• Nov 18th 2006 at 4:38PM
  • 29

Recently we had the opportunity to spend some time behind the wheel of the new 2007 Lincoln MKX crossover. This is a critical vehicle to the brand as it works to establish credibility and build brand equity in the luxury crossover market against competitors such as the Lexus RX and Infiniti FX.

Driving the heaviest model available -- laden with AWD, Vista Roof, etc. -- initial impressions with the powertrain are very positive. The 3.5-liter V6 is smooth until pressed into high rpm duty, where it gets a little raspy. The engine is complimented by an excellent six-speed automatic transmission that provides reasonable acceleration from a standstill, holding the lower gears to prevent premature up shifts. Without the constant up-and-down hunting sometimes experienced with an automatic, this gearbox feels almost intuitive in its ability to be in the right gear at the right time. A request for more acceleration is quickly addressed with a downshift from sixth to fourth or even third when necessary.

Follow the jump for the rest of our driving impressions and some official photos from the MKX press kit.

From the driver's seat, the MKX is very inviting. The driving position from the supportive bucket seats provides a good view of the road, giving the driver a sensation of sitting in the vehicle and not on it. Interior tactile surface materials, while not up to Audi standards, have improved, but for a vehicle that stickers in the mid-$40K range these surfaces could exude a bit more luxury and a little less cost-consciousness. The gigantic Vista Roof transforms the entire roof into glass, with a sliding front and a fixed rear panel and power sliding sunshades. Most controls are simple and easy to use, but the climate control and seat heating/cooling buttons are very thin and located at the bottom of the center stack, making them difficult to operate without taking your eyes off of the road. The vehicle we drove was also equipped with the award-winning navigation system shared with the MKZ, and it works well. Equipped with a 6.5" touchscreen and clearly marked controls, it took us straight to our multiple destinations, even when we forced it to re-route several times.

Dynamically, the MKX is quite adept, and it feels like Lincoln has found a reasonable middle ground compared to some of its competitors. You certainly won't win any trophies at your local SCCA autocross event, but the MKX provides a comfortable, controlled ride and absorbs road imperfections without disrupting stability. Not quite as luxurious as the Lexus, but not nearly as firm as the Infiniti FX, it never felt like we had to chase the vehicle on the road, even as speeds increased or road conditions worsened.

Overall, first impressions during this short drive were very good, We have a full road test scheduled in the near future and will be sure to post a full In the Autoblog Garage review then.


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I live in Metro Detroit and saw a pair of MKXs driven by a couple of testers parked at a restaurant I was dining at. The testers let me check them out, and I can tell you that they are a very handsome and exciting package. I give the Lincoln designers credit for actually taking some design chances, as opposed to the Lexus (yawn).
      • 8 Years Ago
      What the hell are you talking about the steering wheel looks big? Having to really reach now to find things to bash on new Fords heh? Since when do "many" people look for manual shifting? After all, this is just a crossover were talking about...
      • 8 Years Ago

      a retired man would never buy it because it looks too featuristick.
      A rapper would never buy it, because it looks like crap

      DOnt even try to compare an american car to a lexus, which holds its resale value. Lincoln, as most of us know, loses its value very rapidly. So after, say, a year two years of oftership it will depreciate 50%, while a lexus will depreciate only 10-20%.

      what's the "target audience" in your opinion then? since, according to you, old people will not drive it, and young people who know what tiptronic is will go with something else? Mark my words - this car will not sell, and ford will end up going belly up
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've been selling used cars for 15 years. I'll leave some space here for the jokes................ But really, I buy just Japanese cars because of their resale value and no one is afraid of these cars with 100,000 miles on them. But here's the interesting part, after 15 years, the mechanics I use are telling me they are seeing all kinds of problems with Honda's and to a lesser extent Toyota's that they've never seen before.
      This, at a time when Toyota themselves is delaying launches of their new cars to try and prevent the over 1,000,000 recalls they've had in the last few years.
      Now don't get me wrong here they still have got fabulous products, but don't think for a minute that they can't screw it up just like Ford and Chevy did.
      Do some reading about Alan Mullally. This guy used Toyotas manufacturing model to turn Boeing around, Fords got some nice stuff coming out in the next few years, I can see a chink in the Japanese armour and we might be looking at the perfect storm for a return of Ford here. The delay in the Edge launch is classic Mullally. This guy is very customer driven. I've been emailing back and forth with a engineer who worked at Boeing for Alan and he say's that he does what needs to be done and is especially good at dealing with the guys on the floor who build the product. He said he not only listens to employees but actually puts their ideas to use. Buy the stock now. We all have seen this movie before. Remember Chrysler in 1991 when the stock was $11? A few years later it was $75. Ford will be back. Everything that comes around goes around.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #24 The difference is the interior of a chinese-made car will be the first thing to trap you when you get involved in an accident, I prefer safety and functionality over look.

      Don't bash me 'cause of this, I just saying this 'cause I saw many chinese-car's crash-tests and I would never want to be in place of the dummy during the test, not really.

      On the other hand, the MKX looks very good indeed, but is still a "rebadged with chrome and wood-like plastic" Ford.

      They need to recreate Lincoln's identity as a luxury car and you can't do this by taking a Ford and rebadging it. Learn with Caddy, it isn't so hard to do, let people at Lincoln work, I'm sure they can bring some nice products that people would actually like to buy without thinking they are paying 7K more for a Ford-like car.

      Make Lincoln cars as a Lincoln, that's the way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      looks very very nice, hopefully they got all the bugs out and the launch will be successful for ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It should sell more than the Aviator did!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      When the interior of Chinese-made cars look more appealing and luxurious than a Lincoln, something is really rotten in the kingdon of Dearborn.

      That dashboard is so early 90's. If they are trying to have a futuristic look why not go all the way (rather than retro) and have some more LCD and LEDs all around. How about a full-glass cockpit (to copy the aircraft industry lingo)?

      Unfortunately Lincoln appears doomed to continue selling average looking cars with hefty rebates to dwindling buyers. When I moved to the U.S. in 1990 the Town Car and the Continental were gorgeous cars compared to the competition at the time. Unfortunately today, they haven't kept up with the competition. What a shame.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I know the MKX and CX-9 share the same platform, but different targets, but why IMO, the CX-9 looks more luxurious?
      • 8 Years Ago
      A purple 92 sentra re-badged as an INFINTI. C'mon tommyboy, lets see some pics!
      • 8 Years Ago
      #28 You are right on the mark. I have an engineer friend who serves on the JD Power review board. He tells me that Japanese cars have a perception of higher quality, but in truth, American cars are much closer than the public wants to acknowledge.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You'll see wolverines as house pets before Lincoln ever comes close to Lexus. American published Kelly Blue Book states that in 2004 a Lexus LS430 sold for a list price of $55,750, and a 2004 Lincoln Town Car Ultimate L went for $50,470. 365 days later the Lexus returns $51,100 or almost 92% of its original price. The Lincoln, ouch, limps in at a paltry $33,200, or just 65% of it's original price. Ask JD Powers what they think about comparing the two. Lexus has over a decade of continual awards in a row that Lincoln, Caddy, and Mercedes put together will never match, and all this by a company thats just 16 years running. Pick up any issue of Consumer Reports And Lexus humbles Lincoln in any catagory. It's wonderful to see so many Lexus vehicles still with 100% Japanese parts unlike Lincolns made in Mexico (when has Mexico ever been known for building great cars?) along with such a low content of US/Can parts. Better buy your Lincoln now, because the way Ford's headed the whole company is going the way of the T-Bird!
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