The Lincoln MKX offers contemporary styling and a modern interior that moves the brand forward from its previous retro-obsessed past. Its lack of a third row seat makes it a little less family-friendly than some other sport-utilities in its segment, but its single-row backseat is nevertheless quite spacious. Earlier MKXs came up short in terms of power and refinement, but the latest MKX boasts a strong 3.7-liter V6 engine and a cabin that can actually hold its own with other luxury brands in terms of both quality and design.
Ultimately, however, the Lincoln MKX is yet another choice in the crowded luxury crossover SUV market. Though shoppers are likely to find the MKX's combination of clean, elegant styling, available high-end amenities and reasonable price appealing, we'd suggest also checking out its many sport-utility competitors, as several offer a more refined driving experience, added versatility and greater differentiation from non-luxury models.
Current Lincoln MKX
The Lincoln MKX is a luxury midsize crossover SUV that seats five people. Like other current Lincoln products, the MKX bears a heavy mechanical relation to a Ford product: in this case, the Ford Edge. Lincoln differentiates its version mostly through a signature Lincoln grille, a different taillight design, additional feature content and a more luxurious interior (though the design is similar).
Under the hood is a 3.7-liter V6 good for 305 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is standard, while front-wheel- and all-wheel drive are available. There is a single MKX trim level, which is chock-full of standard equipment that's typically optional on other luxury crossovers. This includes keyless ignition/entry, rear parking sensors, a power tailgate, heated and ventilated front seats and driver memory functions. MyLincoln Touch and the Sync phone and audio device interface are features unique to Lincoln and are certainly selling points.
In terms of practicality, the MKX offers plenty of space -- particularly in back, where three people can fit comfortably. This is one area in which the MKX beats out smaller luxury crossover models. The MKX's 3.7-liter V6 is smooth and furnishes brisk acceleration, though the transmission can sometimes be reluctant to downshift. The ride quality is comfortable, though opting for the 20-inch wheels brings about some added harshness that might not fit with your expectations of a Lincoln. At highway speeds, the MKX's cabin is notably quiet.
Overall, we're impressed by the MKX's feature content, ride quality, quiet interior and attractive design. But buyers should be aware that there are several similarly priced crossovers of various different sizes that are highly recommended. Saving some money and looking at a loaded Edge is also a pretty good idea.
Used Lincoln MKX models
The Lincoln MKX luxury crossover debuted as an all-new vehicle in 2007. The first-year model suffered from poor braking distances and the lack of Ford's excellent Sync electronics interface. As such, we'd only consider those models from '08 or later; here you'll find better brakes and Sync. Even then, though, this MKX paled in comparison to its rivals and was even more closely related to its cheaper Edge sibling than the current model.
From 2007-'10, the MKX was powered by a 265-hp 3.5-liter V6 shared with the Edge -- making comparisons between the two inevitable and not at all beneficial to the more expensive Lincoln. A six-speed automatic was standard, while front-wheel and all-wheel drive were available. The impressive array of standard features was pretty similar to the current car, though package names and content changed a bit over the years. There were also special packages (Monochrome, Midnight Limited and plain old Limited editions) that added special exterior and interior trim, big wheels and in some cases, a sport suspension.
This era MKX was known for having an interior design inspired by past Lincolns, with a dual-cowl dash and boxy gauges. It was somewhat cheesy, but worst of all, its downmarket stereo/climate control switchgear, low-end plastics and unimpressive fit and finish made the MKX seem like a guy wearing a cardigan to a black-tie soiree. The front seats were also quite hard and uncomfortable.