We are living in an age where the Crossover is overtaking the midsize car. Twenty years ago the SUV sealed the fates of full size sedans, so who will emerge victorious at the end of the crossover wars? The first generation Lincoln MKX was easily identified as a fancy Ford Edge, but it has been completely redesigned for 2016. Our test model arrived with every possible option and without Matthew McConaughey.
On the outside the styling is not as avant-garde as others in this class, and the reasons why are rewarding. Many competitors offer tapered roof lines and edgy rear glass. This looks great on paper but rear visibility in a contemporary crossover is limited at best. This is first aspect that will make you consider Lincoln. Visibility in the MKX is the best we have encountered, from either full size SUVs or midsize offerings.
First generations crossovers were simply sedans with taller suspension, but this new model has a proper ride height for its size. Optional 21″ wheels will make tire choices limited and expensive, but the height inspires confidence and eliminates road noise. Since the engineers were given a clean sheet to work with, the latest in high strength steel was used to achieve a 5 Star safety rating from the NHTSA. Such a rating can’t be found on featherweights, but Lincoln doesn’t build light cars.
For motivation we had 2.7 liters of EcoBoost V6. The same unit powers our 2015 F150 and it makes great power once the turbos kick in. Aside from having an ancient cartridge style oil filter mounted above the accessory belt, it has proven to be a thrifty and robust engine. A six speed automatic sends 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque to all wheels, as long as you run premium fuel.
On the inside you are treated to heated and cooled front seats covered in Bridge of Weir leather. The absence of a shifter takes a few tries to get used to, but each gear has been incorporated into a vertical touch pad flanking the central screen. Not only concerned with aesthetics, the 2nd row folds almost flat to unlock 68.8 cubic feet of cargo room. To those accustomed to owning turbocharged cars, it should be no surprise that it might take a blip of full throttle to build boost. But driving the MKX is a delight. Adaptive steering and “Lincoln Drive Control” work together to isolate you from the road.
After two weeks of commuting we have a few observations: The 21″ wheels are overkill. A smaller wheel with more sidewall would make for a softer ride. Having 19 speakers from Revel Ultima audio is one of the best factory systems ever built. Anything but 93 octane will cause the computer to pull boost and timing, turning the EcoBoost into a slug. Over $15,000 of optional content includes many of the safety and technology features found as standard equipment on other brands. For $63,910 you will have a safe & luxurious ride with the ability to reach 24 mpg. It may represent the upper end of the crossover spectrum, but the MKX is a safe & solid investment. For more information, please check out these listings from our dealers.