2020 Lincoln Nautilus vs. 2020 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Nautilus has standard Post Impact Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RXL doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Nautilus and the RXL 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are almost 4 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Lexus 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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 263) than the RX 350L’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Nautilus’ optional 2.7 turbo V6 produces 27 more horsepower (335 vs. 308) than the RX 450hL’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Nautilus gets better fuel mileage than the RXL:

Nautilus

RXL

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

21 city/26 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

20 city/25 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the Nautilus’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RXL Hybrid.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Nautilus uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 RXL doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Nautilus

RXL

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Nautilus has larger standard tires than the RXL (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Nautilus’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RXL (265/40R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Nautilus’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RXL’s standard 65 series tires. The Nautilus’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the RXL’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Nautilus offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RXL’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Nautilus offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The RXL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Nautilus’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the RXL (112.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

Chassis

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The Lincoln Nautilus may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus RXL.

The Nautilus is 6.9 inches shorter than the RXL, making the Nautilus easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Passenger Space

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The Nautilus has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 8.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the RXL.

The front step up height for the Nautilus is 3 inches lower than the RXL (17.5” vs. 20.5”). The Nautilus’ rear step up height is 2.8 inches lower than the RXL’s (18” vs. 20.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Nautilus has a much larger cargo volume than the RXL with its rear seat up (37.2 vs. 16.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Nautilus easier. The Nautilus’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 30 inches, while the RXL’s liftover is 31.9 inches.

Towing

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The Nautilus’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (2000 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

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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 RXL doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln Nautilus Reserve/Black Label has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RXL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Nautilus (except Standard)’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RXL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Nautilus owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Nautilus will cost $770 less than the RXL over a five-year period.

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 2019/12/08

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

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