Lincoln’s stylish crossover offers a nicely appointed upscale interior and mostly excellent performance, but gets a little pricey in the higher trim levels.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Lincoln MKC is an attractive vehicle. Those unfamiliar with the brand can praise Lincoln’s modern design, while enthusiasts will be quick to point out hints of the iconic 1930s/1940s Lincoln Zephyr in the grille and subtle retro nuances throughout the vehicle. Lincoln has chosen to go retro-modern and I like it.

While the sheet metal and styling may offer few clues, the 2016 Lincoln MKC shares the same platform and base engine as Ford’s well-established Escape.

The 2016 is available in four trim levels.

  • The nicely equipped Premiere group starts at $33,260.
  • The Select group adds leather seats, a power lift gate and more. Pricing starts at $37,090.
  • The Reserve group makes the power liftgate hands free and adds lots of luxury and tech options. Pricing begins at $40,460.
  • The range-topping Black Label starts at $46,455.

Performance Pros

Lincoln MKC Side

The top-trim Black Label edition review vehicle that I spent a week driving had optional all-wheel drive and the 285-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with 305 pound-feet of torque. It's a slightly detuned version of the inline-four used in the Mustang.

  • All MKC trims employ a smooth six-speed select-shift automatic transmission.
  • Handling is good for a small SUV, and the braking system brings it to a swift stop.
  • An optional adaptive suspension system works with the driver to provide the best ride possible in changing road environments.

Performance Cons

Opting for the 2.3-liter engine loses you 3 mpg on the highway, and I wonder if this is an instance when less actually is more.

  • The larger engine comes only with the added weight of all-wheel drive and achieves 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
  • Choosing the less expensive 2-liter EcoBoost and front-wheel drive boosts fuel economy to 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway --which qualifies as a performance pro.

Interior Pros

Lincoln MKC Interior

The Lincoln MKC Black Label's interior is upscale and highly configurable. Dealerships often have private rooms that allow shoppers to hand-pick color combinations. If you prefer, Lincoln will send a representative to your business or residence and allow you to enjoy the ultimate home-shopping experience.

  • My review vehicle was appointed with the sand-color-themed Oasis interior package. The use of soft, supple leathers and contrasting open-grained woods is aesthetically pleasing.
  • I also liked the standard panoramic vista roof with power sunshade and Alcantara headliner.

Certainly, I was in the top of the line version of the crossover, but the same excellence and build quality can be found in the base level. You may not have all the bells and whistles of the Black Label, but the interior is decidedly upscale.

Interior Cons

  • Seating is adequate for five smaller adults, but the storage space when all five seats are occupied is decidedly compact. Many direct competitors offer more rear cargo space.

Most Pleasant Surprise

Lincoln MKC Driver

The optional Technology Package includes active park assist, adaptive cruise control, a forward sensing system to help avoid accidents and a helpful lane-keep system. I am a fan of all four driving aids, to the point that I miss them on non-equipped test vehicles. Lincoln’s versions are on par with others on the market and worked flawlessly during my weeklong review.

Least Pleasant Surprise

I am impressed with what Lincoln has done with the MKC, and feel that the $33,260 sticker price for an entry-level model is a great value. That value proposition remains even when adding the 2.3-liter engine and all-wheel drive.

My biggest point of contention is with the price of an all-wheel drive Black Label variant, which starts at $50,900 and nearly tips the scales at $60,000 with option packages and destination charges.

Bottom Line

Pricing of the top trims aside, Lincoln’s beautiful upmarket luxury crossover has a few flaws, but a lot to offer. If you are in the market, the MKC is well worth a trip to the dealer to check out for yourself.