The current gen MKC is, for the most part, a nice looking compact CUV, inside and out and how it performs. But the problem is as I see it, is with it's fit in the market segment. What seems to have happened is that Lincoln took the 40+ 'Quiet Luxury' playbook, and applied it to the C-Segment CUV where the market is the high 20s and low to mid 30s. Nice product, but the wrong audience for maximum penetration.
Which brings up the question, what should Lincoln do with the next gen MKC so it's a better fit for the segment it competes?
Looking at sales since the MKC was launched, the Lexus NX coming late to the game, has dominated the segment with more than double the MKC sales for 2016. The design was polarizing, with many wondering what Lexus was doing. But apparently, Lexus knew what they were doing....targeting the younger market segment directly. This segment is loud and in your face not quiet and reserved which for that demographic = old.
I can agree with some of what you said. The production MKC does look frumpy compared to the concept. I don't know if you ever saw the concept, but it was much more sleek and sporty looking than what we ended up getting, and likely would've better appealed to the younger audience you're talking about. The production model, while nice, is more upright and less sporty, which hurt that image.
In regards to the NX, I think the biggest reason for its success is the strength of the Lexus brand more so than the NX itself. I've been in a few, and I just can't see how anyone likes the bizarre shapes on the interior (that applies to anything Lexus these days for that matter). I will admit, though, aside from the new LC, the NX is my "favorite" of the Lexus designs (I don't like it, but something about it seems like they got the design right compared to the other models). I think they cruise on reputation that helps people get past the strange styling direction they've gone with. Lincoln currently doesn't have that reputation, they have to work to build that.
Originally Posted by AllenLincoln93
As cliche as this sounds, I'd love for the interior of a new MKC to resemble that of the new Navigator, but in a small package. The new Navigator has a youthful yet sophisticated interior, and I can see that in the MKC and every upcoming Lincoln. The new Lexus interiors are way too gaudy and overly styled in my opinion. I obviously want Lincoln to progress but I don't want them to be so in your face with a weird design like Lexus. I feel like they're going for a more simplified chique Audi/Jaguar aesthetic.
Oh I for sure think we'll see Navigator's interior be the standard for Lincoln interiors going forward - both in quality and design/look. I think Navigator's interior looks great - it's a luxurious look, but is clean and not overstyled.
The thing I'm curious to see is whether the crossovers retain the more curvy design language of the current MKC and MKX or if they go a more boxy, mini Navigator/Range Rover design direction.