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

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2015

The Lincoln lineup now offers two luxury crossovers, the compact MKC and the midsize MKX. Despite their sizing differences, the 2016 Lincoln MKC and the 2016 Lincoln MKX appear fairly similar on paper, offering similar designs, similar equipment and a shared seating capacity of five passengers. What are the major differences separating the MKC and the MKX? We've created a close comparison of both models to answer the question and help you decide which one is right for you.

Exterior

On the outside, the MKC and the MKX look fairly similar. That's by design, as the two crossovers are intended to bear a strong family resemblance, just in different size classes. The two models offer similar profiles, similar front and rear ends and similar unique styling touches, such as a taillight spanning the entire width of the tailgate. The primary exterior styling difference between the MKX and the MKC is size. At 190 inches in length, the midsize MKX is more than 10 inches longer than the compact MKC.

Interior

The MKC and the MKX also have a lot in common on the inside. Specifically, the two crossovers boast similar switchgear, similar interior materials, similar unorthodox gear selectors and similar controls, especially in the center control stack, which is virtually the same in both models. The primary interior difference between the MKC and the MKX once again relates to size. As you might expect, the smaller MKC offers less passenger room (especially in back) and less overall cargo space than the larger MKX.

Mechanicals

In addition to exterior and interior size, engine size is an easy way to tell apart the MKC from the larger MKX. Specifically, the MKC only offers 4-cylinder engines, while the MKX is only available with V6s.

The standard engine in the MKC is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder touting 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque; optional is a 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder that boasts an excellent 285 hp. Base-level MKC models offer front- or all-wheel drive, while the 2.3-liter powertrain is only available with all-wheel drive.

As for the MKX, the standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6 making 307 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, which makes 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, is optional. Unlike the MKC, both MKX powertrains are available with a choice between front- or all-wheel drive.

Features & Technology

Due to their recent redesigns (the MKC in 2015 and the MKX for the 2016 model year), Lincoln's crossovers are some of the most technologically advanced SUVs short of a Range Rover. Each boast a long list of available features, including an automated parking system, highly modern infotainment technology, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and an available MyLincoln Mobile app that lets you start the engine from your smartphone.

With that said, the MKX has a few slight advantages over its smaller stablemate. Specifically, only the MKX touts an available 360-degree camera system, and only the MKX offers LED headlights and front parking sensors. As a result, the MKX offers a slight leg up compared to the MKC when it comes to features and equipment.

Driving Experience

The MKX also asserts itself over the MKC on the road. While the smaller MKC is smooth and comfortable, the MKX is supremely so -- perhaps more than just about any luxury crossover available at this price point. Although neither model is especially agile (compared to, say, an Audi or a BMW), both tout predictable handling and responsive brakes. Both the MKC and MKX also offer good visibility in just about any direction.

Safety

Although the MKX has not yet been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the MKC earned an overall four stars out of a possible five. Neither the MKC nor the MKX have endured the full battery of tests carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

As for safety equipment, however, it's hard to get one past these two models. In addition to boasting all the standard equipment you could need, like side-curtain airbags, a backup camera and Ford's parent-friendly MyKey technology, the MKC and MKX also offer a litany of other safety features, such as a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and forward-collision warning. The MKX offers some advantages over the MKC, however, touting a lane-keep assist feature and an automatic forward-collision braking system in addition to the collision-warning feature.

Conclusions

The 2016 Lincoln MKC and 2016 Lincoln MKX are both excellent luxury crossovers with a lot of benefits, ranging from luxurious cabins and a lot of technology to a smooth, comfortable driving experience. The MKX offers some clear advantages, including a larger interior, more technology, a smoother ride and extra power. Is it worth the $5,000 premium over its smaller stablemate? It depends on your priorities, but we could easily see spending an extra $5,000 to add the MKX's additional benefits. Regardless of which one you pick, however, the MKC and MKX are certainly worth a look if you're shopping for a luxury crossover.

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Used 2015 Lincoln MKC AWD
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Used 2015 Lincoln MKC AWD
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Used 2015 Lincoln MKC FWD
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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 Lincoln MKC vs. 2016 Lincoln MKX: What's the Difference? - Autotrader