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2016 Ford Edge vs. 2016 Lincoln MKX: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2016

Like many popular vehicles for sale today, the 2016 Lincoln MKX is a luxurious, upscale version of a mainstream model -- in this case, the 2016 Ford Edge. If you're interested in an MKX, you might be curious whether it offers enough differences from the Edge to justify its higher price tag or whether you should just save your money and buy an Edge instead. To help you answer that question, we've created a close comparison of both models that shows all the key differences between the MKX and the Edge.

Exterior

On the outside, there's no mistaking the Edge for the MKX. Ford and Lincoln have done an excellent job distinguishing the two crossovers, giving the Edge a more mainstream, traditional look (with typical Ford styling cues) and adding a more luxurious, high-end design to the MKX, along with usual Lincoln touches such as the brand's unique grille and taillights that span the entire tailgate. Put simply, we suspect you'll never confuse an Edge for an MKX, and vice versa. In fact, we suspect most car shoppers wouldn't be able to tell they're even related to one another.

Interior

Inside, it's a little more obvious that the Edge and MKX are related, but there are still some major differences. While similarities include overall interior space and a few switches and buttons, the Lincoln clearly distinguishes itself with several crucial upgrades over the Edge, such as better cabin materials, a smoother, more stylish dashboard and center control stack, and a higher-end gauge cluster with a larger screen. We also think the MKX's slick transmission buttons help it stand out over the Edge's traditional gear selector.

Mechanicals

Unlike many other models with upscale and mainstream versions, the Edge and MKX offer surprisingly different powertrains. Specifically, the Edge offers three engines. Base models use a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, while drivers who want more power have two additional options: a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 or a 315-hp 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 in the Edge Sport.

Meanwhile, the MKX offers two engines. There's no 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6, as the MKX comes standard with a 303-hp 3.7-liter V6. Only the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 is shared. In the MKX, it makes an additional 20 hp for a total of 335 horses and improved acceleration.

Features & Technology

Despite major differences in terms of powertrains, design and interior quality, the Edge and MKX are surprisingly similar when it comes to features and technology. Both models offer a lot of the same high-tech gadgets, such as an automated parallel-parking system, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and a panoramic sunroof -- despite the MKX's higher-end positioning.

With that said, the MKX has a few holdout features that give it a slight advantage over the Edge. For instance, while the Edge offers a backup camera and a 180-degree front-view camera, only the MKX offers a 360-degree camera system. The MKX's available 13-speaker sound system slightly trumps the Edge's 12-speaker system, while the MKX's available 22-way front seats are unrivaled in the Edge. The MKX also offers LED headlights and available trim packages you can't get in the Edge.

Still, most major features are present in both models. This is good news if you want a well-equipped Edge, but maybe not so good news if you want the MKX to stand out from its mainstream counterpart.

Driving Experience

When you get behind the wheel, it becomes immediately clear that these two models were designed and engineered to offer entirely different driving experiences. Specifically, the MKX offers a soft, cushy, quiet ride that rivals or beats out some of the top models in the high-end luxury-SUV segment -- the Lexus RX, the Acura MDX and the Infiniti QX60 -- while Edge owners will have to make do with more noise and slightly less ride comfort.

As for everything else, both models offer about the same handling and braking capabilities, and both the Edge and the MKX tout the same mediocre visibility -- especially to the rear. Fortunately, the two SUVs offer a plethora of safety features designed to help you safely maneuver. The big differences are under the hood: Edge models with the 2.0-liter engine feel downright slow, virtually requiring you to upgrade to the SUV's 3.5-liter V6, but both the Edge and the MKX feel almost sports-car-quick with their optional 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engines.

Safety

In crash testing carried out by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2016 Ford Edge earned a perfect 5-star overall score. The MKX has not yet been tested. The Edge also earned strong ratings from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it fell short of the firm's Top Safety Pick score after an average Acceptable rating in the challenging small-overlap front crash test. Once again, the MKX has not yet been tested.

As for safety gadgets, the Edge and MKX offer just about everything. Standard features are the usual -- side-curtain airbags, traction control, a backup camera and anti-lock brakes -- while options range from multi-angle cameras to parking sensors, forward-collision warning (which adds automatic braking in the MKX), rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and more. While we're a little disappointed by the Edge's mediocre small-overlap front crash-test score, these two models are still standouts when it comes to safety.

Conclusions

Despite similar underpinnings, the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX are actually very different. Not only do they offer different styling, different trims and different powertrains, but they even tout different driving experiences -- something that helps to really distinguish the MKX from its mainstream counterpart. Do these differences justify the MKX's $39,000 base price tag, compared to around $30,000 for the Edge? That's up to you to decide, but we think shoppers truly interested in a high-end SUV will be pleased with the latest MKX, even as they compare it to established rivals such as the Acura MDX and Lexus RX.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Ford Edge vs. 2016 Lincoln MKX: What's the Difference? - Autotrader