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CarGurus ReviewThe Good
The 2010 Lincoln MKX is a roomy, comfortable, and reasonably economical luxury crossover SUV that’s loaded with standard features.The Bad
Low-end interior materials, iffy brakes, and its distinct resemblance to the less pricey Ford Edge in both appearance and features tarnish the “luxury” image pursued by the 2010 MKX.
The CarGurus View
Not as peppy, nor as refined as much of its competition, the 2010 Lincoln MKX nevertheless offers lots of standard creature comforts, a better-than-average safety record, and several Limited Edition options packages. Despite all this, prospective buyers shouldn’t expect much more than a gussied-up Ford Edge.
At a Glance
An unfortunate resemblance to its kissing cousin, the Ford Edge, in all but price causes the 2010 Lincoln MKX midsize luxury crossover SUV to be worthy of its “luxury” designation only in lineage. Sure, it has plenty of standard creature features, a stellar safety record, and an intriguing, brand-new Midnight Limited Edition options package, but it is what it is: a dressed-up Edge.
In any case, the 2010 MKX, pretty much unchanged from the ’09 version, offers four doors and eight-passenger seating as well as 69 cubic feet of cargo room (with the rear seats folded), 1,000 pounds of payload capacity, and the choice of either a front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration.
The name “Lincoln” conjures sophistication, elitism, singularity, and, above all, luxury. However, only a few added standard convenience features and a little exterior tweaking differentiate the MKX from its Ford kinsman. Though it does have a certain appeal for those who must have a Lincoln, a majority of prospective car buyers will doubtless prefer the Edge’s price to the Lincoln name.
The 2010 Lincoln MKX is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC variable-valve-timed (VVT) V6 that’s managed by a six-speed automatic transmission to generate 265 hp at 6,250 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. This is enough to tow 3,500 pounds when the available Trailer Tow Prep Package is selected. The EPA, meanwhile, rates the FWD MKX at 18/25 mpg and the AWD trim at 17/23.
The MKX is described by most reviewers as smooth and determined in accelerating from a stop, but a tested time of 0-60 in 8.4 seconds is far below many competing luxury crossovers. Virtually all professional reviewers agree that merging and passing power is adequate, while acknowledging that the 3.5-liter V6 engine’s variable valve timing gives an appreciable boost to fuel economy.
Though describing the six-speed automatic as smooth shifting, for the most part, some reviewers, as well as more than a few owners, note that a heavy foot is often necessary to get the transmission to downshift when at highway speed. Reviewers also bemoan the fact that the six-speed automatic offers no auto-shift feature.
Ride & Handling
More than a few reviewers note that the 2010 Lincoln MKX exhibits sedan-like ride and handling characteristics, doubtless due to its four-wheel independent suspension, multi-link rear, front and rear stabilizer bars, MacPherson strut front suspension, and standard 18-inch wheels. The MKX’s chassis is based on the highly successful Mazda6's unibody-construction design and is described as providing a relatively easy highway ride, even with the available 20-inch wheels. Steering is noted by many reviewers to be a bit disconnected from the road, but otherwise, reasonably responsive and alert.
Some quirks are, however, mentioned by testers and reviewers. As with many vehicles of its type, the 2010 MKX is prone to noseplow and excessive body lean in tight cornering. Poor braking distances and a “mushy” feel to the pedal have been disconcertingly evident throughout the MKX’s brief history and once again get called into question by a number of reviewers.
The 2010 MKX AWD trims include a standard center limited-shift differential. Beware, though, that the full-time AWD configuration, while great for snow and mud, is not designed to stray far from the beaten path.
Cabin & Comfort
Altogether, the 2010 MKX presents a fairly comprehensive array of standard comfort and convenience features. Such amenities include an exterior temperature display, leather upholstery, heated and cooled, eight-way-adjustable front bucket seats, reclining rear seats, power windows, door locks, and heated outside mirrors, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, front and overhead storage consoles, a universal remote garage door opener, a power liftgate, memorized seat and mirror settings for two drivers, a USB connection, SYNC/Bluetooth hands-free communications technology, and a 6-CD changer with six speakers and MP3 capability.
Options for the MKX include the Midnight Limited Edition, an all-black beauty that comes with 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and unique chrome and leather accents, as well as voice-activated DVD navigation, power-operated Panoramic Vista Sunroof, a Class II Trailer Tow Prep Package, remote start, rear-seat DVD entertainment, THX II surround sound audio, and heated rear seats.
Despite a plethora of cabin comforts in the 2010 MKX, many reviewers note a certain laxness in quality as far as materials and workmanship are concerned. As well, most gauges seem to become unreadable in certain daylight conditions, and intrusive engine and wind noise makes a seemingly palatial interior somewhat less so.
Despite its perceived faults, few professional reviewers dispute the fact that the 2010 Lincoln MKX is engineered with considerable attention paid to occupant safety. Standard four-wheel disc ABS, with emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, leads off the parade of standard safety features. As well, the 2010 MKX boasts both traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags and three-row head curtain airbags, front fog/driving lights, a remote anti-theft alarm, and rear parking sensors, among other safety-enhancing refinements.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2010 MKX five stars for driver's-side front impact protection, four stars for front-impact passenger safety, five stars for both front and passenger side impact safety, and four stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the MKX as “good,” its highest rating. The IIHS has also given the 2009 MKS added distinction as a “Top Safety Pick.”
What Owners Think
Owners of the 2009/2010 Lincoln MKX seem impressed with, above all, its distinctiveness, especially in any of the several Limited Edition Packages. However, some issues have been noted, such as a need for more spark in its acceleration, lackluster interior materials, glitches with several of the comfort and convenience features, notably the SYNC audio and navigation functions, and its historically iffy braking system. As well, owners have noted far too close a resemblance between the MKX and its kissing cousin, the Ford Edge.
On the plus side, owners praise the fuel efficiency, ride and handling, comfort, roominess, elegance, and “exclusivity” of the 2009/2010 MKX. The SYNC system, Panoramic Vista Sunroof, power liftgate, and reclining rear seats have drawn special kudos from owners. Finally, a number of owners find the Lincoln MKX laudable primarily for combining luxury and value.
by Eric Tallberg
What's your take on the 2010 Lincoln MKX?
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