Bold new styling and impressive technology should make the 2016 Lincoln MKX a more competitive option among premium midsize crossovers.
Sharp new look; likely more fuel-efficient powertrain choices; new, updated tech features.
Previous user interface wasn't very intuitive; not likely to offer V8 option; lacks brand cachet of its competitors.
The 2016 Lincoln MKX is fully redesigned.
Try though Lincoln might, the MKX crossover has never transcended being merely a competent choice among very good competition. For less money you can buy the Ford Edge, itself a fairly upscale crossover and the MKX's mechanical twin. Spend a bit more and you can get into the Japanese and European luxury brands. The 2016 Lincoln MKX aims to change that.
Lincoln calls the MKX Concept shown at this year's Beijing auto show a design "suggestion," but we're betting that most of the concept's lines -- the split-wing grille, the hood strakes, the side panel creases -- carry over to the finished production version. It's the kind of sharp, modern profile that Lincoln needs to stand out from other premium crossovers.
Walk-up LED "welcome" lighting and a floating roof spoiler housing the MKX's various antennae are expected exterior tech tricks, while 21-inch wheels will lend the Lincoln the added shine it will need in this class (although we're fairly certain 18- and 20-inch versions will be available for buyers who prefer understatement).
Like the current model, the next-generation MKX may offer only one well-appointed trim level, augmented by several available options packages. Expect the new MKX to also offer a premium Black Label edition.
Lincoln has kept quiet about the mechanical hardware under the new MKX, but we expect it to continue to offer a V6. The current 3.7-liter V6 could carry over, but at 21 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive version (all-wheel drive gets 19 mpg combined), its fuel efficiency is not particularly impressive. The new MKX could offer the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 slated to debut in parent company Ford's new F-150 pickup. A turbocharged four-cylinder or hybrid-electric remain possibilities. Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive will be available.
Additional features could include the latest version of Ford's sophisticated self-parking system, as well as a rumored new infotainment and connectivity platform to replace the current, buggy Microsoft Sync-based system.
With its technological and design advances, expect the 2016 Lincoln MKX to cost slightly more than the current model, which starts just below $40,000. That keeps the MKX competitive with other premium midsize crossovers like the Acura RDX, Cadillac SRX and Lexus RX 350. Check back for more information on the new MKX, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice, as it becomes available.