2018 Lincoln MKX

2018 Lincoln MKX Review

More than just a fancy midsize crossover, the 2018 Lincoln MKX offers a lot of luxury for the money.
7.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Shopping for a luxury crossover SUV? You might like the 2018 MKX. Lincoln redesigned the MKX a few years ago with an eye toward quality and luxury. It offers a quiet interior and a lot of features for a respectable price.

The MKX is related to the Ford Edge SUV. There are many similarities, but overall we like how Lincoln has upped the MKX's luxury credentials. It's quiet on the highway, the seats are very comfortable, and the suspension ably soaks up bumps and ruts. Essentially, the 2018 Lincoln MKX checks all the luxury SUV boxes.

It's true that European SUVs have more prestige attached to them. But if you're looking for a high-class way to transport your family, the MKX is a solid pick.



What's new for 2018

The MKX is unchanged for the 2018 model year.

We recommend

Overall, we recommend the MKX's Select trim level. It's just above the base Premiere trim level and adds a few creature comforts. More important, it's the key to getting desirable options packages such as the Climate package and the Select Plus package. Get the optional 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 for its enhanced power.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Lincoln MKX is a five-passenger crossover SUV. It comes in four trim levels: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label. Feature content grows as you work your way up the trim-level ladder, but the MKX has a decent amount of equipment at the base level.

All MKX models come standard with a 3.7-liter V6 (303 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque) paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard as well, with all-wheel drive optional. A turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 (335 hp, 380 lb-ft of torque) is an optional upgrade offered on all four trims.

Standard equipment highlights for the Premiere trim level include adaptive suspension dampers (all-wheel-drive models only), 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, remote engine start, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split second-row seat with power-folding seatbacks, driver-seat memory functions and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Standard interior tech includes Lincoln's Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, two USB ports, and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player and satellite radio.

The Select model adds LED daytime running lights, power-folding side mirrors (with driver-side auto-dimming), a hands-free liftgate, leather upholstery and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

A couple of optional packages available for the Select are worth considering. The optional Select Plus package adds a navigation system plus blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The Climate package adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic windshield wipers and automatic high beams.

The Reserve trim level adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, mobile app compatibility and the contents of the Select Plus package.

Finally, the Black Label variant builds upon the Reserve's features with trim-specific 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, upgraded leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, a simulated-suede headliner, the contents of the Climate package and a 19-speaker Revel Ultima surround-sound audio system with HD radio. Each Black Label MKX gets a choice of three design themes (Indulgence, Modern Heritage and Thoroughbred), each of which alters the trim and the color of the upholstery, headliner and carpeting. This trim also grants access to Lincoln's Black Label program, which offers vehicle maintenance, detailing and some travel perks.

The Reserve and Black Label versions offer several separate packages, including Technology (front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system and automated parallel parking), Driver Assistance (adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning and mitigation) and Luxury (adaptive LED headlights and the Revel Ultima audio system).

Stand-alone options include 21-inch wheels, 22-way-adjustable front seats, a trailer tow package, a 13-speaker Revel audio system (Select and Reserve), inflatable rear seat belts, and a rear-seat video entertainment system with dual displays.



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 MKX Black Label (turbo 2.7L V6 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Lincoln MKX has received a few minor revisions, including the upgrade to the newer, far better Sync 3 infotainment system. Overall, our findings remain broadly applicable.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration7.5 / 10
Braking7.0 / 10
Steering7.0 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability9.5 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.5 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration7.5 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use6.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.5 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Driving8.0

The optional turbocharged engine gives the MKX impressive acceleration. While it isn't the fastest of its group, you'll appreciate the power up an on-ramp. Our test vehicle had optional performance-oriented tires that helped improve braking and handling results.

Acceleration7.5

The optional twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 makes the MKX one of the most powerful vehicles in the segment. It may feel fast, but its 5.9-second 0-60 mph acceleration isn't quicker than other performance-minded competitors.

Braking7.0

The MKX returned consistent emergency braking stopping distances during testing with no detectable pedal fade or odor. The front exhibits only minor nosedive, and stopping power is easy to modulate through the brake pedal for routine driving.

Steering7.0

The grip from optional performance-orientated all-season tires imparts agility and accuracy back through the steering wheel. It builds effort naturally right off center. But road feedback is nonexistent.

Handling7.5

The optional performance tires on our tester do their job well, allowing the MKX to turn harder and faster than you'd expect. Stability control intervenes smoothly, making this SUV feel composed and confident on curvy roads.

Drivability9.5

This SUV feels powerful and smooth. Controlling the gas pedal is rewarding, and low-speed gear changes are nearly imperceptible. Adaptive cruise control smartly slows the MKX down and can be easily changed to nonadaptive mode, too.

Off-road6.5

While available with all-wheel drive, the MKX has tight clearances that limit its off-road ability. Drivers can't lock the power split between axles, and hill start and downhill assist features are not available.

Comfort8.0

The MKX delivers what you'd expect from a compact luxury SUV, provided you option it. The front seats offer massage, heating, ventilation and multiple adjustments. The ride is well-controlled despite the large-diameter wheels, and the cabin stays quiet in town and on the freeway.

Seat comfort8.5

Soft front seats limit long-distance fatigue, while heating and cooling functions work quickly. Wide-ranging adjustments in the optional seats fit different body types.

Ride comfort8.0

The MKX's ride quality is balanced between firm and soft. You'll feel bumps, but it's never harsh.

Noise & vibration7.5

The cabin mutes wind, tire and road noise to a minimum. The V6 is quiet around town, but it lets itself be heard when you're accelerating up to freeway speeds.

Interior7.0

The MKX is pretty easy to get in and see out of, and front and rear legroom is spacious. But headroom is only average, and the driving position could be better.

Ease of use6.5

Minor annoyances add up and hurt the luxury experience. Your elbows sit at slightly different distances and heights, and the button-style gear shifter just isn't as convenient to use as a traditional lever or stalk.

Getting in/getting out8.5

A tall roof, large door openings and narrow door sills mean there are few obstructions while getting in or out. The seats are at a just-right height so you can slide right in.

Roominess7.0

Headroom is segment competitive until you order the panoramic sunroof. It cuts rear headroom to the point where passengers of average height will brush their hair against the roof. Front and rear legroom is spacious.

Visibility7.0

A tall seating position and large windows make it easy to see your surroundings. A standard rearview camera and the optional 360-degree camera aid parking.

Quality6.5

The Black Label interior trims add a premium feel, but our tester exhibited some quality issues that were decidedly unexpected in a luxury car: The sunroof creaked over driveways, and foam on the driver seat worked itself free of its cover.

Utility7.5

Cargo capacity is better than most. The interior has numerous cubbies and storage options, including a deep center console. A cubby with a USB port has a cover to secure items when parked.

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.