Meet the 2017 Lincoln MKX AWD, a midsize crossover from the luxury division of Ford Motors. Built off the same platform as the popular Ford Edge (reviewed here), the MKX offers an upgraded luxurious tone targeted to a more mature audience. With the second-generation MKX having launched last year, the 2017 model sees no substantial changes to either performance or styling. That said, this new generation MKX is a nice jump forward in the right direction for the Lincoln namesake.
Truth be told, Lincoln has become less and less relevant as the days go by. With competitors matching their form of luxury at a lesser price, Lincoln had been struggling to attract younger buyers. The complete refresh of their lineup, including the new Continental (reviewed here) flagship sedan, proves to be an attempt at attracting a more youthful gathering of buyers to help boost sales. The MKX is a prime example of their tactics at hand.
As mentioned, competition in this segment is very hot and there is very little room for failure. Going up against the Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus RX 350 (reviewed here), Audi Q5, and the recently unveiled Volvo XC60, the MKX will have impress to keep up. It should be noted while not directly related to the luxury segment, the Ford Edge that shares its platform with the MKX presents itself as somewhat direct competition, especially when loaded up quite nicely.
The exterior of the MKX is unrecognizable when compared the previous generation, though immediately identifiable as a Lincoln. The body received an extreme makeover, and boy does it ever look good… in some areas more than others. The fascia does a superb job at pulling your attention away from what can only be described as a bland rear end. While the front-end boasts LED headlamp fixtures that sit flush with the body lines, along with a grill that seems carved with smooth precision, the rear features a unibrow-like light assembly that spreads from the driver’s side quarter panel to the passenger side.
The silhouette resembles that of the new Ford Edge, obvious as both share the underpinnings, though the MKX wears more elegant lines than that of its more pedestrian sibling. Chrome trim adorns the edges the of the vehicle, with the Magnetic Grey Metallic paint acting as the icing the coats the cake. As part of the Canadian Touring Package ($2,950), the MKX is fitted with enormous 21-inch Premium Painted Aluminum wheels. This package is included when opting for the 2.7L GTDI V6 model over the standard 3.7L Ti-VCT V6.
While the Edge and MKX share much of the same DNA, the MKX does however make use of exclusive powerplants. As mentioned, the MKX comes standard with a 3.7L naturally aspirated V6, though as an upgrade, buyers can option a 2.7L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 for a power increase of 32 horsepower, and 102 lb-ft of torque. All in all, the 2.7L motor creates a total of 335 horsepower at 5,500 PM with 380 lb-ft. of torque at 3,000RPM. And yes, with more power comes a higher cost to keep the engine running, as the twin-turbo engine commands premium fuel, as opposed to regular fuel required for the regular 3.7L variant.
Ratings for the both engines are rather similar, though the 2.7L comes out on top yet again with better mileage than the 3.7L. With fuel ratings of 14.1L/100km city and 9.7L/100km highway, the MKX stays true to its manufacturer figures as we averaged 14.1L/100km with much of our testing taking place on city streets.
Power delivery is smooth thanks to the six-speed automatic gearbox, paired with an all-wheel-drive system to help keep drivers in line during questionable driving conditions. While the drive is smooth and impressively quiet from inside the cabin, there is one flaw that stands out as rather disappointing; the turning radius thanks to variable ratio electric power steering. This seems to be an issue across much of the Ford/Lincoln model lineup, with turning circles being abysmally large. When attempting to make a U-turn, or the MKX fails miserably unless the road in question is extremely wide. If you’re one that enjoys making tight maneuvers, the MKX certainly is not the ride for you.
The steering wheel itself seems disproportionally small when compared to the space within the cabin. The cabin itself of the MKX aims to be luxurious, and does an adequate job of this, but there are some cost-cutting bits evident The Hazelnut leather found throughout our tester speaks to the luxurious nature of the SUV, though the presence of cheaper plastics take away from what the satin wood finish and leather have to offer.
Lincoln is also following suit in the new trend of changing how drivers select gears. Where the conventional levers and shift knobs are being replaced by rotary knobs and buttons, Lincoln has decided to opt for the latter. Though, their version of button-shifting forces you to plat a short game of Where’s Waldo before setting off. The Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, and Sport drive select buttons are well hidden on the centre stack to the left of the media display.
While this layout keeps the design of the centre console fluid, it’s almost too fluid, as these buttons can easily be mistaken for media controls by those who aren’t aware of their placement. A Lincoln adapted version of SYNC3 is utilized as the infotainment system, and as per usual it fails to disappoint. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for additional connectivity in the 2017 MKX. Safety features include a reverse camera, along with a split screen 360-degree camera for navigating tight spaces, BLIS with cross-traffic alert, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag, SOS post-crash alert system, glove-box door integrated knee airbag, and the list goes on.
Truth be told, the 2017 Lincoln MKX AWD comes off as a Ford Edge wearing a fancy tuxedo. With that tuxedo comes a fancy price tag. As tested our MKX hit $68,575, a hefty price for what you get, though it’s worth noting that incentives at the dealer level would bring this down considerably. A similarly equipped Ford Edge Sport AWD with a 2.7L Ecoboost V6 nearly $15,000 less than this. While this new MKX takes a step in the right direction, the aggressive competition from Lexus and Volkswagen, along with the Cadillac XT5 (reviewed here) keep things very close in the segment.
2017 Lincoln MKX AWD Gallery
2016 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury