2015 Lincoln MKC – Not your grandfather’s Lincoln
The face of the Lincoln Motor Company has been going through some pretty dramatic changes over the last few years. Finally moving away from that “makes a good shuttle or rental car” vibe and into a more bold and focused design esthetic, Lincoln has been fighting to win over that younger demographic it so desperately needs. With the launch of the new MKC — and a big marketing push that includes a string of artsy yet somewhat cheesy TV adverts featuring Matthew McConaughey — the brand has pushed into the premium compact crossover segment in the hopes of generating more growth.
The new MKC is by far the most visually appealing vehicle in Lincoln’s growing repertoire. Sharing the same base platform as the Ford Escape, the MKC carries the same spot-on proportions as the Escape. Combining this with Lincoln’s wing-shaped front grille and funky rear tail-light setup, and you wind up with one unique and stylish end product. The compact crossover segment has become massive over the past five years, so Lincoln was smart to make sure that the new MKC would not blend in with the rest of the pack. That being said, from its side profile you could almost mistake it for the Volkswagen Tiguan.
On the inside the MKC is equally as stylish and refined. The use of wood trim and faux metal trim panelling is tastefully executed and, though I’d rather see proper aluminum, it’s still a fine effort considering the entry price of just over $39,000. With so many manufacturers going overboard with multiple types of trim and accents to dress up interiors, the MKC comes across as refreshingly simple in execution. Being a compact crossover, cargo capacity isn’t massive, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still reasonable for the segment offering 712-Litre of cargo area behind the rear seats.
In terms of performance the MKC is by no means that wafting, cushy old cruiser of generations gone by. The Escape/MKC chassis is set up to be firm and well balanced without feeling abusive on rough roads, and engineers at Lincoln went out of their way to give the MKC a bit of a better handling setup than the Escape. Ford’s 2.0-L Ecoboost engine is available in the base model and offers a very respectable 240-horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The MKC is quick off the line in base trim, and for those wanting a little more get up and go, the optional 2.3-L Ecoboost engine goes a step further to 270-hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, making the MKC quick enough to compete with the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
In many ways, the new MKC is the “make it or break it” car for Lincoln as it struggles to boost sales. But does it have the chops to save the Detroit nameplate? That’s up to the paying public.