2016 Lincoln MKX first drive: Decrease, wider, smoother

Midsize SUV takes goal at its German rivals

What’s it?

The fast and simple reply is that Lincoln’s 2016 MKX is the new-for-’15 Ford Edge carrying lipstick and a few fancy duds. Dig just a little deeper although and the adjustments are many. No physique panel or inside piece is shared between the 2, and the Lincoln appears longer, decrease and wider than the outgoing MKX. It’s really about the identical size because the previous one however is much less tall and a bit wider. It seems to be form of like an MKC set at one hundred twenty five% on a copier. The MKX and Edge share platforms and a few underpinnings (the MKX’s suspension is way extra subtle and adjustable), and the 2 crossovers are constructed on the identical plant. That’s about it for the similarities. Backside line is the midsize luxurious utility market is sizzling, sizzling, sizzling; Lincoln desires to remain within the thick of it and borrowing a bit from the Edge sped issues up. Ford’s upscale division did a pleasant job distinguishing the MKX from its Ford sibling.

The brand new MKX has many goodies, as ought to an SUV aimed on the prosperous. There aren’t any overworked 4-cylinders out there to haul the four,447-pounder round. Base engine is the tried-and-true three.7-liter six making 300 hp, whereas the elective engine is Ford’s 2.7-liter twin-turbo six as in our tester. Output is up sixty five hp on the class-leading Lexus RX. So there’s that. There’s additionally Pre-Collision Help with Pedestrian Detection (serving to earn the X the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration’s total 5-Star crash score); a dynamite inside with terrific supplies and construct high quality; optionally available 22-manner adjustable entrance buckets; and final however definitely not least the Revel stereo, developed with Harman, supplied in thirteen- and 19-speaker kinds. Harman went as far as to make use of skilled listeners — an occupation we’d not heard of — to assist develop the system, beginning work on it again when the MKX was nonetheless a clay mannequin. Lordy, it sounds good.

Photo: 2016 Lincoln MKX Photo 7

The MKX is the primary Lincoln to supply the Revel audio system. Picture by Lincoln

 

What’s it wish to drive?

When the Lincoln peeps dropped the brand new MKX off at Autoweek HQ, they stated one objective was “quiet luxurious,” a clichéd phrase we suspect automakers generally use once they don’t know the way else to explain their newest and best luxowhatever; however these guys weren’t kiddin’ round: This child cruises down the highway with the most effective on the market by way of quietness and smoothness. The X actually shines on the freeway, the place there’s little to no tire and/or wind noise — at 70, seventy five, eighty mph. The factor is whisper quiet, quieter then most different SUVs we are able to consider. Sound-deadening efforts comparable to lively-noise management and laminated glass actually paid off. It’s calming.

In the meantime, the two.7-liter EcoBoost six delivered a pleasant mixture of throttle response, refinement and energy. Lincoln claims 26 mpg on the freeway, and whereas we didn’t measure freeway mileage completely, we averaged virtually 19 mpg in a metropolis/hwy combo over just a few days of driving.

The drive modes — regular, sport and luxury — do certainly make a distinction, performing as they’re labeled, adjusting suspension and steering effort. We discovered the softer consolation mode finest round Detroit’s pockmarked streets, whereas regular or sport labored finest on the freeway. In all modes, physique roll is decently minimal, steering pretty communicative. There’s an auto maintain operate that, as Lincoln says, “relieves the motive force from having to press the brake pedal repeatedly to maintain the car stationary in visitors.” Ooookay. Didn’t know holding the brake with one’s foot was such a chore, however there you might have it.

The inside is a unbelievable place to spend time — snug, superbly constructed, good wanting, and the supplies feel and look nice. Having push-button shift moderately than a gear lever frees up middle-console house, or no less than offers that impression. Is it the very best inside amongst U.S. automakers? We will’t instantly consider a greater one.

Again to the stereo for a sec: The sound is crisp and clear. There’s conventional stereo sound, in addition to Viewers and On Stage, the latter two designed to make you’re feeling such as you’re at a live performance within the entrance row or taking part in within the band. Lincoln known as it “the perfect audio system within the enterprise.” Having not tried each one again to again, we don’t know if we’d go that far, however it does sound killer, as the children say.

Photo: 2016 Lincoln MKX Photo 11

The MKX provides 21-inch brushed aluminum wheels. Photograph by Lincoln

 

Do I would like one?

Effectively, it’s a properly accomplished, good-wanting crossover, inside and outside. We’re guessing that along with the above-talked about RX, Lincoln can be eyeballing the BMW X5 and maybe the simply-launched Volvo XC90. Perhaps the Acura MDX, too. In opposition to these, we expect the competitively priced MKX has a combating likelihood.

 

Wes Raynal

Wes Raynal

– Wes Raynal joined Crain Communications’ circulation division whereas nonetheless in school. When he graduated in 1986, he turned a reporter for Autoweek sister publication Automotive Information. He has labored as Autoweek’s affiliate editor, information editor, motorsports editor and government editor earlier than being named editor in 2009. Read more »

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