Lincoln’s all-new entry-level, small luxury crossover SUV enters the segment with competitors like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. If you are looking for a vehicle that stands ever so slightly apart from the usual crowd, the sophisticated yet lively 2015 Lincoln MKC is a good alternative.
Who is it for? – Consumers wanting a nimble and attractive-looking small luxury crossover SUV.
What to watch for – Certain competitors offer better accommodations in terms of legroom and cargo space.
Competitors – Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Is it fun to drive?
If the 2015 Lincoln MKC were a person, I would envision it carefully sipping a cup of tea from an old, floral-patterned porcelain cup. With its luxurious air and style, the MKC has somewhat of a prim and proper appearance, and when sitting behind the wheel, it offers a smooth and composed ride. Its nimble handling and lively engine on the other hand, hint at something more spirited.
The new 2015 MKC can be equipped with one of two engines: a 2.0-litre EcoBoost inline-4 that generating 240 horsepower, or a more powerful 2.3L EcoBoost inline-4 producing 285 hp and 305 lb-ft. Although there is a difference between the two, the good news is that both engines will provide a good power boost, thanks in part to turbocharging and direct-injection. All models also include all-wheel drive, and are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Our test vehicle includes the 2.3L engine, and features Continuously Controlled Damping that works with Lincoln Drive Control modes (Comfort, Normal and Sport) to continuously adjust the suspension. The result is either a more responsive/ sportier feeling, or a softer driving experience depending on the selection. Also, electric power-assisted steering, which Lincoln says adapts to the driving environment, enhances the sense of refinement when driving.
Another element worth noting is the gearshift, or lack thereof, since owners can instead press on a button to Drive, Reverse, Park, and so on – an aspect that further enhances the clean/ sophisticated style and vibe within the vehicle.
Verdict: The engine is lively enough that one can appreciate the driving experience.
Is it comfortable?
As we continue on the MCK’s path of refinement and sophistication, ride quality is overall comfortable since bumps and potholes are rarely a bother, and active noise control helps to enhance cabin quietness when on the highway. Features like leather-trimmed seating surfaces, cooled front seats, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available depending on the model, to add to the general comfort factor.
Our 2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3L model also includes the convenience of navigation with voice recognition, and the simplicity of hands-free calling and voice/touch climate controls (SYNC with MyLincoln Touch system), which is worth considering if you can afford it. Satellite radio is also included, and in terms of visual appeal, a sunroof with a power shade is also equipped. Lincoln also offers a rearview camera and an active park assist feature, the latter of which will actually operate the steering wheel if you so desire, to help guide you into a parking space.
Another practical feature is the Lincoln mobile app with embedded modem that is particularly worth noting as it allows owners of the new 2015 Lincoln MKC to start, lock, unlock or locate the vehicle via their mobile device.
Verdict: Luxury features galore make for a very comfortable SUV.
Is it spacious?
When it comes to spaciousness, the 2015 Lincoln MKC offers adequate legroom and interior roominess. Rear seat occupants can recline the backseat for a more comfortable position, and in terms of overall rear space, it can be considered as “workable” for most passengers. If however these aspects are of utmost importance, the Acura RDX, BMW X3 and Audi Q5 will offer better accommodations.
As for cargo space, your suitcases, grocery and school bags will slip right in without a problem, and the second-row seats will fold flat with a 60/40 split.
Verdict: Workable space
Is it fuel-efficient?
Fuel economy ratings for the base model are 12.4/9.0 litres per 100 kilometres (city/highway). With the 2.3L EcoBoost engine, the same one as found under the hood of our test vehicle, the ratings become 12.9 and 9.2 L/100km via the manufacturer. Our observed fuel economy is 12.3 L/100km over 468 km (combined city/highway), which we had hoped would have been a bit better.
Verdict: Not too shabby, but it could be better.
How does it behave in winter?
In terms of winter driving, the small SUV comes standard with AWD – a must for anyone living in Canada due to the added traction it provides. Also, roll stability control, when necessary, should help keep the wheels firmly planted on the ground.
As for safety features, those that opt for the Technology Package can get a whole group of safety systems, including adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, active park assist, a forward sensing system, and finally lane keeping assist. A blind spot information system with cross traffic alert is included with the 2.3L version of the MKC.
Verdict: The vehicle gets better traction with AWD.
Some of its rivals will offer better rear seat and cargo accommodations, but the 2015 Lincoln MKC is still a vehicle to consider, due in part to its sophisticated styling and nature, and spirited driving behaviour.
2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3L gallery