HD Road Test Review – 2016 Lincoln MKX – Tops New Lexus RX with Style, Power and Panache

Lincoln MKX beats Lexus RX.

You read it here first!

True story.

As one of the only car reviewers to have driven both 2016 models, we are surprised to report that the MKX is the better machine.

First Drive Review – 2016 Lincoln MKX

What a difference a few years can make! If you had told me in 2005 that Lincoln would be making globally-competitive cars, four SUVs and debuting exclusive tech like the new 3.0-liter V6TT making 400HP in the 2017 MKZ, we would have laughed right in your face.

Sure, Lincolns have been “okay” for a while now – particularly since the brand has kicked its luxury approach into high gear since dropping the venerable Town Car after what felt like a 1000-year reign.

But 2015 and this new MKX marks the start of a new day for Lincoln. A lux day!

Waking up on 1000-thread sheets, rinsing with Frederick Fekkai personal care products, and layering up in imported wool suits so soft, they could be cashmere.2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 66 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 60 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 53

Lincoln is at its desk early for the new MKX.

A brief spin in the MKX shows that this new model is not just a competitor for the segment-defining Lexus RX. It is actually far better than the 2016 RX — by numerous measures, both subjective and objective.

For the first time, there is a full Lincoln range that is ready to take on all comers globally — and even WIN!

Most shocking admission?  Car reviewers can “like” cars without actually ever realistically considering a purchase or recommendation for close friends or family.

That was definitely the bucket in which we put a few of the firm’s products over the last half-decade, excluding the Navigator.

For the first time, we could actually see PURCHASING this Lincoln.    

Huge advances for Lincoln, then.

Included here are 100-plus all-new photos of the MKX in Allure Blue, an HD drive video at the top of this page, plus the full options, features and tech specs of the 2016 MKX near the bottom of the post. 2016 mkx nose animated flyaround

MKX Pricing

The MKX we drove was the top model, which of course helps endear any vehicle to you with its swanky features and optional upgrades. But even this EcoBoost Reserve model feels quite special, and instantly charms on the road.

From an overall base price of $38k for the 2016 MKX , the test truck wore a base price of $45k, or $47k with AWD.

A long list of option packs takes the price of the text MKX to $61k, including delivery. For this price tally, your expectations are rightfully pretty high. 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 110

The MKX delivers on luxury cabin comfort and sense of warmth.

The cabin of the MKX is finally up to premium standards of quietness, comfort and luxury — particularly in this Reserve trim, which included Bridge of Weir leathers, open-pore woods and 22-way power drivers seat with massage functions.

Reserve Package Includes all standard Lincoln MKX AWD features plus:

  • Vista Roof® with Power Shade
  • 20-inch Premium Painted Aluminum 20-Spoke Wheels
  • Voice-activated Navigation system
  • Heated & Cooled Front Seats
  • Adaptive Headlamps
  • MyLincoln Mobile App & In-Vehicle Embedded Modem
  • BLIS®

The back seats are also much better this year, comfort wise and in terms of physical space. You are deeply reclined and supported in back, but with massive knee, shoulder and thigh room versus any compact crossover, and many mid-size ones too.

Lacking a third row of seats means the MKX shifts its second row rearward, in classic limo fashion. A jump in cargo room and power-folding seats completes the MKX loveliness behind the driver.

The giant vista moonroof helps the ambiance in back. Only a slightly too-yellow headliner of woven cloth breaks the mood inside this MKX from any seat.  The Black Label fixes this with dark hypersuede wrapping the whole roof… but at a price increase of at least a few grand over the top of this $61k MKX Reserve.2016 mkx tail animated flyaround


On approach, the MKX looks stunningly new and chic outside. Up to 21-inch alloys are gorgeous, as are the standard HID headlights with LED DRLs lining the lamps and forming horizontal blades in the base of the bumpers.

A cleaner twin-grille design wears horizontal brightwork for its inner elements, looking cool and butch and premium at the same time. This wide flow of the nose extends into the optional full-LED low and highbeams, which make a slim slit of pure white across the top of the nose.

In these photos, the Lincoln cross-hair badge is in its ‘up’ position — letting a camera inside give 360-degree camera visuals inside. 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 5 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 103 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 116

A longer and more level hoodline than previous MKX models helps visually lengthen the nose versus its nearly invisible front overhang.

Around the profile and front-three-quarter angle, the new MKX is also sporting nicely-integrated form lines above each fender. The nose creases flow naturally from the hood up front, carving fairly deeply into the bodysides. Similar treatment for the rear fenders, which now bulge around the wheels nicely. The top crease element carves a nice shadow into the MKX rear fenders, again helping the MKX feel long and low — particularly so versus the previous MKX and its somewhat stubby tail look.

Giant rear doors are a limo-like nod to premium space in back, while the whole look is tied together nicely in the tail for the first time on any Lincoln.

This tail is the new form language shown most clearly on the Continental concept or the new MKZ sedan, even though the MKZ sticks with its current tail for 2017.

What makes the MKX rump so premium and classy is the balance between rounded lux style, fully integrated LED brake lightbar with ringed edges, and usefully tall tailgate angle.

The MKX looks posh in back, for sure. We love its rounded surfaces and smooth corners. These are a nice blend of the dynamic and chopped glasshouse from the MKC compact crossover and the seriously awkward rear three-quarter angle of the MKT wagon/cross — often sold these days as a livery special, Town Car badging included.2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 63 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 82 mkx front blinker animation


The driving position feels great, while the 335-HP of the optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6TT pulls hard with a giant lump of 380-pound-feet of torque available instantly on hard throttle.

The Drive Control modes are nice for firming up the cozy and cushy standard ride quality, with a flip to Sport firming the steering and putting this six-speed on notice for rapid kickdowns and fewer upshifts around corners. This six-speed is great an unobtrusive in its action, but perhaps is the one place where the EcoBoost MKX doesn’t beat is RX nemesis from Lexus. The Lexus swaps to an eight-speed auto for 2016, but is down 30HP in its most-powerful RX450h AWD variant versus the top Lincoln MKX.

The standard MKX runs the 3.7-liter V6 engine from the current truck, making 303-horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have the same EPA mileage ratings: 17/26 city/highway for the FWD versions, and 17/23 for the AWD models.

For the turbo option to be so much faster, with more than 100 extra pound-feet of torque, while having no dent in fuel economy is really impressive.

More so is how nicely the MKX turbo moves on hard throttle. As we see in the video above, the MKX really scoots!  We’d ballpark a 6.8-second sprint to 60-mph, which is pretty rapid versus the Acura MDX and 2016 Lexus RX, both pretty pokey with times of 7.7-seconds or slower.


The MKX feels light and comfortable to drive, with a superb ride quality even on the huge 20-inch wheels of the test truck. The balance is near perfect between steering feel and ease of use, as is the road-holding of the MKX. Soft initial suspension responses firm up admirably around fast corners. All this plus the supreme quietness inside?

Two big thumbs up and a smile for the MKX after any drive.  Isolated, posh and smooth… but also nimble and pretty speedy!

The MKX is a great next step for Lincoln in its global expansion — advancing its core values to existing customers while appealing to newcomers alike.

Lincoln MKX beats Lexus RX.   You read it here first!




2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve

2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7L EcoBoost AWD Reserve 103


2016 Lincoln MKX – PRICING & OPTIONS

2016 Lincoln MKX – TECH SPECS

Vehicle Highlights
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Transmissions 6-Speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle activation 6-Speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle activation
Wheelbase 112.2 112.2
Wheels Available 18″ Painted Aluminum
18″ Premium Painted Aluminum
20″ Premium Painted Aluminum 20-Spoke (3.7L Ti-VCT V6)
20″ Premium Painted Aluminum 10-Spoke (2.7L EcoBoost® V6)
18″ Painted Aluminum
18″ Premium Painted Aluminum
20″ Premium Painted Aluminum 20-Spoke (3.7L Ti-VCT V6)
20″ Premium Painted Aluminum 10-Spoke (2.7L EcoBoost® V6)
21″ Premium Painted Aluminum
21″ Polished Aluminum (Late Availability)
Exterior Dimensions (in.)
2016 Lincoln MKXBase
  Lincoln MKX
Wheelbase 112.2
Length 190.0
Height 66.2
Width – Excluding Mirrors 76.1
Width – Including Mirrors 86.1
Width – Mirrors Folded 78.7
Front Track 64.8
Rear Track 64.7
Interior Dimensions (in.)
  Lincoln MKX
Head Room – Front 39.9
Head Room – Rear 39.2
Maximum Leg Room – Front 42.8
Leg Room – Rear 39.6
Hip Room – Front 56.4
Hip Room – Rear 55.6
Shoulder Room – Front 58.9
Shoulder Room – Rear 59.0
Capacities (cu. ft. – unless otherwise noted)
Maximum Seating Capacity 5 5
Passenger Volume 108.3 108.3
Cargo Volume Behind First Row [cu. ft.] 68.8 68.8
Cargo Volume Behind Second Row [cu. ft.] 37.2 37.2
Fuel Capacity (gal.) 18.0 18.0
Base Curb Weight (lbs.) 4,168 4,387
Drive type FWD/AWD FWD/AWD
Engine type 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 2.7L EcoBoost® V6
Transmission 6-Speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle activation 6-Speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle activation
Final drive ratio 3.39/3.65 3.16/3.39
EPA-Estimated Ratings
(Actual mileage will vary)
FWD – 17 city/26 hwy/21 combined
AWD – 16 city/24 hwy/19 combined
FWD – 17 city/26 hwy/21 combined
AWD – 17 city/24 hwy/19 combined
Horsepower (SAE net @ rpm) 303 @ 6,500 335 @ 5,500
*Using 93-octane fuel.
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm) 278 @ 4,000 380 @ 3,000
Compression ratio 10.5:1 10.0:1
Valve lifters Direct acting mechanical bucket Roller finger follower and hydraulic lash adjusters
Fuel delivery Sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection Sequential multi-port fuel injection
Exhaust True Dual exhaust system with dual chrome integrated tips True Dual exhaust system with dual chrome integrated tips
Engine block type Diecast aluminum Compacted Graphite Iron
Cylinder head material Diecast aluminum Cast aluminum
Front suspension Independent, MacPherson struts and L-shaped lower control arm with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar
Front shocks Gas-pressurized, hydraulic, twin tube shocks with optional Lincoln Drive Control featuring Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD)
Rear suspension Integral link rear independent suspension with isolated subframe and stabilizer bar
Rear shocks Gas-pressurized, hydraulic, twin-tube shocks with optional Lincoln Drive Control featuring Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD)
Brakes Power 4-wheel disc with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC®)
Steering Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS)