2009 Lincoln MKX AWD

I don't mind the styling of the Lincoln MKX and its corporate cousin, the Ford Edge, but the MKX doesn't really look like I expect a Lincoln to look. Instead, I see it simply as an Edge in fancy eveningwear. I think part of the problem is that, when the MXK was created, Lincoln's renaissance was just in its infancy. And even though there have been lots of new products, the brand has lacked a coherent design language until, arguably, this year. Styling cues are now shared across the MKS sedan, the MKZ sedan, the upcoming MKT seven-seat crossover, and even the C concept from this year's Detroit auto show, but the MKX is the odd man out.

The MXK does share some of its interior design themes with another Lincoln, though, and that would be the big Navigator SUV. Both vehicles sport symmetrical, dual-cockpit-style instrument panels with squared gauges that are an homage to the legendary Continentals. The dashboard is another retro throwback, because it feels nearly as hard as the stamped-steel panels used in the 1960s. Ford used a slightly softer plastic on the upper region of the center stack, which is nice, but then chose a harder, sharply edged plastic right where you rest your kneecap.

The MKX certainly is comfortable to drive, however. Although the 3.5-liter V-6 is a bit coarse at higher revs, it moves the MKX along fairly well, and the six-speed automatic shifts quite smoothly. The three inches of snow I trekked through one morning never posed a problem, although it's not terribly difficult to break loose the rear axle. Stability control, of course, is standard.

All in all, the MXK is a competent luxury crossover, but I can't say the Lincoln does anything or offers anything that a fully loaded Edge doesn't. Put me in an Edge Sport with Ford's Sync connectivity system, and I'd be just as happy.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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