IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

MKC boasts a convincingly luxurious cabin, a serene ride, and a formidable selection of comfort and safety features, all at competitive prices.

BUT…

Rear seat space is rather cramped, and some touchscreen controls are tedious.

WORTH NOTING:

The MKC has an unconventional push-button gear selector on the dash, which frees up console storage space.

WHAT IS IT?

The new-for-2015 MKC is Lincoln’s entry into the fast-growing premium compact SUV segment. The MKC shares its basic platform with the Ford Escape, but offers numerous premium touches not available on the Ford, along with a larger, more powerful EcoBoost engine. Three trim levels are offered: base Premiere, midlevel Select, and top-line Reserve. The base engine on all models is the same 240-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine offered as the top option in the Escape, and it’s available with front- or all-wheel drive. Optional on all MKCs is a new 285-horsepower 2.3-liter version of that engine that comes only with all-wheel drive. All combinations have a 6-speed automatic transmission. Available features include an electronically adjustable suspension, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, a hands-free tailgate that raises when the driver’s foot is swiped underneath the rear bumper, and Lincoln’s Active Park Assist, which guides the vehicle in and out of parallel parking spaces.

WHAT’S NEW?

The MKC is an all-new model for 2015.

FUEL ECONOMY

EPA estimated fuel economy with the base 2.0-liter engine is 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 19/26 with all-wheel drive. The 2.3 (which is all-wheel drive only) comes in at 18/26.

VALUE IN CLASS

Lincoln’s new “cute ute” is a winner in both its concept and execution. Its interior is classy and comfortable, its ride is quiet and absorbent, and it boasts an excellent selection of standard and optional luxury features. Though its handling is perfectly capable and predictable, it aims more for cushiness than sportiness. Though there are other premium compact SUVs with more athletic moves, the MKC delivers both the style and substance that buyers in this class are looking for.

BASE PRICE RANGE $33,995 – $44,565
BODY STYLES 4-door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES 240-hp, Turbo 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.; 285-hp, Turbo 2.3-Liter 4-Cyl
DRIVE WHEELS Front or All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 18-29 MPG

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