Lin­coln lav­ishes lux­ury on the

MKX

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS -

Lin­coln’s MKX was given a full makeover for the 2016 model year as Lin­coln strives to raise its at­trac­tive­ness to the mid-size pre­mium cross­over buyer. It first sur­faced as a con­cept

car in 2004 at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in Detroit and went into pro­duc­tion as a 2007 model.

Never a hot seller, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion came along in 2016 based on the same plat­form as the Ford Edge, and like the Edge, built by the good men and women in the Ford as­sem­bly plant in Oakville.

I put more than 700 km on this week’s tester, the toptrim of the MDX Re­serve, to see what kind of job they did.

Billed as mid-size, its 4,827 mm (190.0 in) length puts the ve­hi­cle into the full-size cat­e­gory by my reck­on­ing — all height­ened by the op­tional 21-inch al­loy wheels on the Re­serve trim model.

For ex­am­ple, it has 1,007 mm (39.6 in) of legroom for sec­ond-row pas­sen­gers that is limou­sine-like when you get in.

And if you are con­cerned about not enough cargo vol­ume, don’t be. It boasts 1,055 litres (37.2 cu ft) be­hind the sec­ond row seat, 1,948 litres (68.8 cu ft) with sec­ond row folded.

The “Base” model, if you can call it that, is pow­ered by Ford’s long-serv­ing 3.7-litre DOHC V6 with 303 hp and 278 lb/ft of torque with a six-speed Selec­tShift au­to­matic trans­mis­sion (with pad­dle shifters) and stan­dard all-wheel-drive.

This com­bi­na­tion has a fuel rat­ing of 14.4/10.3L/100

km city/high­way on reg­u­lar fuel. The mid-trim Se­lect and toptrim Re­serve are fit­ted with Ford’s lat­est twin turbo, di­rec­tion in­jec­tion EcoBoost engine tech­nol­ogy, in this case a 2.7-litre V6 pro­duc­ing 335 hp and 380 lb/ ft also with AWD and a six-speed Selec­tShift au­to­matic.

Fuel rat­ing is 14.1/9.8L/100 km city/high­way on reg­u­lar fuel, but th­ese EcoBoost en­gines are at their best us­ing pre­mium.

This may sound like an oxy­moron, but the in­te­rior is lav­ishly un­der­stated, start­ing with warm, earth-tone leather trim and seat­ing sur­faces with an ad­di­tion of wood trim on the door pan­els and cen­tre con­sole.

The driver’s seat with 22way power is a $1,500 op­tion, while the $5,500 Lux­ury Pack­age brings with it adap­tive LED head­lights and the stun­ning, 19-speaker Revel II au­dio sys­tem. And for $2,950, there was the Canadian Tour­ing Pack­age which added the 21-inch pre­mium painted wheels.

In all, the Re­serve model as tested here had $14,575 in op­tions on top of the start­ing price of $52,100 for a grand to­tal of $68,575, fac­tor­ing in the $1,900 des­ti­na­tion and de­liv­ery charge. Was it worth it? OK, the 22-way power seat is a bit much, but sooth­ing is how to de­scribe the feel­ing of the in­te­rior and that in­cludes the Revel sound sys­tem with crys­tal clear pro­jec­tion with the tweet­ers hit­ting some high notes in old favourite songs of mine I didn’t know were there.

And if si­lence is golden, then the in­te­rior noise in­tru­sion level is worth a for­tune.

My 700-km trip in­cluded a lot of high­way driv­ing in al­most con­tin­u­ous rain. Usu­ally the tires, es­pe­cially the big­ger ones, cause a “siz­zle” sound that creeps into the cabin, but this was not a fac­tor in the MKX.

Sim­i­larly, the ac­tive cruise con­trol with col­li­sion alert worked per­fectly, even in the rain. All I did was set it and for­get it as I rolled along on cruise, rarely hav­ing to brake, mak­ing the trip all the more re­lax­ing.

The Lin­coln MKX’s Revel sound sys­tem has crys­tal clear pro­jec­tion.

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