- Design statement
- Business-class interior
- Abundant cabin tech
- Excellent front seats
- Improved MyLincoln Touch
- The look, up front
- Hard to believe it has 305 hp
- Slow-moving power tailgate
- MyLincoln Touch still fussy at times
The 2015 Lincoln MKX has aged well, continuing to offer one of the nicer interiors in the class with very few gimmicks.
The 2015 Lincoln MKX is itself a near mechanical twin of the Ford Edge, but with a much nicer interior, a quieter ride, and a larger engine. It offers the luxury accommodations and high seating position that premium crossover buyers seek out, plus a lot of panache.
The mid-size MKX is joined by a smaller crossover for 2015, the Ford Escape-based MKC. For now, the aspires to be a direct rival to vehicles such as the longtime favorite Lexus RX, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Mercedes M-Class; but it's poised to come much closer to realizing this with an all-new version of the MKX that's arriving for the 2016 model year.
For 2015, Lincoln has made no changes to the MKX, which was last redesigned for 2011, bringing new sheetmetal, a much-improved interior, and the love-it-or-hate-it MyLincoln Touch infotainment interface. It's still a handsome model among its crossover contemporaries, avoiding flashiness with just the right amount of flair. Some are put off by the newest Lincoln grille design, but it works here much better than it does on the larger MKT, for example. The MKX's interior is especially well finished, with nice quality wood, leather, and trim. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and look fine, while Lincoln offers 20s and 22s on top of those.
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.
The 2015 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.
When it comes to safety, the 2015 MKX stands as one of the better-rated models in this class, although it's not quite the top choice. In NHTSA testing, it receives four stars overall, while the insurance-funded IIHS calls it out as a Top Safety Pick. Standard equipment includes stability control, curtain airbags, blind-spot monitors, and a rearview camera. 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 incorporates a touch screen and customizable gauge cluster, controlling 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. 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. Lincoln is moving away form the capacitive-touch controls, as evidenced by the new MKC, which does without them entirely.
The MKX is not offered in different trim levels. Instead, Lincoln lets customers add different packages—Elite, Premium, Limited Edition—and a handful of standalone options to create their MKX.