This isn’t your father’s Lincoln. It is a vehicle that will launch the brand ahead as it looks to remake its image. The 2016 Lincoln MKX goes a long way in defining what the brand is attempting to accomplish. What they’ve been in the past doesn’t matter – it’s what they want to become.
Sometimes you need to throw out the old and go with the new to set a different standard for yourself. It’s what Lincoln is doing. Over the weekend, we put the MKX to the test to see if what Lincoln is doing is worthy of a look. We drove the 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label AWD.
What’s New For 2016?
The 2016 Lincoln MKX is an all-new vehicle thanks to a complete redesign. It gets new sheet metal, a new interior, a new turbocharged engine option, and adaptive suspension dampers for all-wheel drive models. After all, what features would you expect from something called Black Label?
Features & Options
The 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label AWD ($55,810) is the top-of-the-lineup. This mid-size luxury crossover comes with unique 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, a simulated suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery, and a Revel Ultima 19-speaker surround-sound audio system with HD radio.
The Climate package ($595) adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic windshield wipers, and automatic high beams. The Technology package ($1,720) adds front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and automated parallel parking. The optional Driver Assistance package ($1,650) includes lane-departure warning, lane-departure intervention, forward collision warning, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking (with pedestrian detection), and a driver drowsiness monitor.
Optional 22-way-adjustable front seats ($1,500) were included on our demo.
Total MSRP including destination: $65,270.
Inside, the Black Label is smooth and comfortable like drinking a fine wine. It’s a place you will want to spend time in. The leather seats are supple and the there’s plenty of high quality, soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. The leather on the steering wheel is padded for extra comfort and bumps the personal luxury level up beyond the competition. The suede-like headliner and sun visors set it apart further.
There’s four themes with the Black Label: Indulgence, Modern Heritage, Muse, and Thoroughbred. Each come with a unique color scheme. Our demo had the Modern Heritage theme, featuring piano black appliqués and white Venetian leather seats.
How many ways would one need to adjust the power driver’s seat? Well, you get 22 ways here. It will run you $1,500, but it came on our tester. We don’t know about you, but we could find a lot of things we’d rather spend that kind of cash on. We would get the upgraded Revel audio that includes a 13-speaker premium sound system. It even gets better in the Black Label versions with three-modes and 19-speakers. Lincoln says it produces home theater quality sound and we think it’s close.
In the back, passengers can relax and listen to the quality sound on heated leather seats that match the front in comfort. There’s plenty of legroom for taller passengers too. The rear seats fold flat for additional cargo carrying ability and fold easily with the touch of a button.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The new, turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine is an option and our tester had one. It produces 335 horsepower and gets respectable fuel economy with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.7-liter turbo is EPA rated at 17/24 city/highway and 19 combined mpg with all-wheel drive.
Picking the optional, twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 costs more ($2,000), but driving enthusiasts will think the extra expense is worth it. It’s quick and produces enough power to get the mid-size luxury crossover moving quickly. We ran it hard into the mountains and it offered up power to pass other traffic, even in the high altitudes west of Denver.
Lincoln says the 2.7-liter can reach 60 mph in 6 seconds. While we didn’t exactly have our stopwatch out, we felt that was accurate.
Ride quality over sporty dynamics is the prime directive for the MKX. It’s smooth, quiet, and keeps you cocooned from the noisy outside world. The adaptive shock absorbers help keep the MKX composed, even over dirt roads and uneven pavement.
The six-speed automatic transmission has just enough gears to produce quick, clean downshifts. We experienced less hesitation when the MKX tried to find the right gear. It offers a Sport mode for driving enthusiasts that teams well with the turbo engine. Steering wheel paddle shifters allow quicker shifting for more spirited driving too.
New Lincoln Drive Control lets you choose between Normal, Sport, or Comfort modes on all-wheel drive models.
Our demo came with safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and pre-collision warning. It also featured a surround-view camera and automatic parking assistance. That helped this weekend as we thought rearward visibility was limited because of the rear window design.
The completely redesigned 2016 Lincoln MKX will be worth your time and money if you’re looking for a mid-size luxury crossover. It’s a solid choice with its refined cabin, smooth ride, and powerful turbo engine, and the Black Label bumps up the premium features to another level.
Overall, this new Lincoln MKX offers a more engaging driving experience than the outgoing model.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy