2009 Lincoln MKX has showmanship in luxury crossover market

February 7, 2009/Steve Tackett

MOTOR MATTERS KEANE ON WHEELS BY CONNIE KEANE

When you say Lincoln, traditionally you think sedan. But modern day Lincoln is defined by the MKX, a strong contender in the crossover SUV segment.
As expected from a Lincoln automobile the MKX comfort is exceptional. The unibody crossover rides on standard 18-inch wheels and tires, although buyers can opt for the available 20-inch wheels. The wide sport stance is accentuated with short overhangs, pronounced wheel wells, a high beltline, plus broad shoulders and chrome-tipped dual exhausts, giving Lincoln an elite athletic appearance.
The MKX, as sporty as it looks, is bred for luxurious ride comfort. The MKX has a four-wheel independent suspension with a MacPherson strut up front and a four-link independent rear suspension system. Quieting the ride and isolating vibration are the employment of hydro-bushings in the isolated subframes, among several engineering factors.
Lincoln competes well in the popular crossover utility vehicle segment with other luxury brands, such as the BMW X5, Acura MDX and Lexus RX. Lincoln doesn’t have to struggle to get noticed in this crowded segment. The luxury marquee of Lincoln is a natural and seamless transition into the luxury CUV segment. Lincoln’s signature waterfall grille water makes a dramatic announcement on the MKX in a glistening, crystal-like chrome-clad front-end presentation. The grille is a proud statement for the Lincoln buyer to display for public consumption. Many other automakers in this segment don’t measure up to the front-end design appeal of the MKX.
New for 2009, Lincoln has Limited Edition model that features a chrome grille in four colors: Vivid Red, White Platinum, Black, and Brilliant Silver. The seats are leather trimmed in Charcoal Black and Light Stone inserts with Lincoln logo stitching in the front row head rests. Also on the interior are ebony wood accents. The automaker says for a unique effect the headlamp lenses are etched with the Lincoln Star.
Offered as an option is the Vista Roof. This all-glass system is a sunroof up front with a one-touch switch for tilt and slide.

09 Lincoln MKX

The rear has a fixed moonroof. The large glass area up front is about 27×29 inches. In the rear, the moon roof measurement is about 15×31 inches. A power liftgate is standard. Adaptive headlights are optional.
The base price tag is $37,845 for the front-wheel drive MKX. My tester had all-wheel drive with a starting price of $39,185. Options, such as voice navigation, chrome 20-inch wheels, upgraded sound system, plus destination charges brought the tester to $45,210.
The luxury utility crossover has a V-6 engine under the hood. The 24-valve, 3.5-liter engine is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission and is rated for a horsepower delivery of 265 at 6,250 rpm and a torque output of 250 lb.-ft. at 4,500 rpm. The EPA rating on my all-wheel drive test vehicle was 15 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway. A combined fuel economy is 18 mpg. The front-wheel drive model is EPA-rated at 17/24 mpg.
This vehicle is a large Lincoln that has a ground clearance of more than 8 inches. Its wheelbase is 111 inches, the overall length is about 187 inches and the height is 67 inches. The overall curb weight of the AWD tester is 4,400 pounds. When properly equipped the MKX is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
The MKX has received the “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for highway Safety. The vehicle is standard equipped with Roll Stability Control and the Safety Canopy side curtain airbags.

Next week: 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid
Next week 3-Pack: 2009 Toyota Corolla

SPECIFICATIONS
2009 LINCOLN MKX
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD CUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $39,185 (as tested: $45,210)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 24-valve V-6 w/SMPFI
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 3.5-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 265 at 6250 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 250 at 4500 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 111 in.
TRACK (front/rear)___________ 65/64 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 187 in.
OVERALL WIDTH________________ 76 in.
HEIGHT_______________________ 67 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 39 ft.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 4,400 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 20 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

Spare Parts
2010 VOLVO XC60: The new 2010 Volvo XC60 steps boldly into what is currently the automotive world’s fastest-growing segment — the small premium utility segment — dressed in a thrilling blend of muscular XC capability and the sporty charisma of a coupe. The new XC60 will be available with Volvo’s six-cylinder turbocharged T6 engine producing 281 horsepower. All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction is standard. Volvo’s engineers developed the XC60’s chassis settings for aggressively sporty handling that promotes a feeling of safety and control. Estimated Price: $37,200
KIDS AND CARS: Over 33 people die and 16,000 are injured every week due to nontraffic incidents. A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report estimates that thousands of tragic and costly vehicle incidents occurred in 2007 when backing over children and other pedestrians, as well as the closing of powerful automatic vehicle windows on necks and limbs of car occupants. KidsAndCars.org recommends to: Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them. Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device. Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
CAPITOL HILL CAR AID: Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to make new car costs tax deductible. A National Automobile Dealers Association spokesman said, “We believe, if it’s targeted, it will create some … increases in sales … and that’s exactly what we need right now.” (Source: CNNMoney.com)

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009

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