The all-new Lincoln MKX is built upon the same mid-size chassis as the popular Ford Edge, both of them built at Ford’s Oakville, Ontario, Canada assembly plant. For this generation MKX however, it features its own unique design that shares not a single piece of sheet metal or trim with the Ford.
At first blush it’s a very appealing design I think. The lines and curves here tell a nice story, giving a strong shoulder line from the front to the rear three-quarter view. There, LED tail lamps tie together across the rear deck with chrome trims that give it a nice planted stance.
Optioned here is the Technology Package that brings adaptive LED headlamps that frame one of the best versions yet of Lincoln’s dual wing front grille design to date, though this theme will be replaced in a couple years with the new face of Lincoln seen on the 2017 Continental and MKZ. So if you like this face, you want to get one in the next year or so.
Our tester here is near fully loaded with the Reserve package in a pearlescent color they call White Platinum. It has 20-inch wheels that while large, don’t look oversized here at all, in fact just right. They tie nicely into the lower black cladding and chrome rocker trim that’s expected of a crossover, but more elegant here than many.
Moving inside, the interior of our MKX was near fully outfitted with Cappuccino premium leather seating, genuine open pore wood trims, and most every comfort and convenience option on the list. It was light and airy in this color scheme, especially with the wide open panoramic glass roof.
Design of the dash is unique to the MKX but not far removed from the Ford Edge, sharing much of its Ford borne switchgear and hardware. It does have a unique push-button shift selector which frees up room on the center console for a closeable phone and device bin.
There’s lots of storage here too, with two shelf spots in the center console down below the center stack. And of course the console also offers a large bin under the armrest in addition to a power opening glove box up front.
Ahead of the driver in the MKX is a unique steering wheel with leather and wood trim, that frames a TFT screen instrument cluster also unique to the MKX with two dials that light up with digitally generated and customizable displays. I like it.
Of note, our MKX was optioned with the second row inflatable seat belts, that can help reduce injury in a crash, that’s why they look a bit bulkier. Moving on to cargo capacity, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split rather easily with the push of a button located just inside the driver side of the cargo area. The floor is near flat and lined with high quality materials.
Under the floor was the optioned cargo utility package that lines and organizes the open space under the deck pretty nicely for keeping smaller things hidden away. And under that is a temporary spare tire which is nice in a class where inflators and fix-a-flat are becoming the norm.
In all, the interior of the MKX I think is well done. It’s clear Lincoln tried to make sure it was a step up from the Ford Edge and they have succeeded, earning it a score at 5 of 5 stars.
The infotainment system here is another story. Our tester still had the old-school MyFord Touch interface which has never been easy to use while driving or even when stopped. It’s slow to react, its menus complex, and its graphics hard to see in the daylight.
Audio from its very pricey Revel sound system was good, not nothing close to Lexus Mark Levinson top-end, which ironically most often costs less. Other technologies here included the driver assistance package which has adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking and lane keeping assist.
The driver assistance features worked well and helped scoring technologies here at 3 of 5 stars. I will note however that SYNC 3 equipped models are much better in this area and would have scored easily much higher.
Under the hood of our MKX is the optional of its two engines. With 32 more horsepower than the standard 3.7 liter V6, the 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine has 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque.
It comes standard with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The EPA rates it here at and estimated 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.
When it comes to powertrain, I’d recommend anyone drive both engines to see which suits them best. The additional power from the EcoBoost isn’t dramatically more than the standard engine and fuel economy is virtually the same. Here with this engine though, the powertrain scores at 4 of 5 stars.
All of these driving impressions bring me to scoring the chassis at 4 of 5 stars. While this is a decent showing, there are still some levels of noise and harshness that I think Lincoln could polish up.
And that brings us to overall quality feel. Compared to the Ford Edge I tested recently which is built on the same assembly line, the MKX was much better in terms of exterior body fit and panel alignment. The interior too was better put together and had better finishes.
There was still some intermittent rattles and squeaks inside however coming from the dash and headliner, especially with the suspension tuned to sport mode. Overall though it earns a quality feel score at 4 of 5 stars.
Value here is a tougher measure at its $63,275 price as tested. If it were closer to its starting price of $38,260 it would stand scrutiny a bit better than here, where we are talking Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus money.
The problem is at this price, its level of refinement and driving finesse doesn’t match up to what those brands offer. In that way, as tested value comes in at 3 of 5 stars. When totaled up, that brings our test drive review score to 4 of 5 stars.