The first evening I had with the MKX was one where groceries were required and, as such, a trip to our local supermarket was in order. Travel time from our abode to the store is all of five minutes so the girlfriend and I did our best to catch up. As we were expecting company for dinner on Friday, we needed more stuff than usual. We were both tired, I having just returned from a six-day-long trip and she, having worked nearly 35 hours in three days. With our purchases loaded up the large trunk, we headed home. As I sat behind the wheel, I noticed my tester had massaging seats, mentioned it, and it took us a half-hour to get back to the house.
When we got there, I noticed a skunk was rummaging through our neighbour’s trash, but thought little of it as I parked. Another 10 minutes went by until we figured we should probably get in the house. In a moment of clarity, I remembered the polecat. I promptly hit the 360-degree camera button before stepping out to make sure the stinky pest had left, which it had.
This was a great way to settle into my few days with the new 2016 Lincoln MKX test car. Redesigned, it certainly looks great. The resemblance to the MKC is so obvious that someone at the office (the author of the review you just clicked on…) thought we’d already reviewed this car, but we hadn’t.
Luxo ‘utes are the way
Lincoln, like Cadillac, is in the midst of a revival. If Caddy’s hitting as hard as it can with cars, Ford’s luxury brand is taking the utility vehicle route -- in my opinion, the winning avenue.
The new-for-2015 MKC is certainly amongst the compact luxury ‘utes to consider when shopping for one. Up until now, the MKX was scarcely a blip on my radar of preferred midsize options. In a few swift days, Lincoln won me over, and hard.
There are two engines to select from with the MKX, and while the 3.7L V6 is the first, the new for ’16 2.7L EcoBoost V6 is the one to go for. Sure, going there adds about $8,000 to the initial price ($46,590 vs. $54,640), but the extra oomph and amenities seriously make up for it.
This mill produces, hang on, 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Bam! Mated to the standard 6-Speed SelectShift automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddles, this portly vehicle boogies massively! Full torque is on as of 3,000 rpm and unlike the MKC, this transmission plays nice when the throttle hits the carpet or any time between then and the top of the pedal’s travel. In no time flat, you’re gone. And this is in “D.” In “S,” the tranny, throttle, and suspension sharpen up and everything goes down that much faster. It’s all quite surprising and impressive. Lincoln now has its own Drive Control that allows the driver to select suspension, steering and throttle settings.
The downside to this power is that fuel economy takes a hit. Driven harshly, the MKX will down well over 15L/100km. Driven smoothly, it’ll still drink over 12L/100 km…
On the drive side, the MKX feels bunker solid. It’s quiet and composed, but can’t escape that heavy feeling. Despite that, the suspension expertly deals with all of the body’s movements, keeping the Lincoln on track. The available 21” wheels are stunning, but play a trick on the dampers’ ability to cope with sharp amplitude changes -- I’m thinking the unsprung weight might be a bit much, as I heard thumps coming from the rear as though they’d been stretched to their max. Otherwise, “comfort” mode proved best when driving about town. “Normal” is ideal for highway, while I noticed little difference in “sport.”
It’s all OK though. Well, almost. The seats, the 22-way power-adjustable, massaging, heated and vented seats will melt your brain, and your muscles. Besides these gems, the cabin is gorgeously crafted with the best materials, and a wonderful attention to detail.
Comfort and technology
As with all of Ford’s latest products, the new 2016 MKX houses a slew of features including all kinds of active safety, um, stuff… If you’re a decent driver, you’ll never really notice what’s going on even if lane keeping is activated. All systems can be set on low involvement modes (thankfully and blissfully), and the intelligent cruise control can be switched to normal. That may be the Lincoln’s second-best trick after the seats.
The onboard cocoon feeling is enhanced with active noise control and, if you want to fill that space with your favourite Guns N’Roses or Buddy Holly kind of noise, the available 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system will quickly clear your sinuses. And low and behold, I was OK with SYNC and MyLincoln Touch this time. The actual HVAC buttons did their job and saved the day.
It’s all there
The new 2016 Lincoln MKX is handsome to a fault with little to envy in its European counterparts other than the logos on their bonnets. In all seriousness, I’ve fallen for the MKX’s smooth demeanour, luxuriously appointed cabin and its bombastic EcoBoost engine. The elements really are in place.
As tested, my MKX was just under $67,000 fully loaded.