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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lincoln MKX

Angular Front Exterior View - 2011 Lincoln MKX FWD 4-door

The Lincoln MKX is a mid-size luxury crossover with curvy lines and a lot of available technology. It's designed to meet the needs of upscale suburban families with all-weather traction in a roomy, comfortable, and feature-rich vehicle. See our 2013 Lincoln MKX review for more info, including specs and actual pricing; or check our used Lincoln vehicle listings for a pre-owned model. The MKX, a...

The Lincoln MKX is a mid-size luxury crossover with curvy lines and a lot of available technology. It's designed to meet the needs of upscale suburban families with all-weather traction in a roomy, comfortable, and feature-rich vehicle.

The MKX, a cousin of the Ford Edge, is only a five-seater, in a market that does include quite a few vehicles with three rows of seating (like the bigger Lincoln MKT). Both are cross-shopped against crossovers like the Lexus RX 350, Acura RDX and MDX, Cadillac SRX, Buick Enclave, and Volvo XC60.

Originally slated to inherit the Aviator name, which had been applied to its slow-selling Ford Explorer-based predecessor, Lincoln's crossover instead got the MKX badge when it was introduced for the 2007 model year, fitting in with Lincoln's other MK-prefaced models like the MKZ sedan.

Aside from the different grille the MKX's similarities to the Edge are easy to see from the outside, but the Lincoln looks significantly different on the inside, with satin-nickel and wood trim and upgraded upholstery. The MKX is also significantly quieter, with more sound-deadening material and an acoustic windshield.

The MKZ has an amazing feature set, even when compared against the segment benchmark, the Lexus RX 350. In a single trim, the MKX comes with standard perforated leather heated-and-cooled seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rear park assist, among many other features, and options (some of them in packages) include heated rear seats, DVD entertainment, adaptive headlamps, and a power liftgate. An EasyFold remote seat-folding feature is also on offer, and the MKX offered the long Vista Roof, as offered in the closely related Ford Edge. All MKX models have two rows of seating and decent space for five adults, though cargo space isn't quite as ample as in some other crossover models.

Power, is provided by the same V-6 engine as in the Edge, with a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. The driving experience isn't very sporty, and there's no way to command shifts when the road turns hilly and curvy, but the MKX handles quite well for such a heavy vehicle. Ride quality is excellent as well—firm enough to yield good driver control but not so soft as to be bouncy and wallowy like many Lincolns of the past. The MKX doesn't offer the turbocharged four-cylinder that's new to the Edge, though, and fuel economy is a bit above average, at 19/26 mpg in front-drive form, 17/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Ford's Sync system, which permits voice-activated interfacing with cellphones, media players, and other devices, became available in 2008. It's standard on the new MKX, which arrived for the 2011 model year with refined styling inside and out, and slightly better performance from a retuned suspension and Ford's new 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. Also standard: the newly designed instrument panel featuring the all-new MyLincoln Touch touch-screen system, which integrates voice controls, navigation and sound system functions, and personal phones and audio devices, as well as in-car wi-fi using Ford's Sync interface.

Both the vehicle and the interface got a cosmetic refresh for 2013. MyFord Touch may still feel unduly complex for those wanting a traditional luxury vehicle, although the system is a bit more straightforward in this iteration.

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