mpg City and 30 mpg Combined, compared to the 21 City/22 Combined with the gas-only Nautilus.

I just spent a week with the fancy-pants, non-hybrid, Nautilus Black Label, base price $74,350, or $80,845 as tested, and certainly came away impressed. 

 

While 250 horseys doesn’t sound much, on the road it never feels lacking in oomph. The 8-speed automatic does a fine job of keeping the turbo-4 on the boil, and responding instantly to calls for kickdown. 

If you want a zippier Nautilus, the hybrid is the one to have. With its extra 60 horses and electric boost for off-the-line sprints, it’ll get to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (compared to 7.3 secs for the gas version), while delivering more abstemious economy. The no-brainer part? It’s just a $1,500 uptick. 

 

What this new Nautilus does so well is transporting you in whisper-quiet, sybaritic comfort. There’s acoustic-laminated glass, active noise control and even sound-deadening in the wheels to muffle any engine, wind or tire roar. Opt for the adaptive air suspension for a pillowy, floating-on-air ride. 

While the new Lincoln has no real sporting aspirations, it does steer nicely, keeps body roll in check and, with all-wheel-drive standard, carves curves with confidence. There’s also an Excite drive mode to firm things up when needed. 

 

And that funky “squircle” steering wheel just feels special to use. The only negative is the Lincoln’s lousy brakes; pressing the pedal is like stepping in wet cement.

But there’s a lot to love here, and with big improvements in  quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail, this new Nautilus is more of a true luxury offering than ever. 

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