2011 Lincoln MKX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of standard features
  • ample passenger space
  • innovative technology
  • comfortable and quiet ride.
  • No dynamic advantage over the related Ford Edge
  • occasionally stubborn transmission.
List Price Range
$9,500 - $14,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Lincoln MKX is a well-equipped luxury crossover that's now fully competitive thanks chiefly to this year's substantial improvements in performance and interior quality.

Vehicle overview

Sometimes, things make a visual promise that isn't realized in the end. Maybe it was that fancy chocolate cake your aunt made that didn't taste quite like you anticipated. Or it could've been a dream date that turned into a nightmare -- who knew such a looker could have such poor manners? Sadly, Lincoln's MKX has been a member of this hall of shame; in past reviews we've noted that its attractive styling couldn't hide its lackluster driving dynamics, weak brakes and subpar interior materials. But the 2011 Lincoln MKX gets it right, with substantial improvements in performance, features and overall quality that make it a worthy entry in the midsize luxury crossover segment.

Although the MKX crossover SUV already had good looks, it nonetheless gets a face-lift this year in the form of Lincoln's new "winged" grille, curvaceous front fenders and new taillights, that all serve to further differentiate it from its cousin, the Ford Edge. In the cabin, improvements come by way of higher-quality materials, redesigned seats, richer accents, including genuine aluminum trim and an enhancement to the Sync multimedia control system that's dubbed MyLincoln Touch. The latter provides a more intuitive touchscreen interface (much like a smartphone's) as well as additional voice commands.

Along with other tweaks, these upgrades put the Lincoln on more even footing with the impeccably trimmed cabins of rivals such as the Lexus RX 350. Many luxuries that are optional on competing models are also standard on the 2011 Lincoln MKX such as a power tailgate, remote start, power front seats with heating and ventilation, leather upholstery and rear parking sensors.

Under the updated sheet metal is a 3.7-liter V6 that achieves the impressive dual feat of having both impressive horsepower and respectable fuel mileage. With 305 horsepower, it makes 40 hp more than the previous 3.5-liter mill. Fuel economy is up slightly, too, with a combined fuel mileage estimate for the front-drive version of 21 mpg. Furthermore, the previously criticized brakes that produced rather long stopping distances were addressed as well, with beefier components that promise a more confident feel and shorter panic stop distances.

Although these updates are praiseworthy, it's still likely worth your time to shop around some. The luxury crossover SUV segment is chock-full of worthy candidates, including smaller choices like the 2011 Audi Q5, 2011 BMW X3, 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and 2011 Volvo XC60 as well as midsize models like the 2011 Acura MDX and Lexus RX 350. You might also check out the related Ford Edge Sport; while it's not premium badged, the ownership experience is going to be pretty similar. But overall the Lincoln MKX, now having the substance to back up its style, is a solid choice.

2011 Lincoln MKX models

The 2011 Lincoln MKX is a five-passenger crossover SUV available in one trim level. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a capless fuel filler, keyless ignition/entry, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming interior and driver-side exterior mirrors, the MyKey system (allows owners to limit a vehicle's top speed and radio volume), a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, MyLincoln Touch and Sync electronics interface systems (includes Bluetooth and iPod interface) and a 10-speaker stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, USB/iPod/auxiliary audio jacks and an SD card reader.

The Premium package adds 18-inch polished alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a rearview camera, interior mood lighting, a heated/power-adjustable steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery and heated second-row seats.

The Elite package includes all that plus 20-inch chrome wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a blind spot warning system, an upgraded THX-certified audio system and a hard-drive-based navigation system that features 10GB of digital music storage and Sirius Travel Link. Many of the Elite's upgrades are also offered as stand-alone options. A Limited Edition package features 20-inch polished alloy wheels, bronze leather upholstery with black accents, unique textured metallic trim and monogrammed floor mats.

Separate option highlights include adaptive cruise control, wood interior accents, a THX-certified surround-sound audio system (with HD radio) and a DVD rear entertainment system.

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Lincoln MKX gets substantially revamped with more power, freshened styling, new features and a more luxurious interior.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Lincoln MKX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capability is standard.

Fuel economy ratings are 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 17/23/19 for all-wheel-drive models. When properly equipped, the MKX can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the MKX includes antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A blind spot warning system is optional.

The Lincoln MKX has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to new 2011 tests) were a perfect five stars for frontal driver and side-impact protection with frontal passenger protection earning four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the MKX its highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact protection and a second-best "Acceptable" for roof-strength integrity.

Driving

The 2011 Lincoln MKX's 3.7-liter V6 is smooth and furnishes brisk acceleration, though the transmission can sometimes be reluctant to downshift unless you nearly floor it. We suspect that latter quirk is a result of fuel economy-minded transmission calibration that helps to reduce the crossover's appetite. Steering is decently weighted, while handling -- if not as sporty as the athletes of this class (such as the BMW X3) -- is certainly competent, with a buttoned-down demeanor through the curves. The MKX hasn't forgotten that it is a Lincoln and as such offers a cushy ride along with a cabin that's notably quiet, even at higher freeway speeds.

Interior

The 2011 Lincoln MKX boasts a well-trimmed cabin with handsome stitching, real aluminum accents and quality materials throughout. There are plenty of standard and optional creature comforts like heated and ventilated front seats, optional heated rear seats and a plethora of entertainment options. Both rows of seats offer plenty of space -- particularly in back, where three people can fit comfortably, a rare feat for any midsize crossover.

Behind the seats there are 32.3 cubic feet of available cargo space. Flip the second row down and that expands to 69 cubic feet, which is more than you'll see in the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLK, but smaller than the capacities of the Acura MDX and Lexus RX 350.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Lincoln MKX.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Sync Not Ready for Prime Time
linkstur,03/11/2011
I'll give the car high marks even though there are definitely problems with the touch system. I personally have an issue with my phone not staying linked to the car. It constantly disconnects, then re-connects. 4 to 6 times during a 20 minute ride to work. The computer that's in the car reminds me of an old 386. It works, but works slowly (relatively speaking). It sometimes takes 20 seconds or more before the radio starts playing after start-up. NEVER try to use the touch screen before the system is completely loaded...(about 45 seconds). If you do, it will not work well. But all this can/will be fixed. Most everything else works fine, and there's a LOT of very cool stuff.
lincoln rocks!
linc,11/27/2010
What can I say.. Great car.I have tested several European SUVs: mercedes glk 350, audi q5,lexus 350 and acura mdx. They all are good cars, but only Lincoln had that balance of everything:driving dynamics, luxury,best electronics in its class that made me buy this vehicle.My Lincoln touch and Sync are best in the business...period. THX2 system with 14 speakers and subwofer is simply amazing. I believe that European and Japanese suvs were ahead a few years back but this Lincoln is clearly leading the pack now
FUN FUN Car!!
sisper,04/26/2011
Had the car for 10 days. Drove 350+ miles. Fantastic! impresses everyone from interior to exterior looks and features. powerful torque! Powerful yet sturdy and quiet. Fun to drive in Manual mode. Back camera outrageously fun to use. voice commands makes you feel like playing around with it! Ambient lights make you want to try them all! roof for driver and passengers? awesome! sensors for blind spot cars? amazing. Opening the trunk without taking the keys off packets while caring grocery bags, should be made into LAW! MUST have! steering wheel too good to describe. Test drive to understand. do you want 5 days weather forecast? no problem. sports scores? no problem! The LEATHER SEATS, ohh! etc
Simply a great car!!!!
fordlincoln,06/09/2011
This is my 3rd consecutive Lincoln - just sold my 06 LS and bought the 11 MKX. This car is fantastic. I did compare this with Cadillac SRX and it was really no comparison at all. The Lincoln simple had more standard features that I wanted. The new looks and the highly advanced technology really sold me on this vehicle. IMO, the new front grill and the new taillight design are BIG improvements over the previous MKX. The MyLincoln Touch sync system is unbelievable. I am far from a techie, but I do like new technologies and the MyLincoln Touch system is great. If you are not very proficient with new technology you may have a longer learning curve, but it is well worth it. I am still finding new things out and I have had the car for almost 3 weeks. I actually like the the touch screen technology more than the voice recognition. It is very similar to using a smartphone.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Lincoln MKX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover15.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Lincoln MKX
More About This Model

The 2011 Lincoln MKX has an unenviable task: It has to make Lincoln relevant again. Yet its sensual styling, lush interior and cutting-edge driver interface help this redesigned crossover take a long stride toward that end. This is, after all, an automaker that inspired ambition in middle-class Americans with the high style of its long, low-slung land yachts.

But that was a half-century ago. Decades of misdirection and cynical product management — dressing up Ford exteriors to pass off as luxury editions — have made Lincoln an also-ran against its European and Japanese premium rivals. The MKX has its work cut out to undo these missteps, but it's capable. Its 305-horsepower V6 provides plenty of locomotion, while its gentle ride and quiet interior help repel the stress of frenzied streets and highways. Its soft leather upholstery lets you slip, slide and adjust into postures of tension relief. There's even available all-wheel drive for those times when you need to leave the cityscape and find a moderate unpaved road to a pastoral scene.

On this score, the 2011 Lincoln MKX rises to the brand's legacy. That said, others offer similar luxury cocoons with more engagement. Compared to this 2011 Lincoln MKX's as-tested price of $50,665, the BMW X3 and Infiniti EX make similar power and better connections to the road. The Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and Volvo XC60 bundle European amenities with tighter reflexes. But with its strong combination of American innovation and classic style, the new MKX is an ideal candidate to kickstart Lincoln's revival.

Used 2011 Lincoln MKX Overview

The Used 2011 Lincoln MKX is offered in the following submodels: MKX SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Lincoln MKX?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Lincoln MKX trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Lincoln MKX Base is priced between $9,500 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 67407 and147834 miles.

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Which used 2011 Lincoln MKXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Lincoln MKX for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2011 MKXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,500 and mileage as low as 67407 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Lincoln MKX.

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Find a used Lincoln MKX for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $18,441.

Find a used Lincoln for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,140.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Lincoln MKX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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