Spied: Lincoln Gives Refreshed 2018 MKC Some Continental Kit

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
spied lincoln gives refreshed 2018 mkc some continental kit

Lincoln’s littlest utility vehicle, the MKC, always risked being overshadowed by the larger offerings emanating from the resurgent luxury brand. That doesn’t mean it’s forgotten — either by the buying public or its builder.

The four-cylinder-only MKC went on sale in May 2014 as a 2015 model, heralding a new, decidedly non-Ford-like design direction for the brand’s utility vehicles. Sporting a toned-down version of the whale-like corporate split grille, the little utility was Lincoln’s first attempt to tap into the growing compact luxury CUV market. No longer was a Lincoln utility just a warmed-over Ford with a revised face and taillights.

Now that Lincoln’s moving away from the whale look, the 2018 MKC, judging by these spy photos, will follow the brand’s recent “Make like Continental!” design philosophy.

If we peer through the camouflage, it’s clear the main external changes will appear on the front. The refreshed MKC adopts the broad, open grille of the Continental, MKZ and, in oversized form, the 2018 Navigator. Similar changes should come to the headlights, and no refresh is complete without a subtly remolded lower fascia.

Judging by the camo out back, slight changes are also in store for the taillights. The vehicle’s flanks, and especially those eyebrow-like fender bulges, have, like the song, remained the same. In another nod to the Continental, turbine-style wheels appear ready to join the MKC lineup.

As for power, expect a return of the 2.o-liter and 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinders, likely mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission jointly developed by Ford and General Motors. Six-speeds just don’t cut it in a premium vehicle anymore. We’ll have to wait for confirmation, but it would be odd if Ford didn’t boost the MKC’s standard content — especially in the safety realm — for 2018.

MKC sales remain steady three years following the model’s launch. While the nameplate moves less volume than many foreign competitors, demand hasn’t fallen off. April was the model’s third-best sales month to date, and last year saw 25,562 MKCs leave Lincoln lots. That’s about 5,000 units below the numbers posted for the larger MKX, which saw sales rise noticeably following its 2016 redesign.

The 2018 Lincoln MKC should appear on lots late this year or early next.

[Images: © 2017 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars]

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  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Jun 15, 2017

    "No longer was a Lincoln utility just a warmed-over Ford with a revised face and taillights." Ummm....yes it is. How much did Ford pay you for this article?

    • N8iveVA N8iveVA on Jun 16, 2017

      Pretty sure his statement is true considering to my knowledge the only body panels it shares with the Escape is the roof, plus a differently designed interior. That sounds more than just a "revised face and taillights" to me.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jun 16, 2017

    I happened to have a new Conti behind me in traffic yesterday right as the sun came out after rain. From behind me, how stately and elegant as it approached. Two cars behind it was either a CT6 (or possibly a newer CTS) as I turned to leave this road. Conti is just a CD4 variant after all, and CT6 is a special snowflake and yet guess which one looked like a cartoon joke?

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Jun 16, 2017

      The new Conti is great...until you open it up. Way cheap in there. Fab seats, though. Lincoln has a ways to go. I'd still take a CT6. But I'd do a XTS V-sport over any of 'em.

  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.
  • ToolGuy MUAWGA
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