Face-off: 2019 Lincoln MKC Boldly Goes Where Several Lincolns Have Gone Before

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Tonyola Tonyola on Nov 21, 2017

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

  • Detroitguy Detroitguy on Nov 21, 2017

    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.

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
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