2018 Lincoln MKC

2018 Lincoln MKC Review

The 2018 Lincoln MKC features a comfortable ride. But there are reasons it's not best-in-class.
7.3 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The Lincoln MKC likely doesn't come first to mind for a lot of shoppers. It's only been out for a few years, and it's only recently that Lincoln has been making more of an effort to raise the quality of its vehicles and perceived brand cachet. But take a look and you could very well be impressed with what Lincoln has cooked up.

The basics are certainly covered well in the 2018 MKC. It offers a quiet cabin, a smooth ride quality and extensive list of standard features. The MKC is less expensive than many rival crossovers, too. Comfortable and affordable — for a lot of crossover SUV shoppers, that's going to be an appealing combination.

Dig deeper, however, and you'll find the MKC isn't as polished as some rival crossovers. The MKC's back seat and cargo area are small, and some of the interior materials don't look or feel very high-quality. Performance is a little disappointing even though the MKC's power output looks good on the spec sheet. We're also disappointed that Lincoln restricts the availability of the MKC's advanced driver aids, such as forward collision warning and mitigation, to the most expensive trim levels.

As such, our opinion of the 2018 Lincoln MKC is mixed. It's certainly likable, but we recommend shopping around some before making a final decision.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the MKC receives Lincoln Connect, Lincoln's 4G Wi-Fi hotspot system, added standard to all trims. Premiere models receive four-way power lumbar control on the driver seat, while both front seats benefit from the power lumbar on Select trims and higher.

We recommend

Of all the variations offered, we would recommend the MKC Select. It has an ample amount of technology, comfort, convenience and luxury equipment while keeping the price reasonable. It's also the first trim available with the optional adaptive suspension. Just be aware that if you want advanced driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, you'll have to spring for the more expensive Reserve or Black Label.




Trim levels & features

The 2018 Lincoln MKC is a five-passenger compact luxury SUV available in four trims/equipment groups. The base trim, Premiere, still offers competitive technology features. The Select trim adds convenience features, while Reserve and Black Label increase luxury and post-sales support. Standard on all trims is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (240 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque) mated to a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional, as is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder (285 hp, 305 lb-ft) that is available only on Select, Reserve and Black Label trims.

Standard equipment highlights on the MKC Premiere include 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, a power liftgate, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats (eight-way driver seat with four-way lumbar control, and four-way passenger), driver-seat memory functions, and a 60/40-split reclining and folding back seat. Standard technology features include the Sync 3 infotainment interface, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, Lincoln Connect (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot), two USB ports and a nine-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The MKC Select includes auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, an eight-way power passenger seat, a power-adjustable steering wheel, ambient interior light, a cargo cover and upgraded leather on the seats and steering wheel. Options include a panoramic sunroof and the Select Plus package (a navigation system and a blind-spot warning system).

The MKC Reserve has those Select options and a hands-free liftgate, ventilated front seats and an onboard modem that allows for remote functions. Nineteen- and 20-inch wheels are also available.

The MKC Black Label adds to the Reserve equipment 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers (optional on Select and Reserve), upgraded leather upholstery, extended leather interior trim, a simulated suede headliner, unique exterior and interior trim, and special color choices.

The Select, Reserve and Black Label can also be equipped with an optional 14-speaker THX II sound system and the Climate package (heated rear seats and steering wheel, automatic high beams, automatic wipers and a wiper de-icer).

The Reserve and Black Label can be equipped with the Technology package, which adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning and mitigation system, lane departure warning and intervention, and an automatic parking system.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Lincoln MKC Reserve (turbo 2.3L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | AWD)

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.3 / 10

Driving

6.5 / 10

Acceleration7.0 / 10
Braking6.0 / 10
Steering6.5 / 10
Handling6.0 / 10
Drivability6.5 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort6.5 / 10
Ride comfort8.5 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Roominess6.0 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality7.5 / 10

Driving6.5

Equipped with the optional 2.3-liter engine, our MKC Reserve AWD had no trouble zipping around town or keeping up with traffic. Still, for an upgraded engine, the 2.3 doesn't have much sauce at higher speeds. Handling is also subpar, but the compact MKC is a natural fit for urban life.

Acceleration7.0

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is rated at a healthy 285 hp, but it needs 7.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. A smooth-shifting six-speed automatic helps its cause, yet the last Audi Q5 2.0T we tested (220 hp) hit 60 in 6.7 seconds.

Braking6.0

This MKC Reserve stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, a strong showing for the segment. We're not high on the real-world brake feel, however. The pedal is oddly touchy on initial application, and some may find it overly soft.

Steering6.5

Quick initial steering response gives the MKC a reactive, almost darty feel. Not much road-surface feedback finds its way to your fingers, but isolation is more the point in this class anyway. Effort levels feel natural.

Handling6.0

The MKC leans significantly when you push it through a corner, lacking the poise and composure of most competitors, even with the suspension in its sportiest mode. In the city, the MKC's modest dimensions are a boon in tight spots.

Drivability6.5

Between the jumpy gas pedal, touchy brakes and eager steering, the MKC can feel a little too responsive in mundane maneuvers. The generous turbocharged torque makes quick work of most challenges, though. It's a pleasant SUV to pilot.

Comfort8.0

This is the name of the MKC's game. Cushy front seats, an exceptionally plush ride and a generally quiet cabin add up to a satisfyingly comfortable experience. Those front seats are also oddly narrow, though, and sometimes the tires can be noisy over certain surfaces.

Seat comfort6.5

Front seats are noticeably less firm than the German and Japanese norm, but still supportive. The seats themselves are surprisingly narrow, and the cushions are quite short. Rear-seat cushions feel a bit lumpy, but the seatbacks recline.

Ride comfort8.5

The MKC's adaptive suspension is a bit choppy around town on its firmest setting, but Normal mode is a nice compromise, while Comfort is so soft and forgiving that it borders on floaty — in a fun way. The well-cushioned seats help, too.

Noise & vibration8.0

Interior noise levels are remarkably low for the segment. The turbo engine is never intrusive, and only moderate wind noise is perceptible at highway speeds. The tires can be noisy, though, depending on the surface quality.

Interior7.0

Lincoln went with a vertical stack of buttons for the transmission, which frees up space between the seats. A natural-feeling step-in height eases access for front occupants, but backseat space is tight.

Ease of use7.5

Sync 3 offers a large, brightly rendered touchscreen with a horizontal function menu at the bottom and user-friendly virtual buttons that respond quickly. Climate controls are small but work well.

Getting in/getting out7.5

It's a cinch to mount or dismount up front, thanks to a generous "hip point" that requires little adjustment from your standing posture. Smallish rear doors open wide, but the small openings aren't as generous as others in the segment

Roominess6.0

Front headroom is adequate, but legroom may be lacking if you've got a long inseam. Door cutouts give good elbow room. Thoughtful cutout on the center console keeps the driver's right knee from rubbing. Rear head- and legroom are tight.

Visibility7.0

Windshield pillars aren't overly restrictive but windows all around are generally on the short side. As with most SUVs in the segment, thick rear pillars seriously hamper view. A backup camera and parking sensors come standard.

Quality7.5

The open-pore wood trim is gorgeous, and there's no shortage of soft-touch inserts and stitched accents. But downmarket touches remain, including some uneven panel gaps and the front bin's chintzy door. This MKC also had a persistently creaky driver seat.

Utility7.5

Decent-size front storage bin ahead of the shifter with security door. Huge front center armrest bin. Door pockets adequately sized. Humble cargo area holds 25.2 cubic feet or 53.1 cubic feet with rear seatbacks folded (no cargo-area levers).

Technology

Technology is one of the MKZ's strong points. The Sync 3 is easy to use and quick to respond. Voice controls are easy to learn, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. Avoid splurging for the optional 14-speaker stereo, though; it isn't as impressive as we hoped.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.