By on January 5, 2011

The Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX have been sales successes despite lukewarm, at best, reviews. Apparently they provide what the typical crossover buyer wants. For 2011 they’ve received revised exteriors and thoroughly reworked interiors. Intrigued by the new MyFord/MyLincoln Touch user interface, I requested one for a week, and received the MKX. So, what’s the future like?

First, the rest of the vehicle. The name remains easy to confuse with the MKS and MKZ. The changes to the exterior styling align the MKX with the rest of the line, swapping out the classic Continental-inspired eggcrate grille for an oversized twin-portal piece and similarly splitting the previously one-piece tail light. Also, the front fenders now hump up, Mazda style, over the wheels. All of these changes render the exterior more trendy and less clean, though the MKX remains a moderately attractive vehicle.

The interior changes are more extensive. The retro-inspired instrument panel is gone. French stitching has been molded into the new, less distinctive IP to make it appear luxuriously upholstered, and the effect is convincing. The extensive wood trim is the real stuff. The metal-look trim is not, but its bronze finish is a refreshing, appropriately upscale variation from the norm. Overall, the interior looks good.

Getting into the Lincoln MKX is a bit of a chore, as the doors feel very heavy. Why? As in the first-generation MKX, but perhaps a little less so, the seat cushion can feel unexpectedly hard. The seatback provides some lateral support, which is more than the typical buyer will ever need. The seat heaters take a long time to get to work, and the steering wheel heater affects only the outside edge. Palms benefit while fingers—most in need of the heat—remain frigid. The rear seat reclines, but is a little low and there’s less legroom than in the average compact crossover.

The engine, bumped from 3.5 to 3.7 liters, is now good for 305 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000. Though about 50 short of the EcoBoosted variant not offered in the MKX, this is more the enough to accelerate the MKX’s 4,361 pounds as quickly as the typical owner will ever desire. Even with front-wheel-drive there’s no torque steer, but the nose becomes light and wanders a bit under hard acceleration. As in other applications, the big V6 sounds gruff and pedestrian. Especially considering the MKX’s $40,000+ price it should sing a sweeter song. To view it you must wrestle with a prop rod. The six-speed automatic can be manually shifted, but the shifter is too far rearward in M to do this comfortably.

Driving casually about the burbs I observed from 16.5 to 19.5 MPG, the key variable being the number of stops. Cruise a steady 55 and the MKX manages to top 20, though not by much. Drive the MKX aggressively and you’ll see 12.

The MKX’s chassis has been improved, but remains subpar. The crossover feels stable and understeers minimally once it takes a set in a curve, but feels unsettled and vague on center. The quick, light steering deserves only some of the blame; most of the on-center slop seems to originate from the suspension. The ride is smooth and quiet…if the road is smooth. Toss in a few bumps and the MKX bounds and thumps over them, even though the 20s are not as low in profile as the 22s offered on the Edge. Oddly, the MKX handles and rides better (or at least much better than expected) on a curvy, unpaved road. While some of the best cars feel better the harder they’re pushed, vague handling in the most casual driving isn’t a prerequisite.

Which brings us to MyLincoln Touch. This system employs three LCD displays, including a pair of small ones flanking the conventional speedometer and a large touchscreen, ten switches on the steering wheel, including two four-way rockers, and a few rows of newfangled touch-sensitive switches on the center stack. The Edge/MKX sibs and the Chevrolet Volt are the first places I’ve encountered these “anti-buttons.”

If you suspect that such a complicated, unconventional system requires a few days to figure out, you suspect correctly. If vehicles with these controls end up in rental fleets, the rental car companies better beef up their help desks. At first the touch-sensitive controls frustrated me, because prodding them with a fingertip, like one would a conventional button, often does nothing. I then learned that brushing a fingertip across a control is both easier to do, as it requires less precision, and works every time. The audio volume and fan speed sliders seem especially nifty once you figure them out (not all reviewers have, but my kids did).

The touchscreen remains dicey even well up the learning curve. The four basic systems—nav, phone, audio, and climate—are color-coded (on both the large touchscreen display and the steering wheel-controlled right-side small display) and logically organized. One problem: as on other such systems, is that too many basic functions—like the seat heaters you want engaged ASAP on a winter morning—require two or three steps to access. A larger one: unlike with the touch-sensitive switches, your finger must hit the exact spot, and the screen being flat there is no physical guide and no tactile feedback. If the road is even a touch unsmooth your finger is bouncing about and hitting the right spot consequently requires far more time and concentration than in should. Even at the end of the week very little about this system seemed effortless. My wife, who I thought might love it because of her general technophilia, hated it.

All of this said, I found the system quite pretty to look at and fun to use once I sorted it out. But this is a problem in itself, since time spent playing with the controls is time not spent concentrating on the road.

So, a very mixed review. I like the look of the MKX’s interior, and somehow remain fond of the controls. After experiencing them, conventional controls look and feel antiquated. But, by any practical measure, the MKX does nothing especially well. Then again, it never did. Sales have been healthy regardless. Good enough has been…good enough. Perhaps looks matter most. If so, the 2011 MKX should sell even better than the original.

Lincoln provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data


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90 Comments on “Review: 2011 Lincoln MKX...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s looks like at least in the Lincoln that the touch “buttons” are raised a bit from the surface, unlike Edge I sat in recently. I think Ford designed this to be mostly voice operated, as those touch sensitive buttons obviously are hard to use while in motion.

  • avatar
    EyeMWing

    You got HOW MANY mpg? I thought the point of a crossover was to be more fuel efficient than a similarly sized SUV. Those are diesel Excursion levels of excessive consumption.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      It’s better mileage than my 5000-lb 3-row hauler gets.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      You got HOW MANY mpg? I thought the point of a crossover was to be more fuel efficient than a similarly sized SUV. Those are diesel Excursion levels of excessive consumption.
       
      The much lighter, smaller (and less capable) Ford Flex gets the same mileage as a Chevy Suburban…

    • 0 avatar

      I’m surprised at mpg too, because my Jeep returns 20+ at 55 (it cruises 70-75 at 18). Something is not right here, because the Jeep is very heavy, tall (I have a Rubicon), and uses an antiquated 3.8L engine. I’m wondering if the mileage was taken from computer readout or actually measured. Perhaps some sensors were not calibrated right.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I have real trouble with these magic-mileage trucks people seem to have.  Any truck I’ve spent any time in struggles to approach crossover mileage on the highway (and yet they’re driven at >120km/h) and are utterly atrocious in the city.

    • 0 avatar

      I added a comment on the MPG below, but it seems another is needed here.
      I didn’t drive the MKX much at highway speeds, and it could well get 22-24 over a decent distance with no braking and accelerating. My main point was that, to get over 20, you can’t do much braking and accelerating.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I recently drove one across Alligator Alley and it returned 28mpg while averaging about 85mph.   The MKX is heavy, so a lot of stop and start will bring the mileage down, but I’ve never gotten down anywhere near 12mpg during around town driving on test drives.

    • 0 avatar

      For 28 @ 85 I suspect you had a healthy tailwind. In my Taurus X–which is AWD–I recently observed:
      68: 23.5 MPG
      73: 20.5 MPG
      78: 19.5 MPG
      Ford does seem to have improved the fuel economy of the powertrain, and I even asked a friend inside Ford if the newer code might work in my car. Unlikely, but worth a shot. As is fuel economy with the older 3.5 and AWD appears to nosedive once the engine is over 2,000 rpm. The MKX should do better, but I can’t imagine it does far better.
      One more variable: that white stuff on the ground means it was cold when I drove the MKX. The warmer temps down in Florida could easily be worth an MPG or two.
      As for the 12 MPG, when I say “aggressively,” I mean it. Unless you’re really working the engine in the suburbs you’ll see the 16.5-19.5 also mentioned in the review.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      @psar:

      “I have real trouble with these magic-mileage trucks people seem to have.  Any truck I’ve spent any time in struggles to approach crossover mileage on the highway (and yet they’re driven at >120km/h) and are utterly atrocious in the city.”

      My GMC Sierra is not magic – I have recorded two different occasions where I achieved close to 28 MPG in highway driving. Granted, it was cool summer weather, so no need for the A/C; and both times I had a slight tailwind. But if I keep the tach at around 1800-1850 (approx. 95 KPH), it is possible.

      City mileage? Gah, I’m lucky to see 15 MPG, and even worse in the winter.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Michael K – I also have a Taurus X (though mine is FWD).  What “newer code” are you talking about?  Would it improve mileage?

      My T-X gets decent mileage on the highway, especially considering its bulk and ability to haul people and gear.  But for the way it’s usually used – my wife shuttling the kids around town to school, food shopping, etc. – it can dip to 17 mpg or so, and that’s driving gently.  Give it the spurs once or twice and mileage dips noticeably.

    • 0 avatar
      zenith

      How many miles were on the vehicle? My experience with Ford is that you need a couple thousand on it before you get anywhere near EPA.
      I was shocked to get a mere 18 my first tankful in a 4-cylinder stickshift Ranger. By the 5th fillup I was near the EPA 23 City@ 22.5.

  • avatar
    findude

    I remain mystified by the continued existence of this form factor in the vehicle marketplace. It’s too small to offer the utility of a proper SUV (think Suburban or Expedition), too tall to have a decent ride on that relatively short wheelbase, and too narrow inside to convey any sense of luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      It’s a RX-class 2-row CUV, so it’s basically a jacked-up Camcord/Fusion wagon with AWD. It’s bigger than the Camcord/Fusion (for carrying stuff) and gives short women a higher sightline in traffic. Being jacked up allows longer suspension travel for a softer ride. Other than that, not much to recommend.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Going skiing over Christmas, we encountered a situation where a CUV actually proved useful. The parking lot was full, but 50 yards down the road was another, small “lot” that had not been plowed, hence had about half a foot to a foot of snow. We had a Q7 and a new A8, and while both cars, aided by momentum, had no problems pulling into their spots, the A8 was completely stuck trying to back out. Basically “high centered” on snow, requiring 3 guys to push it back out. The Q7 got away on it’s own. As far as I know, the awd system on both are identical, as were the tires. So ground clearance made the difference.
       
      Other than that, the higher stance is nothing but a nuisance. More pitching, rolling and attendant car sickness. a less sure footed feel at speed on snowy/icy roads, and more awkward access to a roof box / rack.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, cross-overs offer excellent utility, w.r.t. hauling. You have to use tarps to avoid damaging the interior, but it’s amazing what can be stuffed into a RAV4. And Edge is the same size (only wider).

    • 0 avatar
      EChid

      Another benefit people miss often about CUVs is that the ground clearance allows for better curb clearance. Cars are so low today that many bottom out on curbs or entrances/exits, so a little extra ground space does help significantly. Also, I can say that the extra ground clearance I have in my Outback really helps things out when compared to my dad’s Accord. The Accord hasn’t gotten really stuck a few times because it was high centered.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      SVX: Short women seem to be a prime motivator for this type of vehicle.   I don’t know how many times I’ve been in my BMW 325 only to look in my review mirror (while I’m taking my toddler to daycare) at a stoplight only to see a grill.  And once we get rolling, all I see is the top of the windshield.  If you’re short, and you can’t see over the hood, either (a) crank up the height of the seat, or (b) you have no business driving a car that big.
       
      Scenario #2: I go to the grocery store, and a large SUV pulls up, blocking the sun.  Inevitably, a small women emerges from the top of the colossus, dismounting one step after another…

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I know two people with Edges and they both love them. One of them has been having electronic issues from day one, the other one has been perfect. I borrowed the “good” one to pick up a TV that wouldn’t quite fit in my car, and if I had to, I could live with it, but I like the Acadia better.
       
      I like the looks of the Edge a lot better than the MKX. That front end is nasty looking.

  • avatar
    SV

    I always felt like the Edge/MKX was the weakest of the new-after-2005 Ford lineup, and it looks like the freshening hasn’t really changed that, going by both this and the very disappointing Consumer Reports review. Of course it doesn’t help that the MKX overs little over a nicely-equipped Edge; I think the Ford is more competitive with the Murano/Pilot/Highlander crowd than the MDX/RX class.
     
    I wonder how many of this car’s problems could be fixed by a diet. At 4,300lbs it’s quite a porker for its size, like its predecessor – and if I remember correctly, the weight problem was originally due to lower-than-average use of high-strength steel in the interests of cost-cutting. Perhaps the only way to remedy that problem is with a ground-up redesign; if that’s the case the next-gen will probably be quite lighter and with that nimbler and thriftier with fuel. That is, if the new Explorer and next-gen Escape don’t squeeze the Edge, and the MKX with it, into redundancy.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      In my experience the new Edge and MKX are some of the nicest vehicles on the lot – and they are selling like mad, so customers agree.  The CR review is a joke.  They make several false claims about the MyFord Touch system that shows that they have no idea how to actually use it.  It is in fact one of the easiest and safest systems of controlling your cars infotainment features on the market – you just have to invest a little bit of time to figure it out.  That isn’t a big deal for potential owners, after all, what’s a couple days of learning put up against years of ownership of the vehicle.
       
      I’ve taken RXs and MDXs in on trade, and the interior quality of the new MKX is superior to either.  I will concede to Michael’s comment about the seat cushion being a bit hard, but other than that, there is nothing to criticize from a materials or styling perspective.  The 3.7 liter V6 offers class leading power and V6 fuel economy, and what Michael takes for a pedestrian engine note, I take for a sporty snarl, different strokes and all.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      I was puzzled that the Edge/MKX seemed to do well, or at least decently in every other aspect but the controls and yet still had a pretty poor rating. Then again, the original Edge was not a good performer in CR’s tests, so I wasn’t expecting miracles; and I do think they said if the controls were “better” (read more conventional) it would be rated high enough to be recommended. That said, if they end up testing a non-MyFord Touch Edge and the rating jumps 5 points or more I’ll have to call shenanigans. Plus, strong Edge sales last month seem to indicate that consumers like the car regardless.
       
      Even so, I think I prefer the Explorer. For less than a grand more you’ve got a bigger, roomier car that (in my opinion) looks better inside and out.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    So…is this rebadged Edge worth the premium over the real Edge?  They pretty much are the exact same vehicle….
     
    And this My Ford/Lincoln Touchy thing is a disaster.  People are panning it left and right for it’s counter intuitive design and overall shoddy implementation.  And, knowing Ford, it will be a nightmare to get fixed WHEN it breaks.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    Any word on whether Ford has addressed the AWD problem it was having with the previous Edge/MKX? Specifically the leaky PTU Seal?  A friend of mine was thinking about getting a 2010 AWD Edge.  After showing her the responses on True Delta from AWD Edge owners she decided to look at some other vehicles that might be more reliable. 

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Is the PTU in the crossovers the same as in the cars? My fusion owning friend had the same exact problem and the dealership said the part was on backorder for over a month.

    • 0 avatar

      This remains to be seen. I similarly advised a friend to get the FWD when he bought an Edge recently (he’s in Virginia and didn’t need AWD anyway).
      The 2009 and 2010 Edge seem to have the PTU leak problem less often, but it’s not entirely gone. This will definitely be a focus when reviewing Car Reliability Survey responses for the 2011.
      To help with the survey, with just about any car:
      http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Hey Michael, I think I might have missed the latest survey but I had a speaker issue in my TSX that’s since been resolved and I don’t want to forget to include it. Can you resend the email or do I just need to be more vigilant in scanning my emails next month?

    • 0 avatar

      The email went out yesterday. If you have a yahoo account it’s most likely delayed and/or shunted into your spam folder–I wish there was a way to convert all yahoo accounts to gmail.
      There will be a follow-up next week if you simply cannot find it. Or you can simply go to the site and log in to “My Garage.”

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Prop rod = low class.  Even my sub-$20k Sedona has two hood struts.
     
    Somewhat off-topic, but I’m not a fan of the current trend of adding touchscreens (e.g. navigation systems) to cars.  This sort of embedded electronics goes out of date very quickly, and I can’t imagine the repair cost for a damaged touchscreen.

    Implementation question: Does anyone know whether today’s touchscreens are merely a front for a reconfigurable menu set and GUI, or are they hard-coded with a fixed set of functions and appearance?

    • 0 avatar

      Ford’s seems to be very reconfigurable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they tweak it frequently. The question is whether already produced cars can/will be updated.

    • 0 avatar
      50merc

      Struts eventually get weary and fail to hold the hood up. Prop rods do the job forever. Anyway, do more than ten percent of MKX owners ever look under the hood?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The screen is infinitely reconfigurable.  Ford will be offering software updates free of charge in the future to correct the slight sluggishness that accompanies certain screens.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Prop rod = low class.  Even my sub-$20k Sedona has two hood struts.
       
      Hell, the 87 RELIANT even had a self supporting hood.  This is just another example of “value engineering”…note to carmakers….please charge me the extra dollar for the strut hood, ok?

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @50merc: Struts eventually get weary and fail to hold the hood up. Prop rods do the job forever. Anyway, do more than ten percent of MKX owners ever look under the hood?

      Good points, but the same could be said for steel wheels and plastic wheel covers, which $40k SUVs would be ashamed to wear.

      As a shadetree mechanic, I’ve had prop rods holding my hoods open for weeks at a time, so your point is well-taken.  But they also get in the way sometimes, and poorly designed ones can be accidently bumped out, dropping the hood edge onto a rod that also dents the fender or grille.

    • 0 avatar
      xyzzy

      @50merc: Struts eventually get weary and fail to hold the hood up. Prop rods do the job forever.
      As the owner of a 1998 LS400 who has to find something to prop open the hood whenever I work on it because the gas struts are long worn out I heartily agree with this sentiment.  If you’re going to keep a car for a long time, you want prop rods.

      It’s not analogous to steel wheels or whatever because this is a generally unseen piece of equipment and when it comes to maintenance, simpler is better.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I think the car is ugly

  • avatar
    itsgotvtakyo

    Keep the steering wheel in your fingers where it belongs and the heated feature’s deficiencies won’t be problem. ;)

  • avatar
    anchke

    In my neck o’ the woods, Lincoln SUVs seem to be the preferred vehicle for prosperous but fat motorists. The whale-ish anime front end could have something to do with it.  Because the vehicle is relatively narrow, amply fed-driver and passengers look crammed into it, especially if they’re all wearing winter coats.  And you need to drive 55 to have any hope of cracking 20 mpg? Well, well, well.

    • 0 avatar

      It might manage low 20s at higher speeds as well. What I was trying to communicate is that you can’t do much braking and accelerating and keep the MPG over 20.
      The around-town figures are actually better than those I’ve been observing in my Taurus X, which has been struggling to crack 16 if there are any complete stops involved. The Taurus X does have AWD, though. And it’s winter in both cases, so the gas probably contains fewer BTUs.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    “I have seen the Whale… the WHITE WHALE” — Ahab, Cpt. (Ret.)

  • avatar
    Kelster

    Unbelievable… Every month the Auto Industry gives me a new opportunity to say “That’s the Ugliest POS I’ve Ever Seen” And here I am again….

    That is the Ugliest POS I’ve Ever Seen!

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      Agreed, this is just epic ugliness — Mr. Karesh, you did surprise me when you said, “the MKX remains a moderately attractive vehicle”. It’s amazing to me anyone would like that huge Joker-like (and totally stolen from Oldsmobile, BTW) maw, and those idiotic “fender flares” look like they were made with hula hoops and bondo. And the mileage, what’s up with that?

      Really, this vehicle asks many more questions than it answers — and that nearly always spells failure in the market.

    • 0 avatar

      Compared to the MKT…

  • avatar
    thornmark

    How unfortunate looking.  “Baleen Edition”.

    Lincolns have Klass w/ a capital “K”.
    The MDX laughs at this mess.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Except that the interior of the MDX seems downscale and shoddily assembled in comparison.<<

    Few would agree with you. But then again, you own a Mazda. I guess you think that makes you an authority on shoddy and downscale.

    • 0 avatar

      See BMWfan’s response above yours.
      After driving over 600 cars in the past decade, I have plenty of reference points beyond my most definitely shoddy Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      take a look at the picture of the dash assembly in Mr. Karesh’s MDX review here at TTAC.   The misalignment of the dash to door panels would make even the most hardened 1970s UAW malingerer cringe…

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/06/review-2010-acura-mdx/

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    If I had to look at this abomination in my driveway every morning I would kill myself. It looks like a suppository.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    A friend has a 2008 MKX with the more subdued grill.  I think it’s handsome that way but when I drove it honestly I walked away thinking; “That’s no more luxurious than my soon to be mother in laws Pontiac Torrent.”  A colleague has an AWD Edge and it seems like the same bread in a different wrapper.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Maybe it’s just me, but I really can’t bring myself to like either this or the Edge.  I tried—home team and all—and I geniunely like the way they look (or at least the way the old Edge looked) but both the Edge and MKX seem ill-packaged, leaden to drive and not all that well-appointed for their respective price.  The old Freestyle/Taurus X on the other hand, comes off as genuinely nice cars, both in interior detail and in how they drive.  The Flex, MKT and Mazda CXs land somewhere in-between: they’re still heavy-footed, but they’re at least well-packaged.
     
    I blame the tires these come shod with.  The big, heavy shoes do these cars no favours.
     
    I’ve seen the MyTouch system and, quite frankly, it’s a really bad idea.  Automobile controls should be simple, easy and, most importantly, tactile.  MyTouch is none of the above.  That a seasoned reviewer has trouble acclimatizing to the controls is a bad sign; it means customers will, too.  Sure, you get used to it, but you shouldn’t have to.  We already know what makes good ergonomics and we shouldn’t deliberately violate those principles for the sake of marketing differentiation.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I know I’ll sound like an idiot for this, but in defense of MyTouch, it does look really nifty.
       
      I know a lot of TTACers would never put form over function, but I could live with compromised ergonomics for something I aesthetically prefer.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Psar – I can see your point in regards to liveliness to drive, but there is absolutely no comparison between the new Edge and MKX and the older Freestyle/Taurus X when it comes to interior detail and quality – the new Edge and MKX are heads and shoulders above them.
       
      I’ve found that a lot of customers like the more trucklike and neutral feel of the Edge/MKX over more lively vehicles.  A lot of people equate isolation from the road to quality, and these give an incredibly quiet, comfortable, and solid ride.  They aren’t as much fun to drive as say the Mazda CX-7 or CX-9, but that isn’t what people apparently want.
       
      In regards to the MyFord Touch – the name of the system is counter intuitive to how it is designed to be used.  Yes, there is the big touchscreen, but the system is incredibly easy to use via voice commands, and that’s the true strength in the system.   With the natural voice parsing there is absolutely no other system on the market that comes close to being as easy to enter in navigation destinations, tune various Sirius/FM or iPod playlists/songs, make and receive calls and text messages, etc, all while never taking your eyes off of the road for a moment.

    • 0 avatar

      In the review I tried to single out interior detail and quality as a strength. I now own a Taurus X, and the older vehicle’s interior seems utilitarian in comparison. Also, the nav screen is so low in the T-X that viewing it can harm safety–must take your eyes off the road. And the graphics on the older nav system–they look like a prototype wireframe.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I’ve found that a lot of customers like the more trucklike and neutral feel of the Edge/MKX over more lively vehicles

      Which is fine, but I thought the point of crossovers was “size of a truck, handling of a car”.  One of the positive points to, say, the Toyota Sienna is that is really doesn’t feel like a truck.  Instead, you get the impression of a Camry: marshmallowy for sure, but not heavy.  That’s not the case for the Edge and MKX: the Fusion they’re based on drives wonderfully without that lead-footedness. so why add it?

      As far as I can tell, this is a failing of the platform.  The Mazda CXs feel similarly heavy.  In fact, compared to the Edge/MKX they’re even worse: heavy footed, but somewhat jittery at the same time.

      In regards to the MyFord Touch – the name of the system is counter intuitive to how it is designed to be used.  Yes, there is the big touchscreen, but the system is incredibly easy to use via voice commands, and that’s the true strength in the system

      No, it isn’t a strength.  Voice control is really not a good idea.  SYNC and MyTouch work well enough, but they require a degree of concentration-splitting that shouldn’t be necessary, and could be dangerous.

      I like technology, and I like the level of integration that SYNC provides, but the MyTouch system takes that integration and makes it less useful by slapping on a layer of abstraction atop it.  Anything that a driver or passenger needs to do should have a simple, tactile button or knob; anything they need to do often should have a bigger knob.  It most certainly doesn’t belong behind a context-sensitive control with zero tactile feedback, or a voice-based system.

      It’s like Ford (and GM)  looked at smartphones and thought that, hey, since people like touchscreens and voice control in a phone, it should be in a car, too, forgetting that how and where you use a smartphone is completely different from how and where you interact with a car.  It’s all about context.

      Consumer Reports was right to rake this system over the coals.

    • 0 avatar
      zenith

      I haven’t tried using voice recognition since the first cellphone I had with it.

      Actual conversation with the phone:

      Phone: Who would you like to call?
      Me: Norma .
      Phone: Calling Home
      Me: No! NOR-MA.
      Phone: Calling Wells Fargo Bank.
      Me:NOR-MA.
      Phone: Connecting. Home.

      Never used the damn voice recognition again . On anything!

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Psar -
       
      What is the problem with voice control?  Is there any action more natural than just saying what you want?  There are still tactile controls for changing the temperature, fan speed, and volume (though you can adjust the temp through voice as well).  When you are in your home screen the seat heaters and seat coolers are also adjusted via a one touch control on that screen – no menu navigation necessary.
       
      Zenith -
       
      Like anything technology related, voice control has evolved dramatically from the early years.  The MyFord and MyLincoln Touch systems just plain work, with minimal fuss and minimal training, with almost anyones voice and/or accent.

  • avatar

    BTW, is there any lockout at the touchscreen? In Lexus IS, as soon as you put it in gear – poof – no more touchscreen. Buttons continue to work. This safety misfeature sets up eager anticipation of red light and frantic menu navigation at stops.

  • avatar
    Nick

    ‘Cruise a steady 55 and the MKX manages to top 20, though not by much. Drive the MKX aggressively and you’ll see 12.’
    Huh? What?  I could manage 23 and 15mpg respectively in my dad’s TBird with a 302.  That is pathetic mileage.

  • avatar
    V6

    i always liked the previous shape with it’s full width taillights (i am a sucker for full width taillights), however I cannot get over how badly the taillights line up with the units inset in the tailgate, the chrome trim doesn’t line up in the slightest.
     
    when i see that on any car, it just makes it look so poorly built or it’s been rear ended and repaired badly

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    This phrase captures the essence of car reviews “The Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX have been sales successes despite lukewarm, at best, reviews”. Which is to say that what Mr. Karesh writes is 90% impression and 10% fact. Knowing nothing of the reviewer, I’m inclined to believe that the marketplace (of ideas turned into products) usurped all the reviewers opinions. Rendering the reviews, save facts like oh, horsepower, torque, number of seats, etc. nothing more than wool spinning. I sure as hell don’t buy cars based on godforbid…reviews. I go look at the car, sit in the car, drive the car, read the specs and make up my own mind. A review (unlike a comparo) is wasted space. A comparo, where facts meet facts, is really interesting (save the impressions).

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Neither this nor the Edge do anything for me. I dislike the grills and I think their proportions are all out of whack.
     
    I know I’ll probably get a lot of flack for this, but I think that the Venza and Crosstour represent the ideal height for a crossover. You don’t need a ladder to get in them, and yet they have sufficient ride height and ground clearance for most circumstances.
     
    There should be a new way of classifying SUV’s and Crossovers, and these should be classified as SUV’s.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I can’t get around its hideous appearance (in my estimation); a real “Aunt Esther” on wheels. 4,300 lbs?, forget about it.

  • avatar
    motownr

    As always, a very well written and reasoned review, Michael.
     
     

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I prefered the egg crate grill and the single rear light feature.  The changes they made to the outside make it look much more bulbous to my eye.

    I am suprised that the software is such a pain – its like microsoft – it you cant decide what to put there, put everything there, and leave it to the user to figure it out.   I have made a nice living making software products easier to use – perhaps there will be money here too!  

    I am kind of suprised also that ford and other manufacturers do not allow developers to write software for it – More money to be made by enterprising software engineers?  Personally, I cant stand these touch screen systems, I prefer a knob and perhaps a rocker on the steering wheel to control the music, another one to run the seat heaters, etc.  Its easier to find a switch or a volume control with your gloved hands – all these systems require you to take your eyes off the road!  I cannot imagin that that’s OK with the safety people.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I think of the MKZ as a competitor to the Cadillac SRX. The SRX outsold the Linc more than two-to-one last year (51,094 to 21,932), giving Cadillac, previously resting on its CTS laurels, a badly-needed second volume model. Is the new MKX good enough to catch up to the SRX in 2011?

    • 0 avatar

      Despite the changes, the 2011 MKX probably doesn’t look new enough on the outside to reignite consumer interest. The SRX also benefits from not being a badge engineered version of a mainstream product.
      The SRX has also received lukewarm reviews. Buyers in this segment clearly have much different priorities and/or perceptions than reviewers.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Michael -
       
      Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the SRX a badge engineered Equinox?
       
      The clear strength of the MKX over the SRX is the engine – plenty of power to move the vehicle with authority without having to rev the engine way up all the time.  Even compared to the SRX’s optional turbo engine, the MKX makes more power with better fuel economy, and doesn’t require premium fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @Nullo:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the SRX a badge engineered Equinox?
       
      Not exactly.  The SRX and 9-4x are on what is called the “Theta Premium” or “Theta-Epsilon” platform.  It’s kind of a hybrid of the EpsilonII and Theta platform. It might be comparable to the Ford D2C and DEW98 platforms.   So I will give GM credit for not going the badge-engineered route.
       
      That said the new SRX is still cynical as all hell, might as well be a rebadged Equinox, and the 3.0L is terrible.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    This is a nice vehicle for empty nesters. I think Lincoln hits their demo target with it, and that is why it is a sucessful vehicle for them.

    But I cannot remember what the vehicle is called. MK-something isn’t a name. I like Lincoln and take moments to notice them, but I still cannot remember which MK is which. So, how does Ford expect new buyers to remember? It just isn’t smart branding, in my opinion.

    As to Acura, well, I just don’t bother with them, so I don’t care what they are called. Same with Infiniti. Neither of those brands are memorable anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I agree about the “naming” scheme. I think it’s code for “we’re trying to be luxury, but can’t quite hit the mark,” because BMW and M-B do it makes it acceptable apparently. Or the manufacturers that do it might have just run out of names that have been recycled to death.

  • avatar
    spyked

    At least it’s not a Venza or MDX, or, gasp, a CrossTour!  

    I don’t hate this Lincoln, though I liked the previous version better.  It looked smaller and more tidy and I actually liked the old Continental grill. 

    I’d wait for the new Saab 9-4X, pay at least $10k less, and have something unique with absolutely undeniable great looks.

  • avatar
    zenith

    Yet another vehicle not superior, in any way, to my 2002 Aztek.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Why the big surprise on observed MPG? This is a heavy SUV with a new green engine that has been made larger and more powerful than before and white stuff on the ground would tell me cold temps which always reduce MPG. Add in 10% Ethanol and the mileage makes complete sense. My buddy had a 2008 MKX AWD with the smaller 3.5 and mileage sucked even in nice weather and 15K miles on the clock so the fact that this thing can get well over 20 is a feat.
    As with the previous itteration of this confusing letter named badge enginered Edge, Lincoln still hasn’t gone far enough with the exterior styling to differentiate from it’s cheaper ford sibling IMO. They both carry the same engine choices with the 3.7, they both share the same plain egg side styling with interchangeable doors, hood etc, they both have the complex Mytouch which I would go out of my way to avoid and they both lack a rear third seat option. Lastly that boring gray interior with a Walmart grade intrument cluster just doesn’t look inviting. Whats the point?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Is the Evoque here yet?
     
    The interior on this car is minging (nasty) by European standard. Why not kill lincoln now?

  • avatar

    I really liked this review. It confirmed my feelings for the MKS and MKX. The review could have been for either one of them. I am not a fan of the exterior, as mentioned in my comments on the MKS. I really wanted to like the MKS. It was a lot cheaper than the German competition but my ’98 Continental may be the last Ford I ever own.

    My suggestion to Ford/Lincoln. Build a 7 series size car with a 5.0L GT motor with optional GT500 motor, move more toward aluminum in the suspension and body panels like the Germans, add an Audi interior, and top it off with all the MB safety features and creature comforts. Give the 5 series and Cadillac CTS business to the competitors and build a large luxury sedan the way we remember a Continental should be.

  • avatar
    dieselone

    I put 100k on a 5.3 powered Suburban and almost 80k on my 07 Expedition and 16mpg in the suburbs is a pipe dream, 12-13 at best.  16-18mpg is possible on the highway if I stay under 70.  I’ve taken to many 400+ mile trips to know that consistently achieving 20 mpg in a full size SUV is not feasible (I guess you’d have to drive about 50-55 mph to do so).  I did get near 20mpg in the Expedition on a 300 mile trip once driving 80-85, but I had a 30-40mph tail wind.
    As for the MKX, I don’t know if it offers enough over the Edge, though I do like the interior.  Mileage seems par for the course for a 4000+ lb 300 hp SUV.
    As for the MyLinoln/Ford touch system, I don’t think anyone is going to learn how to properly take advantage of what it has to offer in a week.  But I really can’t comment on it since I’ve never used it. Voice recognition seems to be it’s strength.


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