2011 Lincoln MKX: First Drive

2011 Lincoln MKX - front view

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lincoln is hoping to give you the total crossover package with the launch of the 2011 Lincoln MKX. Considering the new design, innovative technology and class-leading fuel economy, I’d say they succeeded.

2011 Lincoln MKX - cabin At the very least, they’ll be giving the likes of Audi, Cadillac and Lexus a run for their luxury money. Which, if you look at comparably equipped models, Lincoln has already done in terms of pricing.

With a base price of $39,995 for the front-wheel drive model, the MKX packs in a lot of standard features such as heated and cooled front seats, MyLincoln Touch connectivity, MyKey programmable vehicle key, remote start, a capless fuel filler, keyless entry and push-button start. In many cases, the competitors offer similar features as options or not at all.

2011 Lincoln MKX - dash center

Topping the long list of standards is an even longer list of available technologies. And they’re not your average options we’re talking about here. We’re talking adaptive cruise control, iTunes tagging, blind spot monitoring, ambient lighting and the THX-II Certified Audio System.

The total package works together really well creating a car you won’t want (or need) to leave. And did I mention that the MKX can be a wi-fi hot spot for up to 5 computers?

All that and MKX has more horsepower and better fuel economy ratings than every other midsize luxury crossover.

MKX comes equipped with a 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V-6 engine that delivers 305 horsepower—a 40 horsepower increase over the previous generation. Fuel economy increases by 1 mpg over previous generation as well with EPA city/highway estimates of 19/26 mpg. Both the Lexus RX and the Cadillac SRX ring in at 18/25 mpg.

I thought the engine power was perfect. Acceleration with the 6-speed automatic was smooth and seamless, and whether I was aggressively passing on the highway or merging with traffic, I never felt like the MKX struggled for power.

The interior of the MKX was both incredibly quiet and incredibly comfortable. The seats, the touch points and the center stack are all on par with a high-tech luxurious vehicle. I’m particularly fond of the 4-color, sleek behind-the-wheel gauges, which are, frankly, the most beautifully designed gauges out there.

The exterior of the MKX gets slicked up and smoothed out, adopting the signature split-wing Lincoln grille. The taillights get the Audi LED treatment, and the overall appearance goes upscale. The new façade is blendy without being overly nondescript.

2011 Lincoln MKX - dash-gauges Other than a couple of minor complaints (the big blocky side mirror creates a blind spot and the huge gap between the gas and brake pedals), I really liked the MKX. I mean really liked the MKX. Better than any other luxury crossover I’ve tested. It had the comfort and power of a Lexus and the cool design of a Cadillac. Where the RX and SRX only get half of the equation right, MKX combines it all into a total package.

– Jill Ciminillo

Drive She Said

2011 Lincoln MKX - rear view

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