Subtract Matthew McConaughey. Then What? The 2015 Lincoln MKC

Front 3/4 view of the 2015 Lincoln MKC
The 2015 Lincoln MKC.
This is the 2015 Lincoln MKC. A crossover SUV you have probably seen in a TV commercial more than you have ever seen it on the street.

Sure, Matthew McConaughey has star power.  But is that enough to sell a car?  Especially a car the commercial tells you nothing about?  Our Publisher and Executive Editor thinks more Americans who've seen the above TV commercial could pick that bull out of a herd than could identify a 2015 Lincoln MKC by name on the rare occasions they might encounter one.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Lincoln MKC
2015 Lincoln MKC.
If he's right, that is a shame, because the Lincoln MKC is a very nice vehicle indeed. Stripped of its badges and absent exposure from advertising, if you were to drive it, you would probably not guess it was a Lincoln.  You would certainly never know it shares the same basic platform as the Ford Escape.

Our test vehicle was the MKC all-wheel-drive. With a 2.0 liter Ecoboost engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the base price is $35,595.  EPA mileage estimates are 19 city/26 highway.

Interior view of 2015 Lincoln MKC
2015 Lincoln MKC interior.
As is typical of press fleet cars, ours had options.  A lot of them, in fact. Equipment Group 102A, the Reserve Group, added dual powered, heated automatic folding mirrors, a panoramic vista roof, navigation and voice recognition, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, heated and cooled front seats and a hands-free liftgate for $7,110.

Beyond that, the Ruby Red exterior paint was an additional $495.  An upgrade to the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine (which takes the EPA city mileage down to 18 mpg while taking horsepower from 240 to 275) was $1,140.  An enhanced THX Audio sound system added $995.  19-inch painted aluminum wheels were another $545.  The Technology Package (Active park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward sensing system, lane keeping system and a heated steering wheel) put another $2,295 on the tab.

All told, $13,775 in extra-cost options were added to the MKC we drove, for an as-tested price after $895 delivery and handling of $49,265.

It is very attractive.  It is nice to drive.  It is roomy and powerful. But there is a lot of competition: The Audi Q3, the BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Lexus NX.  All of them can be had in the same $50,000-ish neighborhood.  To make sales in significant numbers against those vehicles, which all have status symbol nameplates the likes of which Lincoln has not enjoyed in decades, Lincoln will need to start telling people about the car instead of focusing on the star---and the bull in the middle of the road.

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