2017 Lincoln MKX Review and Road Test

2017 Lincoln MKX

Further proof Lincoln’s renaissance is in full swing

Words by: Adam Allen

 

Geez, guys, turn down the music! How can you hear yourselves think?

Apologies. While it may seem like an odd way to begin a review on a luxury SUV talking about acoustic delights, we were absolutely smitten by the Revel Ultima sound system that was included in our tester. It was designed precisely around the MKX’s interior dimensions and surface types and is dedicated to making your music collection sound incredible. It works- dig up an old CD and try not to be astonished at the sound quality. At volume levels up to and past the responsible threshold it bathes your ears an intricately woven torrent of detailed resonance that must be experienced to appreciate how good it is. It’s not cheap, but it is a worthwhile indulgence and looks like a bargain compared to similar upgrades that you’ll find optional on its prime competitors.

The interior seems pretty sumptuous, too.

And how! Lincoln has done a commendable job of beautifying their interiors since they re-committed to restoring the storied greatness of the brand. The interior of our assembled with pride in Oakville, Ontario example was slathered in buttery leather finished in a hue Lincoln calls Hazelnut. It’s everywhere the eye can see, and in various places it contrasts nicely with French stitching, open pore wood trim and eye-popping, breathtakingly designed metal speaker grilles of the Revel system. Our tester featured Lincoln’s Multicontour seats- adjustable up to a heady 22 different ways that will massage you as well- that might be the most comfortable pair of thrones we’ve experienced in an SUV, save for maybe a Volvo XC90. Every kind of electronic aid and nicety you could want was installed on our tester, including the Sync3 infotainment system which is among the very best in the industry. It’s a pleasure to interface with and intuitive to use even while driving, and once you get used to the menus and where everything is, manipulating its controls becomes second nature. Other than all the toys and detailed build quality, what impressed us most about the interior was its astonishing levels of silence. Employing thick glass, strategically placed rubber stripping and noise cancellation technology, they all work in concert to provide one of the more hushed driving experiences we’ve sampled lately and certainly among the best ever from an SUV. At highway speeds it effortlessly wafts along, its pillowy ride spoiling occupants while they’re ensconced in serenity as a favourite album plays softly in the background.

No doubt the 2.7 Ecoboost engine is responsible for much of that effortlessness.

Shhhhh! Don’t say Ecoboost when talking about Lincoln products, please. That label is reserved for more plebeian Ford offerings despite the fact it was first introduced in the F-150 pickup. Lincoln currently affixes a simple “T” on the rear, the only clue the engine under the hood is being helped out by turbocharging. It’s optional on the MKX and like the Revel stereo, worth every penny. Spoil yourself; you’re worth it. A little bit more boost from revised software churns out 335 horsepower and a square-jawed 380 lbs/ft. of torque. It’s mated to a 6-speed transmission that even in Sport mode it isn’t in a hurry to swap cogs but always does so smoothly and together they shrug off the 1,975 kilos of curb weight and move the MKX around with graceful alacrity. The all-wheel drive on our tester helped make sure that muscle made it to the ground while providing secure confidence during a bout of nasty winter that ran the gamut from deep snow to freezing rain.

What might go wrong?

First, there’s the transmission shift buttons. They’re easy to use, but we wish Lincoln put a little more effort into them- they stand out because of their ordinary appearance in a centre stack that is otherwise quite nice. Then there’s the thirst; at 13.8L/100km we weren’t able to come close to Lincoln’s quoted combined mileage of 12.2, and it should be noted we spent more time on the highway than we did driving in the city. We’d accept this trade-off given how excellent an engine the 2.7T is, and at least it will run on regular fuel (at a slight loss in power.) Lastly, we’re left with the price. $68,050 is serious dough and that comes with high expectations. For some that will simply be too much for an MKX, at least at this moment in Lincoln’s resurgence. While the asking price isn’t cheap, we think this SUV can fairly command a price in this realm. Folks would often accuse the MKX of being nothing more than a warmed-over Edge; go back a generation or two and we’d have agreed with them. The simple truth is that while the MKX does share a platform with the Edge, the two feel remarkably different, and the efforts the Lincoln went to in order to make it feel more special than its counterpart are clearly evident. Hey, Audi shares many components with Volkswagens but no one ever complains about that when they see the eye watering price tags on some of their products.

Should I buy a Lincoln MKX?

The segment the MKX competes in is a crowded one, ranging from the Lexus RX350 to the Porsche Macan. It’s hard to make a bad choice of vehicle when you have competition this tightly matched. There are more obvious choices, but we think the MKX is a compelling alternative to the usual suspects. Give it a try, and don’t forget to crank up the volume.

 

2017 Lincoln MKX 2.7T AWD Reserve- Specifications

  • Price as tested: $68,050
  • Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger SUV
  • Powertrain Layout: Front engine/all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Engine:  2.7 litre turbocharged V6, 24 valves, DOHC
  • Horsepower:  335 @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque (lbs-ft.): 380 @ 3,000 rpm
  • Curb weight: 1,975 kg (4,354 lbs)
  • Observed Fuel Consumption: 13.8L/100km (17 mpg)