All-new for this year, the 2015 Lincoln MKC has quickly become the top selling crossover SUV from Ford’s luxury brand. This comes for a couple reasons starting with the fact the compact luxury crossover class is as hot a place to be as Phoenix in the summer where we’re testing today.

Secondly, the MKC has the latest generation of Lincoln’s new styling which is entirely distinct from Ford products, with not a square inch of sheetmetal shared with another vehicle. This starts right up front with a bold split wing grille and HID headlamps framed with LED daytime running lights.

At the rear, MKC gets a wrap-around rear lift-gate which is admittedly a cue from Audi, but a good looking one at that. The rear three-quarter view offers up a nice appeal which is grounded by a silver tone lower valance and dual exhaust tips.

Ours came with the power opening rear lift-gate, an item which remains optional. Also upgraded on our tester were the premium 19-inch aluminum wheels you see here and a full size panoramic sunroof with opening front section.

With the Reserve Package, the cabin of our MKC was lined with premium materials like genuine wood trims and top-grain soft leather hides on the seats and steering wheel. Front seats are both heated and ventilated and with the climate package ours had a heated steering wheel too.

The Lincoln exclusive center stack design features unique controls for HVAC and other features, the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system and the push-button gear selector in leiu of a standard gear lever.

The MKC also gets a unique LCD display type instrument cluster all its own, not shared with other Ford products. It’s customizable with various information sets and has a very nice upscale look. The steering wheel too is exclusive to Lincoln, featuring paddle shifters.

With enhanced THX audio, the fully optioned infotainment system provided excellent sound to go along with its many connectivity and voice commanded options. The navigation system works well, though like most of the system’s features takes some hunting and pecking to use.

Rear seat passengers here also had heated seats which provide ample leg room and head room even with the large panoramic sunroof. Rear seat-backs recline and there’s a center fold down armrest with cup holders as well as rear HVAC vents.

Those rear seats fold in a 60/40 split for an expanded cargo area, lined with a higher quality carpet than most. And under the floor is a spare tire, not just an air pump and can of fix-a-flat like some competitors offer.

The Lincoln MKC comes with either a 2.0 or 2.3 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine which derives its power from turbocharging and direct fuel-injection. Our tester had the more powerful and optional 2.3 liter unit which offers up 285 horsepower and a healthy 305 pound-feet of torque.

Power with the larger engine comes through a standard all-wheel drive system and six-speed automatic transmission which can be shifted manually with paddle shifters and has a sport shifting mode.

The EPA rates the 2015 MKC as tested with 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. We achieved precisely as promised in our week with 21 mpg combined city and highway.

Sharing its chassis with the aforementioned Ford Escape, the Lincoln MKC features MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension. Different here is the continuously controlled damping feature in which you can dial your ride mode with the Lincoln Drive Control system.

Our MKC was equipped with the technology package which includes driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, a lane keeping system, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alerts just to name a few.

When it comes to safety, the Lincoln MKC has not yet been fully tested by the IIHS for their full battery of tests. But it has scored Good ratings in the moderate offset and side impact tests done to date. We expect more results will be available from the IIHS soon.