2016 Lincoln MKX review with video
Base price: $45,890 + taxes
As tested: $65,090 + taxes
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 11 L/100 kms (21 MPG)
Competition: Audi Q7, Lexus RX, Mercedes GLE, Volvo XC90
Although the MKX has been in Lincoln’s line-up since 2007, 2016 marks this mid-size five passenger crossover’s first complete redesign. While the MKX shares the same platform as the cheaper Ford Edge, its exterior styling, luxurious interior features and suspension are all Lincoln. New to the MKX are a couple of fresh engine options along with reimagined ride comfort and some clever safety technology. But can Lincoln play ball with the competitive luxury crossover market? We took the MKX on a 2,000 km family road trip out to Vancouver Island to find out.
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
The MKX offers plenty of headroom, leg room and an optional 22-way adjustable driver’s seat, so you can really make infinite lumbar, upper back, bolster and thigh adjustments to your liking. Nice to see heated and cooled front seats standard on all trims here but while the seats in the MKX also come with standard leather, we found they’re not quite as comfortable as many of the European brands like Volvo, Mercedes and Audi. And the optional massage function felt more like an annoying plane passenger kicking the back of your seat than means of relaxation.
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
The interior looks fantastic with a new stream-lined centre console that avoids clutter by turning the traditional gear shift into a push button system on the dash board. It takes a bit of getting used to but paddle shifters on the steering wheel still mean you can gear the 6-speed transmission down on windy roads or steep hills, if you choose. The buttons on the dash are quite small and there are many of them so it can be hard to find what you want, particularly when it comes to the climate control functions. We also found that once you get in close, the switches and plastics don’t feel as high end as you’d find on many equally priced European equivalents.
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
The optional Revel sound system in our tester is incredibly good. As is the home screen on the infotainment system. Ford and Lincoln vehicles manages to fit a lot of information into a single screen unlike many of the competitors out there. But the touch screen is not sensitive enough so you have to push down hard. If you’d rather use the voice recognition software instead, it’s a frustratingly deep menu of options that you’re prompted through for simple functions. These are concerns I’ve had with other Ford products we’ve tested before. The company is working on a next generation infotainment system to replace this laggy, often frustrating system so here’s hoping some of these issues are resolved.
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3.5/5
We drive our test vehicles on the same stretch of highway at 100 kms/h and use a decibel reader to get a comprehensive comparison between vehicles. The MKX scored a 73 dB rating which makes it a fair bit louder than the Audi Q7 which got 61 dB or Mercedes GLE which scored 63 dB. It’s still a quiet, refined ride but not as much as some of its European competitors.
Family Wheels performance score score: 4/5
The MKX comes standard with a 3.7-litre V6 but the company has introduced a new 2.7-litre turbocharged Ecoboost engine that it hopes you will upgrade to. This is largely the same engine as the Ecoboost we tested in the new F150 from Ford last summer (and we loved it) but Lincoln has managed to squeeze even a bit more horsepower and torque out of it which has resulted in a peppy, responsive and surprisingly powerful engine for a smaller engine in a crossover of this size. The suspension is a bit soft but the MKX still glides around corners without too much bobbing and weaving. All in all, the MKX is a very comfortable, smooth ride.
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Tall adults are going to find the back seat a little squished. Both leg room and head room weren’t quite adequate for me at 6’2. But for teens or those in car seats, there’s plenty of room back there. And our rear facing car seat test proved that front passengers will still have enough room when infants or toddlers are back there. The leather in the second row is perforated for a sporty look and those tiny holes can be challenging to keep clean with young kids. Heated rear seats are optional.
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4/5
The MKX has far more cargo capacity than you might think from the outside. In fact, we were able to fit three full-sized dogs that each weigh around 100 pounds into the back. This really surprised us. A third row is not an option in the MKX but for a family of four, there’s plenty of space for hauling your gear. One thing I was disappointed to see was that the back seats only have a 60/40 split. There was no pass-through option in the second row’s middle seat so if you wanted to put skis, for example, down the centre, you’d have to give-up two of your second row seats rather than just one.
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3/5
While the new optional Ecoboost engine on board our tester is touted as a more fuel efficient option, we were a little underwhelmed by fuel economy. The MKX average 11 L/100 kms over our week of driving (mostly on the highway). That’s less efficient than the larger and sportier 3.0-litre turbo in the Audi Q7 we tested a few weeks back.
Family Wheels build quality score: 3/5
From a distance, the MKX looks very luxurious and the stitched leather seats, dash and steering wheel are quite convincing. But harder plastics around the doors and lower dash cheapen the overall look. And, as mentioned before, the switches and finish don’t feel as high end as some of the MKX’s European competitors.
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5
If you’re looking for value in a crossover of this size, we found our MKX as tested falls short. The base price at around $46,000 does have solid standard features but if you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, the MKX climbs into European price territory and it just doesn’t seem to keep up. Our $61,000 Volvo XC90 tester last year, for example, seemed like a better bang for your buck. For the value-concious buyer looking at the MKX, I would also suggest taking a close look at the Ford Edge because its price point comes in much cheaper and these two vehicles share a lot of the same DNA under the surface. You will obviously forego some of the luxury features on board but compare the two and let us know how you think they stack up compared to each other by leaving a comment below.
Family Wheels report card score: 34.5/50= 69%