The Lincoln MKX made its debut in the 2007-MY as an upmarket Ford Edge. It was built to compete with luxury midsize crossover SUVs such as the Acura MDX, Lexus RX and BMW X5.
Fully redesigned for the first time since the George W. Bush administration, the 2016 MKX aims to add market share with a sleek new look, plenty of tech, available all-wheel drive and a turbo engine option.
The outgoing model’s toothy, split-waterfall grille and muscular, body-colored fenders give way to a more refined façade and dark wheel-well trim and lower-body cladding. The high shoulder line and oversized tires remain, as does the miniscule rear window; MKX drivers will learn to rely on the rearview camera.
MyLincoln Touch is standard across the lineup and offers a customizable gauge cluster in addition to an 8-inch touchscreen interface. The base Premiere trim also includes keyless ignition and entry, imitation leather upholstery, 10-speaker CD stereo and heated and powered front seats with driver memory, dual-zone climate control and more.
Upgrading to the Select edition adds real leather, a hands-free power liftgate, a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel and optional navigation and blind-spot and rear-traffic alerts. Reserve trim adds all of the above plus 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof and adaptive headlights.
Then there’s the top-of-the-line Black Label trim, which offers a choice of four interior design themes as well as such uptown features as extra-buttery leather, a 19-speaker surround-sound stereo and LED headlights.
But the real story lies under the hood, where the base 3.7-liter V-6 returns for another tour and a turbocharged 2.7-liter option threatens to steal the show. The 3.7 liter boasts 303 horsepower (hp) and 278 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque and delivers up to 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in highway driving with front-wheel drive.
The turbo ups the ante with 335 hp, 380 lb.-ft. of torque and matching single-axle fuel efficiency scores. But with all-wheel drive installed, the bigger engine outdoes its naturally aspirated stablemate by a single mpg in both city and highway driving.
Critics continue to praise the MKX’s roadworthiness and interior space. Road testers have given the second-generation SUV high praise for a notably quiet ride; active noise-cancellation technology is standard on every 2016 model.
The new Lincoln MKX is available now. The base MSRP remains at a tick above $38,000 while Black Label editions start at $53,315.