Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD: The Brand’s Entry Level Premium Crossover

Highlights: As the newest model in the lineup, the MKC has become the brand’s best-selling vehicle. The MKC also shares a platform with the Ford Escape.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $48,030 (base model $33,995)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; a perimeter alarm; a traction control system; a rearview camera; an auto dimming rearview mirror; HID headlights; a hillstart assist system; an electronic parking brake; a reverse sensing system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a push button ignition starter system; an all-wheel drive system; a 6-speed automatic transmission; a dual zone automatic climate control system; power driver seat with memory setting; heated front seats; a push button gear selector; paddle shifters; a capless fuel system; Lincoln’s MyTouch infotainment system; and pseudo leather seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Equipment Group 102A, which includes leather seating surfaces, heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic roof with sunshade, a navigation system with voice recognition, a hands free power operated liftgate, a blindspot information system with a cross traffic alert system and a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; a Technology package, which consisted of a radar-activated cruise control system, an active park assist system, a forward-sensing alert system, and a lane keep assist system; a 14-speaker THX audio system; and a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine

Other Trim Levels:

MKC front wheel drive
MKC Black Label

Towing Capacity: up to 3,000 lbs

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 9-speaker audio system with satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

iPod connectivity: Available
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0, 4-cylinder/240-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 19-city/26-hwy

Ford's new global design chief, Moray Callum, Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief and interior MKC designer, and editor Jeff Fortson with the MKC.

What’s New: This is the brand’s all-new luxury crossover, which shares a platform with the Ford Escape.

Pros: With compact premium crossovers being the latest hot niche, the MKC fills that void for the struggling luxury brand. The snug five passenger luxury crossover is available in either a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. The MKC has just the right styling for those who are looking for an alternative to the hot import crossovers.

The MKC is outfitted with an array of luxury features as noted in the “Optional Features On Test Vehicle’’ section of our report.  The MKC is available with two powertrains: a 2.0-liter and a 2.3-liter. Both are powered by the brand’s signature 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

In addition to the typical luxurious features available on most vehicles today, the MKS offers a variety of semi-autonomous driving features: a lane keep assist system, a collision warning system, a blind spot system and a rear camera with cross-traffic alert system. The five passenger crossover also offers a segment exclusive, automatic parallel parking system.

And for those seeking a vehicle that is made in America, the MKC is being produced in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cons: In our eyes, the push-button gear selector system was somewhat awkward. Also the rear seating area isn’t suitable for adults on a long road trip. The rear seating area is designed for short drive trips only. And the interior doesn’t seem as refined as many of its competitors. There is an opportunity for the interior designers to study the likes of Cadillac and Audi, two of the class leaders as it relates to interior designs.

Furthermore, the small 15-gallon tank doesn’t leave much room for racking up miles without making frequent fill ups.  Surprisingly, the MKC offers one of the lowest MPG’s in the segment. To put this in perspective, the high powered Chevy Corvette Stingray offers 29-mpg on the highway. Yes, there is room for improvement in this area. Lincoln should consider, offering a hybrid.

Lastly, we mentioned earlier that the vehicle is snug in the rear seating area. It’s a tight squeeze due the lack of both leg and hip room.

Verdict: The AWD model is about $2,500 more than the front-wheel drive MKC. While the MKC is small and based-off the same platform as the Escape, both the passengers and the driver will find that it rides just like a luxury vehicle and its worth of being in the Lincoln line up. While the price can be a little steep, when options are piled on, the MKC is worthy of being placed on the shopping list of entry-level luxury crossovers.

Competition: Audi Q5; BMW X3; Lexus NX 200t, Infiniti QX50 and Mercedes-Benz GLA Class

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