2015 Lincoln MKC
?A small luxury, spirited SUV?
The Lincoln Motor Company has changed direction and scope. It?s seemingly no longer focused on classic, elegant luxury land yacht status, but is now concentrating on attracting a younger, more active consumer, with different goals in mind. Displaying a show of wealth no longer seems to be of major concern in this new age. The 2015 Lincoln MKC is the latest example of the Lincoln Motor Company?s mission statement. The Lincoln MKC is a compact luxury SUV that will be available in three levels of trim: Premiere; Select; and Reserve. The lineup will also offer several available freestanding packages and features.
Power is provided by either a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder engine, or a 2.3-literEcoBoost four-cylinder. Both engines are positioned up front in a transverse orientation, and both are DOHC, 16-valve, high-pressure direct injection motors with twin independent variable camshaft timing. Lincoln MKC models with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost motors come in either a FWD or AWD configuration, while the 2.3-liter powered models come only in an AWD configuration. The 2.0- liter EcoBoost engine produces 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, along with 270 pound feet of torque at 3,00 rpm. The 2.3- liter engine delivers 285 horses at 5,500 rpm while developing 305 pound feet of torque at 2,750 rpm. Both engine variants transfer motive energy to the driving wheels via a six-speed Selectshift automatic with paddle activation.
Suspension componentry consists of Independent MacPherson-strut type up front with a stabilizer bar, twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks; and continuously controlled damping as standard on AWD models. In the rear is a fully independent multi link setup with a stabilizer bar, progressive-rate springs and monotube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks; and continuously controlled damping standard with AWD.
Steering is electric power-assisted with a manual tilt and telescopic column. Braking is courtesy of standard power-assisted, four-channel, four-wheel discs (vented front) with an Anti-Lock Brake System; AdvanceTrac? with Roll Stability Control? (RSC?); and electronic parking brake.
The Lincoln MKC is the first vehicle to be designed from the ground up in a dedicated Lincoln Design Studio, striking a sporty yet elegant stance. The body presents a sleek, sculpted form with a high beltline and low shoulders, creating a strong, athletic persona that?s enhanced by a low center of gravity resulting in responsive handling and cornering stability. Pedestal sideview mirrors improve visibility, while an available panoramic Vista Roof? lets natural light fill the cabin, for an open feeling.
Out back, the distinctive wraparound liftgate combines form with function in a fluid design that was created by a complex hydroforming process, resulting in a clean appearance which is free of typical lines and joints, with a wide opening for easy access to the cargo area. An optional hands-free feature opens the liftgate with a kicking motion below the rear bumper.
Complementing the MKC?s full-width LED taillamps, longer-lasting and energy-efficient HID headlamps are integrated within the Lincoln signature split-wing grille giving the front end a distinctive look that?s consistent with Lincoln?s current design DNA.
Noteworthy craftsmanship is evidenced by rich materials and luxurious detailing on the door panels and seats, as well as in the clean, uncluttered one-piece center console that creates a calm and open environment. A sweeping, full-width instrument panel, complete with the Lincoln signature push-button gear shift, contributes to a sense of spaciousness while creating storage space in the center console where a traditional gear shift would ordinarily be.
Throughout the cabin, available open-pore wood trim, door-panel stitching, and exclusive Bridge of Weir? Deepsoft leather-trimmed seats accentuate the Lincoln MKC?s sumptuousness. Deepsoft leather is a non-embossed, chromium-free leather that undergoes a 16-hour softening process to give it a supple, natural feel. Available trims include Sonata Spin appliqu?s, and natural, responsibly harvested Zebrano and Santos Rosewood.
Lincoln Drive Control is an optional suite of ride-enhancing technologies designed to customize the driving experience. Lincoln Drive Control consists of continuously controlled damping, electric power-assisted steering and active noise control.
Drivers may choose any of three drive modes: sport, comfort and normal. In sport mode, automatic downshifting provides more torque and increased performance. The chosen setting displays on the vehicle?s advanced LED instrument panel, blue for comfort mode and red for sport mode, allowing drivers to select the handling and responsiveness that best suits their preference.
The Lincoln MKC?s active noise control system consists of a control unit and a series of speakers and microphones that capture, analyze and refine or cancel sound waves to enhance overall sound quality in the cabin and provide a pleasant driving environment. Other elements meant to ensure a comfortable, quiet ride include thick, acoustic-laminate windshield glass and felted wheel wells that help limit road noise.
Driver and passengers may be treated an available enhanced THX? II Certified Audio System. The system ? the result of a 10-year collaboration between Lincoln and THX ? offers THX-distributed bass technology, 14 speakers and three two-way front slot speaker assemblies to deliver a rich surround-sound experience.
Lincoln?s first-ever small utility vehicle is the first to offer always-on, built-in connectivity through an available embedded modem. Via a smartphone app that communicates with the vehicle, the available MyLincoln Mobile? app gives Lincoln MKC owners the ability to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle, as well as schedule a remote start. Vehicle owners can also use the app to access important vehicle status information such as fuel level, battery charge status and tire pressure.
The SYNC? with MyLincoln Touch? driver connectivity system enables control of phone, entertainment, climate and optional navigation by means of voice-activated commands or simple touch controls on an 8-inch screen. Knobs and buttons on the center console provide additional access to easily adjust air conditioning and sound system settings. The Lincoln MKC will greet owners with approach detection, a feature that senses when an owner is within a range of up to 8 feet, at which point the vehicle emits a soft glow.
Safety features and equipment abound on the Lincoln MKC including: AdvanceTrac? with Roll Stability Control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic brakeforce distribution; a Park out assist feature uses sensors to guide drivers out of tight parallel parking spots, (an addition to active park assist that helps locate a parallel parking space and guide the driver into it);?Adaptive cruise control; A collision warning system alerts the driver if it detects a potential front-end crash; Lane-Keeping System with Lane-Keeping Alert and Lane-Keeping Aid; Blind Spot Information System, or BLIS, signals the driver when a vehicle enters one of its blind spots by displaying an indicator in the sideview mirror; Cross-traffic alert detects traffic approaching from either side as the vehicle backs out of a parking space and warns the driver when another vehicle is present; and a Rearview camera displays image on the center console-mounted 8-inch screen.
I was able to test a 2.3-liter EcoBoost powered 2015 Lincoln MKC in Reserve trim and AWD configuration. Pricing for the MKC starts at $36,375 but my test MKC topped out at $50,405 which included the Destination and Handling charge. My tester wore a Ruby Red metallic tinted clearcoat exterior finish and featured an interior executed in Hazelnut Premium leather trim. Options included Equipment Group 102A, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the metallic paint, the Technology Package, Enhanced THXRII audio system, 19-inch premium wheels and the Climate Package.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Lincoln MKC provides The Lincoln Motor Company Lincoln with a compelling entry into the small premium utility market, which is the fastest-growing segment in the luxury automotive market. This segment has increased in the United States by more than 600 percent since 2008, and is expected to gain an additional 288 percent by 2018, according to IHS. By next year, the small premium utility segment is projected to account for 6 percent of luxury automotive sales.
The Lincoln MKC (we?re told that the MK model prefix is for Mark from Lincoln?s past, and that the C is for Compact SUV) is a stylish utility that drives well and is luxurious in its appointments. Handling characteristics lean to the sporty side, while ride quality is compliant without being mushy and firm, but not harsh. Torque Vectoring adds to the stability of the MKC during spirited maneuvers.
All in all, the Lincoln MKC is a small premium utility vehicle that blends a pleasing visual appeal, athletic performance, high build quality and state-of-the-art technology. It is the second of four all-new Lincoln vehicles due to debut in the marketplace by 2016. It would be more Lincolnesque with iconic ?suicide? or coach rear doors.
Production of the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC is under way at Ford?s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Lincoln MKC
Base Price: $33,100. ? (2.0-liter EcoBoost Premiere FWD)
Price as Tested: $50,405. ? (2.3-liter EcoBoost Reserve AWD)
Engine Type and Size: 2.3-liter EcoBoost DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Ti- VCT
Horsepower (bhp): 285 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 305 @ 2,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed Selectshift? automatic with push-button?gear selector and steering wheel-mounted paddle
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD or AWD
Suspension: ? ?Front – Independent MacPherson-strut type with?stabilizer bar, twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized
shocks; and continuously controlled damping (CCD)?standard on AWD models.
Rear – Fully independent multi link with stabilizer bar,?progressive-rate springs and monotube hydraulic ? ? ??gas-pressurized shocks; continuously controlled damping?(CCD) standard on AWD models.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-channel, four-wheel discs (vented?front) with ABS, AdvanceTrac? with Roll Stability
Control? (RSC?); and electronic parking brake.
Tires: Michelin Latitude Tour H/T 245/45 R19 mounted on 5-geometric ?V?-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 105.9 inches
Length Overall: 179.2 inches
Width: 84.1 inches including mirrors.
Height: 65.2 inches
Curb Weight: 3,989 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 15.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 18 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Review by Arv Voss
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.