Ford introduced a thoroughly refreshed version of the Lincoln MKX at the Detroit auto show earlier this year. With extensive changes, including a new powertrain, a touched-up exterior, all-new instrument panel, greatly upgraded materials, new seats, upgraded insulation from noise and vibration, and standout new interior tech features, the 2011 MKX promises to be quite different than the 2010 MKX. As soon as the editors of TheCarConnection.com can drive the new MKX, we will update this Bottom Line with ratings and comparisons.
From the front alone, the 2011 Lincoln MKX now looks like a completely different vehicle, as it gets the more distinctive, “split wing” grille plus a completely new front fascia, effectively carrying the more swept-back look of the newer Lincoln MKS. Newly available HID headlamps and LED taillamps give it crisper details, and otherwise in back new four-inch-oval exhaust tips help give it a more aggressive look. New 18- and 20-inch wheel designs give the whole vehicle a little more ‘pop,’ even though the distinctive profile and roofline, along with the doorlines, of the MKX remain unchanged in the 2011 version. Inside, most of what matters has been refreshed, with everything else has been refreshed, with new contours for the instrument panels and all-new materials, trims, gauges, and displays. The interior is finished off in ‘signature’ Lincoln white lighting. New climate-controlled leather seats have been redone with new contouring and stitching, and the steering wheel is wrapped and stitched with soft surfaces almost everywhere, including the center-console rails and console lids.
A significant powertrain enhancement is also part of the rehab; the 2011 Lincoln MKX gets Ford’s new 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter Duramax V-6, which has also been announced as the base engine in the 2011 Ford Mustang. It’s hooked up to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, which allows a full driver-selectable mode for sporty driving. Brakes have been upgraded, too. The V-6 includes Ford’s new Ti-VCT variable valve timing technology along with fuel-saving strategies including aggressive fuel shut-off and smart charging, which engages the alternator during optimal times. Ford promises 25 mpg on the highway—a significant improvement, despite the additional power—and the MKX will remain offered with either front- or all-wheel drive.