We drive the new Lincoln MKC

Lincoln MKC
Lincoln MKC

In the old days Lincolns were presidential cars. They were cars that we aspired get to when we made it financially and wanted to show that we have arrived. Today Lincoln seems to have lost its identity and nobody is sure of where they stand.

Lincoln is definitely a luxury brand but at what level is the question. It is an even more difficult question as many upper level brands such as Mercedes Benz are introducing less expensive cars. The cheapest Lincoln is actually more expensive than the cheapest Mercedes Benz today.

Marketing Lincoln is one thing but we recently got a chance to test the entry level MKC and wanted to see how it feels. The MKC went on sale in 2014 and represents an important milestone as Lincoln tries to expand its product lineup.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]While under the skin the MKC is a Ford Escape, there have been many changes to try to distinguish the MKC as its own separate model. The MKC gives Lincoln a compelling offering in the small premium utility vehicle segment, the fastest-growing part of the luxury market. The segment has grown by 25 percent since 2012 and by more than 200 percent since 2009. Lincoln needs to increase sales and the MKC seems like a perfect vehicle for the job.

The first thing that the Lincoln team needed to do was to come up with a body design that fits the requirements while working with the existing Escape chassis.

It had to have the Lincoln DNA with an athletic appearance while displaying its luxury mission. The unique Lincoln split grille certainly distinguishes the MKC from other similar vehicles.

Beautiful leather interior
Beautiful leather interior

The best feature of the MKC has to be the interior where the theme is high tech and warm luxury. There is lots of leather and wood accompanied by many standard features.

To underscore its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, Lincoln turned to Bridge of Weir Fine Scottish Leather for its interior. Bridge of Weir products have appeared in Lincolns dating back to the 1950s.

Deepsoft leather is a premium, naturally milled leather, crafted from the cattle hides in northern Europe. It delivers on its promise with a very soft and rich feel that makes you want to stay inside the MKC for a long time.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Our other favorite feature of the MKC is the awesome THX II certified audio system. It uses 14 speakers, some of which that are designed and shaped specifically for this vehicle. The system sounds like you are sitting inside a concert hall.

While you can get a Ford Escape with your choice of a 2.5 liter four cylinder, a 1.6 liter turbo or a 2.0 liter turbo engine, the Lincoln is only offered with the 2.0 turbo motor or a 2.3 liter turbo that is not available on the Escape.

The 2.0 liter puts out a solid 240 hp but the 2.3 liter ups the ante to a hefty 285 hp. The engine is assembled in Valencia, Spain and uses twin cams, 16 valves, variable cam timing, direct injection and 9.5:1 compression ratio to extract as much power as possible while getting 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Lincoln must feel that 285 hp is too much for front wheel drive. While the 2.0 liter is available with your choice of front wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the 2.3 liter engine is only available with Lincoln’s Intelligent AWD.

The Intelligent AWD system also includes Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD). Drivers can select from sport, comfort and normal drive modes to cater to their driving mood. CCD constantly monitors the road and the suspension reacts on average within 20 milliseconds, providing a smooth ride with enhanced handling.

Plenty of cargo space
Plenty of cargo space

A luxury car would not be taken seriously if it did not have the latest in safety systems and the MKC has a bunch of those.

The MKC offers advanced technology such as collision warning with brake support, a Lane-Keeping System and driver assist to help less capable drivers avoid common accidents. The collision warning system is designed to alert the driver if it detects a potential front-end crash. The system issues an audible alert in the cabin, a visual alert on the windshield and automatic brake assist sensitivity.

The MKC introduces available park-out assist technology, a feature that enhances the vehicle’s active park assist capabilities. Where active park assist helps guide drivers into tight parallel parking situations, park-out assist steers drivers out of tight parking spots. Now you don’t have to worry about learning how to park your car or worrying about getting into a collision. You can just focus on the important stuff like texting!

The Lane-Keeping System uses rearview mirror-mounted cameras to identify lane markers and help drivers avoid unintentionally straying from their lane. The MKC also offers a Blind Spot Information System, which continuously monitors the vehicle’s blind spots with radar sensors, and cross-traffic alert, which detects traffic as the vehicle backs from a parking space.

Lincoln has gone to great lengths to provide a vehicle worthy of a Lincoln badge. Considering the amount of technology on the car, the MKC prices are remarkable. The base 2.0 FWD starts out at $33,995. The top of the line Reserve 2.3 liter AWD will set you back $44,565. There will be a model in between those two that is right for most people. The MKC is a good sign that Lincoln is headed in the right direction.

SPECIFICATIONS

Styles Base Black Label
Starting MSRP $33,100 $46,205
Body Exterior Base Black Label
Number of doors:4
Power door mirrors
Trailer hitch receiver $645 $645
Dual exhaust
Heated door mirrors
Turn signal indicator mirrors $3,410
Spoiler
Rear cargo Base Black Label
Power liftgate $495
Liftgate
Convenience Features Base Black Label
Air conditioning
Automatic temperature control
Power moonroof $1,700
Memory seat
Speed control
Distance pacing cruise control $2,295 $2,295
Power front windows
Remote keyless entry
Heated steering wheel $580 $580
Tilt steering wheel
Telescoping steering wheel
Auto tilt-away steering wheel $7,110
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Garage door transmitter $3,410
Integrated navigation system $1,100
Front beverage holders
Rear beverage holders
Entertainment Features Base Black Label
AM/FM radio
CD player
MP3 decoder
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
Premium audio system $995 $995
Speakers Base Black Label
14 $995 $995
10
Lighting, Visibility and Instrumentation Base Black Label
Fully automatic headlights
Delay-off headlights
Front fog lights
Variably intermittent wipers
Rain sensing wipers $580 $580
Rear window wiper
Rear window defroster
Trip computer
Tachometer
Compass
Outside temperature display
Low tire pressure warning
Reverse sensing system Base Black Label
Rear
Automated $2,295 $2,295
Powertrain Base Black Label
Block heater
Fuel tank capacity:15.5gal.
Compressor:intercooled turbo
Cylinder configuration:I-4
Variable valve control
Recommended fuel:premium unleaded
Transmission:6 speed automatic
Sequential sport shift
Number of valves:16
Limited slip differential
Drive type Base Black Label
Front-wheel
All-wheel drive
Engine liters Base Black Label
2.0
2.3
Fuel economy city Base Black Label
20mpg
19mpg
Fuel economy highway Base Black Label
29mpg
26mpg
Horsepower Base Black Label
285hp @ 5,500RPM
240hp @ 5,500RPM
Torque Base Black Label
270 lb.-ft. @ 3,000RPM
305 lb.-ft. @ 2,750RPM
Safety and Security Base Black Label
Electronic stability
Security system
Immobilizer
Panic alarm
Occupant sensing airbag
Traction control
Overhead airbag
Dual front side impact airbags
Dual front impact airbags
Brake assist
ABS brakes
Knee airbag
Seats and Trim Base Black Label
Heated rear seats $580 $580
Genuine wood dashboard insert $3,410
Leather upholstery $3,410
Rear seat center armrest
Split folding rear seat
Rear seats:split-bench
Front center armrest
Ventilated front seats $7,110
Heated front seats
Power passenger seat
Power driver seat
Front seats:bucket
Max. seating capacity:5
Suspension/Handling Base Black Label
Power steering
Four wheel independent suspension
Speed-sensing steering
Alloy wheels
Adaptive suspension $650
Front tires Base Black Label
255/40VR20.0 BSW
235/45VR19.0 BSW $545
245/45VR19.0 BSW
235/50HR18.0 BSW
Rear tires Base Black Label
235/45VR19.0 BSW $545
235/50HR18.0 BSW
245/45VR19.0 BSW
255/40VR20.0 BSW
Maintenance warranty Base Black Label
24 months/24,000miles
48 months/50,000miles

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