2016 Lincoln MKX: Gets the Job Done

Published on August 1, 2016 in Test Drives by Danny Geraghty

Lincoln has made a host of revisions and upgrades to the MKX for 2016, rendering the midsized crossover SUV a little more competitive in its segment than it had been previously. In fact, sales of the MKX were up almost 90% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the year prior, so obviously their tweaks are paying dividends.

Stepping into the five-seater MKX, my initial impression was that despite being newly re-designed for 2016, the cabin feels rather baron, but at the same time I would also describe it as sleek and contemporary. I’m usually one to knock a manufacturer for ditching the traditional gear shifter in favour of the push-button layout, but I admit I rather liked the P, R, N and D buttons along the side of the console. They are so cleverly integrated into the design that it took me some time to locate them, but as with many gadgets the panel became second nature after only a few uses.

The seating is very comfortable, especially with the 22-way adjustable driver’s seat, complete with massage function. Leather is found almost everywhere including the dash, steering wheel and side panels, and the materials are of high enough quality that one feels like they’re inside a luxury vehicle. One thing I missed dearly was a third row to accommodate my three kids and prevent them from elbowing one another.

Once in motion, the 2016 Lincoln MKX treats the driver to a comfortable and quiet glide along our bumpy Quebec roads. Similar to many other Ford products, there is a distinct drive feeling that just feels good and makes it a pleasure to be behind the wheel. My wife’s exact words after having borrowed it were: “Hey, you know that SUV you have this week? It drives really well!”

Powering this particular model was the new 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 making 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s got more pep than the standard 3.7L V6 rated at 303 horsepower and my city-only driving resulted in a fuel consumption of 14.4 L/100 km. In addition to more power, the EcoBoost motor is designed to be very low on noise. Both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive is standard in Canada. The addition of the $2,950 EcoBoost option to the lineup is good news for Lincoln as the V6 wasn’t quite up to par with the competition in terms of power.

Photo: Danny Geraghty

MyLincoln Touch is the name for the infotainment system which is similar to MyFord Touch. It wasn’t very intuitive and a little laggy during operation, but it has recently been replaced with the SYNC 3 system, which is much better. The Revel audio system is excellent and fills the entire space with crisp, clear and loud sound.

The MKX offers plenty of technology by way of the $1,950 driver assistance and $1,100 technology packages. These features include lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, collision avoidance and active park assist. There is also a very handy feature where you can open the rear tailgate simply by waving your foot under the rear bumper. Obviously the keyfob must be present to complete the task.

Starting at $47,000, the price quickly climbs as you add the various options. The Reserve 102A equipment group tacks on $5,100 to the price and gives you 20” wheels, adaptive headlights, heated and cooled front seats, automatic high beams, heated rear seats, rain sensing wipers and a heated steering wheel. All in all, the tester came in at $67,590 including destination, which I find to be a little pricey for the overall package.

One thing I found difficult while writing this review was that I didn’t have any strong emotions toward the vehicle. The more enjoyable reviews are the ones where the emotion does the talking for me and almost write themselves. The MKX gets the job done and provides the necessary amount of features and looks in order to remain competitive, but I find there are other more interesting options out there for this price point.

Test drive report
Test model 2016 Lincoln MKX
Trim level 2.7 V6 AWD
Price range $44,963 – $52,954
Price as tested 52 954 $
Warranty (basic) 4 years/80,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 6 years/110,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 14,1 / 9,7 / 14,4 L/100km
Options N/A
Competitive models Ford Edge, Infiniti QX60, Lexus RX, Nissan Murano, Toyota 4Runner
Strong points
  • Smooth drive
  • Comfortable seats
  • New EcoBoost engine
  • Quiet ride
Weak points
  • Doesn't incite emotion
  • Styling is unremarkable
  • Interior looks bland
  • No third row option
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 3.5/5 Only city driving, but I had hoped for a little better
Comfort 4.0/5 Very comfortable to sit in
Performance 3.5/5 Decent performance and an upgrade from the previous engine options
Infotainment 3.0/5 MyLincoln Touch a little laggy, but it's now replaced with SYNC 3
Driving 4.5/5 The MKX drove exceptionally well
Overall 3.5/5 Good, but didn't incite any emotions
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