We recently got the chance to get behind the wheel of the all-new 2016 Lincoln MKX luxury crossover. Prepared to be underwhelmed based on our last few Lincoln drives, we were surprised instead.

Our tester was a fully loaded Black Label model, with a Black Tie exterior and very rich interior in the Thorobred theme. That interior featured acres of warm woods, hand stitched leather hides not only on the seats but everywhere you look.

I had to sit in the interior a while just to soak it all in before taking it for a drive. It has the 22-way power adjustable seat which after making 2-3 of the 22 adjustments found a happy spot and was on my way.

This one had the range topping 2.7 liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive. That brings 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, which is good. The surprise was the fact that the computer lets you have that power when you ask for it, and I mean now.

It’s acceleration is therefore neck snapping right out the gate as I found just before I had slow to miss a deer. And with the Lincoln Drive Control mode selector, you can dial the ride from the typical Lincoln mush bucket to a pretty firm and precise feel when you get to corners.

And that here, was my big good impression with the new MKX. While all the leathers, woods and technological features are impressive and things we could talk about all day, its the premium driving experience which really took me by surprise.

It feels for the first time in a long time, like much more than a gussied up Ford. And while the MKX does share its underpinnings with the Ford Edge, the transformation here is nothing short of impressive. And it needs to be as our tester stickered in at a pretty heady $65,000.

That puts it directly in the cross-hairs of Lexus and Mercedes-Benz price-wise, and that may be hard to swallow for some at first blush. But after spending some time in this one with its rich natural finishes and refined demeanor, I can say that if Lincoln continues down this path they might just stick around.

The 2016 Lincoln MKX is on sale now and performing pretty good in the showrooms in terms of sales. While it might not make it to my I’d buy it list, it’s worth your time to drive if you’re looking at it with a curious eye.