I'll start by saying I was a bit hesitant on the MKC. I'm looking at a few car purchase options and I was hoping to remove a potential option in an effort to make my purchase decision easier. In short, I was looking to remove the MKC from the list. Read below you'll find out that did not really happen at all. I was quite impressed in almost every way.
The model they had was a 2.3AWD white tri-coat. I've got to say it looks pretty good. I really like the Ford Escape, but from the rear the escape can sometimes look too tall for it's wheelbase. The MKC almost has the opposite problem, the roof is lower, and the rear wheels feel pushed out. It gives it a sportier look, and really looks quite good. It looks like it has wide hips, but in a good way, like Brazilian bikini girl wide hips
. I am not a fan of the grille on the car via photos. I still don't care for it in person, but I will say it was much more understated in person. It does not dominate the front facade of the car, which is nice. I was worried about the look in front. The profile shot of th car is beautiful, and the back looks quite Audi Q5-esque which I feel is a compliment. I think the gigantic LINCOLN across the back hatch was pretty overstated, and I would think about doing a simple badge removal to clean it up.
I stepped right in for the test drive. The car interior was done in White Sands. The seats and doors are very premium feeling on the interior. There are some parts on the dash that start to show the Ford roots. The dashboard soft touch feels a little cheap, and the button beneath the mylincoln touch feel like they were a last minute decision. It's a decision I approve given all of the touchscreen complaints, but the buttons feel pretty cheap. The seat on the other hand are absolute bliss. These have to be the best car seats I've ever sat in. The side bolsters are pretty pronounced and really fit you into the seat snugly. If you've ever driven a VW GTI it's about that level of bolster, but the padding of the seat is much more luxurious. The cross stitching on the doors feels very very nice. When you open and close the door the seat moves into either driving or exit position and the steering wheel will move to follow suit. I quickly hopped in the back seat with the front door still open. This put the front seat into "assist the driver in exiting the car" mode, which left very little room in the back seat. I'm not sure how much further back this was over driving position, but at that point the backseat was not a place I wanted to be (I'm 6'1"). I'm not sure how things will feel with the seat moved a little. The headroom was great overall, and the panorama vista roof is a must have. The roof did not have a cross brace between front and back window like the escape. It felt much more like an impressive feature on the interior of the MKC. The glass stretched closer to the sides of the vehicle, and also extended further back reaching well past the rear headsets. If you've ever been in a Ford Edge or a Lincoln MKX it has a similar wow factor. I will say the section of the roof that opens is pretty disappointing. I'm not sure why Lincoln didn't make the slideable glass area larger. Opening/Closing the shade came at the touch of a button... or two. It took the dealer and I a second to sort it all out. There are 2 buttons for the shade on the right side of the map light assembly. 1 touch sends the shade halfway back, a second will send it all the way to the back. 1 touch on the close button and the shade comes all the way forward. You can touch again to stop it at any point. I left it wide open. The moonroof controls are just the same as any other ford/lincoln - vent, one-touch slide to full open, then you can press and hold to get an extra few inches of ventilation room.
We started slowly be turning out into traffic. I did not want to get hit in one of the only models of this car in the country. The car feels very drivable. It has the same basic driving characteristics of an escape, but they've improved the suspension and the steering weight pretty significantly. To me the escape steering weight feels too light for the size/quality of the car. The steering weight on the MKC is manageable, but heavier. It feels similar to a VW GTI in weight. Obviously the car is not as flickable as a GTI, but the rack-to-rack did feel pretty short. I pulled a few 90deegree turns with both hands on the wheel. We took a right turn onto the freeway for a few quick miles at speed. The 2.3awd spooled up and put some power down. It's a solid engine that gives the car some nice pep. It will not thrill you. The response to the throttle input was pretty mediocre, however the turbo seemed to spool up pretty quickly. It felt a lot like a small V6 under the hood. I would say acceleration was similar to that of an GLK. The GLK is a bit more instantaneous due to the NA V6, but the MKC impressed. The big shining star here was the suspension. We were driving over some not so freshly paved roads and the MKC took them in stride. You could feel the suspension working to dampen out the bigger bumps, which actually left the car bouncing up and down after a bump. It almost felt like air-ride on a truck. It was extremely smooth and quiet. It put the MKX suspension to shame. I took the car through a few quick lane changes to judge body roll. This put a huge smile on my face. The thing does not roll into corners. There was almost no duck-in when I was getting more aggressive behind the wheel. I could feel the car stiffen up and "push back" on the suspension when ducking into a turn. What is really happening is the CCD and the roll stability are working together. It felt very impressive. It's strange for a vehicle that big and heavy to feel so flat footed in a turn. I put the car in sport mode and paddle shifted for a little - Meh. Not something you'll probably ever use, but the sport mode keeps the throttle response quicker. If you were trying to beat someone off a stop light to merge or turn this could come in handy. The back window definitely left something to be desired in terms of visibility. Its shape looks real sexy from the outside, but inside looking out it was pretty view prohibitive. It made the view out the rear feel a bit claustrophobic, but it wasn't too bad. Nothing near as bad as a Range Rover Evoque.
It was a hot day so we activated the best feature to ever be built into a car - cooled seats. If you're a dude and you've never had ventilated seats... save your money and invest. You'll be glad you did. They're amazing. In the case of the Lincoln they're not just ventilated, but actually air conditioned. In short they're great. If you live somewhere hot, go for the cooled seats. The ventilation on the MKX is bottom and full back, the MKC unfortunately felt prioritized on the bottom of the seat, leaving the back not as well ventilated, but I'm telling you these seats are best in class.
There are a lot more things I want to inspect on the car, but I have to say I was impressed. Like I said, I went into the test drive wanting to not want the car. I'm pretty sure I found my next purchase. I was very impressed by the car overall and can't wait to see it in a few different setups in June.