2015 MKC New Car Test Drive
Lincoln MKC is a new model, very likely the first Lincoln less than 15 feet long. It joins the ever-expanding spectrum of compact crossovers taking over the luxury market.
The new Lincoln MKC is derived from the same basis as the Ford Escape. However, it is more than just new lights and adornment, with major chassis changes and an engine the Escape doesn't offer. That MKC shares some components with other Ford and Lincoln products means only they have been proven, and is no different than what Audi and Volkswagen or Toyota and Lexus do.
Distinctive looks inside and out help distinguish the MKC, and it welcomes at night more invitingly than most. We found build quality at least as good as that of its competitors, with real wood and aluminum trim, and leather often better than any challenger.
Technically, the new MKC seats five, but we think it is better suited for couples and families of four or fewer. Grown-up space in front is countered by a cozy rear seat, and cargo space is compromised by the styling, situations not unique to Lincoln in this class. By most dimensions inside and out, the Lincoln MKC splits the Audi Q3 and Q5 and the BMW X1 and X3. MKC is larger than the Range Rover Evoque. It's similar in size to the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and Lexus NX, and a bit smaller than the Acura RDX, Cadillac SRX, and Volvo XC60.
Both four-cylinder engines available in the MKC are turbocharged; a 2.0-liter engine is offered with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, a 2.3-liter comes only with all-wheel drive. A V6 is not offered nor is it needed, the 2.3-liter is more powerful than an Audi Q5 V6, and offers more torque than any challenger's V6. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard; there is no diesel or hybrid version.
Lincoln did not try to make a sports sedan of the MKC and that's a good thing, though it will hustle along a winding road if needed and it has a solid feel. MKC is quiet, comfortable and a great way to cast external stressors aside without being as numb as a couch.
Modern amenities are catered to with various device connections and work with the infotainment system. A THX II-certified 14-speaker sound system easily fills the cavern, a panoramic moonroof lessens claustrophobia in back, and safety systems include collision mitigation braking and adaptive cruise control. An MKC will steer itself into a parking spot, and unlike many, help you get out of it as well.
Besides slotting in size between its German competitors, Lincoln MKC aims to play the value card. Even at the base price it includes things like pushbutton start/keyless entry, HID headlamps, driver memory and park sensors that are often optional on challengers. Only an Acura RDX comes close in this regard, and while a loaded MKC can top $50,000 similar features elsewhere will cost at least as much.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or a 2.3-liter engine with all-wheel drive, all with 6-speed automatic transmission. Several packages are available.
MKC 2.0L Premiere ($33,100) includes leather upholstery, climate control, aluminum trim, 10-way driver and 4-way passenger power heated front seats, driver memory system, 60/40-split folding rear seats, SYNC and MyLincoln Touch 8-inch display, 9-speaker audio system with SiriusXM radio and active noise cancellation, keyless entry/pushbutton start, cruise control, rearview camera, SD and 2xUSB ports, MyKey, power windows/locks/heated mirrors, remote start, 18-inch aluminum wheels, HID headlamps, LED running lamps, approach detection and rear park sensors. MKC 2.0L AWD ($35,595) adds all-wheel drive and continuous damping control.
MKC 2.0L Select ($36,330) and AWD ($38,825) add upgraded Bridge of Weir leather, unique steering wheel in Wollsdorf leather, wood trim, 10-way power passenger seat, ambient cabin lighting, heated power-folding side mirrors (auto-dim driver side) with signal repeaters, configurable daytime running lights, cargo cover and different wheel finish.
MKC 2.0L Reserve ($40,035) and AWD ($42,530) further adds heated/cooled front seats, panoramic moonroof, navigation, hands-free hatch, blind-spot/cross-traffic warning, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, embedded modem and polished aluminum wheels.
MKC 2.3L AWD comes in Select ($39,965) and Reserve ($43,670) trim levels only.
Packages and options depend on trim but include a Select Plus package ($1,100) with navigation and blind-spot warning; Technology package ($2,235) with active park assist in/out, lane-keeping, active cruise with braking and collision warning; Climate package ($580) includes heated steering wheel and rear seats, auto high-beams, rain-sensing front wipers; THX II certified sound system ($995); Tow package ($495); 19- and 20-inch wheels; special paint.
MKC is available in Lincoln's Black Label line which includes unique finishes, paints and woods for the car and ownership experience upgraded with complimentary maintenance and detailing, showroom comes to you, vehicle delivery and so forth. Expect Black Label to add $5,000-$6,000 to the price.
Safety features include seven airbags, SOS post-crash alert, stability control (includes traction and with the towing package trailer-sway control), rearview camera, park sensors, MyKey and SecuriCode keyless entry as standard. Available safety features include blind-spot/cross-traffic warning, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control with mitigation braking and forward collision alert, active park assist in/out and lane-keeping system.