Making their return to the Texas Truck Rodeo this year was Lincoln who likely isn’t regretting the move, taking home Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas honors with their all-new 2015 MKC.

Introduced earlier this year, Lincoln’s new entry point for their luxury crossover offerings competed against the also new 2015 Lexus NX and the slightly larger GMC Acadia Denali.

Similar to the Lexus NX in size and scope, the 2015 Lincoln MKC we tested had the up-level and exclusive to Lincoln 285 horsepower 2.3 liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

That power gets delivered rather smoothly and impressively to all four wheels which are kept planted by a continuous controlled damping suspension. Drivers can choose their drive modes from sport, comfort and normal in ride character.

While the drive experience was indeed impressive and refined, the interior is really where Lincoln makes a story with the new MKC.

The brand once cast into the grill and badge engineering genre really stepped up with a cabin lined with genuine woods that look and feel the part. Hand stitched soft touch trims are virtually everywhere you look and run your hand.

Technology abounds too with a full suite of infotainment and driver assistance systems that match dot for dot what the competition offers. Unique here also is Lincoln’s push-button gear selection in lieu of a lever.

This was a close call for the Texas Auto Writers in this class as Lexus really came to the show with their A-Game on in their new 2015 NX which also impressed well.