- Modern yet classic styling
- Long list of standard features
- Quiet ride
- Front-seat comfort
- Heated rear seats
- Long braking distances
- Not the sharpest handling
- Interior not quite equal to class best
Lincoln has a long road back to regaining its status as a meaningful luxury brand, and the 2008 MKX is a step in the right direction.
All new in 2007, the mid-size, five-passenger 2008 Lincoln MKX crossover didn't change much for this model year. Throughout 2007, the MKX has been a strong seller for Ford's luxury Lincoln brand. For 2008, the mechanical essentials are largely carried over--but the suave interior gets another helping of features and technology.
The standard running gear for the MKX--like that of the sister vehicle, the Ford Edge--includes a 3.5-liter, 263-horsepower V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive an option. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and side and curtain airbags.
For 2008, the MKX's new standard features include Sirius Satellite Radio; heated and cooled front seats with memory positions and lumbar adjustments; and a reverse-sensing system. Ford's SYNC system, which uses Bluetooth connectivity and a touch screen to control communications and entertainment, is also standard.
Standout optional features include a full-length Vista sunroof, adaptive projector-beam headlights that pivot as the MKX turns, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker 600-watt THX audio system with surround sound, and a DVD-based GPS navigation system. A new Limited Package is also available as an option. It features 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome door handles, ebony wood accents, and premium leather seats with black leather and light piping. A Monochrome Limited Edition Package offers the same gear with black paint and a monochrome grille.
On the road, the performance of the 2008 Lincoln MKX is highlighted by good steering. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration runs generate numbers in the mid-eight-second range, which isn't bad, but it won't make you feel like heading to the drag strip. Reviews have raised concerns about the braking system on the MKX, for braking feel and for relatively long stopping distances. On the bright side, the MKX has also received impressive crash test ratings.
The Lexus RX 350 was the bogie for Lincoln, and the gang from Michigan did create a crossover that is more engaging to drive than the Lexus. However, the 2008 Lincoln MKX can't match the level of refinement achieved by the RX 350. One downside of the RX 350's success is that Lexus sells so many of them (over 100,000 per year), you're likely to see yourself coming and going as you visit the upscale suburban shopping malls.