Test Drive Notes Library
- This is a very well-padded Ford Escape. The interior is luxury-car plush. The seats are extremely comfortable, the materials all feel high quality, and interior feels quiet and solid.
- The MKC continues the trend of smaller luxury. Used to be that luxury cars were all big cars. Now you don’t have to pilot a boat to have your butt pampered, and get all of the luxury amenities and safety features that you want. You want heated power mirrors? We knew you did. Heated and cooled Venetian-leather 10-way power seats? We thought so. An alcantara headliner under your panoramic sunroof? Check! All in a smallish vehicle.
- The MKC is a nice, compact size, providing adequate room in the back seat and a modest amount of room for cargo behind that. Fold the rear seat down and you can lug home all the cases of chardonnay you can possibly drink.
- The 2.3 liter eco-boost four-cylinder, turbo-charged engine is extremely powerful. It’s rated at 285hp. But what you need to know is that this car goes when you step on it. There’s no delay, no lack of oomph anywhere. The six-speed transmission operates transparently (just how we like our automatic transmissions in luxury cars). This car has power and a smooth drivetrain.
- Available with most of the safety equipment you should have, including a standard rear view camera that worked well. The Black Label MKC comes with blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert. The $2,300 MKC Technology Package adds forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. No automatic emergency braking, unfortunately.
- Sync 3 system is miles better than the previous Sync 2, also known as MyLincoln Touch. The new touchscreen with lots of hard button options is intuitive, easy to operate, and easy to understand. It even works.
- The Black Label thing includes some optional equipment, some exclusive labels, and some Black-Label-Club-only services, like getting your car washed at the dealership anytime you want. Now, if you can find the Lincoln dealer in downtown Manhattan, maybe you can drop it off for a car wash while you go to dinner and the theater, thereby not only getting your car cleaned, but saving $120 in parking!
- Mileage was not bad. The all-wheel-drive MKC is rated at 18 city, 26 highway. We got a little over 23 mpg in more-highway-than-city driving.
Test Drive Notes Library
- The passenger compartment seems oddly detached from the chassis. The Ford Escape, on which the MKC is based, is a pretty good-handling little crossover. But in order to coddle the MKC riders in luxury, we guess they put such soft bushings in there that when the MKC turns, it takes a second for the passenger compartment to catch up. It’s an odd feeling that none of the optional suspension settings was able to eliminate. The MKC is utterly smooth and isolating when going straight on smooth pavement, but take a corner or hit a bump and the body rolls.
- Early reports of unreliability have plagued the MKC. We don’t see enough of them in the shop to confirm it, but the major consumer magazine that tracks these things shows a lot of red circles in its first year. It’s something to keep an eye on.
- Lincoln has adopted a push-button shifter system that lines up push-buttons for P-R-N-D-and-L vertically down the left side of the center touch screen. All the buttons are the same size and shape. So it eliminates your ability to operate the shifter by feel, and it’s pretty easy to press the wrong button. We were once in the middle of the three-point u-turn, and hit Park instead of Reverse. Of course, straddling the opposite lane of traffic wasn’t a good place to Park. It seems like a gimmick, and not a particularly good one.
- The price seems somewhat, how shall we put this? Outrageous. Yes, it’s the top trim level, and yes, you can get all the free car washes you want. But $57,900 for the smallest Lincoln crossover? If they straightened out the relationship between the turning wheels and the passenger compartment, it’d be a pretty darned nice car. But even then, at $10,000 less, you’d have to shop around before pulling the trigger.
Get the Car Talk Newsletter