- Photo: IIHS

Photo: IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus with a Top Safety Pick award for vehicles built after March 2021, when the manufacturer made adjustments to one of the available headlight systems to reduce glare.

As a candidate for Top Safety Pick, the Nautilus navigated rough waters, undergoing six critical crashworthiness tests and earning good scores in every category. The evaluations included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

But to sail away with Top Safety status vehicles must also be available with a front crash prevention system that garners advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations and at least one headlight package that earns a good or acceptable rating.

It was smooth sailing for the midsize luxury SUV. The Nautilus is available with two different front crash prevention systems, one standard and one optional, but both earn superior and advanced ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, respectively.

Finally, the Nautilus’ newest headlights — LED projector headlights that come with the Black Label trim and also on the Reserve trim when it is equipped with the Ultimate package — now earn a good rating. That gave the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus the final element it needed to capture a Top Safety Pick award.

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