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2016 Lincoln MKX Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

MODEL: 2016 Lincoln MKX
ENGINE: 2.7-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 335 hp @ 5,500 rpm/380 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 112.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 190.0 x 76.1 x 66.2 in.
TIRES: P245/60R18
CARGO CAPACITY: 37.2/68.8 (behind 2nd row/behind 1st row)
ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway/24.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 18.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,168 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura MDX, Lexus RX, Jeep Grand Cherokee
STICKER: $54,570 (includes $925 delivery, $8,430 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Lincoln MKX offers excellent ride quality ensconced in a luxury package. It has its quirks, which may be overcome easily.

First, I have issues with Lincoln’s nomenclature. This week’s test vehicle is an MKX, but what does that mean? Does the X in its name mean that it is a sport utility, which it is? Or is it just another alphabetical naming. And if X means SUV, what does MKC, etc. mean?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, the MKX is a very nice entry level luxury SUV. I say entry level because the Navigator would have to be considered an upscale SUV for Lincoln. But entry level is not a disparagement. The MKX has all the goodies of a luxury SUV, it’s just smaller than a bigger one.

With a 2.7-liter Ecobost V6 engine, there is plenty of power. We cruised along on Interstates with ease and were able to enter into flowing traffic with ease. Our Thanksgiving trip took us to Virginia for a family dinner. We encountered high speed runs as well as stop-and-go “parking lots” when we got near DC. I was impressed by how quiet the engine was, except for under hard acceleration.

Maneuverability is good. We had our IS runs, but we also drove over some urban and back country winding roads and the MKX comported itself well. It gave us a comfortable ride all around.

The push button shifters take some acclimatization. Every time I shifted I had to pause for a moment to double check which gear I wanted. With manual shifters, you can often shift by feel (two clicks back from Reverse is Drive, etc.). There are paddle shifters behind the wheel.

The MKX has some features that I like. For example, active cruise control keeps you a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you no matter how fast or slow that vehicle is traveling. We also had a blind spot monitor and lane departure correction. Normally I’m not a big fan of lane departure features, but this one gently returns the MKX back into the lane if you don’t use the turn signals to change lanes.

The MKX also has an “overhead” view as well as a rear view camera when you shift into reverse that is a big help when parallel parking. Also, when you lock the MKX the exterior mirrors fold in.

I have issues with some of the switches and buttons. For example, when I was trying to set the audio, I accidentally pushed the four-way flashers switch. Where was it? I eventually had to pull off the road to find it. It is located on the right side of the center stack and is poorly marked. Sure, I could have been less sloppy setting the radio, but what if there was an emergency and I had to turn them on?

Outside, the MKX has fairly conventional SUV styling with Lincoln touches. The daytime running lights are dramatic. Unlock the doors and a Lincoln logo “puddle light” illuminated the ground in front of the doors. Inside, the driver and front passenger are treated to accent lights - blue around the doors, in the cupholders and door pockets.

The front seats are comfortable on long rides. Rear seat legroom is good, and with a flat center hump a third passenger would be comfortable back there. The rear seat backs fold easily with a switch in the cargo compartment that powers them down.

Cargo capacity is good for a mid-size SUV at 37.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 68.8 cubic feet with them down. We carried an artificial Christmas tree on one trip and a large artificial snowman on another (don’t ask). There is also useful cargo capacity under the cargo floor.

Instrumentation is good, with blue back lighting. The infotainment screen is divided in quarters, with phone, navigation, entertainment and climate. Pushing the desired screen will expand it. Oddly, we could find no external temperature readout.

We enjoyed the easy lift tailgate. All I had to do was put my foot under the body by the tailgate and it opened without using my hands. It was very useful when I was loading the snowman.

Except for some of the switches on the right side of the center stack that are hard to find at night, the MKX is a nice package. Perhaps more seat time or a more thorough reading of the owners manual would help.

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