- New grille is lovely
- Standard auto emergency braking
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto arrive
- Six-speed automatic is starting to feel old fashioned
- New face can't hide aging platform
- Biggest interior improvements won't be cheap
- Still a lot of plastic in cabin
The 2019 Lincoln MKC wears an attractive new face, but its Ford Escape roots are still too difficult to ignore.
The 2019 Lincoln MKC continues to represent the entry level of the brand's crossover range, manipulating the bones of the Ford Escape into a competent, comfortable luxury runabout. Sales begin in summer 2018 with the MKC continuing to roll out of Ford's Louisville, Kentucky factory.
Lincoln hasn't announced pricing or given an indication of the available trim levels, but we expect the MKC to continue in four trims—a base Premiere, a mid-grade Select, an upmarket Reserve, and a range-topping Black Label—with prices increasing only marginally over the 2018 model.
For the 2019 model year, Lincoln has dumped the MKC's double-wing grille, replacing it with a family face that much more closely resembles the look pioneered by the Continental and refined by the Navigator. The rectangular, chrome-heavy grille looks infinitely more refined than the plastic-heavy double-wing of yesteryear. The slightly reshaped headlights aren't as dramatic a departure from the 2018 model as the grille, but Lincoln's designers have subtly restyled the front lights to better match the brand's new design language. Changes to the rear are much subtler, amounting to little more than some extra chrome trim.
Changes in the cabin are similarly minor, although Lincoln did take the opportunity to up the quality of its materials, particularly in the range-topping Black Label, which continues to offer three interior design themes—Modern (white leather and Argento wood), Indulgence (brown leather with Ziricote wood), and Center Stage (black leather with red piping and Alcantara seat inserts). Joining those themes is a new Rialto Green shade for the leather with black ash wood trim.
The bigger changes in the cabin come in the equipment roster. A wifi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all standard, as are forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. On the safety front, customers can tack on several other active assistants, including active park assist, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert.
While Lincoln has issued a rather impressive exterior refit and addressed some glaring shortcomings for the 2019 MKC, its changes under the hood amount to approximately nil. The base engine is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. A 2.3-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder ups the output to 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Both engines work alongside 6-speed automatic transmissions, which is somewhat disappointing considering the new-for-2019 8-speed automatic coming to the MKC's big brother, the Nautilus.
Look for more detailed pricing and trim information ahead of the 2019 Lincoln MKC's summer 2018 on-sale date.