Edging Toward Greatness? The 2016 Lincoln MKX AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Lincoln MKX
The 2016 Lincoln MKX.
There was a time, mainly in the 1960s and 70s, when a Lincoln in the driveway was a status symbol for people of means in their forties and fifties.  But that was many years, indeed decades, ago.  Now, the middle-aged drivers with money and the desire to own a luxury car simply are too young to remember those days.  Luxury cars to them are from Germany and have names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi or---increasingly among younger drivers---from Japan (Lexus and to a lesser extent Infiniti).

The 2016 Lincoln MKX is the first vehicle to come from the latest in many rounds of what we are promised will be a new Lincoln Motor Company, one that doesn't scream "tarted-up Ford", one that will build cars that can be considered in the same breath as those imports listed above by people with the means to buy cars priced at $50,000 and above.

Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Lincoln MKX
2016 Lincoln MKX.
There have been MKXs before---based, as this one is, on the Ford Edge.  And since this year's Edge is all-new, so is the MKX.  And, in a sign that Lincoln finally understands what it wants to be and needs to be in order to survive, the MKX goes far beyond its roots.

Lincoln's designers have created an exterior that is not merely an Edge with Lincoln badging, but completely its own look.  You could park the two next to each other and not see a family resemblance.  Further, they have penned perhaps the handsomest crossover on the road.  The Lincoln MKX is simply gorgeous in a refined, not glitzy way...yet never plays it safe or dull.  It looks like money, but old money, not new.  Money that buys things that reflect taste, not ostentatiousness.

Interior view of 2016 Lincoln MKX
2016 Lincoln MKX interior.
The closest resemblance between the Lincoln MKX and the Ford Edge comes in the interior, but even there, Lincoln designers were given the ability to alter shapes, textures and materials.  The ride is smooth but controlled, and it is very quiet. A three-mode selector---Normal, Sport and Comfort---allows the driver to adjust the suspension and steering feel.

You can get a base front-wheel drive MKX for $38,260, but it comes with an old-school 3.7-liter, 300 horsepower V6. Our all-wheel drive test vehicle had the 2.7-liter EcoBoost  twin-turbocharged V6, which despite its smaller displacement, produces 335 horsepower.  Somewhat unusually for EcoBoost, there is a fuel economy penalty.  The EPA estimate of 17 city/26 highway with the 3.7 remains the same at 17 city but drops to 24 highway.  On the plus side, the EcoBoost feels smooth and eager.

Base price for our MKX was $47,650 (which appears to include Reserve Equipment Group 102A, although its features are listed as standard equipment on our window sticker and even with that understood, the price on our window sticker doesn't match up with Lincoln's online configurator for our model with that equipment group---check with your dealer as prices can change within a model year).

The Lincoln press fleet staff then added literally every option available---$14,700 worth---resulting in an as-tested price, including $925 destination charge, of $63,275. Spreads of $25,000 between the base price used in advertising and the sticker price of the car the intended buyer sees on the showroom floor can be tricky to deal with.  There are some perfectly fine entire cars you could buy with that additional $25,000.

But loading the MKX in that manner allows us to experience the ultimate luxury Lincoln (until the arrival of the new Continental), the best it can bring to the game it once owned and now is desperately tryng to prove it should even be considered in (actually, that's not quite true---there is a Lincoln MKX Black Label that takes it all even further).

Will it woo away sales from Mercedes and BMW?  Probably not this round.  Audi, maybe...and probably Lexus and Infiniti.  Which, for Lincoln, which has spent a couple of decades being cross-shopped against Chrysler, Buick and Acura, is progress.