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2011 Lincoln MKX Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality
The cabin of the 2011 Lincoln MKX hasn't been supersized, it sticks more closely to its job detail of being able to carry five adults in comfort than last year's version. Its swank seating feels more comfortable, though, and the standard ventilated front seats are a sign from above that no one should have to go through this lifetime with sweaty buns. The front seats have memory functions and the best driving position is easy to ferret out, with the height of the seat and with standard power tilt/telescoping steering. The rear bench reclines a bit so the tallest colleagues won't get bent out of shape on a lunch run. Cargo space in back is a bit shy of some larger five-passenger crossovers, though the Lincoln's add-ons will dazzle anyone who starts asking impolite questions about overall cubic feet.

There are a few nits to pick about the interior, though; when you open a front door, it's too easy to press a foot on the turned-under plastic affixed to the bottom edge of the door panel. It smooths out the MKX's aerodynamics, we're sure, but it also begs to be snapped off by a klutzy foot. Ford's power tailgate also seems to run a bit more slowly than some other brands, though it's one of the vehicle operations you can customize through MyLincoln Touch, a truly astounding package of LCD touchscreens and voice-activated controls that pretty much signs the death certificate of roller-controller systems like iDrive, COMAND and MMI.

In brief, the MyLincoln Touch system marries Ford's SYNC and its Bluetooth-controlled, voice-activated technology with a pair of LCD screens flanking the speedometer, a big LCD touchscreen in the middle of the dash, and a pair of swipe-touch bars. 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 by dueling sets of steering-wheel-mounted buttons and those winged bars. To turn on the audio system, for example, you press a power "button" on the center stack; you swipe a bar left or right to adjust volume, swipe the other to control the climate control's fan speed. Otherwise, it's a combination of touchscreen gestures, steering-wheel button clicks, or even voice commands, to run the MKX's ancillary functions.

The 2011 Lincoln MKX isn't large, but its well-designed interior and swank materials make the most of it for five adults; MyLincoln Touch cleans up the instrument-panel layout, too.

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