By on November 21, 2017

2019 Lincoln MKC, Image: Ford Motor Company

As part of its effort to align all of its products under the same general styling umbrella, Lincoln’s smallest crossover, the MKC, undergoes a significant facelift for 2019. Well, significant when viewed from a head-on angle.

The mid-cycle refresh, available to customers next summer, sees the baby Lincoln’s split waterfall grille jettisoned in favor of a corporate, Continental-esque opening (though the smaller MKZ sedan’s nose seems a direct match). Improvements in safety equipment round out the updated package.

Lincoln claims there’s changes to be seen in the rear design, but both a quick and lengthier glance at the new and outgoing model fail to rustle up anything different. Odd, that. Up front, the LED headlights flanking the one-piece grille have undergone some reshaping.

The same front end styling change awaits the larger MKX in the near future, and we’re likely to see both of these updated models paraded around on the looming U.S. auto show circuit. Besides the addition of pedestrian detection to the model’s available Pre-Collision Assist, convenience and safety technology remains pretty much unchanged for 2019. Rialto Green joins the color palate for top-spec Reserve trim.

Inside, the story remains the same. However, going back to that grille — while the new one-piece hole blends well with the MKC’s sculpted sides, it does appear that the MKZ transplant left this higher-riding vehicle with a lot of extra real estate below its nose. (See below for comparison.) It would be pleasing to see a slightly taller opening, but that would require a more significant fascia reconstruction. Just our two cents.

In case you’re wondering whether there’s even a 2018 model to consider, there is. With an entry MSRP of $34,280, the 2018 model adds $475 to the base price of the 2017 MKC. The only change appears to be a slight power bump for the base 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. From 2018 onwards, that motor makes 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, up 5 hp and 5 lb-ft.

The same 285 hp, 305 lb-ft 2.3-liter EcoBoost four serves as an upgrade for 2018 and 2019 models, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front- and all-wheel drive carries over, as well.

Despite not being top-of-mind to every premium buyer, the MKC remains an important gateway vehicle for the Lincoln brand. The automaker claims over half of MKC buyers are women, and over half of the crossover’s customers are poached from other brands.

Sales of the MKC rose 10.3 percent in the U.S. in October, with year-to-date volume up 8.7 percent.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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23 Comments on “Face-off: 2019 Lincoln MKC Boldly Goes Where Several Lincolns Have Gone Before...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The rear reminds me of a Saab 9-4x.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Spent a minute scrolling back and forth between the pictures, and they actually just changed the upper grille area and headlight surrounds.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    I drove one.

    Bland…and effectively a 2-seater. Only Ford could screw up rear passenger space that badly. They should just squash it a bit, get rid of those rear seats, and make it a 2-seat longroof.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Somewhere, Matthew McConaughey says…alright alright alright.

  • avatar
    deanst

    If they brought a hybrid version with a vwesque warrantee they might get more attention.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This is as bad as the Fusion “update” where they also did virtually nothing. Apparently at Lincoln it’s the grille that sells the car. Not features, or value, or any of that crap. Just the grille.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “It would be pleasing to see a slightly taller opening, but that would require a more significant fascia reconstruction. Just our two cents.”

    But the revision makes it easy to hang a front license plate without it being smack in the middle of the grille.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Slap the Continental grille on it, and kick it out the door? Yawn.

    And I’ll go on a rant – what is it with some makes, that they want to make all their cars look the same? BMW is one of the worst offenders right now, where their passenger cars are concerned. I saw a BMW this morning, and I couldn’t tell whether it was a 3-, 5-, or 6-Series (reading the emblem, it turned out to be a 6-Series). If you were driving a 6-Series that was twice as expensive as a 3-Series, you wouldn’t want it to look just like the less expensive 3-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That’s the “same sausage different lengths” design school. Lots of automakers do it.

      It’s either “lazy” or “building brand identity” take your pick.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      If you “can’t tell” it’s neither a 2 or 3 series BMW, duke. Anything above that… I can’t tell either.

      I like this Lincoln grille better. Don’t care for the particular car, or segment for that matter.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Terrible

  • avatar

    I’m going to advocate for either A) another, smaller grille to fill the negative area below the main grille, or B) enlarging the grille to fill that space.

    That’s the first time I’ve EVER called for a larger grille.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I have kind of grown to like the “David Niven-esque” grill on these.
    Not so sure about slapping the Continental grill on everything – they seem (at least to me) to be less sporty? More formal?

  • avatar
    kenwood

    I too, have grown accustomed to the cat whiskers look, especially on the MKZ. I think Lincoln should have gotten more credit for the styling of that car. I see them on the roads with the black/gray painted wheels and that sloping rear deck treatment, and wonder if more people would pick one of those if they only knew they could get a great deal on one.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    Took long enough for the Continental nose to trickle across the line-up.

    let’s be realistic, Ford HQ is only going to put the barest money into Lincoln. Just enough to keep it relatively profitable. As Cadillac shows, throwing cash at a division doesn’t automatically produce sales.

    MKC is what it is. You’re an empty nester looking for a stylish (ymmv), relatively conservative looking premium crossover, MKC ticks enough boxes—-as long as you’re aware that Lincoln still exists.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Now change the name from MKC to something else – like a real word.

  • avatar
    detroitguy

    Why does every Lincoln have to have a single rear tail light? This one actually looks better than most or their efforts, but it always strikes me as cheap. I’ve always thought Ford tail lights are the worst in the business.

    Case in point, the previous generation Fusion with the “snakeskin” rear tail lights.

    The only thing worse was when GM tried to cheap out on tail lights for the Traverse. They thought they were mimicking the Camaro’s, but they came out looking like two behinds.

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