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The Q8’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Nautilus doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the Q8 and Nautilus have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q8 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Nautilus’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q8. But it costs extra on the Nautilus.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q8 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the Q8 and the Nautilus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi Q8 weighs 700 to 863 pounds more than the Lincoln Nautilus. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q8 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Nautilus was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.
The Q8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Nautilus’ (12 vs. 5 years).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 13 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.
The Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 85 more horsepower (335 vs. 250) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Q8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Q8 has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Nautilus (22.5 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Q8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Nautilus:
The Q8’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Nautilus are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q8 has larger standard tires than the Nautilus (275/50R20 vs. 245/60R18). The Q8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Nautilus (285/45R21 vs. 265/40R21).
The Q8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Nautilus’ standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q8 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Nautilus. The Q8’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Nautilus.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q8’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Nautilus (117.9 inches vs. 112.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q8 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Nautilus.
The Q8 has .6 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear legroom than the Nautilus.
The Q8’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Nautilus’ (7700 vs. 2000 pounds).
The engine in the Q8 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Nautilus. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Nautilus, the Q8 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Q8 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Q8 and the Nautilus have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q8 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Nautilus prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Q8’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Nautilus’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Q8’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Nautilus’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Q8’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Nautilus’ headlights are rated “Poor.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Q8 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Nautilus doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q8 and power rear side window sunshades are standard in the Q8 Prestige to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.
When the Q8 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Nautilus’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Q8 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q8 will retain 45.57% to 45.71% of its original price after five years, while the Nautilus only retains 38.53% to 39.02%.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Q8 second among midsize premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Nautilus isn’t in the top three.
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