Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 Lincoln MKX Reserve: The Brand’s Midsize Luxury Crossover

Highlight: The MKX is one of Lincoln’s top three sales leaders. Sales have outpaced the model it replaced.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $63,535 (Base Model: $39,185)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electronic stability control system camera; a vehicle stability assist system; an electronic parking brake; a hill start assist system; a rear camera; perimeter alarm; an automatic rearview dimming mirror; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 18-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters; a push button gear selector; dual power heated mirrors with memory; auto fold exterior mirrors; a manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a leather steering wheel; pseudo leather seats; power front seats with memory setting; heated front seats; a remote start system; a reverse sensing audio system; and an 8-inch infotainment screen

Standard Equipment (Premier Model): a hands free liftgate; panoramic power sunroof; security approach lamps; a rear spoiler; ventilated front seats; leather seats; a dual zone climate control system; adaptive HID headlamps; navigation system; and a push button keyless ignition system

Options: 21-inch aluminum wheels; a 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine; Bronze Metallic exterior paint; a cargo utility system; 22-power operated front seats; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; rain sensing wipers; front parking aid sensors; a front video camera; a lane keep assist system; a radar-activated cruise control system; second row inflatable seat belts; and adaptive steering

Other Trim Level:

Black Label

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 9-speaker audio system AM/FM/CD with satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

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

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.7-liter, 6-cylinder/303-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New:  For the 2016 model year, the larger and more luxurious MKX has been reworked from the inside and out. The stylish vehicle now wears the same face as its popular sibling, the entry level MKC crossover. The midsize vehicle offers a host of new features too, such as a 2.7-liter Ecoboost 6-cylinder engine and the brand’s first vehicle with a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection.

Why: The 2016 midsize luxury crossover, which is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration, has been restyled for the model year. The trim levels have been expanded from one up to four. As a result of the new trims, the base price has been lowered by $640.

The 2016 MKX is slightly larger than the 2015 model, offering more room and comfort. The overall fit and finish and the craftsmanship is the best we’ve seen in any Lincoln to date. The interior has more of a premium look.

Yes, the second generation MKX is definitely in the luxury league, offering a host of features. Depending on the trim, buyers can expect everything from a new turbocharged engine to a 22-way power operated front seat to the panoramic roof to the 21-inch wheels to the high end audio system to the latest semi-autonomous driving features too. And, the latest semi-autonomous driving features include everything from Lincoln’s signature automatic parking system to a forward collision braking system. Yes, this vehicle is almost ready for fully autonomous driving.

Moreover, the overall ride and handling of this luxury crossover has been enhanced. In fact, this vehicle offers a quiet cabin and a ride experience that takes us back to yesteryear, when both Lincoln and Cadillac set the standards for luxury. While we haven’t driven some of the competitors, we can’t imagine it getting any better than this in terms of the ride and handling capabilities.

Lastly, while we’re not a fan of Ford’s touchscreen infotainment system, it did perform as expected.

But: When a midsize crossover from Lincoln is approaching $70,000, it’s always mind boggling. Yes, we realize this vehicle offers the latest high tech features and semi-autonomous features, but $15,000 in options is still steep in our world, especially for a brand that’s gaining its footing again.

And lastly, we wish Lincoln would do away with its kick and swipe feature to open the rear hatch of the vehicle. We feel like such an idiot doing those body movements in public.

Verdict: While Lincoln has been working diligently to reestablish itself as a luxury car brand, the second generation MKX hits the mark. It definitely has got all of the bells and whistles to show that it’s capable of being in the luxury league. The vehicle even offers such features as an automatic parking system, which isn’t available on two of its higher priced German competitors.

Overall, the luxurious ride-and-handling one expects from a Lincoln along with the styling proves that this vehicle is capable of going toe-to-toe with many of its competitors.

Competition: Audi Q5; BMW X5; Cadillac XT5; Infiniti QX50; Lexus RX 350; Mercedes-Benz GLE; and Jaguar F-Pace

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