2016 Lincoln MKX: Flaunting Looks and Power
Freshly redesigned, the 2016 Lincoln MKX flaunts a new look, a more spacious passenger compartment, higher quality interior upholstery and trim, and a new turbocharged engine. With these changes, Lincoln's midsize crossover SUV is now equipped to stand up against direct comparisons with the industry's best, even when outfitted in its most basic trim level.
Further, its sleek new styling looks just as good in front of an upscale restaurant as it does parked among family ferries at soccer practice. The standard 18-inch alloy wheels nicely enhance the muscular profile, but it looks even better with the 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. While some will decry the Lincoln MKX as being too closely related to its Ford Edge cousin, we'll patiently remind them Ford offers some of the most tech-laden models available today.
Thus, it comes as little surprise to find such niceties as voice controls, active noise cancellation, and an 8-inch touchscreen hosting Ford's outstanding Sync 3 infotainment interface included among the roster of standard features. Start listing options and you'll find amenities such as automated parking, a hands-free power liftgate (with a foot sensor under the rear bumper), smart headlights, intelligent cruise control, a reconfigurable virtual instrument panel, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert.
Go full-boat and spring for the Black Label MKX, and you'll get such high-end touches as a simulated suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery, LED headlights, and a 19-speaker surround-sound audio system. The people behind the four-pointed star have made a concerted effort to ensure the 2016 Lincoln MKX is wholly competitive within its segment.
For the record, we are huge fans of the optional 22-way power-adjustable front seats. Heated, cooled, and outfitted with a massage function, even the squirmiest passengers readily find comfort within their embrace. To make configuring the seats easy, all of their controls are presented on the 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack. Rear-seat legroom is acceptable for the class and three adults can ride back there quite comfortably. The cargo compartment is good for 37.2 cubic feet of capacity with the rear seats deployed, and 68.8 cubic feet with them folded.
Pricing starts at $38,260 for the front-wheel-drive MKX powered by the 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Our all-wheel-drive test MKX Premiere model was powered by the optional twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost with 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The first time we nailed the throttle to execute a passing maneuver, we were very pleasantly surprised to discover the 2.7-liter engine's ready ability to consign other traffic to the MKX's rearview mirror. Happily, even with all its sophistication, the new MKX is also a true "Hot Rod Lincoln."
The MKX acquits itself commendably when changes of direction are required too. Yes, a BMW X3 will out-corner the MKX, but the Lincoln maintains its dignity on serpentine lanes. Further, in normal day-to-day driving, the MKX is exceptionally quiet (remember the active noise cancellation feature we mentioned earlier?). And, in addition to committed roadholding, the adaptive suspension system delivers a smoothly luxurious ride.
Not only is it delightful under those driving situations, but given smart cruise control, lane keep assist, and the quiet interior we just spoke of, the MKX also becomes a near-insatiable devourer of miles on the highway. As good as it is at everything else, long-distance travel is the 2016 Lincoln MKX's killer app.
-- Lyndon Conrad Bell, Motor Matters
Manufacturer Photo: Engine choices for the 2016 Lincoln MKX include the optional 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged Ti-VCT EcoBoost V6, which is rated at 335 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm on premium fuel. The standard 3.7-liter V-6 is rated at 303 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 278 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with push-button shift.