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2016 Lincoln MKX EcoBoost Review - CNET

CNET | Aug 19, 2015

CNET Editors' Rating

- The Good The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine delivers a blend of power and efficiency. Lincoln's new Revel Ultima premium audio system boasts great sound quality and staging. A solid offering of driver aid functions, including semi-automatic parking, boosts the 2016 Lincoln MKX's tech cred.

- The Bad MyLincoln Touch tech is sluggish and poorly organized. Adaptive cruise doesn't offer a creep function.
- The Bottom Line The 2016 Lincoln MKX is a solid upgrade over last year's model, but we'd wait until Lincoln updates its dashboard tech.
7.2 Overall



Lincoln continues the reinvention of its stable with the new 2016 Lincoln MKX midsize SUV. The SUV boasts a laundry list of revisions -- some shared with its cousin and platform-mate, the 2015 Ford Edge, and others unique to the luxury model.

New EcoBoost engine

Under the hood, tucked deep into the MKX's large engine bay, is the relatively small 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine; the same engine that you'll find available on the new Ford F-150 pickup's list of options. The downsized, twin-turbocharged mill makes a reasonably big 335 horsepower and an exceptional 380 pound-feet of torque when the accelerator is stomped. Most of the time, however, it's humming along quietly and efficiently. My 18.8 mpg average over a week of testing is on par with the EPA's 19 combined mpg estimate, which breaks out to 17 city and 24 highway mpg.

The engine is mated with a single-option, six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to either the front wheels or the automaker's on-demand all-wheel-drive setup. Rather than a traditional shift lever, Lincoln has decided to outfit the MKX with a bank of buttons for selecting the driving mode and direction. This move frees up a bit of elbow room in the cabin and gives the console a cleaner look.

The MKX steps down in displacement, but up in power and efficiency. Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The on-demand AWD system typically sends its power to the front wheels when cruising or under low-load situations, but can instantly and seamlessly shift most of the available torque to the rear wheels as needed or blend between the axles. I also noticed that shifting the gearbox into its Sport setting seems to favor the rear bias.

When the MKX is so tasked, the acceleration can be quite good. The EcoBoost V-6 has a meaty torque curve that makes passing satisfying. When delivering the power, the engine makes a nice, subdued sound. When cruising or idling, it's so smooth that you'd hardly notice that it's there.

Quiet ride

The EcoBoost V-6 is quieted partly by design, but mostly thanks to generous amounts of insulation and cabin isolation materials added to the MKX's chassis -- which is based on the same underpinnings as the 2015 Ford Edge. The passive sound damping works alongside active noise reduction, which uses the SUV's audio system to cancel out road and wind noise.

The Lincoln sits atop the Lincoln Drive adaptive suspension that helps to keep the ride smooth across cracked and rough pavement. The suspension features Sport, Normal and Comfort settings, which are tied to the transmission's settings.

The S button on the dashboard puts the transmission and suspension in their Sport settings. The D button sets the transmission to its normal program and, depending on the driver's preference, the suspension in either comfort or normal. It's a bit odd that I wasn't able to quickly toggle between the suspension's Comfort and Normal settings without going into a menu, but I'll accept that most drivers will probably pick one and stick with it for the vast majority of their commuting. And, honestly, the two settings didn't feel very much different from one another.

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Mercury C557
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^ :thumb: & Wow, that review seems to have more pix & stuff than I have time for :facepalm:
&
interesting:
...The on-demand AWD system typically sends its power to the front wheels when cruising or under low-load situations, but can instantly and seamlessly shift most of the available torque to the rear wheels as needed or blend between the axles. I also noticed that shifting the gearbox into its Sport setting seems to favor the rear bias...
&
I wonder if the non-MLT stuff:
...Adaptive cruise doesn't offer a creep function...
CAN get upgraded/adjusted without waiting for an MCE?
 

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I saw this awhile ago, and after another MLT malfunction over the weekend that crippled the navigation system while on the road, I'm really questioning if I should buy the 2016 MKX I'm still waiting for.
 

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I'm not at all clear on what a "creep function" would be in this context. Would someone be kind enough to explain that to me, please?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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I still question Ford launching new vehicles with MFT/MLT instead of Sync 3, it's one thing if it was upgradeable but everything I've read say it's not. With the problems of MFT, I personally would wait until Sync 3.
 

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I agree that launching a major redesign of the MKX with the old MLT when everyone knows the new Sync is only a few months away (and reportedly much more desirable) seems unwise.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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I'm not at all clear on what a "creep function" would be in this context. Would someone be kind enough to explain that to me, please?
I assume what they mean is functionality in stop and go traffic, where the adaptive cruise can slow the car to a stop and then start up again when traffic gets moving. I believe Ford offers this in Europe but not in America for some reason, even though many other manufacturers do.
 

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And, honestly, the two settings didn't feel very much different from one another.
I disagree with this. After having my X for over a month now, I can confirm there is in fact quite a difference between the different modes. Especially Sport, which when engaged immediately downshifts (or unlocks the torque converter) and becomes super-responsive. Much different than the Sport setting on the old X, for obvious reasons!

I had initially set it to Comfort but it's just a little too 'floaty' for my liking so now I keep it on Normal most of the time. I'm sure the benefits of adaptive shock absorbers still apply regardless of the setting.

I do find that, at low speeds, there is too much side-to-side motion. For example, when you drive over railroad tracks or certain bumps that aren't perpendicular to the roadway the vehicle can pitch wildly side-to-side. Also, if you hit a bump or crack while rounding a curve, the rear end/suspension seems to 'skitter' outward. It's a little unnerving to be honest. Kind of reminds me of a couple of old Jeep Cherokees I used to own.
 

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I'm not at all clear on what a "creep function" would be in this context. Would someone be kind enough to explain that to me, please?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Easy...It takes over the vehicle so the driver can stare down the blouse of the blonde in the convertible next to him!
 

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I still question Ford launching new vehicles with MFT/MLT instead of Sync 3, it's one thing if it was upgradeable but everything I've read say it's not. With the problems of MFT, I personally would wait until Sync 3.

Is not upgradeable because the MFT/MLT 2 is a Microsoft product (a mess) . Sync 3 is from Blackberry. They are not compatibles.
 

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This review is not talking about the "hard plastic in the cupholders"? Or about the Ford Edge origin and similitude??? Or about the "distortioned sound from the Revel equipment when you put it a the max volume on the road?? WOW

Auto journalism has hope...
 

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As you can see, a push-button tranny all of a sudden is considered 'cool' and not so 'confusing' anymore...:tongue:
 

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Is not upgradeable because the MFT/MLT 2 is a Microsoft product (a mess) . Sync 3 is from Blackberry. They are not compatibles.
It comes down to if the hardware is compatible between the 2. Not knowing what hardware is used for MLT to Sync3 on the MKX means there could be something completely different going on behind the dash in the unit itself and with that there could even be different wiring harnesses.
 

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I disagree with this. After having my X for over a month now, I can confirm there is in fact quite a difference between the different modes. Especially Sport, which when engaged immediately downshifts (or unlocks the torque converter) and becomes super-responsive. Much different than the Sport setting on the old X, for obvious reasons!

I had initially set it to Comfort but it's just a little too 'floaty' for my liking so now I keep it on Normal most of the time. I'm sure the benefits of adaptive shock absorbers still apply regardless of the setting.

I do find that, at low speeds, there is too much side-to-side motion. For example, when you drive over railroad tracks or certain bumps that aren't perpendicular to the roadway the vehicle can pitch wildly side-to-side. Also, if you hit a bump or crack while rounding a curve, the rear end/suspension seems to 'skitter' outward. It's a little unnerving to be honest. Kind of reminds me of a couple of old Jeep Cherokees I used to own.
I also noticed this in my extended test drive, the suspension feels oddly sloppy and I'm surprised critics don't take note. For me it's a little off-putting, I get a sense that the spring rates have been tuned very loose and the dampers are suppose to manage it but the suspension is inherently loose regardless, dampers only control vertical motion but not the entire dynamic. I wish they made it easier to access those ride control settings, but ultimately I really don't want to spend allot of time managing the ride quality of the MKX, with all these choices you never really know which one is best. After driving the Edge extensively, I really just want that solid dampened ride but with more road isolation...I think Lincoln just mucked it up a bit for the sake of differentiation. But again, I am willing to change my tune once I'm an owner.
 

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...I wish they made it easier to access those ride control settings, but ultimately I really don't want to spend allot of time managing the ride quality of the MKX, with all these choices you never really know which one is best...
idea^ to go along with my rant for a fully-prograqmmable dirver-car interface (which most weblings like us would prolley use),
for earthlings an 'expert-system' that could LOG preferences during a CALIBRATION-drive; along with what might be a bit like an optometrist, "which is better? This or THIS?" or...
 

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It comes down to if the hardware is compatible between the 2. Not knowing what hardware is used for MLT to Sync3 on the MKX means there could be something completely different going on behind the dash in the unit itself and with that there could even be different wiring harnesses.
Not only hardware type, but capability too. They could well be using the same types of system on a chip that powers smartphones, but to get the buttery smoothness requires better software and more powerful hardware even if they're the same processor cores.

This is one area where they're really faced with tough questions. Do they go with the bottom line and install the bare minimum in terms of processor power, or do they realize that unlike a $200 phone, a $20K+ vehicle is a long term investment and thus there should be a long term perspective taken when equipping them. Its frustrating enough when the manufacturer of your phone decides not to upgrade the OS because its more than a year old, it'll be endlessly frustrating for a potentially $60K+ vehicle to be obsolete by some like a $50 SOC.
 
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