SUV of the Year

Lincoln MKX: 2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Finalist

Classy Luxury Crossover Looking for Respect

Classy Luxury Crossover Looking for Respect

We Like: The comfy, quiet, posh cabin and supple, swift sport-sedan handling.

We Don’t Like: The panel gaps and rough “Edges” inconsistent with the big price.

Lincoln‘s latest offering pleasantly surprised most editors with its blend of a supple, quiet ride and agile, sport-sedan handling. Christian Seabaugh held it up as proof “that a suspension doesn’t need to be firm and flinty to be considered sporty. The Lincoln rides softer than the Edge Sport yet feels every bit as capable in the twisty stuff.” Well, the numbers don’t quite back that up. An Edge on identical tires circled our figure-eight course 0.8 second quicker than the Lincoln’s 27.0-second lap, registering 0.87 g of average lateral grip to the MKX’s 0.83. Ride credit goes to the adaptive damping that’s bundled with all-wheel drive on any MKX. Blame the slower times on a 200-plus-pound weight penalty that the twin-turbo 2.7’s higher rated output doesn’t quite compensate for. But the MKX drives so well (without the Edge’s obtrusive nannying) that we unofficially dubbed it our “best driver’s luxe-CUV.”

Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year contenders and finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other SUV of the Year contenders and finalists at the links below. Check out the SUV of the Year evaluation process HERE, and discover how our Of The Year awards have evolved HERE.

The leather-and-wood-swathed interior wowed Loh, who found it classy “in a simple American way not often seen—more substance than flash.” Jonny Lieberman declared Ultima “the best stereo sold in any car.” Jason Cammisa begged to differ—”Jonny’s smoking crack”—after his jams elicited distortion and trim rattles from overtaxed door woofers.

On the features front, our full-boat MKX boasted every gadget and gizmo imaginable, including a few exclusives such as optional inflatable rear seatbelts. They weren’t all competitively implemented, however. The lane keeping assist ping-pongs between lane markings, and the adaptive cruise brakes more abruptly than the best such systems. The MyLincolnTouch system froze up several times and often required multiple finger jabs before registering an input. The aging six-speed tranny delayed or denied too many paddle-shift requests, two editors got an AWD Overheat warning, and many of our tester’s body panels were poorly aligned.

This Lincoln’s biggest problem? The eye-watering $63,275 price is a lot to ask for a derivative of a $28,995 vehicle for a brand still earning its luxe cred.

2016 Lincoln MKX AWD (Reserve)
Base Price $48,575
Price As Tested $63,275
Vehicle Layout Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 2.7L/335-hp/380-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Length x Width x Height 190.0 x 76.1 x 66.2
Wheelbase 112.2
Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 4,630 lb (58/42%)
Acceleration, 0-60 mph 6.4 sec
Quarter Mile 14.7 sec @ 94.0 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 118 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.83 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 27.0 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 17/24/19 mpg
Energy Consumption, City/Hwy 198/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 Emissions 0.99 lb/mile
Real MPG 16/26/20

2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Contenders:

2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Finalists: