Lincoln MKX Review

The 2009 Lincoln MKZ, with the 1961 Lincoln Continental grille front and center.

After years of attempts in show cars, Lincoln has finally put the 1961-65 Continental grille back into production...on a re-badged Ford Edge crossover.

Okay, that sounds harsh...but it's a fact. What needs to be said, though, is that like the Lincoln MKS, the platform sharing between Ford and Lincoln is resulting in some very good Lincolns.

Even though the Edge and the MKX are essentially the same vehicles, the MKX gets treatments that set it apart. 18-inch machined alumninum wheels are standard...as are quad halogen headlamps. The details...including the wood and leather...definitely say "Lincoln" instead of "Ford".

Short version: This is a serious contender for some of the business going to the Lexus RX 350.

Base price: $35,420. The tester I had for a week had heated and cooled front eats, dual-zone auto temp air conditioning, Microsoft's brilliant SYNC voice-activated entertainment system, and Lincoln's newly revamped (and very cool) entry keypad system. All standard.

The options? $495 for White Chocolate Tricoat paint (arguably worth it), $4,595 for the Elite Package (Panoramic Vista Roof, Voice Activated Navigation, and a killer THX audio system), $1,295 for the Ultimate Package (Adaptive headlamps, a power liftgate and the "Cargo Management System"...a molded insert below the cargo floor that keeps stuff out of sight and prevents it from slipping around, causing noise and damage) and another $1,095 for the Limited Edition Package (bumping us up to 20-inch chrome-clad alumnium wheels, carpeted floor mats and an auto-dimming rear view mirror with microphone for the voice-activated nav system).

All that sounds (and reads) like a ton of extra cost...but the bottom line, including delivery charge) is $43,575...right in the ballpark for a Lexus RX competitor.

And don't underestimate the cosmetics...there's something about that grille.