The good news here is that as Evan notes, Lincoln has taken the MKX as far as it possibly could have without redesigning it from scratch. The main story here is the incorporation of MyFord Touch. I'm still not a fan of trading trusty dials and switches for a slightly lag-prone touch screen, but there's no denying how nice it looks. More important, the new system houses some pretty promising new features, including wi-fi and the ability to synch with certain applications on your smart phone. For the new user, this is all a bit intimidating, but the technologically astute owner will find lots to enjoy.
Dynamically, the MKX still feels far less advanced. It's not horribly floaty and the 3.7-liter V-6 is plenty powerful, but anyone who has test driven a Volvo SC60, Audi Q5 or BMW X3 will immediately note the difference. But then, not every premium crossover needs to be a canyon carver. Just ask the class leading Lexus RX. Lincoln still lacks the cache and the perceived quality to go toe to toe with Toyota's premium brand, but if it keeps taking steps forward, it will in the relatively near future.
- David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
I spent the four-day Thanksgiving weekend driving, driving, driving. And it was cold, cold, cold. So I had to figure out those fiddly controls once and for all. Which, I hasten to add, ALL REAL OWNERS would actually do.
1. The steering wheel heater is blissful for about five minutes. Then its way too hot, and part of the wheel remains icy cold.
2. The seat heater on three is also a scorcher, and even one starts to feel a bit over-zealous in the bun warming department.
3. Check that list of standard features for $39,995 and you'll find the right balance of price/vehicle.
4. Each of the four sections on the main touch screen can be chosen my touching the thin color bar at the top of each. Then you have a more comprehensive, coherent view of the options available.
5. The real working part of the volume bar under the screen is the thin upper edge, not the wide bar where your finger rests.
6. In general, ALL of the controls including the convenient redundant steering wheel buttons are unusually light and delicate, like the main controller on a Blackberry Curve. For years, we've been using switches that we can operate with our mittens on, so this is a big mental leap. But the buttons now look so much more refined and designed. I grew used to it.
7. My husband noticed it first, the uncomfortableness of his physical relationship to the vehicle while driving. Joe DeMatio hits it on the head. The platform just feels odd.
8. I, like Evan, think the materials are exquisite.
- Jean Jennings, Editor In Chief