The MKX has finally grown into itself.
The Ford Edge-based SUV, which slots right in the middle of Lincoln’s utility vehicle lineup, has been identity challenged right from the beginning. Bowing in 2007, the MKX was clearly a tarted-up, badge engineering Ford that swapped front fascias and taillights for a 2011 refresh.
The 2016 MKX, revealed earlier this month at the North American International Auto show in Detroit (and photographed here in Montreal) pushes its parent vehicle further away by adopting a clear, full-body styling job.
It just so happens that the new MKX’s styling cues – flowing fender bulges, pronounced rear haunches, split grille and narrow, full-width taillights – are the same cues that adorn its smaller, well-received sibling, the MKC.
Clearly, head brass at Lincoln saw they had something good going with the MKC and applied the same touches to their wayward mid-sizer, thus giving the brand a more cohesive design language.
The styling is careful and understated, yet still pleasing to the eye, and no longer resembles a Ford with a Lincoln badge.
Under the hood, Ford’s 3.7-litre V-6 returns as the standard engine, making a projected 300 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque.
The upgrade will be Ford’s new 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6, a twin-turbo unit that Lincoln says makes 330 horsepower and 370 foot-pounds of torque (based on early data tests). This is the engine that Ford is touting as the mileage-making upgrade in its newly lightened, aluminum-framed F-150 pickups.
Both engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with push-button shifting (because buttons = luxury, obviously).
The long-awaited, oft-mentioned Lincoln resurgence appears to be happening, with 2014 sales numbers showing a definite uptick in U.S. sales compared to the five stagnant years that came before it.
The MKZ sedan and MKC utility get most of the credit for renewing interest in the flagging brand, but if the MKX’s new look impresses in the same way as its smaller stablemate, it can only help sales.
The restyled model’s popularity remains to be seen (it goes on sale this summer), but it’s still nice to see Lincoln becoming more cohesive and self-assured as a brand.