2011 Lincoln MKX

Matt Tierney

MyLincoln Touch provided one of the easiest iPhone-syncing experiences I've had in any car. The voice command dialing worked superbly and the sound quality was excellent. I was pleasantly surprised, because I've had so many bad experiences with syncing phones and with voice control in various brands of test cars, I had about given up trying to do it anymore. But Ford and Lincoln have made such a big deal out of MyTouch, I figured I ought to give it a try, and I was glad I did.

I took two retired ladies for a ride in the Lincoln MKX, one of whom owns a Lexus RX350, and they were impressed. The Lexus owner thought this was a much more exciting and glamorous vehicle.

I have to admit I was shocked by the sticker price of our admittedly fully loaded model: $51K. Wow. I'm sorry, but I don't think the Lincoln brand has enough equity in our marketplace to be charging the same sort of dough that Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi can for their small/mid-size luxury crossovers. I pegged this as more of a $40K, $45K sort of vehicle.

The performance from the 3.7-liter V-6 is fine -- 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque is nothing to sneeze at-but for $51K I think buyers might rightfully expect the EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6.

The touch-screen interface is at once totally cool and totally frustrating. I like the four submenus, located in the four corners of the screen, that give you core information on what's happening with your phone, radio, climate control, and navigation functions. I was frustrated by the touchpad volume control and could only manage to dial the volume up or down in 25% increments, but I was later told by a colleague that you have to touch your fingertip and then slide it for smaller increments. Or, as my colleague said, just use the steering wheel mounted volume control. As for the optional THX II stereo in our test car? It totally rocks.

As do the heaters for the seat and steering wheel, but turning them on via the touch screen is a little bit fussy, requiring your fingertip to hit the screen just so. I do like the way you can punch in a radio station numerically with the numbered keypad.

Like every Ford and Lincoln vehicle built on this front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive corporate platform, the MKX suffers from an overall feeling of being just a bit bloated. The relationship between the driver, the driver's seat, the side glass, the dashboard, and the windshield is just a little off. There's a feeling of unnecessary mass that you don't get in a lot of the MKX's competitors, such as the Audi Q5, the Mercedes GLK, and even the Cadillac SRX. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's definitely something I notice.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

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