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2015 Lincoln MKX: New Car Review

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Lincoln Nautilus, which has replaced the MKX, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Review.

 

Every luxury SUV maker stakes a claim on the attributes it thinks buyers most desire. With BMW, performance is the priority, while Audi tends to emphasis its luxurious interiors and polished appearance. In the case of the 2015 Lincoln MKX, the manufacturer seems to be trying to offer a little of everything without overemphasizing any one aspect. By doing so, the Lincoln MKX offers its buyers a satisfactory level of luxury, performance and styling without asking them to fork over an arm and a leg to call it their own.

The MKX is loaded with cool features. It’s fully integrated with the voice-activated SYNC communication system, and MyLincoln Touch controls audio, Bluetooth, navigation and climate via a touchscreen display. Many find the multiple display screens of the MyLincoln Touch system to be overly complicated and temperamental — a complaint heard increasingly as luxury cars become more like rolling iPads and less like modes of transportation. See the 2015 Lincoln MKX models for sale near you

What’s New for 2015?

There are no major changes to the 2015 Lincoln MKX

What We Like

Good ride and handling; state-of-the-art communications; quiet interior; reasonably priced

What We Don’t

Awkward power lift gate rod; sluggish manual shifting; polarizing styling

How Much?

$39,795-$54,000

Fuel Economy

Lincoln offers only one engine for the 2015 MKX: a sophisticated and robust 3.7-liter V6 that’s good for 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power, but it’s necessary for a vehicle weighing 4,200 pounds. Fuel economy reaches 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway (17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive), which places the MKX at the top of its class if you don’t count hybrid and diesel-powered competitors. Power is routed to the MKX’s wheels via a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that also allows the driver to change gears manually.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Lincoln MKX is offered in only one trim with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The MKX ($39,795) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a rear obstacle-detection system, heated and cooled front seats, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Intelligent Access with push-button start and MyKey programmable key fob, the Easy Fuel capless fuel system, the reverse sensing system, SYNC with MyLincoln touch, a premium audio system with 10 speakers and two USB ports, Bluetooth, remote start, speed-sensitive front wipers, a configurable instrument cluster, a manual tilt/telescoping steering column and a power rear lift gate.

Options include all-wheel drive and two equipment packages. Equipment Group 101A includes the Premium Package, which adds the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, HID adaptive headlights, a power tilt/telescopic steering column and memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering column position. Also included are heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, heated rear seats, premium perforated leather seating, rain-sensing wipers and a heated steering wheel.

Equipment Group 102A adds voice-activated navigation and a panoramic sunroof.

Other packages include the Limited Edition Package, the Trailer Tow Package and the Wood Package.

Stand-alone options for the MKX include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Adaptive Speed Control with Forward Collision Warning and brake support, and a number of dealer-installed equipment items.

Safety

The MKX features a full complement of airbags, including front side-impact and full-length side-curtain airbags. The car is also equipped with rollover-detection sensors that deploy the side airbags in a rollover accident. At the wheels, electronic traction and stability control are standard. Also on the list of available safety equipment is the BLIS blind spot monitoring system and a rearview camera. A radar-based rear backup warning system is standard.

When crash-tested, the MKX received four overall stars from the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received three stars for frontal-impact tests, four stars in rollover tests and five stars in side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Lincoln MKX its highest rating of Good in all categories it was tested in.

Behind the Wheel

The 2015 Lincoln MKX has a solid, bricklike look that is mirrored in its driving performance. The MKX feels reliably stable at high speeds — so much so that it is easy to slip past a 65 miles per hour speed limit without noticing. Ample sound-deadening material and laminated glass keep the MKX’s interior whisper quiet — a tough feat for any vehicle with an exposed cargo bay.

The 305-hp V6 delivers excellent performance, and the SelectShift 6-speed automatic makes quick work of gear changes, though we weren’t impressed with the manual shift mode, which seemed slow to take orders and not all that fun to play with. For our money, the added cost of all-wheel drive is well worth it: It provides better traction in foul weather and better handling on dry pavement.

Other Cars to Consider

Cadillac SRX — The SRX’s styling is a bit sharper than the MKX’s, and it can be equipped with a more sophisticated electronic suspension. However, the less-expensive MKX has a bigger back seat and generally feels more athletic.

Audi Q5 — Audi’s Q5 has a more luxurious look and feel, both inside and out. Plus, it comes standard with quattro all-wheel drive. Opting for the MKX over the Q5 will save you a lot of money and give you more horsepower and a bigger interior.

Lexus RX350 — Its styling may appear conservative, but the RX350’s nearly flawless reliability and resale value beat the MKX, plus there is a hybrid model: the RX400h.

Used BMW X5 — A 2010-2014 BMW X5 will give you much better performance, more high-tech features and more respectability.

Autotrader’s Advice

Our choice would be the all-wheel-drive version of the MKX with both Premium and Elite Packages. After all, if you’re going to buy a Lincoln, it should be loaded. If you like the look and feel of the MKX but don’t want all the technology and the high price, we suggest you look at the Ford Edge. It offers many of the MKX’s basic luxury conveniences in a less-expensive, yet still-attractive, package. 

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