The Lincoln MKX is an upscale clone of Ford's recently restyled Edge crossover. With its former braking woes sorted out, the MKX is a more sure-footed performer than ever. Model year 2013 brings some very subtle styling touch-ups, but more importantly, a host of safety features, including the new Curve Control, which comes standard, and will grip the road harder than you're gripping the wheel if you've entered a corner with too much gusto; Collision Warning, available as part of the optional Adaptive Cruise Control; and Blind Spot Monitoring. A panoramic sliding glass sunroof is offered, as are 22-inch aluminum wheels. Power is still sourced from the Mustang's 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, turned 90 degrees for duty under the MKX's hood. A six-speed automatic allows crisp, strong shifts via paddles mounted on the steering column. Front-wheel-drive is standard, with all-wheel-drive optional.
The latest iteration of SYNC includes MyLincoln Touch, which combines an 8-inch dash-mounted touch screen with touch-sensitive control bars for audio and HVAC control, allows driver to communicate more effectively with machine. Heated and cooled front seats are standard; leather is standard fare throughout the roomy cabin. Reverse sensing technology is important in a tall vehicle with limited rearward visibility, and it comes standard on the MKX. So does remote keyless entry and start.
Combining the long-haul-comfortable upright seating of a crossover with relatively snappy handling and strong V6 power works well in the MKX. Lexus may have invented the luxury crossover the same way Dodge invented the minivan, but Lincoln—with a boost from Ford’s excellent Edge platform—may be close to perfecting it.
Rivals include the Cadillac SRX, which starts cheaper than the MKX, but can rack up a $50k bill of sale fully loaded; the Acura MDX, a luxury crossover stalwart with nearly the same power and torque from a big V6, but less in the way of fuel efficiency; the Lexus RX350, a power player in the luxury crossover segment; and the BMW X3, which offers better driving dynamics and the choice of a turbo four or silky-smooth turbo straight six, but at the cost of interior volume.