Improved headlights guided the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus to a Top Safety Pick recognition from the IIHS, the non-profit safety organization announced Thursday. The coveted safety award only applies to top trims.
All versions of the 2021 Nautilus earned "Good" ratings in all six crash tests, and its standard automatic emergency braking system either avoided or dramatically slowed before collisions with vehicles and pedestrians in tests of 12 mph and 25 mph. But the IIHS, which is funded by the insurance industry, deemed only the Black Label trim or the Reserve trim with the Ultimate Package worthy of the TSP.
Refreshed for 2021, the five-seat crossover SUV sports a new interior and dons three different types of LED headlights, depending on trim level. The LED projector headlights on the Base and Select trims caused excessive glare in coming traffic, prompting a "Poor" rating from the IIHS. The LED reflector headlights on the Reserve trim rated "Poor" for the same reason. Only the revised headlights installed in Black Label models and with the Ultimate Package after March 2021 earned a "Good" rating.
Standard safety features on the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. Buyers can also get a surround-view-camera system, adaptive cruise control, steering assist for evasive maneuvers, and automatic parking.
The Nautilus joins more than 100 other 2021 model year vehicles earning at least a TSP from the IIHS, including rivals such as the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC. Other luxury mid-size crossovers fared even better with a Top Safety Pick+ award, which is considered the most rigorous safety testing in the U.S. Those models range from the 2021 Volvo XC60 to the 2021 Acura RDX.