Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - FRONT PAGE - By Willy Wil­liamson

BACK in 2007, when the first Lin­coln MKX hit the streets, I se­ri­ously con­sid­ered pack­ing up all my worldly be­long­ings and head­ing to Detroit: My goal was sim­ple, to prove to then Ford global vice-pres­i­dent of de­sign J Mays that even a ham-fisted buf­foon like me could surely do a bet­ter job de­sign­ing ve­hi­cles for Lin­coln than the team of seem­ingly blind squir­rels he’d tasked with the job.

Of course, I never did this, but that still didn’t stop me from shak­ing my head in amaze­ment ev­ery time a Lin­coln MKX was spot­ted on the mean streets of Win­nipeg, which, due in large part to its lack­lus­tre sales, rarely oc­curred.

Yep, to say I didn’t like the orig­i­nal MKX is an un­der­state­ment.

A re­badged variant of the pop­u­lar Ford Edge, in my eyes the first MKX had it all wrong from the be­gin­ning. From the curb it looked like de­sign­ers had pulled the chrome racks out of the fridge af­ter they’d drank all the beer and slapped those same racks on the front of an oth­er­wise at­trac­tive Edge.

The in­te­rior in the MKX wasn’t much bet­ter.

They say it’s bad karma to speak ill of the dead, but in the case of the first-gen­er­a­tion MKX, if you ask me, that thing couldn’t have died fast enough.

So, with all that Lin­coln loathing out of the way, and in the name of rec­i­proc­ity — to­day is a brand-new day — and the freshly re­designed Lin­coln MKX is a brand-new ve­hi­cle.

Gone are the po­lar­iz­ing looks. Gone is an in­te­rior sim­ply try­ing too hard to be a lux­ury ve­hi­cle. Gone is an en­gine best suited for grab­bing gro­ceries. Make no mis­take about it, the new Lin­coln MKX is now pre­cisely what it was try­ing to be in the first place. Cool.

Up front, the grille of­fers up a thou­sand-yard stare that makes me a lit­tle weak in the knees. The slanted head­lamps are per­fectly in­te­grated into that grille, and in the cen­tre there’s an at­trac­tive Lin­coln badge that man­ages to sell the en­tire works with un­der­stated el­e­gance. The hood is sharply creased with lines that make the MKX look as though it’s break­ing land speed records — even while at a stand­still. In keep­ing with other lux­ury ve­hi­cles, the side mir­rors are at­tached to the door rather than tacked onto the lower cor­ners of the side win­dows, a de­sign cue that is thank­fully mak­ing a come­back. Even from the rear, where many ve­hi­cles th­ese days seem to have trou­ble dis­tin­guish­ing them­selves, the MKX fea­tures a curvy bump and a bold rib­bon of light­ing.

The in­te­rior has also been dra­mat­i­cally im­proved. The seat­ing po­si­tion is per­fect, the seats are firm yet com­fort­able, and the cen­tre stack is beau­ti­fully in­te­grated. Great lengths have also ob­vi­ously been taken to re­duce noise in the cabin, at high­way speeds this thing is as quiet as the in­side of a bank vault.

In fair­ness to the first-gen­er­a­tion MKX, which was a com­fort­able cruis- er with more than ad­e­quate power, the new MKX takes a good thing and makes it great. The ride qual­ity is all lux­ury now, and the op­tional fire­breath­ing 2.7-litre twin-tur­bocharged six-cylin­der en­gine mak­ing an as­tound­ing 335 horse­power de­liv­ers the kind of neck-snap­ping ac­cel­er­a­tion typ­i­cally only pre­vi­ously found in the likes of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo or a Jeep Grand Chero­kee SRT. This thing re­ally is quick, and emits an ear-pleas­ing rum­ble from its dual ex­haust as it revs high and hard all the way through to red­line.

With this new MKX, Lin­coln has fi­nally taken all the good things about the Ford Edge, added a dash of stylish looks, a host of great lux­ury fea­tures and a wicked pow­er­train to cre­ate a pack­age that lives up to the mys­tique and pre­ci­sion that was once the cor­ner­stone of Lin­coln’s suc­cess. This re­ally is a hot-rod Lin­coln, and if you’re in the mar­ket for a lux­ury cross­over, you owe it to your­self to drive one.


The MKX in­te­rior is a sig­nif­i­cant upgrade over the Ford Edge.

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