Launched as a 2016 model, the second generation Lincoln MKX is part of a redoubled effort to revitalize the traditional American luxury maker by its Ford parent company. The second latest Lincoln model, introduced just a year before the stylish new full-size Continental luxury saloon, the MKX is a significant step forward from its predecessor in terms of design, technology, performance and dynamics. Competing in the popular mid-size premium crossover segment, the MKX is offered with optional four-wheel drive, as tested, with a range-topping firecracker new 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 Ecoboost engine.
With a futuristic and individualist design and direction, Lincoln seems to be seeking a similar position in the premium segment as Audi or Saab in the past. Dominated by the brand’s unique and assertive ‘eagle-wing’ browed grille design, rather than the more traditional and formal deep-set grille introduced for the new Continental, the MKX has a jutting and ready to pounce aesthetic sensibility. Featuring horizontal slats and flanked by moody headlights with LED elements, the MKX’ snouty fascia trails off to a sculpted bonnet, rakish roofline and wavy side ridges and waistline.
With sleek roofline and pouncing demeanor, the MKX has a sporting flavor and features dual bumper-integrated tailpipes, tailgate spoiler and massive 21-inch chrome alloy wheels shod with 265/40R21 tyre. Slightly longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces, the new MKX is built on the versatile CD4 platform underpinning a broad range of Ford and Lincoln saloons, crossovers and MPVs. With MacPherson strut front and sophisticated integral-link rear suspension, the MKX is very much a road-biased crossover SUV, but usefully features 18° approach, 16.4° break-over and 23.6 departure ° angles for moderate off-road driving.
Offered with Ford’s familiar and eager naturally-aspirated 3.7-litre V6 Cyclone engine as an entry-level model, the range-topping Lincoln MKX however comes with comes with a new and potent addition to the efficient and powerful turbocharged direct injection Ecoboost family of engines. Developing 335BHP at 5500rpm and 380lb/ft torque at 3000rpm – quoted at 400lb/ft for Middle East markets – the MKX’ 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6 is a surprisingly potent, responsive and eager unit. Capable of launching the 2017kg MKX from standstill to 100km/h in an estimated 6.5-seconds and can return 12.3l/100km fuel efficiency on the combined cycle.
With four-wheel-drive providing plenty of traction and short gasflow paths ensuring very little by way of turbo lag, quick spooling turbos and plenty of responsiveness, the MKX launches off the line with confident urgency. A gem of an engine, the MXK’ twin-turbo 2.7 pulls hard and energetically from low-end, building with urgency to a muscular mid-range. Versatile and flexible in mid-range, the MKX overtakes effortlessly and accumulates power and speed with verve. Responsive to throttle input, power build-up is intense and underwritten by a rich and broad layer of torque.
Smooth and refined from noise, vibration or harshness, the Lincoln MKX rides with confident stability and poise on highway. Comfortable over road imperfections despite its large alloy wheels and low profile tyres, the MKX’ adaptive dampers smoothen out most roughness with only the sharpest bumps or cracks feeling slightly firm. Set-up for a smooth and comfortable ride primarily, the MKX is fluent and settled with good rebound control over undulations, dips and crests, but not overly firm or tight. Through corners, its adaptive dampers firm up to reduce body lean.
Agile and willing through corners, the MKX may not be a dedicated sports CUV, but turns in tidily, with its tyres and wide track allowing for good grip and stability, while speed sensitive steering is quick and precise with decent road feel for this segment, if not as direct and engaging as some of Ford’s smaller vehicles. Quick at 2.7-turns lock-to-lock, the MKX’ steering allows one to keep both hands on the wheel through most corners. The MKX 6-speed gearbox is smooth and succinct shifting, and features central console selection buttons rather than a lever, and steering mounted p[addle shifters for manual mode sequential shifting.
Smooth, uncluttered and well-organized inside, the MKX’s centre console functions and infotainment system are user-friendly, while its instrument panel is clear. A refined and quiet ambiance, the MKX’ cabin features noise cancellation technology to filter out unwanted noise, while its panoramic roof creates an airy atmosphere. Well-finished with quality materials including leathers and soft-touch textures, the MKX features 22-way adjustable seats and a comfortable driving position with good road visibility. Spacious inside for passengers, the MKX can accommodate 1053-litres of luggage when loaded to the roof, and which expands up to 1948-litres with the rear seats folded.
Well-equipped with convenience, infotainment and safety features, the MKX is available with a choice of high quality Revel audio systems, and sequential automatic illumination automatically activated by the key fob. Featuring normal, sport and comfort driving modes for steering, suspension and gearbox responsiveness, the MKX also features a 360° camera and 12-sensor parking assist system for added maneuverability. Achieving a 5-star rating from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the MKX’ driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot warning cross-traffic alert system for when backing out of a parking spot.
- Engine: 2.7-litre, in-line, twin-turbocharged V6-cylinders
- Bore x stroke: 83 x 83mm
- Compression ratio: 10:1
- Valve-train: 24-valve, DOHC, direct injection
- Redline: 6,500rpm
- Gearbox: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
- Gear ratios: 1st 4.48:1; 2nd 2.87:1; 3rd 1.84:1; 4th 1.41:1; 5th 1.0:1; 6th 0.74:1
- Reverse / final drive: 3.88:1 / 3.39:1
- Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 335 (340)  @5,500rpm
- Specific power: 124.3BHP/litre
- Power-to-weight: 166BHP/tonne
- Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 380 (515) @3,000rpm*
- Specific torque: 191.1Nm/litre**
- Torque-to-weight: 255.3Nm/tonne***
- 0-100km/h: approximately 6.5-seconds (est.)
- Fuel consumption, city / highway / combined; 13.8-/9.8-/12.37-litres/100km
- Fuel capacity: 70-litres
- Minimum fuel requirement: 91RON
- Length: 4,826mm
- Width: 1,932mm
- Height: 1,681mm
- Wheelbase: 2,850mm
- Track, F/R: 1,646/1,643mm
- Headroom, F/R: 970/955mm
- Legroom, F/R: 1,087/1,005mm
- Shoulder room, F/R: 1,496/1,498mm
- Ground clearance: 198mm
- Cargo volume min/max (to roof): 1,053-/1,948-litres
- Approach angle: 18°
- Break-over angle: 16.4°
- Departure angle: 23.6°
- Kerb weight: 2,017kg
- Weight distribution, F/R: 60/40%
- Payload: 408kg
- Towing capacity: 1,587kg
- Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts / integral link
- Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
- Lock-to-lock: 2.7-turns
- Turning circle: 11.76-meters
- Brakes: Ventilated discs
- Tyres: 265/40R21
- *quoted as 400lb/ft (542Nm) for the Middle East