I've now taken a test drive in two new MKC's, a 2018 still on the lot and a 2019. Both Reserve, both nice cars.
Before proceeding, please note that I'm judging from the perspective of my current '14 Escape which is in excellent condition, a bit over 51k miles, carries an extended warranty to 100k miles, and has been modified substantially in terms of audio system upgrades and acoustic treatments (along with other 'tweaks'). With that in mind, my impressions after the test drives ....
- While different from my Escape, not to the extent I might have hoped in terms of 'luxury upgrade'.
- The 'style' of both the interior and exterior is certainly nicer; I like the MKC 'waterfall' dashboard; I like the exterior details, especially the '19 front-end.
- In the interior, what's plastic in my Escape is plastic in the MKC; what's leather is leather; I don't feel that the interior materials, fit or finish are substantially more 'luxurious' in the MKC.
- The ride quality was about a 'wash' as was the 'performance' (mine is the single-scroll 2.0EB, these MKC's both with the twin-scroll 2.0EB).
- The quietness was not as good as my Escape with substantial acoustic improvements (MKC's were both noticeably noisier, Active Noise Control notwithstanding).
- Neither audio system (one Premium, one THX) was anywhere near as satisfying as my modified audio system (JBL MS8 DSP, 3-way front stage with 2-way center, 2-way rear fill, subwoofer, all active crossovers on 13 channels of discrete power amplification); my music is important to me (jazz, classical, rock, singer-songwriter, all at normal listening levels). I tested both with my own music on USB drive for 'apples-to-apples' comparison.
- SYNC3 is nice but I'm content with SYNC2 and have no interest in CarPlay or Android Auto (I'm an iPhone SE user FWIW). I do not 'stream' music.
- I'm not a fan of 'moonroofs' nor of low-profile tires (my Escape rolls on OEM 17" tires with aftermarket Enkei wheels.
So, as a purely personal matter, given where I am today with my particular Escape, I'm left not feeling compelled in the least to make a change to a 2018 or 2019 MKC. I'd not have known that without 'testing', and if anything it makes me feel great about the effort and dollars I've spent making my Escape 'mine'.
As far as the mentioned and anticipated 2020 model year major refresh or maybe even total redesign ... who knows what that will bring but if indeed the total redesign (including drivetrain) that Lincoln likely needs to stay competitive in this market, I'll not be interested in being a 'first year buyer' of a totally new car ... that's a long standing personal rule I'd be loath to break .... I'll let the motivated early-adopters get through a year of de-bugging first.
Thanks for allowing me to visit, I'll probably stick around and keep reading, we'll see if my Escape continues to keep me happy for the next year.
Best regards to all, you're driving a nice car!