The MKX crossover vehicle is a car-based replacement of the truck-based Lincoln Aviator SUV. For 2008, a hands-free communication and entertainment system, plus heated and cooled seats, are newly standard, and 20-inch wheels are optional. The MKX competes with the Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX and Volkswagen Touareg.
The MKX is a five-seat vehicle that, as a crossover, delivers better interior space, ride and handling, and refinement than a truck-based vehicle, but it falls short in towing capacity. Like the Ford Edge, the MKX is based on the same platform, originated in the Mazda6, that underpins several midsize cars from brands under the Ford Motor Company umbrella.
It's more a point of fact than a criticism to say the MKX looks a lot like all the other vehicles in its class. The chrome cheese-grater grille is distinctive and a deviation from the Lincoln norm. Around back, an LED taillight strip that spans the rear is another distinguishing element. For 2008, 20-inch wheels are optional. Chrome isn't broadly distributed, but it's bold and dominant where it appears, as on the side mirrors.
The 2008 Limited Edition includes leather seats and the new 20-inch wheels, as well as some interior tweaks. Three new exterior colors join the lineup for 2008: two shades of blue and a silver hue.
The interior is done up in the standard Lincoln style, with clean, simple shapes and a silvery center control panel that's more agreeable than some of the fake metal that appears on virtually all new cars. Heated and cooled front seats are now standard, while heated rear seats are optional. The backseat is split 60/40 and has adjustable backrests. Cargo capacity is 32 cubic feet behind the second row and 69 cubic feet with the seats folded.
Lincoln joins BMW in offering a glass-panel roof, here called Vista Roof. The option comprises a large front moonroof and a decent-sized rear one. The in-dash LCD screen incorporates the optional navigation system and brand-exclusive THX premium stereo that includes two subwoofers rated at 600 watts. There's also an auxiliary audio input jack for anything from a laptop to an MP3 player. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an 8-inch screen is optional.
Lincoln Sync, a voice-activated hands-free communication and entertainment system that uses Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity, is standard for 2008, as is Sirius Satellite Radio.
Under the Hood
Ford finally has a modern V-6 engine larger than 3.0 liters. The MKX shares with the Ford Edge a 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that drives the front or all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission developed jointly with General Motors.
Lincoln packs the MKX with safety features, including standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, side-impact front-seat airbags and side curtain airbags that cover the door windows in a side impact. There's also an electronic stability system and Roll Stability Control. Roll Stability Control is the only feature that senses when a rollover has begun and attempts to stop it. The side curtain airbags also deploy if the vehicle does roll over. Options include adaptive headlights, which swing left and right with the steering wheel position.