Lincoln has made a number of significant changes to its MKX midsize crossover for the 2011 model year. The updates include exterior styling revisions, new technology features and a more powerful V-6 engine. The MKX competes against other luxury crossovers like the Cadillac SRX and Lexus RX 350, and it arrives at dealerships this summer.
The most noticeable styling changes are in front, where the MKX gets a version of what Lincoln calls its "split-wing grille." The new grille closely resembles the one on the brand's MKS full-size luxury sedan, and it doesn't overwhelm the front of the crossover like the design does on Lincoln's MKT full-size crossover. Along with the new grille comes new headlights, and there are now more prominent front fender arches.
Once you move aft of the windshield pillar, the MKX's profile is nearly identical to the previous model's. However, there are some notable styling changes at the back of the crossover. The full-width taillight design of the previous MKX has been replaced by new split taillights that use inward-facing LEDs to soften the typical pinpoint illumination provided by these lights. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, but 20-inch rims are available.
The interior styling of the five-seat MKX was starting to look a little tired compared to newer luxury crossovers, but the all-new dashboard in the 2011 MKX does a lot to remedy that. It features a flowing design that blends smoothly into the center console and utilizes upscale touches like real stitching along some seams.
The chunky buttons that adorned the previous model's center control panel have been replaced by touch-sensitive controls. The touch controls for audio volume and ventilation fan speed are particularly interesting; they both feature a horizontal plate, and you can slide your finger left or right to lower or raise the volume/fan speed. Real wood and aluminum trim is offered, and available features include a power tilt/telescoping steering column and a heated steering wheel. The seats are finished in standard leather upholstery.
Ford's new entertainment and communication system, dubbed MyLincoln Touch in Lincoln models, is standard in the MKX. The system aims to make all of your communication and entertainment sources easy to control while driving. To do this, MyLincoln Touch features an 8-inch touch-screen in the middle of the dash, five-way steering-wheel controls, USB ports, an SD card slot, and an instrument panel with a traditional analog speedometer flanked by two customizable LCD screens. The system can be operated by voice commands, too.
Under the Hood
The MKX is available with front- or all-wheel drive, and the 2011 model gets a new 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 that teams with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine runs on regular gas.
Standard features include four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags.