8.23.2011

2011 Lincoln MKX Review

Front 3/4 view of dark red 2011 Lincoln MKX parked in front of brick building
The 2011 Lincoln MKX sports the new Lincoln grille.

Creativity works wonders. What you see above is the 2011 Lincoln MKX.  Under the skin, it's pretty much a Ford Edge, but skin matters, even (maybe especially) when that skin is sheetmetal. For while the MKX and the Edge look a lot alike from the front wheels back when viewed from the side,  the current Lincoln grille...meant to evoke the original pre-War (as in WWII) Continental...makes a big, bold impression.

It's certainly more contemporary (who knew?) than the first MKX grille, meant to evoke a Continental 20 years more recent. Our review of that MKX was almost three years ago, so it was time for a refresher run, arranged through Fiesta Lincoln in Mesa, Arizona, who let us have a week in one.

Rear 3/4 view of dark red 2011 Lincoln MKX parked in front of brick building
Rear view of the 2011 Lincoln MKX.
The good news is that the MKX has improved in every possible way since our last test drive. $39,415 is the starting point for the front-wheel drive model (all-wheel drive begins at $41,265) and that includes a 3.7 liter Variable Cam Timing V6 that makes 305 horsepower with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. And the six-speed results in great fuel economy for the weight and the power...an EPA estimate of 19 city/26 highway (as they say in the commercials, your mileage may vary...we only managed 17.6 in a 60/40 mix of city streets and urban freeways).

And, like so many vehicles, base price buys you a nicely loaded machine. In fact, ours had no options on it whatsoever. The standard equipment? 18-inch premium painted aluminum wheels, fog lamps, heated power windows with memory and security approach lamps, a power liftgate, dual exhausts with chrome tips, leather seats (10-way power adjustable, heated and cooled for the driver and front passenger), the MyLincolnTouch system with AM/FM/Sirius/CD/mp3/SYNC audio, tilt/telescope steering column, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, remote keyless entry and start, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, reverse sensing system, a full compliment of airbags, anti-theft and tire pressure monitoring.

Interior shot of 2011 Lincoln MKX
The 2011 Lincoln MKX interior.
The interior? Well, it looks and feels like a premium machine. The MKX has power and handling that puts it right in the hunt with segment leaders like the Lexus RX350. And Lincoln steps up with some attractive warranty and maintenance, too: 4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper, 6 years/70,000 miles powertrain and 4 years/50,000 miles complimentary scheduled maintenance.

The only thing that put the total MSRP over $40,000 was the $850 destination and delivery charge. Otherwise, the car began and ended at $39,415. A screaming deal in this class.

Yes, you can spend more. There's a Premium Package, an Elite Package, a Limited Edition Package, upgraded wheels, DVD systems, a trailer towing package, a wood package...you can break $50,000 without even checking the all-wheel-drive option. And if you do, you'll have all the bells and whistles.

But if you don't, if you just buy the base 2011 Lincoln MKX, you'll be getting a terrific luxury crossover for less than $40,000 (plus destination and delivery). And these days, that's gotta count for something.

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