There is no single definition of a luxury vehicle. For most of us, it means advanced technology, sharp handling, a beautiful interior and a comfortable ride.
The Lincoln MKC is a good example of this definition. It has more standard technology features than many of its competitors, delivers a cushioned and quiet ride, and is rewarding to drive, although handling is less sharp than it is in German rivals such as BMW.
While the Lincoln MKC is based on the Ford Escape, styling, interiors and suspension tuning differ significantly. The Escape’s most powerful engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 240-horsepower four cylinder motor, is the Lincoln’s base engine, offered with the buyer’s choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The only transmission is a six-speed automatic.
The more powerful 2.3-liter turbo four, rated at 285 horsepower, is optional. This was the engine that powered the MKC that Lincoln loaned us for this review. This engine requires all-wheel drive.
Performance is quite good, with 60 miles per hour taking just 7.6 seconds to reach from a stop. Fuel economy in a week of mixed suburban and highway travels came to 20.8 miles per gallon.
The base model is the Premiere, which includes a wide range of standard features, including all the expected power assists, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a power liftgate. New for 2017 are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to go with the nine-speaker sound system that still includes a CD player.
The Select trim level gives passengers the same eight-way power seat adjustment that is standard for drivers, a power adjustable steering wheel and upgraded leather, among other niceties. The Reserve trim adds a hands-free power liftgate and ventilated front seats. It also had the optional Technology Package with its adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keep assist and automated parking assistance.
The Black Label model that Lincoln loaned us for review added an adaptive suspension and even better leather for the interior trim. It also had the Technology Package. The interior was comfortable, although we found the backseat to be a little tight. A backup camera helped us overcome limited rear visibility.
Lincoln has adopted pushbutton control for the transmission. This opens up a sizeable area in the central console for storage, though the placement of the buttons, just to the left of the video screen, took a little getting used to.
The Lincoln MKC is ideal for the buyer who wants a luxury compact crossover that places a higher emphasis on comfort than speed, not to suggest that the MKC is slow. It actually feels quite lively and handles well. Just make sure that the reclining back seat will be acceptable before committing to the purchase.
Cargo room, rated at 25.2 cubic feet with the backseat up and 53.1 cubic feet with the 60/40 split rear bench seat folded is a little less than other vehicles in its class.
The Lincoln MKC Black Label that we had for a week turned in a comfortable, quiet performance. Its compact size made it easy to maneuver in tight parking lots. I just wish that the safety systems in the $2,295 Technology Package were available on the base model. To be able to buy this package, you must step up to the Reserve, which starts at $39,485, while our fully optioned Black Label came to more than $57,000. At $33,645 the MKC seems like a good buy. At $57,000 I found it less appealing.
Lincoln MKC starts at $32,720 plus $925 for destination charges. All-wheel drive models start at $35,130.
Engines: 2.0 2.3
HP 240 285
Torque 270 305
EPA FWD 21/28 not offered
EPA AWD 19/25 18/25