2021 Acura RDX vs. 2020 Lincoln Nautilus

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/12

Both the RDX 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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 IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Nautilus last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Engine

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The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 22 more horsepower (272 vs. 250) than the Nautilus’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Lincoln Nautilus turbo 4 cyl.:

RDX

Nautilus

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

88.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/12

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

MPG

RDX

FWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Nautilus

FWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/12

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Lincoln Nautilus (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Nautilus every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Nautilus.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RDX stops shorter than the Nautilus:

RDX

Nautilus

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The RDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 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 RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Nautilus.

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Nautilus doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

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The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Lincoln Nautilus.

The RDX is 3.2 inches shorter than the Nautilus, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Nautilus with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 68.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 1% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

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The RDX Advance 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 RDX and the Nautilus have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RDX 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 RDX’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 RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of 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 RDX 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 RDX’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Nautilus’ headlights are rated “Poor.”

When the RDX 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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Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $950 to $2420 less than the Nautilus over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.11% to 51.6% of its original price after five years, while the Nautilus only retains 35.03% to 40.81%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the Nautilus because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the Nautilus, including $79 less for a water pump, $188 less for a muffler and $677 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RDX will be $9044 to $23045 less than for the Lincoln Nautilus.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/12

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Lincoln Nautilus isn't recommended.

The Acura RDX outsold the Lincoln MKX/Nautilus by almost two to one during 2019.

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