2009 Lincoln MKX Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
May 3, 2009

The 2009 Lincoln MKX lives up to its luxury-brand promise, with a classy American style.

TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2009 Lincoln MKX and reports with firsthand driving experience and market insight here in this Bottom Line. TheCarConnection.com also researched reviews on the new 2009 Lincoln MKX to compare it with other vehicles in its class.

The MKX has proven a popular model for Ford's luxury Lincoln brand. On the 2009 Lincoln MKX, the essentials are largely carried over, but some new features are tacked on for good measure.

The standard running gear for the MKX—like that of its 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, and all-wheel drive is optional. 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.

On the road, the performance of the 2009 Lincoln MKX is highlighted by good steering. Reviews have raised concerns about the braking system on the MKX, citing its braking feel and its relatively long stopping distances.

Review continues below

Inside, the 2009 Lincoln MKX has exceptionally comfortable front seats, good forward visibility, and comfortable second-row seating. Ride quality is quite smooth, and the cabin is just as quiet as that of most other luxury SUVs. Unlike many vehicles in its class, there’s no third-row seating option, and interior materials for the dash and door trims may feel a little skimpy for those with high expectations.

The MKX's standard features include Sirius Satellite Radio with Sirius Travel Link; heated and cooled front seats with memory positions and lumbar adjustments; and a reverse-sensing system. New for 2009 are a standard power liftgate, universal garage-door opener, and cargo hooks. Ford's SYNC system, which uses Bluetooth connectivity and a touch screen to control communications and entertainment, is also standard. For 2009, SYNC has two new features: Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist.

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 are among the many optional features.

Safety features on the 2009 Lincoln MKX include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and side and curtain airbags. The MKX also achieves impressive crash-test ratings.

8

2009 Lincoln MKX

Styling

The 2009 Lincoln MKX is nice on the outside—but the interior disappoints, especially at this price.

The 2009 Lincoln MKX is a nice-looking offering from the outside, but reviewers aren’t nearly as universally impressed by the interior’s styling.

Kelley Blue Book calls the exterior of the Lincoln MKX 2009 "handsome," sporting "high-shouldered, flare-fendered flanks" and "edge-to-edge LEDs across the liftgate," and Edmunds feels that the Lincoln MKX "looks elegant, with tasteful yet eye-catching exterior styling." In short, the exterior of the 2009 Lincoln MKX is nothing if not distinct. ForbesAutos says that the "MKX distinguishes itself from boxier-looking SUVs with a more stylish exterior" that features a "sleek roofline that sweeps gracefully rearward"—somewhat at odds with Autoblog's description of the MKX's "very muscular stance, kind of like a British bulldog." Reviewers at Car and Driver "dig the full-width brake light," while those at Edmunds find them "particularly striking."

Unfortunately, the interior of the 2009 Lincoln MKX is somewhat disappointing. ConsumerGuide praises the interior as "upscale, if just a bit shy of the best in this class," and Autoblog likes the "clean and clutter free" dash and "real wood used liberally throughout the cabin"—but Car and Driver contends that the Lincoln MKX's interior "isn't even in the same league, much less ballpark, as its luxury competition." They take particular offense with the "acres of silver plastic." Cars.com also disapproves of parts of the interior, especially the "satin nickel," which is "Lincoln's name for the metal-like finish on the center control panels."

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2009 Lincoln MKX

Performance

The 2009 Lincoln MKX has a gutsy powertrain and good handling but falls a bit short in braking.

Some reviewers are disappointed that the 2009 Lincoln MKX offers only one engine choice. Fortunately, it's a pretty decent one.

ConsumerGuide finds that the 3.5-liter V-6 powering the 2009 Lincoln MKX provides "smooth, linear power for good around-town response." That's high praise—especially considering how much the 2009 Lincoln MKX weighs. Kelley Blue Book agrees, claiming that they find the Lincoln MKX's "acceleration subjectively excellent from rest or almost any speed." Autoblog generally concurs, though it notes that the MKX's performance "won't stir your soul." Reviewers at Cars.com love the "six-speed automatic" linked to the engine and "have no complaints about the character of the acceleration or how quickly the transmission...responds to the demands of a fidgety right foot."

The EPA estimates that the 2009 Lincoln MKX will return 16 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway for the front-wheel-drive version, and Edmunds notes that "all-wheel drive reduces mileage by only 1 highway mpg."

There are unfortunately a few key performance areas where the 2009 Lincoln MKX leaves a lot to be desired. Cars.com is disappointed in the braking and says "the pedal is mushy and needs more pressure than it should." Edmunds refers (generously) to stopping in the Lincoln MKX 2009 as "an adventure," finding that the "MKX took 146 feet to stop from 60 mph," a distance that is "much longer than virtually every other luxury crossover."

Despite the braking problems, the Lincoln MKX 2009 redeems itself in terms of handling and driving characteristics. Autoblog also loves the 2009 Lincoln MKX here, finding that road imperfections are "soaked up very well by the Lincoln's fully independent suspension." Cars.com appreciates that "the steering feels natural and the center of gravity is low, providing a grounded feeling." ConsumerGuide credits the comfortable suspension with keeping the MKX feeling "confident and controlled," although "body lean and noseplow are evident in brisk cornering."

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2009 Lincoln MKX

Comfort & Quality

The 2009 Lincoln MKX has disappointing materials inside, but it’s comfortable.

The 2009 Lincoln MKX generally lives up to its luxury moniker when it comes to comfort and quality, although few reviewers are impressed with the materials and surfaces.

The Lincoln MKX is a crossover with room for five to sit comfortably. Autoblog finds that "the seats are a particular treat" and make "a suitable throne from which to pilot" the Lincoln MKX. ConsumerGuide adores the Lincoln MKX 2009's "ample legroom" and "exceptionally comfortable" seats up front, while also noting "plenty of room for most any individual" in the back. Headroom is decent, but ConsumerGuide feels that "taller occupants may want more head clearance beneath the housing for the panoramic roof."

In the back, "the 60/40-split second-row seat provides impressive roominess in all dimensions." However, Edmunds notes that the 2009 Lincoln MKX "provides less cargo space than most other luxury crossovers, and there is no third-row option." Cargo space is good up front in the 2009 Lincoln MKX, where Kelley Blue Book says you will find a "large, deep console box" with the ability to "accommodate CDs, purses or laptop computers."

ConsumerGuide observes that the Lincoln MKX 2009 "makes wise use of padded surfaces and genuine wood trim," and Kelley Blue Book claims that "this may be the quietest Lincoln ever built." But the 2009 Lincoln MKX loses some points when it comes to build materials. Although Autoblog deems "the real wood" on the interior "both attractive and friendly to the fingers," Car and Driver simply cannot find any way to appreciate the "acres of silver plastic."

9

2009 Lincoln MKX

Safety

The 2009 Lincoln MKX is one of the safest vehicles on the road today.

The 2009 Lincoln MKX's safety features and ratings are extremely reassuring.

In government tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards the Lincoln MKX 2009 five stars for driver protection and four stars for passenger protection during front crash tests, as well as five stars for side-impact crashes. The Lincoln MKX 2009 also earns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top scores in frontal, side, and rear impact tests. Additionally, the Lincoln MKX drives away with an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Cars.com points out that the Lincoln MKX features a "better rollover rating" than the very safe Volvo XC90, which shares the 2009 Lincoln MKX's Roll Stability Control system.

Kelley Blue Book notes the 2009 Lincoln MKX's standard "four-wheel disc four-channel anti-lock brakes, traction control...and six airbags." ForbesAutos highlights the "plentiful" safety systems on the Lincoln MKX 2009 and describes the standard "AdvanceTrak stability control system" as using "brake and accelerator intervention to help keep all four wheels firmly planted."

Visibility out the front of the Lincoln MKX, Car and Driver declares, "is fantastic." Aiding nighttime visibility are "adaptive halogen headlamps" that move in the direction of a turn, providing increased illumination, according to Cars.com.

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2009 Lincoln MKX

Features

The 2009 Lincoln MKX packs plenty throughout—although a few items are lacking from the standard features list.

The 2009 Lincoln MKX offers the expected list of features for a car of this class—that is, a very long one.

Edmunds claims that the Lincoln MKX 2009 "comes with more standard features than its pricier competitors," highlighted by "Ford's impressive new Sync system," which "allows for drivers to control communication and entertainment devices...via voice commands," and a "reverse parking system." For 2009, the SYNC system adds a Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist. Kelley Blue Book refers to the Lincoln MKX as "nicely-equipped."

While many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com gush over the standard list of features in the Lincoln MKX 2009, reviewers at Cars.com find "substantial oversights," most notably the lack of "xenon headlights, rearview cameras and cargo covers." New for 2009 are Sirius Travel Link, a standard power liftgate, a universal garage-door opener, and cargo hooks.

For those looking for optional equipment, the 2009 Lincoln MKX does offer what Autoblog calls a "superb" touch-screen navigation system and an upgraded 14-speaker THX-certified audio system that leaves those at Autoblog "very impressed" with the acoustics aboard the Lincoln MKX 2009. New for 2009 is an Ultimate Package that includes many popular features.

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