First Drive: 2016 Lincoln MKX Review

Lincoln's mid-size luxury offering entering its second-generation with an available 2.7L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6

It’s been nearly ten years since the mid-size Lincoln MKX luxury crossover hit the market, retaining the same design and attributes along the way. Finally, the new, second-generation 2016 Lincoln MKX has arrived in style, sharing the same design characteristics as its smaller MKC sibling introduced last year. 

Editor’s Note: the MKX is now the Lincoln Nautilus as of 2018. And the MKC is called Corsair as of 2020.

How does Lincoln’s mid-size luxury SUV handle?

A Lincoln is a smooth operator – always has and will be. For the 2016, this refinement gets better with upgrades to the body structure and chassis components to help make this the most powerful, best-handling, quietest Lincoln MKX ever, according to the automaker. On the roads, the MKX glides through corners thanks to the Standard Lincoln Drive Control: a suite of ride-enhancing technologies optimizing handling performance in three separate modes (Normal, Sport, Comfort).

Under the new MKX hood

Standard MKX power includes a 3.7- V6, projected to deliver 300-hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (based on preliminary test data). As per my tester, the optional powerplant is an advanced 2.7- twin turbocharged Ti-VCT EcoBoost V6 projected to deliver more than 330-hp and more than 370 lb.-ft. of torque (based on preliminary test data). Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with push-button shift.

2016 lincoln mkx
2016 Lincoln MKX. Photo: Amee Reehal

2016 MKX Interior

An automotive first is the exclusive Revel audio system, that seeks to bring the home theater audio quality to the mid-size MKX cabin. The Revel Ultima system is standard on Lincoln Black Label editions and available on Reserve models, featuring 19 speakers with point source architecture, which positions the tweeter and midrange speakers close together for enhanced audio quality.

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Aside from the upgraded, premium cabin materials you’d expect, the new MKX finds 22-way adjustable front seats incorporating active motion to reduce muscle fatigue particularly in the upper legs and lower back via six adjustable air bladders in the cushion and five adjustable air bladders in the lower seat back. In other words, crazy-ass seats with uncompromising comfort. The bottom side seat bolsters seemed tight for a larger person though.

2016 lincoln mkx
2016 Lincoln MKX. Photo: Amee Reehal

Exterior styling

As with the compact MKC, the MKX exterior design is well-balanced; the large dual-exhaust pipes look sporty yet subtly integrated into the body and the long, red taillights running left to right look sleek. The frontend treatment looks menacing yet contemporary, and those adaptable full-LED front headlamps executed as blades rather than projectors look updated and futuristic. See the Lincoln emblem on the front grill? It pushes out and up to reveal a camera, new for 2016.

Pros:

  • Clean, streamlined styling looks sharp and brave
  • Reintroduced buttons to the console (last year) – no more swiping volume
  • Quietest MKX yet – super smooth and silent on the highways with enough juice from the 2.7L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost

Cons:

  • Lincoln’s increasing price-point over the years now nearing the competitors
  • Second-generation took awhile but worth the wait

2016 Lincoln MKX Specs

  • Size and Type: Mid-size crossover, luxury
  • Capacity: 5-seats
  • Engine: 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 (standard); 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (optional)
  • Transmission: 3.7L: 6-Speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle activation; 2.7L: 6-Speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle activation
  • Power and Torque: 3.7L: 303 @ 6,500 and 278 @ 4,000; 2.7L: 335 @ 5,500 and 380 @ 3,000
  • Brakes: Power 4-wheel disc with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • Suspension: (front) Independent, MacPherson struts and L-shaped lower control arm with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar; (rear) Integral link rear independent suspension with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar
Amee Reehalhttp://www.ameereehal.com/
Shooting cars professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has appeared in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's the managing editor & founder of TractionLife.com. Find him travelling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, poorly.

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