By KBB.com Editors
With the 2006 introduction of its mid-size Zephyr (now MKZ) sedan and a nicely reworked Navigator SUV for 2007, Lincoln is on a bit of a roll. This very nice new MKX crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is a welcome addition to its stable. Lincoln is far from first to the car-based "crossover" party, but this all-new entry is fresh in terms of its generally excellent blend of style, function, features and driving dynamics. One thing it does not havesomewhat surprisingly, given its fairly substantial sizeis an available third-row seat. Three-seat CUV seekers can check out Ford's less expensive and more conservatively styled Freestyle, but there is no Lincoln version of that.You'll Like This Car If...
If the styling appeals, the features delight, the price is right and you're ready for a credible alternative to some better-known imports, this handsome new Lincoln CUV may be an excellent choice.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're not yet ready to welcome a "near luxury" Lincoln onto your crossover consideration list, or if your needs absolutely require a third-row seat, there are plenty of alternatives out there.What's New for 2007
The feature-loaded MKX, Lincoln's first-ever CUV, is designed, equipped and priced to compete very well in the crowded near-luxury crossover segment, which includes the likes of the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti FX35/45, Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Volkswagen Touareg, Volvo XC90 and the soon-to-come Buick Enclave. Its only major disadvantages are the lack of an available third-row seat and, arguably, its unfortunate contribution to the market's confusing hodge-podge of alpha-numeric names.Driving It Driving Impressions
We found the MKX's acceleration subjectively excellent from rest or almost any speed, though no manu-matic feature is provided for those who sometimes like to select their own gears. The MacPherson strut front suspension uses ride-smoothing hydro bushings on an isolated subframe. The four-link independent rear suspension has outboard rear shocks for improved wheel control. The available "intelligent" all-wheel drive monitors and predicts traction at all four wheels and delivers torque to those with the best grip. It all works surprisingly well to deliver a near-car-like ride and agile handling despite its 4,220-pound base curb weight. This may be the quietest Lincoln ever built, but (partly to accommodate the huge Vista Roof) there's no front passenger assist handle.Favorite Features
Adaptive Front Lighting
The MKX's projector-beam headlights pivot with the steering to illuminate as much as 36 more feet of road during cornering.
Panoramic Vista Roof
A giant 27.3- by 29.4-inch optional forward sunroof slides open fully or tilts to vent at the touch of a switch, while a 15.75- by 31.3-inch fixed rear moon roof gives rear-seat passengers an overhead sky view. Dual power sunshades operate concurrently to block out glare when desired.
The ultra-quiet cabin features large, legible gauges and a well-organized center stack housing the audio and optional DVD navigation systems. Accents are satin nickel or optional wood, and interior lighting is cool white. The large, deep console box has adjustable inserts that can accommodate CDs, purses or laptop computers. The 60/40-split second-row seat provides impressive roominess in all dimensions and can fold forward into a level floor or recline up to 15 degrees with the same easy-to-use handle. The large rear liftgate opens to 31.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row or 68.7 with it folded.Exterior
The MKX (unlike its full-size SUV big brother Navigator) is noticeably devoid of gratuitous chrome, or "bling." Its handsome look begins with a heritage Lincoln grille, integrated fog lamps and a steeply-sloped windshield, extends along its high-shouldered, flare-fendered flanks with blacked-out rocker panels and finishes with a fast-sloping rear window under an integrated roof spoiler, wrap-around taillights connected by edge-to-edge LEDs across the liftgate and sporty dual exhausts. To enhance its stance and optimize interior room, the standard 18-inch wheels are pushed as far as possible toward the corners.Notable Standard Equipment
The nicely-equipped Lincoln MKX comes with automatic headlamps, leather seating, eight-way power front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, dual air conditioning with particulate filter, six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, power rack-and-pinion steering, 18-inch machined-aluminum wheels, power heated mirrors, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry with keypad, premium MP3-capable audio with six-CD changer and three 12-volt outlets. Standard safety features include four-wheel disc four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control with Roll Stability Control (RSC) and six air bags: Dual-stage fronts, seat-mounted side bags and a Safety Canopy air-curtain system with rollover detection.Notable Optional Equipment
Among the many MKX options are chromed wheels, adaptive front lighting, a panoramic Vista Roof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, three choices of wood interior trim, a 600-watt, 14-speaker THX Certified audio system and DVD navigation with voice technology that can read turn-by-turn directions in three languages, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an eight-inch drop-down screen, an Easy Fold remote switch that drops the second-row seats flat, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, an MP3 input jack and a fourth 12-volt outlet inside the console box for your iPod, cell phone, laptop or PDA.Under the Hood
The MKX's all-new 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve aluminum Duratec 35 V6 delivers 265 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque through a new six-speed multiple-clutch automatic transmission. It boasts variable intake cam timing, a dual-plenum intake manifold and a relatively high 10.3:1 compression ratio to optimize its balance of performance and efficiency.
265 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (FWD), 17/24 (AWD)
The starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2007 Lincoln MKX is a surprisingly reasonable $34,795 with standard front-wheel drive and $36,445 with all-wheel drive. That compares favorably to the Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX 350 and Acura MDX at $37,855, $38,115 and $40,665, respectively. We expect that the MKX will retain an average residual value over time, besting the Cadillac SRX but below the Lexus RX 350's expected residual. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price before buying to see what customers are actually paying in your area.