2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3 AWD Review
It's more than just a fancy Escape.No Comments
The Lincoln-family wing-looking front fascia is executed well in the MKC; in fact, it's got the best family face of the whole lineup.
Lincoln is in the midst of reinventing itself. For a while now, the brand has stood as little more than a manufacturer of fancy Fords, and that's been a big shadow to step out of. Now, though, with the all-new MKC, Lincoln's done more than create a fancified Escape; the MKC is a unique Lincoln product that is capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. It's not perfect, but considering that the market is simultaneously downsizing and moving from cars to crossovers, the MKC stands ready to bite into some traditionally German market share.
Lincoln also made sure to ditch most of the Escape's interior materials; gone is the hard plastic, replaced with leather and softer plastic that are far more premium to the touch. The gauges were also swapped out for a half-screen, half-gauge concoction that once again feels rather extravagant. It allows you to access a wide variety of options and data for all sorts of reasons; you can do everything from adjust the drive mode to monitor instantaneous fuel economy, all without taking your hands off the wheel.
The MKC also features additional sound-deadening, which did not go unnoticed. The car is quiet; it's not a Lexus level of whisper-quiet operation, but it's got the majority of the competition beat in this department. Road noise stays outside, where it belongs.
From the outside, the MKC's sharp windshield rake gives the car a nice, aggressive silhouette. From the inside, all it does is reflect dashboard elements into your field of vision any time the sun appears.
The Lincoln-family wing-looking front fascia is executed well in the MKC; in fact, it's got the best family face of the whole lineup. Specific details like thin-LED arrays front and rear, give the MKC a truly premium feel. Its approach lighting feels positively fancy; as you approach the car, the LED DRLs and puddle lights (which create a Lincoln logo on the ground) exude the kind of late-night opulence we've come to expect from most modern luxury vehicles.
But if you're looking for canyon-carving precision to go with that Mustang motor, perhaps you're better off with the Mustang itself. The MKC does handle well when put into Sport mode, but the adjustable suspension remains on the wallowing side of sharpness. We found our best experiences in Comfort mode, when everything smoothed out and the MKC damn near drove like it was floating on a cloud. It did feel a little like an older body-on-frame SUV at that point, but a super-soft suspension setting will always confer those driving dynamics. Even when you're in Comfort, the MKC's six-speed automatic will get the car going in a hurry if you stab the gas.
So, while there's plenty of Boost from the EcoBoost, we had a harder time finding that Eco. The MKC isn't class-leading with its fuel economy (18 city / 26 highway with the 2.3 and AWD), but nonetheless, we had a hard time achieving the numbers put forth on paper; our city driving returned a number closer to 15 or 16 mpg.
If you're looking for a comfortable, luxurious compact crossover with driving dynamics indicative of the luxury side of things, the MKC is a tough act to beat; its German compatriots err on the side of stiff.
Regardless, the MKC is ready to compete with the best of what's already on offer. Soon, we'll have a new Mercedes GLK-Class (which will be called the GLC), and the X3 is also due for a refresh. The MKC's in for a fight in the coming years, but we think it's ready to weather the storm.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 285 horsepower / 305 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 18 city / 26 highway
Base Price: $35,595
As Tested: $49,265 (incl. $895 destination)
Equipment Group 102A: Leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats, Lincoln-specific steering wheel with real leather, 10-way power front passenger seat, ambient lighting, auto-dimming and auto-folding side-view mirror with LED turn signal indicators, daytime running lamps, panoramic moonroof, navigation, hands-free liftgate, blind-spot monitor, power tilt/telescope steering column, 18-inch aluminum wheels, embedded modem
Technology Package: Active park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist
Climate Package: Heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, auto high beams, rain-sensing wipers
Select Plus Package: Navigation, blind-spot monitor
Individual Options: Power liftgate, panoramic moonroof, THX premium audio, front ventilated seats