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2018 Lincoln MKC Overview
First appearing in 2015, the MKC, rounds out Lincoln’s lineup, and provides the brand with the means to encourage younger buyers into its showrooms. For 2018, the MKC see few changes.
The compact MKC is akin to the Ford Escape, but buyers would be hard-pressed to tell that at first glance. It utilizes a distinct body shell that’s slightly longer, lower, and wider than that of the Escape. The flowing lines and chiseled surfaces are congruous with Lincoln’s current design philosophy, and it’s a handsome profile.
The MKC’s interior, however, is less impressive. The switchgear feels to the Ford lineup, and the materials are less refined.. The climate-control buttons sit in a cluster at the bottom of the floating center console, and their similarity makes them difficult to distinguish from one another. Flanking the left side of the center screen is Lincoln’s push-button gear selector, an unintuitive setup. The swept-back roofline, while stylish, cuts into headroom, decreasing second-row passeneger headroom. . One highly regarding cabin feature is the Sync 3 infotainment system. Lincoln’s updated Sync3 system began replacing their previous systen, MyLincoln Touch, in 2017. The Sync 3 has been praised for its snappy navigation and large on-screen controls. The MKC meets the minimum benchmark for a luxury crossover, but its interior is less competitive with European models in this segment.
The MKC comes with one of two engines. The smaller is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, with a maximum of 21 mpg city, 28 highway, and 24 combined in front-wheel-drive configuration (FWD) and 19, 25, and 22 with optional all-wheel drive (AWD). Buyers can upgrade to a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is shared with the Ford Mustang and boosts power to 285 hp and 305 lb-ft. of torque and is paired solely with AWD. Fuel economy for the larger engine stands at 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. Unlike many competitors, the MKC takes regular fuel instead of premium. To achieve top power ratings, the 2.3-liter needs 93-octane or higher. The sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic with paddles for manual gear selection. Start-stop technology is standard. The two engines provide markedly different experiences in the MKC. The smaller engine provides a leisurely ride, but the larger one turns it into a sprightly crossover. Both handling and braking are adequate.
Lincoln separates the MKC into four trim levels, each of which offers a choice between FWD and AWD. Premiere, the base trim, starts at $33,355 and comes well-equipped with 18-inch aluminum wheels, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights with LED lighting signatures, LED taillights, reverse sensors, a reversing camera, heated mirrors with memory and integrated blind-spot glass, power liftgate, power parking brake with auto hold, keyless access, push-button start, leatherette upholstery, a 8-inch touchscreen Sync 3 system, an 8-speaker audio system with a subwoofer, SiriusXM radio, 12-way powered driver and front passenger seats.
The Select, starting at $36,110, adds genuine leather upholstery and unlocks new options, like a panoramic sunroof, satellite navigation, heated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring, a THX audio system, adaptable suspension, and the 2.3-liter engine.
Starting at $39,985, the Reserve comes with a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, blind-spot monitoring, hands-free liftgate operation, and roof-rack side rails. Options include a THX audio system, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with automatic braking, a parking assistant, lane-keeping assist, and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Lastly, there’s the Black Label. Starting at $45,975, the Black Label allows for further customization with three interior “themes” (Modern Heritage, Indulgence, and Center Stage) that feature bespoke materials, upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, and exclusive concierge services.
The MKC comes standard with dual-stage frontal and side airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger, a driver-side knee airbag, and side-curtain airbags for both rows. It also includes Lincoln’s post-crash SOS system, which utilizes a Bluetooth-connected phone to alert authorities after the vehicle has been involved in a collision. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not extensively tested the MKC, but it received top scores of Good in the side and moderate front overlap categories. The MKC Reserve with optional driving aids is rated Basic in crash avoidance.
Lincoln’s MKC has the exterior styling to compete with European luxury crossovers, but its interior execution and underwhelming performance rank it with lesser-pedigreed vehicles. Overall, the MKC is a solid value for less than $40,000, but further interior and performance refinements are required to reach true luxury status.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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