3/4 Front Glamour 2015 Lincoln MKC
, Automotive Editor -

The Lincoln brand is joining the party in the red-hot segment of compact luxury crossovers with its all-new MKC, a striking vehicle from every angle that represents a bold new styling direct from Ford’s luxury brand. The MKC takes its underpinnings from the Ford Escape, but features completely different sheetmetal to go along with a high-on-luxury interior.

After Lincoln wowed auto show-goers with its attractive MKC Concept last year, the decision was made to put the model into production post haste. Thankfully, the concept’s clean lines have made their way to the production model almost completely intact. With short overhangs and dual side body character lines forming an interesting interplay of surfaces, this is one attractive CUV.

An interior swathed in opulent luxury further differentiates the MKC from its Ford brethren. Leather seating and trim with heated seats will come standard, while cooled seats and a panoramic sunroof will be available at higher trim levels. Real wood trim in several finishes can be substituted with aluminum if you prefer, and while the love-it-or-hate-it MyLincoln Touch system is on hand, Lincoln has wisely chosen to replace the finicky touch-based controls from other recent models with standard buttons and dials for things like HVAC and audio controls. A neat feature from the Escape carries over, allowing you to raise or lower the tailgate by making a kicking motion beneath the plane of the rear bumper. Lincoln has also included a “welcome mode” that illuminates exterior lighting and projects a Lincoln logo from the side sills when you approach the vehicle with the key in your pocket.

Let’s talk powertrains. The entry-level engine will be quite familiar if you follow Ford products; it’s the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder you’ll find in several other models. Here the 2.0 makes 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque. Buyers wanting a little more oomph will be glad to note that the upscale 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo 4-cylinder engine is the same basic design as you’ll find underhood in the upcoming 2015 Ford Mustang. Detuned slightly here, the 2.3 outputs 275 horsepower and 305 lb-ft. of torque. Either engine choice will come mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive will be optional.

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is set to go on sale with a release date early this Summer, with pricing starting at $33,995, which will make it the least expensive product in Lincoln’s portfolio. All-wheel drive will cost an additional $2,495, while the upgraded 2.3-liter turbo engine, available as an option on upscale Select ($37,225) and Reserve ($40,930) trims, will cost an extra $1,140.

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