2016 Lincoln MKX CrossoverPosted on January 13th, 2016
Not just another pretty face
By Nina Russin
In the ever-increasing swarm of luxury crossovers, the 2016 Lincoln MKX stands out as the perfect ten: with room for the family, advanced safety features and a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that puts many eight cylinder blocks to shame. The new turbocharged EcoBoost develops 335 peak horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque: 102 pound-feet more than the car’s standard naturally aspirated V-6.
With a base price of $47,650 for the all-wheel drive model the MKX isn’t an inexpensive car, but buyers get a lot for the money. Standard convenience features include heated and cooled front seats, hands-free liftgate, panoramic sunroof, capless fuel filler, LED tail lamps, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery and voice-activated navigation.
The EcoBoost engine adds $2,000 and comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Other options on the test car include special exterior paint, a cargo management system, heated seats and steering wheel, active park assist, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, inflatable second-row safety belts, 20-inch wheels, roof rails and a 22-way power driver’s seat. Final MSRP is $63,275.
I drove the new MKX during a week that saw exceptional rain in the Valley of the Sun, with three back-to-back storms soaking the roads and causing sporadic flash flooding. Because rain is a rarity here, drivers treat water falling from the sky as a sort of extraterrestrial event. Rather than being cautious, they are simply crazy.
This explains why a driver decided to park his car in the middle of the 101 freeway that runs north-south through the east valley. With the influx of tourists, it is one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, connecting the cities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler.
Heavy rain on this particular day had brought visibility close to zero. Standing water on the road didn’t help much with traction. Had it not been for the MKX’s pre-collision warning system, I might not have had enough time to stop, swerve and prevent an accident.
Yes, active safety technology is expensive, this particular feature adding several thousand dollars to the MKX’s final MSRP. But it saved the car and what might have been some pretty bad bodily injury as well.
Parents should also invest in the inflatable second-row seatbelts. The belts inflate after a collision to prevent damage to the ribcage.
Under slightly better conditions, I was able to enjoy the new engine’s performance. Turbochargers have an advantage over naturally aspirated blocks in that they reach peak torque, the power that gets the car off the line, at lower engine speeds. There aren’t a lot of cars on the road that can compete with the low-end torque the new EcoBoost engine develops at mid-throttle. In the race to the front of the highway entrance ramp, the MKX is going to win.
Fuel economy is about the same as for the naturally aspirated V6. Both engines can run on 87-octane fuel, though the manufacturer recommends premium for optimum performance from the EcoBoost. If the car has an Achilles heel it’s modest driving range. The front-wheel drive model averages about two miles-per-gallon more than the all-wheel drive car: something for buyers in areas with temperate climates to consider.
Blind spot monitoring and a rearview camera with cross traffic alert take the guesswork out of parking and make it easier to monitor vehicles in adjacent lanes on the highway. The adaptive headlamps swivel according to steering input, lighting the corners of dark intersections where pedestrians may be waiting to cross.
A four-wheel independent suspension consists of MacPherson struts in front and integral links in the rear. The driver can adjust the ride between comfort and sport modes according to his preferences.
Engineers did an excellent job on minimizing noise intrusion to the interior so occupants can converse on high-speed roads or enjoy Lincoln’s premium audio system.
The MKX’s spacious interior and fold-flat second-row seats make it a good choice for buyers with active lifestyles. Keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for the key fob after dark. A Lincoln logo illuminates the area below the driver’s side door.
The power liftgate makes it easier to load large cargo into the back. Optional roof rails on the test car enable owners to add a cargo carrier or gear rack up top.
The newest MKX received a five-star crash test rating from NHTSA, with standard safety features including front, side and side curtain canopy airbags, antilock brakes, SOS post crash alert, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, stability control and cross traffic alert.
The stylish MKX is on display at Lincoln dealerships nationwide.
Like: A stylish midsize crossover with exceptional engineering and a new EcoBoost V-6 engine.
Dislike: Less driving range than some competitive products.
Model: MKX AWD
Base price: $47,650
As tested: $63,275
Horsepower: 335 Hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 380 lbs.-ft. @ 3000 rpm
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 17/24 mpg city/highway2016, Luxury 2016, Active Lifestyle Vehicles, auto review, Lincoln, performance, pricing, standard safety