2020 Lincoln Nautilus vs. 2020 BMW X3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/12/14

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Nautilus are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Nautilus and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all-wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Nautilus 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Nautilus’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Nautilus third among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (250 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Nautilus’ optional 2.7 turbo V6 produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (380 vs. 369) than the X3 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Nautilus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Nautilus’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X3:

Nautilus

X3

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2019/12/14

For better traction, the Nautilus has larger standard tires than the X3 (245/60R18 vs. 225/60R18). The Nautilus’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X3 (265/40R21 vs. 245/45R20).

Chassis

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The Nautilus uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Nautilus has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X3 (108.3 vs. 101.4).

The Nautilus has 2.5 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.

Cargo Capacity

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The Nautilus has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X3 with its rear seat up (37.2 vs. 28.7 cubic feet). The Nautilus has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X3 with its rear seat folded (68.8 vs. 62.7 cubic feet).

The Nautilus’ cargo area is larger than the X3’s in almost every dimension:

Nautilus

X3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

41.5”/75”

36.5”/69”

Min Width

45”

43.3”

Height

31”

30.1”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Nautilus Reserve/Black Label’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The Nautilus has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Nautilus’ standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Nautilus’ exterior PIN entry system. The X3 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Nautilus offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 2019/12/14

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lincoln Nautilus and the BMW X3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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