2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Lincoln Nautilus

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Nautilus doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the Nautilus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Nautilus has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The RX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Nautilus’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RX Series’ reliability 18 points higher than the Nautilus.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Nautilus was rated third.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Lincoln is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 45 more horsepower (295 vs. 250) than the Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the Nautilus AWD (31 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Nautilus (19.2 vs. 18 gallons).

Transmission

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The RX 450h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Nautilus doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RX Series’ 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.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 1.3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more rear hip room than the Nautilus.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 16% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 RX Series and the Nautilus have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RX Series 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 RX Series’ 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RX Series has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Nautilus only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 RX Series’ 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 RX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Nautilus doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Nautilus Select/Reserve/Black Label’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The RX Series’ optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the RX Series is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Nautilus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

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The RX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RX Series will retain 46.6% to 51.56% of its original price after five years, while the Nautilus only retains 38.53% to 39.02%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus RX Series and the Lincoln Nautilus, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Lincoln MKX/Nautilus by almost three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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