2010 Lincoln MKX Review

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Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
January 15, 2010

The 2010 Lincoln MKX lives up to its luxury aspirations, offering a classy take on American style.

TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2010 Lincoln MKX and reported its firsthand experiences and market comparisons here in the Bottom Line. TheCarConnection.com also researched reviews from around the Web on the 2010 Lincoln MKX to compare it with other vehicles in its class.

The Lincoln MKX has proven to be a success for Ford's luxury brand. Most of the core features of the previous model are carried over on the 2010 Lincoln MKX, though a few new features and a small rise in fuel economy add value to the vehicle.

Built around the same mechanical elements as the Ford Edge, the 2010 MKX also shares the same standard powertrain: a 3.5-liter, 263-horsepower V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the standard configuration, though all-wheel drive is available. Acceleration is swift but not sporty, with average 0-60 mph times in the mid-eight-second range.

Behind the wheel, the 2010 Lincoln MKX offers good steering feel, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's a performance vehicle. Reviews raise concerns about the MKX's lack of brake feel and relatively long stopping distance.

Review continues below

Inside, front passengers will find exceptionally comfortable seats in the 2010 Lincoln MKX, while the driver gets good forward visibility, and the rear seats offer comfortable seating as well. Smooth ride quality and a whisper-quiet cabin fit right in with the MKX's luxury SUV class. There's no third-row seating option, unlike many SUVs in the class, and interior materials for the dash and door trims can feel a little skimpy for those with high standards.

The MKX's generous base features include Sirius Satellite Radio with Sirius Travel Link; a reverse-sensing system; and heated and cooled front seats with memory positions and lumbar adjustments. A standard power liftgate, universal garage-door opener, and cargo hooks were added in 2009, while 2010 sees integrated blind spot mirrors as standard. Ford's SYNC system, which uses Bluetooth connectivity and a touch screen to control communications and entertainment, is also standard.

A full-length Vista sunroof, adaptive steering-sensitive projector-beam headlights, 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. New additions for 2010 include a Limited Edition Package that fits the MKX with premium leather seats, cashmere trim, and charcoal black piping. A new Midnight Limited Edition package adds Tuxedo Black Metallic paint with a body-color grille, etched headlight lenses featuring the Lincoln Star, and 22-inch polished alloy wheels.

Standard safety features on the 2010 Lincoln MKX include traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, and side and curtain airbags. The MKX also achieves impressive crash-test ratings, earning a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

8

2010 Lincoln MKX

Styling

The interior of the 2010 Lincoln MKX fails to live up to its attractive exterior, making for an unbalanced package.

The 2010 Lincoln MKX offers plenty to like from the outside, but the interior leaves reviewers unimpressed.

Kelley Blue Book finds the 2010 Lincoln MKX's "handsome" exterior is enhanced by "high-shouldered, flare-fendered flanks" and "edge-to-edge LEDs across the liftgate." Edmunds agrees, noting MKX "looks elegant, with tasteful yet eye-catching exterior styling." Autoblog describes the MKX's look as a "very muscular stance, kind of like a British bulldog." Car and Driver's reviewers "dig the full-width brake light," while again Edmunds agrees, finding them "particularly striking."

The interior of the 2010 Lincoln MKX unfortunately doesn't live up to the promise of the exterior. Autoblog sees the positive, noting the "clean and clutter free" dash and "real wood used liberally throughout the cabin"-but Car and Driver argues that the Lincoln MKX's interior "isn't even in the same league, much less ballpark, as its luxury competition," taking particular offense to the "acres of silver plastic." ConsumerGuide sees the interior as "upscale, if just a bit shy of the best in this class, while Cars.com also finds parts of the interior lacking, especially the "satin nickel," which is "Lincoln's name for the metal-like finish on the center control panels."

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2010 Lincoln MKX

Performance

The 2010 Lincoln MKX has a strong, if not brawny, powertrain and solid handling but stops short of the full package due to weak braking.

Though some reviewers would prefer more than one engine choice for the 2010 Lincoln MKX, most find it to be a good one.

ConsumerGuide finds that the 3.5-liter V-6 moving the 2010 Lincoln MKX provides "smooth, linear power for good around-town response." That's high praise-especially considering how much the 2010 Lincoln MKX weighs. Kelley Blue Book agrees, asserting the Lincoln MKX's "acceleration subjectively excellent from rest or almost any speed." Autoblog balances that, saying the MKX's performance "won't stir your soul." Reviewers at Cars.com praise the "six-speed automatic," 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 2010 Lincoln MKX will return 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway for the front-wheel-drive version, an increase of 1 mpg each over the 2009 model, while the all-wheel-drive version scores 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway, up 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

Not all is rosy with the MKX's performance, however. Edmunds kindly calls stopping in the Lincoln MKX 2010 "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." Cars.com is also disappointed in the braking, saying "the pedal is mushy and needs more pressure than it should."

Despite difficulties under braking, the Lincoln MKX 2010 redeems itself with favorable handling and driving characteristics. Cars.com says that "the steering feels natural and the center of gravity is low, providing a grounded feeling." Autoblog lauds the 2010 Lincoln MKX on this point as well, finding that bumps and potholes are "soaked up very well by the Lincoln's fully independent suspension." ConsumerGuide finds the ride of the 2010 MKX to be "confident and controlled," although "body lean and noseplow are evident in brisk cornering."

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2010 Lincoln MKX

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Lincoln MKX is comfortable despite lackluster materials choices.

The 2010 Lincoln MKX offers a mixed bag when it comes to luxury accommodations, with comfort and convenience ranking high, but materials quality falling short.

The Lincoln MKX is five-passenger crossover, with no option for third-row seating. ConsumerGuide welcomes the 2010 MKX's "ample legroom" and "exceptionally comfortable" seats up front, while also finding "plenty of room for most any individual" in the back. Autoblog agrees that "the seats are a particular treat" and make "a suitable throne from which to pilot" the Lincoln MKX. Headroom is good, but ConsumerGuide feels that "taller occupants may want more head clearance beneath the housing for the panoramic roof."

Further back, "the 60/40-split second-row seat provides impressive roominess in all dimensions." On the other hand, Edmunds states that the 2010 Lincoln MKX "provides less cargo space than most other luxury crossovers, and there is no third-row option." There's no shortage of storage for front-seat passengers in the 2010 Lincoln MKX, thanks to the "large, deep console box," which can "accommodate CDs, purses or laptop computers," according to Kelley Blue Book.

Kelley Blue Book also praises cabin noise levels, noting "this may be the quietest Lincoln ever built." ConsumerGuide likes how the 2010 Lincoln MKX "makes wise use of padded surfaces and genuine wood trim." Build materials give rise to some criticism, with Car and Driver unable to appreciate the "acres of silver plastic," though Autoblog deems "the real wood" interior trim "both attractive and friendly to the fingers."

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2010 Lincoln MKX

Safety

The 2010 Lincoln MKX is one of the safest vehicles on the road today.

The 2010 Lincoln MKX's safety features and ratings are extremely reassuring.

In government tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards the Lincoln MKX 2010 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 2010 also earns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top scores in frontal, side, and rear impact tests. Additionally, the Lincoln MKX earned a Top Safety Pick award in 2009, though it didn't make the cut with the updated standards in 2010.

Cars.com points out that the Lincoln MKX features a "better rollover rating" than the very safe Volvo XC90, which shares the 2010 Lincoln MKX's Roll Stability Control system.

Kelley Blue Book notes the 2010 Lincoln MKX's standard "four-wheel disc four-channel anti-lock brakes, traction control...and six airbags." 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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2010 Lincoln MKX

Features

The 2010 Lincoln MKX packs plenty throughout-although a few items are missing from the standard features list.

The 2010 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 2010 "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 2010, 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 2010, reviewers at Cars.com find "substantial oversights," most notably the lack of "xenon headlights, rearview cameras and cargo covers." New for 2010 are Sirius Travel Link, a standard power liftgate, a universal garage-door opener, and cargo hooks.

For those looking for optional equipment, the 2010 Lincoln MKX does offer what Autoblog calls a "superb" touch-screen navigation system and an upgraded 14-speaker THX-certified audio system that leaves Autoblog "very impressed" with the acoustics aboard the Lincoln MKX 2010. New for 2010 is an Ultimate Package that includes many popular features.

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Styling 8.0
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