2011 Lincoln MKX Performance

8.0
Performance
For performance, the MKX is fitted with a new 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 that's shared with the 2011 Ford Mustang. Offered here with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, there's ample performance to knock off a gentleman's B for straight-line performance—in the neighborhood of eight seconds to 60 mph, and a top speed in the 125-mph range. The engine's muted much better here than in the Mustang, of course, thanks to layers of laminated glass and acoustic damping, and it's probably everything a luxury-crossover buyer not seeking Cayenne Turbo-style thrust will want. The shift paddles enable shift-it-yourself thinking after you've put the MKX into the proper gear slot—or maybe the low mode, which you'll probably do inadvertently at least once, since it's a straight pull back on the lever, through the normal Drive position.

There's also electronic power steering, which shows Ford's progress on the learning curve of delivering decent feel and feedback without the natural pressure of a hydraulic pump. The MKX steers fairly well, and doesn't wander much at all on decent-to-awful turnpike pavement textures. It also grabs its share of country roads with gusto—up to the point any 4000-pound crossover feels unhappy about exactly what you're doing back there. The front- or all-wheel-drive MKX understeers all day long when you try to provoke it, but on the obverse, it also has a touch better ride than before, even with big, blingy 20-inch wheels strapped to its axles.

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