2014 Lincoln MKX Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
August 18, 2014

The 2014 Lincoln MKX outdoes the Lexus RX in most respects; although MyLincoln Touch is at times a difficult companion.

The 2014 Lincoln MKX is one of the brand's most popular premium vehicles. The MKX's versatility and space make it a good choice in the premium-crossover niche, with its luxury features and its high seating position.

A rival for the likes of the Lexus RX and Audi Q5, the MKX is mostly unchanged for the 2014 model year, in advance of an all-new model coming in 2015.

Aesthetically, the MKX evades Lincoln's tacky, plastichrome past, thankfully. The profile of the MKX isn't particularly eye-catchiing, but its details are. When it was last redesigned, for 2011, it received new sheetmetal (and powertrains), as well as a world-class new interior that put MyLincoln Touch at the center of it all and ramped up the ambiance to that of a true First Class cabin. Even several years later, it remains a handsome crossover with a grille that's maybe a little too emphatic, and a well-tailored cabin countering that with a conservative look and feel. We especially like how the cockpit's done, with a neatly integrated LCD touch screen and high-grade wood, leather, and metallic trim. For 2014, new polished aluminum 20- and 22-inch wheels also help freshen the look.

The 2014 MKX has some impressive gear under the hood: a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6—yes, that's the same engine as in the Mustang—and a six-speed automatic transmission. It's quieter here, for sure, but it allows an estimated 0 to 60 mph time of 8.0 seconds, which makes it one of the quicker vehicles in this class (especially for one that weighs more than 4,000 pounds). You won't find much feedback from the electric power steering system, but it's hefty and relatively quick. It handles as if it were a class lighter, though; the MKX digs into its share of country roads with gusto. The all-wheel drive system here definitely saps some of that verve—and you'll pay the price in miles per gallon—so we'd recommend passing on it unless you often take on snow or mud.

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The MKX stands a distant third—after the Navigator and the MKT—in terms of size and space for the Lincoln lineup, but it should still be plenty large for most American families. It's designed to tote five adults in comfort, and it hits that mark well. Its front seats have good support, and finding a good driving position is easy. Seat heaters are included up front and available in back; and you'll even find enough width to fit three adults across in the back seat on occasion. As for cargo space, the MKX is a little lacking (and the cargo floor is a bit high), but there's enough useful storage in the console, door panels and glove box.

For safety, the 2014 MKX stands as one of the safer vehicles in this class, yet definitely not the pick for those who must choose the safest. It's a four-stars overall performer according to the federal government; and the insurance-funded IIHS calls it out as a Top Safety Pick. Standard equipment includes stability control, curtain airbags, plus blind-spot monitors, and a rearview camera. Otherwise, adaptive cruise control and collision warning are offered together in an option package.

The star of the MKX cabin remains MyLincoln Touch, an infotainment and connectivity system that's incorporates a touch screen and customizable gauge cluster, allowing everything from hands-free calling to climate controls and entertainment selections. It's now simpler, easier to use, and less trouble-prone than it was a couple of years ago—thanks mainly to a major firmware upgrade given to the system last year. The pair of capacitive swipe-touch bars remain an issue for some fingers, it seems; and others might be either delighted or distraught to find that the dozens of buttons you'd find on another car's audio, navigation and climate controls are simply gone, replaced by the touch-sensitive functions on the screen—and steering-wheel and voice controls.

A Limited Edition Package is new to the lineup this year, adding leather seats; leather trim for the center console, instrument panel, and steering wheel; contrasting red stitching, and dark tuxedo stripe and piping.

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