2016 MKX New Car Test Drive
The 2016 Lincoln MKX is an all-new vehicle. Completely redesigned, this second generation of Lincoln's luxury crossover SUV is intended to compete with the Lexus RX and Audi Q5. To do that, the 2016 MKX promises refinement throughout and a quiet, effortless ride underway.
Attractive new sheetmetal helps separate the Lincoln MKX from the mechanically similar Ford Edge. Externally, the new MKX bears little resemblance to the less-costly Edge.
Bodyside sculpting on the Lincoln looks softer, more graceful, though in profile it looks more like a wagon than before. Blade-shaped headlights help widen front-end appearance. In some trim levels, they're full-LED. New reflectors add width to the low-beam headlight pattern.
Inside, the cockpit resembles Lincoln's smaller MKC, but an array of pushbuttons has replaced the conventional shift lever. We consider the pushbuttons gimmicky, but others might welcome the change. Seeking distinctive interior trim, Lincoln offers a choice of Black Label design themes: Modern Heritage, Indulgence, 1920s Paris, and a fourth influenced by thoroughbred horse racing. Lincoln has been investing a great deal of effort into what it calls personalized luxury.
The standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6, rated 303 horsepower. A newly available 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 develops 335 horsepower. Teamed with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission, the 2.7-liter can reach 60 mph in 6 seconds.
Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional.
New Lincoln Drive Control lets you choose Normal, Sport, or Comfort mode on all-wheel-drive MKXs. Adaptive shock absorbers help the MKX ride with impressive composure, even in Sport mode on harsh pavement.
Five occupants get plenty of legroom, with abundant cargo space. Some trims get 22-way power front seats with an active motion feature to reduce long-trip fatigue. Front seats now have thigh bolsters that deflate for easier entry/exit.
Revel audio systems are available, including a 13-speaker system. Three-mode, 19-speaker audio is included in Black Label versions, claiming home-theater quality. Also available is an embedded modem.
During 2016, the outdated MyLincolnTouch infotainment interface is being phased out and replaced with the more intuitive Sync 3, so be sure to get the latter.
Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and pre-collision warning systems are available, along with surround-view cameras and automatic parking assistance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given MKX five stars overall, with four-star rollover resistance. Good scores were reached in major tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but not the small-overlap test.
The 2016 Lincoln MKX comes in four trim levels: MKX Premiere ($38,100) comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton start, keyless entry; a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette upholstery; LED taillamps, and a rearview camera; Sync 3.
MKX Select ($41,390) gets leather seat upholstery, wood trim, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 18-inch wheels; and hands-free power tailgate. MKX Reserve ($45,155) adds 20-inch wheels, HID headlights, heated/ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, and voice-activated navigation. MKX Black Label ($53,315) models get one of four coordinated packages of trim items. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
All-wheel drive ($2,495) is optional.
All versions have a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.