2016 Lincoln MKX

Contrary to what some people of a particularly snide bearing might say, the Lincoln MKX is not just a Ford Edge in finer clothing.

Contrary to what some people of a particularly snide bearing might say, the Lincoln MKX is not just a Ford Edge in finer clothing. Oh, sure, the two products share the same fundamentals. But the thing is, when it comes to things like stampings under the skin, brackets and whatnot, no one would have the slightest idea. Yes, the wheelbases of the two vehicles are the same, and yes they are built in the same factory, but the executions are entirely different.

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Right from the start—especially at night, when you approach the MKX with key fob in pocket (although given that this is a vehicle with pushbutton start and the fob is sans key, perhaps it should be “with fob in pocket”) and the puddle lights illuminate on both sides of the car shining the Lincoln logo like a carpet outside of the doors—there is a greater level of sophistication in sheet metal than is the case with its crossover cousin.

Of course, it is inside where there are the greatest differences, as the materials and execution are top shelf, with standard leather rampant.

Seating is comfortable and adjustable in ways that one is likely to be able to spend a considerable amount of time dialing it in for optimal comfort.

Sounds are rich when one opts for the optional 13-speaker Revel audio system. What should be pointed out is that while the vehicle has all of the now-obligatory advanced technology in terms of infotainment (e.g., the vehicle is available with a camera/sensor suite that results in screen views including a 360-degree image up to seven feet around the periphery of the MKX), the color touchscreen allows you to make adjustments to whatever function you may have on your screen, but should you want to crank up the volume or turn up the heat, there are knobs.

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Obviously, that needs to be repeated: There are knobs. It seems that for some OEMs, particularly those that are presenting themselves as purveyors of luxury, the elimination of ergonomically correct interfaces for automotive applications seems to be a sign of—well, I’m not sure what it is a sign of. Yes, your iPhone or Galaxy doesn’t have any knobs (of course if you think about it, neither phones nor computers ever came with them because they weren’t the right input devices for the form factor), but then again, you’re usually staring at you screen when you are jabbing and swiping. When you are driving your rather massive vehicle—and the base mass of the AWD vehicle with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine is 4,447 lb., so this is not a trivial amount of mass—you ought to be looking ahead of you, not at the screen.

Various circumstances, however, may cause driver distraction, so the MKX is available with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. This will automatically apply the brakes should it seem that there is an imminent collision with something. (Speaking of safety, the MKX has a 5-Star rating from NHTSA.)

EPAS—as in “electric power-assisted steering”—is something that is become increasingly common as vehicle manufacturers look for ways to improve fuel efficiency, and, of course, the MKX has it. There is available Lincoln Drive Control that allows adjustment (Normal, Sport, Comfort) of the steering, the damping (after all, a luxury ride should be smooth, even if you’re carving the turns, but really, the carving in this case is more like trimming a filet) and active noise control (you do, of course, want to hear the aforementioned Revel audio).

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Realize what the MKX is: a five-passenger vehicle that can comfortably transport people and cargo—maybe more than comfortably. It is not the sort of thing that is going to run the Rubicon. It is not the sort of thing that is going to make you want to put it in a jewelry box rather than a garage. It is a cut above, though not from some empyrean realm: the MKX I drove, with $7,795 worth of options added to the $47,650 base and $925 for destination and delivery has a total MSRP of $56,370, so this isn’t something that would make your forgo the kids’ orthodontia in order to show off. Edsel Ford, the man who really made Lincoln as the Lincoln we are coming to know it today, was the son of Henry, the man who was nothing if not value-for-money oriented. And while that is the case pretty much for all of the products with a Dearborn pedigree, it should be known that Lincoln is striving to provide prestige with that value.

Selected specs

Engine: 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6

Material: Compacted graphite iron block; aluminum heads

Horsepower: 325 @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 380 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic w/paddle shifters

Steering: Electric power-assisted

Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Length: 190.0 in.

Width 76.1 in.

Height: 66.2 in.

EPA passenger volume: 108.3-cu. ft.

Curb weight: 4,447 lb.

EPA fuel economy: city/highway/combined: 17/24/19 mpg