Oakville Drives: 2017 Lincoln MKX – A Professional Driver’s Perspective

2017 Lincoln MKX Reserve AWD
Oakville Drives: 2017 Lincoln MKX – A Professional Driver’s Perspective

About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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The 2017 Lincoln MKX is a second-generation all wheel drive mid-sized luxury crossover introduced in 2016 to replace the original version that existed for model years 2007 to 2015. A crossover is based on a car platform rather than a truck platform often used for SUV’s. The MKX is based on the Ford Edge platform and is assembled at the Oakville, Ontario plant. It is one of Ford’s best selling brands with over 3,000 MKXs sold last year in Canada and over 30,000 in the USA. This is one luxury 5-passenger crossover that deserves to be considered.

 

2017 Lincoln MKX

2017 Lincoln MKX; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

Handling characteristics

The MKX comes standard with Ford’s 303 hp 3.7L V6 in both the “Select” and “Reserve” models. My test vehicle included the optional 2.7L twin turbocharged V-6 (available only on the “Reserve”) with 335hp and 380 lb-ft of torque matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This is an excellent combination that hopefully they won’t mess with in the future. During acceleration, the shifts are smooth, without the busyness felt with 8-9 speed transmissions. Similarly, down shifts are timely and without the usual hesitation and jerkiness of the higher gear transmissions. Ford’s 2.7L twin turbocharged engine generates enough power to handle all highway and city driving needs. Acceleration for merging into highway traffic as well as for two-lane highway passing is more than adequate. The MKX suspension includes driver adjustable variable damping on the front shock absorbers – to modify the ride quality to your liking.

Despite the size and height of the vehicle including the optional ($2,950) 21” wheels, I found the ride quality very comfortable for both city and highway conditions, even in “Sport” mode. Highway as well as country road driving is a pleasant experience with this comfortable suspension and minimal body roll, even through tighter corners at speed. Some of this is assisted through the MKX’s roll stability control system and 4- wheel disc ABS braking. The MKX also shines in everyday city driving. As a driver, you sit a bit higher and have good visibility to what’s happening around you – essential when looking out for the bicycle riders and wayward pedestrians. Parking is made easier through the optional $1,100 Technology Package providing active park assist, park sensors as well as the 360-degree camera system.

This crossover also came with the optional ($500) trailer tow package with Class II hitch and trailer sway control. Trailer hitches are rated from 1 to 5 representing increasing maximum gross trailer weight (GTW) and maximum trailer tongue weight. The MKX is rated for a maximum tow capacity of 1,588kg (3500 lbs) that is good for a smaller trailer or boat. Ford’s trailer sway control system helps to keep the vehicle and trailer combination in control, resulting in improved stability and reduced driver anxiety.

2017 Lincoln MKX

2017 Lincoln MKX; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

Comfort and styling

This crossover is a delight to be in. From the moment you approach the vehicle, you’re greeted with an illuminated “welcome mat” under the power-folding mirror. This is a helpful feature when approaching your vehicle parked on a dark street or driveway. Driver and front passenger comfort is excellent provided by the optional ($1,500) 22-way heated and cooled perforated leather seats that include a power cushion thigh extender and adjustable massaging air cushions in the seat and lower seat back. Just the thing for a long trip!

Ford Motor Company of Canada

Model: 2017 Jaguar XE R-Sport AWD
Engine: 2.7L twin turbocharged V-6
Base Price: $53,100 (before HST)
Price as Tested: $68,575 (before HST)

One of the nice to have options is the ($5,500) luxury package that includes adaptive LED headlights and the amazing Revel Ultima Audio system with 19 speakers. Ford already has an excellent Sync 3 display and voice activated system that stands up to the best of them. The optional upgraded audio system provides an astounding sound inside this MKX. The interior of this vehicle is well designed with all controls understandable and within easy reach. Storage space between the front seats is ample as a result of the dash mounted push button shifter. Equally ample is the rear cargo space that is more than offered by some competitors. Rear seats fold down to provide even more cargo space although I couldn’t get them quite flat.

I like the overall exterior and interior styling of this crossover. Fit and finish is very good with the possible exception of Ford’s use of less attractive plastic that should simply not be as obvious in a luxury vehicle.

2017 Lincoln MKX

2017 Lincoln MKX; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

Safety

As with most of the higher end products from Ford, this vehicle has the full range of current safety and security features as standard equipment found in a modern luxury vehicle. Standard are the multiple air bag and safety canopy systems, SOS post crash alert, and a host of control systems to maintain vehicle stability under variable driving conditions. The optional packages available and included in my test vehicle provided active park assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, lane keeping aid and lane departure warning, 360-degree camera, pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection. Hopefully these will all be standard equipment one day soon.

Things to consider

This is a luxury crossover that deserves consideration. The low ride height makes it a comfortable and easy vehicle to get in and out of. It is comfortable and roomy with lots of luxury features to make you feel pampered even on long trips. It has an excellent safety rating and meets a broad range of performance and functionality needs. For more automotive reviews and insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol.

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