The 2018 Lincoln MKX will be the last model year for the MKX name and the ill-fated split-wing grille – soon it will become the Lincoln Nautilus and wear the new corporate fascia. Still, the MKX is a compelling crossover with good handling, strong turbocharged power, and the latest Sync 3 infotainment system.
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2018 Lincoln MKX Overview
What's New for 2018
In its final year of the production, changes to the Lincoln MKX are negligible.
Choosing Your Lincoln MKX
The MKX offers two engines, front- or all-wheel drive, and a long list of optional features. Not on the option list, however, is a third row seat, so this mid-sized crossover remains purely a five-person proposition.
The standard 3.7-liter V6 is powerful, with 303 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, but it suffers from poor fuel efficiency at 17 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 20 combined with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive cuts those numbers to 16, 23, and 19 mpg).
The optional 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 isn't much more efficient than the 3.7-liter setup, but it returns its 17 city, 24 highway, and 19 combined ratings while production 335 hp and 380 lb-ft. Going with all-wheel drive sacrifices a point on the city and highway cycles, each, but there's no change to the EPA-estimated combined figure.
A six-speed automatic is fitted with both engines and is down a gear or few compared to its rivals. All-wheel drive demands $2,495 and also includes Lincoln Drive Control which can be used to adjust the adaptive suspension between Comfort, Normal, and Sport.
The MKX is offered in four trims: Premiere, Select, Reserve, and the top tier Black Label.
The Reserve trim is the first chance to include the full active safety suite and also allows the 22-way power adjustable seats to be added too. The upgraded engine isn’t likely to save enough gas to pay for itself anytime soon but the added power may be too enticing to pass up.
2018 Lincoln MKX Review
Lincoln is hard at work upgrading its lineup to further distance itself from Ford and improve its name in the luxury space. The 2018 Lincoln MKX, however, is still on old-Lincoln looks and brand cachet, so it’s not quite on par with some of its more luxurious competitors. But with this comes a bit of a discount relative to the competition.
While the base Premiere trim is well equipped and a good value at $39,960 (destination fees included), there's even more value in the $43,475 Select trim. It adds all the basic features that any luxury car shopper needs, plus a few extras. The added creature comforts include leather seating, wood trim, a hands-free power liftgate, and upgraded infotainment apps. What’s more, this also opens the door for options like a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, and navigation.
- Model: 2018 Lincoln MKX Select
- Engine: 3.7-liter V6
- Output: 303 hp / 278 lb-ft
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 17 City / 25 Hwy
- Options: Select PLUS Package ($1,200, voice-controlled navigation, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert)
- Base Price: $43,475 (including a $925 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $44,675
The Lincoln MKX’s base engine accelerates the crossover well with its 303 horsepower, but there's some value in shelling out the extra $2,000 for the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6. This boosted V6 has more-accessible horsepower and torque, which add to the driving experience and make it feel more on par with its higher-end competitors.
The MKX’s ride is well sorted in all trims, but all-wheel-drive models with the adaptive suspension feel even more composed in Sport mode. This mode tightens everything up just a hair without making it too rough. Plus, braking is surprisingly good and free from any dramatics.
Fuel economy, though, suffers big time, as the base engine gulps fuel at a pace of at least 16 miles per gallon city, 23 highway, and 19 combined, according to the EPA. The turbocharged V6 is a little easier on fuel, but it still has a big appetite at an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined.
Styling is a tough one for the MKX, as many buyers will look at it and recall the mass-market Ford Edge. What’s more, the luxury touches that attempt to separate it from its Ford donor – including the maligned Lincoln twin-wing grille, shiny chrome, and the massive one-piece taillight assembly – are dated.
Inside, the MKX does a little better with its unique cabin that's free of much clutter and feels far more upscale than its source material. Moving up to the Black Label trim adds true luxury, like chestnut leather with maple wood trim, but it's costly at nearly $55,000. While the lack of a gear shifter does contribute to the cleanliness, it results in a finicky and frustrating push-button transmission.
In terms of overall comfort, though, the MKX’s interior is well above average, as its standard heated 10-way power seats are plenty supportive, while the optional massage function adds to the upscale feel. There's plenty of room too, as it boasts 39.6 inches of rear seat leg room and up to 68.8 cubes of cargo room with the rear seats folded.
The Best and Worst Things
The cabin is by far the best thing about the MKX, as it's well laid out, peaceful and comfortable in all trims. Sure, the synthetic leather in the base models is a bummer, but the comfort remains. What’s more, the Black Label model caters nicely to the deeper-pocketed individual.
On the downside, the Lincoln brand doesn’t scream luxury, and its ho-hum exterior appearance doesn’t do much to sway this opinion.
Right For? Wrong For?
The Bottom Line
While Lincoln is on the upswing in terms of carving out space in the luxury realm, some of its models have fallen behind, and the 2018 MKX is lagging a bit. Its replacement, the 2019 Nautilus, is sure to be a better option.