The Lincoln brand is slowly turning round. We read about it in their press releases, but moreover, see it in their rising sales. It helps that bold, new takes on the Continental and Navigator are causing a lot of auto show buzz. But, they’re not on sale yet. While this all-new mid-size MKX crossover is. So, let’s see if the MKX can help Lincoln’s turn around pick up the pace.
While the 2016 Lincoln MKX is still based on Ford’s Edge midsize crossover, there’s much more differentiation than ever before. It’s strictly underpinnings and no-see-ums now; no body panels are shared, so it looks less “Edgey”, get it?
OK. There’s no 4-cylinder power here either; as a 303-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 is standard. Or, you can opt to lose a liter of displacement and add a couple of turbos with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. It’s a worthy upgrade, with little turbo lag, and ultra-smooth delivery of a stout 335-horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque.
Front drive is standard, with Lincoln’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive optional.
Interior quality, while not bad in the Edge, is terrific here, and there are plenty of options you’ll not find on the Edge order sheet. Including the most Jammin’ stereo we’ve heard in a while, a 19-speaker Revel Ultima system with QuantumLogic surround sound.
The layout follows familiar Lincoln themes, including the push-button gear selectors and fussy MyLincoln Touch controls. The Sync interface is improved, but this is still an older version compared to what’s available elsewhere from Ford.
One shortcoming remains, and that is the driver’s seat. There’s good bolstering, but also a hard and flat bottom that didn’t sit right with our bottoms.
Rears are not much better, nor do they fold completely flat. But really we’re getting picky and looking for faults at this point.
Its angel whisper quiet inside, and still a great place to spend some travel time. Road isolation is quite good, and it has a more substantial feel than the Edge. While a great ride was expected, put a big check in the “better than expected” column for handling.
Though far from truly sporty, as there’s still a soft feel and numb steering, there’s very controllable weight transfer in corners. Sport and Comfort settings of Lincoln Drive Control change the ride to whichever side of normal you find yourself though nothing extreme.
Yet, there’s an almost brutal hole-shot off the line. That in itself is a good thing, but it seems to catch the chassis and electronics off guard. At which time they go into panic mode, desperately sending power all over the place in hopes of sending you off in a hurry.
It makes for an awkward feeling, and short of potential, trips to 60 in 6.5-seconds; with the ¼-mile passing in 14.7 at 93 miles-per-hour. A+ for braking however; a 121-foot average, good pedal feel, and no fade.
The same for autonomous active braking; it worked every time with confidence. And since, the more safety you can deliver the better; there’s also inflatable rear seat belts. Some found them bulky to use; but chances are if ever you need them, you’ll be glad you grinned and bared it.
We think the path that Lincoln has chosen is a good one. Whereas most luxury brands are currently striving for a more performance oriented mantra, Lincoln continues to be a brand that wants to sell luxury for luxury’s sake, yet remain competent on the road.
You can tell Ford is taking the vitality of the Lincoln brand seriously, finally making Lincoln vehicles more unique than the Fords they are based on.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for a front-wheel-drive EcoBoost are 17-City, 26-Highway, and 21-Combined; with our average a quite good 23.0 miles-per-gallon of Regular. The Energy Impact Score is average with use of 15.7-barrels of oil and emission of 7.2 tons of CO2 yearly.
A base Premier MKX starts at $39,185; all-wheel-drive an additional $2,495. Higher levels of trim will take you into the mid-50’s.
It seems like the Lincoln MKX has forever been playing catch-up to the Lexus RX and the rest of the luxury-minded crossover brigade. This 2016 edition is certainly better equipped to do so, as after having taken the “edge” off, we can see it finally making some serious inroads into the segment.
Engine: 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6
Torque: 380 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.7 seconds @ 93 mph
EPA: 17 mpg city / 26 mpg highway,
Energy Impact: 15.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 7.2 tons/yr