|Premiere||2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$31,688||$33,355|
|Select||2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$34,124||$36,110|
|Reserve||2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$37,586||$39,985|
|Black Label||2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$42,987||$45,975|
by John Tallodi
The Lincoln MKC has been around for a few years now and offers a compelling mix of luxury and comfort in the crowded compact SUV segment. It still looks thoroughly modern and for 2017 it increases its value proposition with an even larger standard features list and enhanced smartphone connectivity.
The Lincoln MKC is based on the somewhat less aspirational Ford Escape but few would guess this looking at the luxurious cabin. The dashboard mounted transmission controls free up some space between the front seats and general fit and finish is of a high standard, only some minor switchgear and controls fail to impress. The pricier German opposition may offer a more cohesive and slightly higher-quality interior overall but the MKC is not far behind.
While the expansive dashboard and spacious front row make longer journeys a pleasure, passengers in the rear may find their surrounding are a bit less accommodating. This applies to the cargo area as well and marks the MKC down against its rivals.
The MKC absorbs bumps and poor road surfaces with ease, it does not attempt to emulate the sporty compact SUV offerings when it comes to handling prowess and is the better for it. The available adaptive suspension on the top trim level further enhances the ride quality and the quiet cabin make for a relaxing driving experience. This relaxed manner in which it goes about its business unfortunately extends to the transmission too, its slow-witted responses can frustrate attempts at quick overtaking manoeuvres.
The MKC is available with either a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque or a slightly larger 2.3-liter with 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine is available in both front and all-wheel drive while the 2.3-liter unit is available solely as an all-wheel drive. Both are connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission which can be slow to respond but is smooth in operation. Stop/start technology helps with fuel economy in the city but is only an option on all-wheel drive models.
Despite the competitive outputs, performance is best described as leisurely, the larger 285 hp 2.3-liter engine is an improvement but still no match for most competitors’ offerings. This may not be a deal breaker for some shoppers but the frustrations of the non-linear responses from the gas pedal may well be.
Four trim levels are available on the MKC, in usual Lincoln style even the base Premiere trim comes packed with features. Some of the more notable are LED running lights, power liftgate, rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, a new for 2017 Sync 3 touchscreen system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Heated power front seats (8-way for the driver, 4-way for the passenger), leather upholstery and rear parking sensors are also part of the base package. The 2.3-liter engine option is not available with the Premiere trim level.
Select trim adds power-adjustable steering wheel, 8-way passenger power seat, cargo cover and auto-dimming mirrors. The Select Plus package adds a navigation system and blind-spot warning).
Reserve trim offers ventilated front seats and a hands-free power liftgate and the top Black Label trim adds 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension, upgraded interior upholstery and unique colour options. These two trims also open up some new options such as the Technology package which includes among other features, forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control.
All trim levels can be specified with the Climate Package while the top three trims are available with a 14-speaker THX II sound system.
The MKC continues to offer a luxury compact crossover motoring at a very competitive price point. A comfortable ride, quality interior and comprehensive equipment levels are its strong points although it is let down by tight rear passenger and cargo space as well as average performance.