The 2018 Lincoln MKC compact crossover SUV has two engine options, and both of them is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The other is a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, which is available for all but the base trim. Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive can be configured for all trims. With the bigger engine under the hood, the acceleration suffered from slight turbo lag. It took a little over seven seconds to reach 60 mph, which was slower than its competition. Power delivery past the initial slump was linear and the transmission shifted smoothly. The handling was held back by body roll during cornering. It did not feel well-controlled even in the sportiest driving mode. The steering was responsive and the vehicle didn’t hesitate to change direction. Its weight was balanced but feedback from the pavement could be enhanced. The brakes were able to stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which was an above average performance in its category. However, the pedal did not firm up when pressing down further. Oddly, the soft feel of the pedal yielded an overly sensitive response upon initial engagement of the brakes.
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The Premier trim comes standard with a power liftgate, xenon headlights, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, automatic climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, driver seat memory settings, Bluetooth, two USB ports, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio and an infotainment system with a 8-inch touchscreen and a nine-speaker sound system. The Select trim adds auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, power-adjustable steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. The Select Plus package adds a navigation system and several advanced safety and driver aids. Starting with the Select trim, the Climate package includes heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic wipers and a wiper de-icer. The 14-speaker THX II sound system and adaptive dampers are the standalone options available. The Reserve trim adds a hands-free liftgate, ventilated front seats, and an onboard modem for remote controls. Starting with the Reserve trim, the Technology package adds more advanced safety and driver aids. The top-of-the-line Black Label trim adds adaptive dampers and premium interior and exterior trim appointments.
The 2018 model was tested by the NHTSA and it earned four stars in the frontal crash test, five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the rollover test. Overall, it achieved a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Advanced safety and driver aids that come standard in the base trim include rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. More features are added through package options and they include blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure and intervention and automated parking.
The 2018 MKC has a length of 179.2 inches, a width of 73.4 inches, a height of 65.2 inches and a wheelbase of 105.9 inches. It is currently in its first generation and the design is not too flashy with chrome being applied sparingly. Despite the aggressive-looking front fascia and sculpted side panels, the cohesiveness in the design is a hallmark of a luxury vehicle. The base trim starts with 18-inch wheels but 19-inch and 20-inch wheels only become available for the succeeding trims. A sunroof is an option for all but the base trim. The Black Label trim is distinguished by its darker-colored wheels and additional paint options.
Both the front and rear doors opened wide but the entrance isn’t as accommodating compared to its competition. Getting inside the cabin did not require stepping up to a significant height change. The headroom for the first row was ample but legroom was insufficient for tall occupants. For the second row, space was limited and just felt more boxed inside. Five people can be seated onboard by the two rows of seats. The cushioning of the seats were plush but with enough firmness for avoiding aches during long drives. However, they fit small for the average passenger and did not fully support the lower body. Despite lacking firmness in its sportiest suspension settings, the ride quality was compliant and very comfortable. Bumps and rough patches were dampened to not cause disruption at all. External noise was kept at bay as well and maintained the relaxed atmosphere inside.
There is 25.2 cu-ft of space behind the second row of seats, and folding them down opens up 53.1 cu-ft of space for loading cargo.