There’s no question the Lincoln design team crafted an aesthete’s crossover. An exquisite exterior and handsome cabin. It’s not quite as athletic as its latest German rivals but it can hold pace. The interior makes an impression with quality materials and dazzling design. It’s definitely not your dad’s Lincoln. Unless, of course, your dad is cool and happens to be Matthew McConaughey.
The MKC is ambitiously priced with a few thousand of many top rivals like the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC 300, and Jaguar F-Pace. In many cases, it offers more features for the money than a comparably priced competitor.
Upgrading to the 2.3 Liter engine delivers proportionate performance but raises the price to German levels. While it may beat some to sixty, it doesn’t deliver the same solid feeling suspension and steering feedback found in the Audi Q5, let alone Porsche Macan that’s just a few thousand more.
However, the biggest problem for the value conversation doesn’t come from the Germans, rather the corporate sibling that shares the same platform. The Ford Escape is lighter and as quick in 2-liter form. It handles much better while offering many of the same features for thousands less. If you don’t care about
If you don’t care about brand cache, the Escape Titanium with 2.0 EcoBoost is a better buy. If you do, you probably wouldn’t regret shelling out a few thousand more for a Benz or Jaguar.
Two turbocharged engines are available in the MKC. The first, a 2 Liter EcoBoost inline 4 cylinder makes 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft, is standard on all trims. The second, a 2.3 Liter turbocharged inline 4 cylinder makes 285 horses and 305 lb-ft of torque and is only available on Reserve or higher trims for a ~$3,500 dollar premium.
Both are mated to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Power is either transferred to the front or all wheels. All-Wheel-Drive models receive Lincoln Control suspension with electronically controlled dampers and can be added to FWD models at additional cost. Both suspensions are smooth if a bit on the soft side.
We thought the MKC would build on the sporty handling escape but not so much. Still, the ride is cushier and will be appreciated by those who drive leisurely. The 2 Liter model does zero to sixty in about 7.2 seconds, while the 2.3 Liter MKC will do it in 6.6. These are respectable numbers for a compact luxury SUV! The second is quicker than a Q5 2.0T, an SUV well-loved for its performance prowess.
We’d go for the AWD models if you plan on driving briskly. The soft suspension causes the weight to shift back under hard acceleration, causing excessive wheel spin in curves. Fuel economy is strong at 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for the 2.0. The 2.3 Liter receives one or two less mpgs, respectively.
The brakes and grip are excellent. We think the MKC is an impressive performing alternative to many in the segment but once you move up the trim levels, a well-equipped German rival starts to make more sense.
Upon entering the MKC, the first thing we notice is the clean center console. Lincoln eschews a traditional gear shift for push buttons mounted next to the infotainment screen. Thankfully, Ford’s supreme SYNC 3 system replaces the Lincoln system found in earlier models. The system is simple to use with smartphone-like functionality and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
An integrated rearview camera is standard, which is necessary due to the MKC’s poor rearward visibility. Higher trims receive real wood trim and Bridge of Weir leather surfaces to class up the cabin. Larger drivers may find the driver’s quarters cramped by the center console and awkward seating position.
Rear seats aren’t a whole lot more spacious but they suit the SUV’s size. The low bottom cushions don’t support thighs well and legroom is tight. The reclining seatbacks provide a modicum of comfort but there are better second rows in the segment.
The interior is quieter than a university library during spring break, thanks to the standard active noise canceling. Cargo capacity is less impressive, with just 25.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 53.1 overall.
The power liftgate makes accessing the hatch easy, even more so with the hands-free option. The MKC has a high-quality interior that saves you money when compared to German rivals but it’s more suitable as a personal SUV than a busy family with hauling needs.
The MKC is sexy or maybe it’s just Matthew McConaughey behind the wheel. Either way, the MKC sports some serious appeal. The rear fascia is one of the most attractive derrieres on the market with bright finished dual exhaust tips below LEDs that stretch across the liftgate. It’s the widest part of the SUV, achieving an athletic stance. The side profile is perfectly sculpted and strikes us as similar to the Audi Q5, one of the best looking SUVs around. At the front, dual grilles melt into slickly designed headlamps. Unfortunately, LED running lamps aren’t standard on the base trim but can be purchased for $45. Below, a sharp lower bumper complements the SUV’s sporty profile. We think the MKC is one good-looking SUV, what do you think?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards the MKC a 4-star overall safety rating and 5-star side crash safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety only performed two crash tests, the moderate overlap front test and the side impact test.
Both receive “GOOD” ratings, the highest possible. Though they didn’t perform all tests on the MKC, they did on the sibling Ford Escape, which achieved “GOOD” ratings on all but the difficult small overlap front test.
We’d assume the MKC would perform similarly, as the two vehicles share the same architecture and likely the same exact safety components. The reason for the “ACCEPTABLE” small overlap rating in the Escape was that the head of the dummy traveled between the side airbag and front airbag to make contact with the dash and A pillar. However, there was no likelihood of a serious injury.
Additionally, the available front crash prevention technology is rated “BASIC” in both SUVs, the lowest rating possible. It may not be worth the extra money. Overall, the safety profile of the MKC is in line with industry standards and will perform about as well as any other SUV, though some are safer.
Consumer Reports and JD power differ greatly in their reliability ratings, with the former offering a 1 out of 5 predicted reliability rating and the latter offering a 4 out of 5 (2017 year model). Whose rating is more accurate?
Well. we did the research to try to find out for you. The MKC is based heavily on the Ford Escape that receives higher reliability scores from Consumer Reports and a lower score from JD Power, further obfuscating matters.
According to the NHTSA, the initial release of the 2015 model was a rough one, with 7 recalls issued over the next few years. The first only affected 1,139 units and was issued for air bubbles in the windshield. The second was for a Fuel Delivery Module that may crack and only pertained to 301 vehicles. The third is issued for improper nickel plating of components within the fuel pump that may result in failure and affects 54,543, all of the 2015 models manufactured. 1,543 2.3 Liter equipped models have a faulty engine block heater that may cause a fire. Ford then recalled some 2,046,297 vehicles for faulty door latches that may break, causing the door to unexpectedly fly open. Lastly, some MKC models may have improperly manufactured bolts securing seats, seatbacks, seatbelt buckles, or seatbelt anchors. All these will, of course, be resolved by a Ford or Lincoln dealer at no cost to the owner.
If you're unsure as to whether your particular MKC is affected, run the VIN through the NHTSA website. Still, just 27 total complaints have been filed for all MKC models at the time of this writing, a low number considering over 20,000 units have been sold each year since the vehicle’s launch.
Most of the complaints are related to issues already discussed in the recalls. There are a few complaints of airbags failing to deploy in low speed accidents and a few more for sudden loss of power. The latter was caused by alternator failure, battery failure, or fuel pump failure at very low miles <25,000.
This amount of issues isn’t uncommon for most vehicles, so we think an average reliability rating is adequate for this SUV. We think a 3 out of 5 rating would more accurately reflect what you can expect from MKC ownership.
We’ve already explained why the Ford Escape offers a better value, so we won’t split hairs between the fraternal twins. Instead, we’ll compare the MKC to what you really want: the Mercedes Benz GLC 300. The Benz is powered by a similarly sized 2 Liter turbocharged inline four that makes 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque at just 1,300 rpm. The paddle shifting transmission provides smooth power delivery of all that force to either all 4 (4MATIC) or the rear wheels. That concert of modern physics propels this ute to sixty in a succinct six seconds. But that’s not even the beautiful part, it carves curves with the confidence of a C Class sedan. It might have something to do with sharing 70% of its parts including the powertrain and drivetrain. While many competitors claim to have “sedan-like” handling this is actually a sedan with an SUV shape. In addition, it shares the
The Benz is powered by a similarly sized 2 Liter turbocharged inline four that makes 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque at just 1,300 rpm. The paddle shifting transmission provides smooth power delivery of all that force to either all 4 (4MATIC) or the rear wheels. That concert of modern physics propels this ute to sixty in a succinct six seconds. But that’s not even the beautiful part, it carves curves with the confidence of a C Class sedan. It might have something to do with sharing 70% of its parts including the powertrain and drivetrain. While many competitors claim to have “sedan-like” handling this is actually a sedan with an SUV shape. In addition, it shares the
That concert of modern physics propels this ute to sixty in a succinct six seconds. But that’s not even the beautiful part, it carves curves with the confidence of a C Class sedan. It might have something to do with sharing 70% of its parts including the powertrain and drivetrain. While many competitors claim to have “sedan-like” handling this is actually a sedan with an SUV shape. In addition, it shares the award-winning interior of the C Class. That’s great news because this cabin is the benchmark of modern luxury. Sure ticking boxes on a Benz can get expensive quick but you’ll want for nothing in the plush base model out the door for just over $40k, about the price of a
While many competitors claim to have “sedan-like” handling this is actually a sedan with an SUV shape. In addition, it shares the award-winning interior of the C Class. That’s great news because this cabin is the benchmark of modern luxury. Sure ticking boxes on a Benz can get expensive quick but you’ll want for nothing in the plush base model out the door for just over $40k, about the price of a
Sure ticking boxes on a Benz can get expensive quick but you’ll want for nothing in the plush base model out the door for just over $40k, about the price of a mid-level trimmed MKC with the 2.3 Liter powertrain. Now we’re not telling you to buy the Benz over the Lincoln but in the words of the Lincoln spokesman himself: “It’d be a lot cooler if you did...”
The Lincoln MKC Premiere starts at $32,880 with a 2.0 Liter GTDI inline 4 cylinder engine with active grille shutters. A 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters transfers that power to either the front wheels or all wheels, if equipped. AdvanceTrac traction management system with roll stability control keeps the SUV under control, as does hill start assist, power 4-wheel anti-lock disc brake system with electronic parking brake, auto hold, and an electric power assisted steering system. The MKC rides on 18 inch painted aluminum wheels and includes a mini steel spare tire and wheel. There’s a 10-way power, heated driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar and memory function next to a 4-way power, heated front passenger seat with power recline. A 60/40 split bench second row completes the seating configuration while all seats are trimmed with Lincoln Luxury Soft Touch surfaces. An 8 inch LCD touchscreen manages the SYNC 3 infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio connected to a Lincoln Premium Audio system with 8 speakers and subwoofer.
Two smart charging USB ports keep your devices connected. Convenience features include Intelligent Access with push button start, push button shift, active noise control, cruise control, MyLincoln Mobile app, leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function controls, front and rear floor mats, MyKey, message center with compass, four grab handles, LED map lights, rear window defroster with washer and wiper, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, 4 12 volt powerpoints, manual tilt and telescoping steering column, dual illuminated front visor mirrors with ticket clip, one-touch-up-down front and rear windows, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler, intermittent speed-sensitive front windshield wipers, dual zone electronic automatic temperature control, cup holders, overhead console with sunglasses holder, and remote start system. Outside, there’s approach detection, body-color door handles, chrome dual exhaust tips, HID automatic headlamps with LED signature lamps, body-color exterior mirrors, integrated blind spot mirrors, heated, power dual sideview mirrors with memory function, reverse sensing system, LED taillamps, bright beltline molding, body color roof-mounted antenna, roof rack side rails, and a power liftgate. Privacy glass is standard on rear windows, and a laminated acoustic windshield and front door glass reduces road and wind noise. Standard safety features include a rear view camera, Personal Safety System, dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side impact airbags, Safety Canopy system with side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, tire pressure monitoring system, SOS Post-Crash Alert System, and Belt-Minder front safety belt reminder. A SecuriCode keyless entry keypad allows you to access the vehicle with a proprietary code. All Wheel Drive is installed for $2,410. Daytime running lamps cost $45 extra.
The Lincoln MKC Select trim begins at $35,880 and features Lincoln Drive Control suspension with continuously controlled damping, different 18 inch painted aluminum wheels, a 10-way power and heated front passenger seat with lumbar support, Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather-trimmed seating, retractable cargo cover, genuine wood trim on doors and instrument panel, ambient lighting, power tilt and telescoping steering column with memory function, universal garage door opener. On the exterior, configurable daytime running lamps are standard, as are autofold power sideview mirrors, LED mirror turn signal indicators, and an auto dimming driver’s side mirror. A 2.3 Liter GTDI inline 4 is available for $3,545. A class II trailer tow package is available for $645. Lincoln Drive Control can be added for $650. The Panoramic Vista Roof is a $1,700 dollar option. A $605 Climate Package adds heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, auto high beam headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and a windshield wiper de-icer. The THX II premium audio system with HD radio is just 50 dollars extra.
The $39,645 Reserve trim installs auto stop/start technology to save fuel, 18 inch bright machined aluminum wheels with dark stainless painted pockets, heated and ventilated front seats, Navigation with SiriusXM traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link, embedded modem for internet connectivity, 110 volt power inverter outlet, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, hands-free power liftgate, and a Panoramic Vista Roof with power shade. A 2.3 Liter GTDI inline 4 costs $3,550, 5 dollars more than the Select trim. A class II trailer tow package can be added for $555. The $2,295 Technology Package adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake support, active park assist with park out assist, forward sensing system, and lane keeping system.
The Black Label starts at $45,635 for the 2 Liter and $49,180 for the 2.3 Liter. Features include an Alcantara headliner and pillars, anti-allergenic interior, Venetian leather seating surfaces, Wollsdorf leather-wrapped steering wheel, torque vectoring control, Lincoln Experience, Black Label Badging, unique exterior trim pieces, and 19 inch premium Ebony painted aluminum wheels. The Black Label features distinct interior themes with exclusive materials and a host of membership privileges including a personal liaison who manages your ownership experience, complimentary anytime car washes, extended premium maintenance coverage, pickup and drop off services, and a curated list of "exceptional restaurants."