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Discussion Starter #1
While it is still fresh in my mind I've written down a lot of notes that I can reference later on the MKC, which I thought I'd share here.


Vehicle was a Black 2.3T Reserve (I believe). We went to the city for free dinner the first night, grocery shopping and a joy ride the second, and a trip to work the third. All in all a very thorough test drive.


Exterior: Looks even better in person than in pictures. Very sharp exterior that in black was not busy or overdone. It lends itself to darker colors IMO as they contrast less with the bottom trim. 19" 5-spoke wheels are well sized for it. It looks small on the outside, as my Passat, which is 8” longer, had a lot of overhang when parked next to it.
Engine / Performance: Definitely a solid engine with pretty minimal lag. I only really appreciated it when I got back in my own older & smaller turbo. It doesn’t always hit as hard as I’d like at highway speed though, which surprised me. I ended up driving in sport mode a lot as the response at 50+ was much better and the suspension was a lot tighter. In normal it is really bouncy at times. Of course driving in Sport has a detrimental effect on MPG, as I averaged 19.5 on my commute (70 miles round trip mixed highway/back roads). My Passat is usually clocking in at 24-25, which is 2-3 above the combined rating. MKC came in a bit below. Also negotiating curves at higher speed had some unexpected steering response that to me was too sensitive.
Interior Materials: The materials work together to form a nice contrast without being too much. Material quality is not always at the level of others. Nice plush looking leather in the lower area of the doors, then matte wood trim in a skimpy amount above it, then on top a firmer material that has some give but looks like cheap hard plastic. This wraps around to cover the dash as well, and it was the first thing I noticed when I got in. I actually had to touch it to confirm it wasn’t plastic. I thought it was just me, but it was the first note from two co-workers I brought over at different times. It really sticks out and makes a bad first impression. I think they need to change the material pattern or something, and the detailer shined it up too much.
Interior: I like the layout of the instrument cluster. It conveys a lot of information and is well thought out. There’s a good set of shortcut buttons below the touchscreen. Just the right amount I’d say. Button shifter felt practical as opposed to gimmicky. Actively cooled seats are almost everything I’d hoped they’d be, just gotta work some lower back cooling in there. Seats were comfy enough, definitely acceptable. Console layout is functional and simple. Panoramic roof is large, which definitely impressed people. Someone did point out that the track was exposed, which is not the case on his car. The power shade is quite opaque as far as I could tell. Combine that with the fairly heavy window tint and you can make it pretty dark in the back, good for making babies sleep. I am not large at 5’8”, and I could sit behind the driver’s seat after positioning it with no issues. Our gigantic rear facing car seat was able to be center mounted, though it was a close fit. Power adjustable steering wheel and three memory presets. This is a nitpick, but there are separate buttons for instrument lighting brighten/darken, and they are both huge. Why is this? Most people probably will never touch them.

Infotainment: I'd call this one of the strengths of the MKC. It makes BMW iDrive and the Lexus joystick look like ass. For one it’s a touchscreen and works well. Why are other manufacturers messing around with a joystick/touchpad or clickable dials? Home screen is divided into four quadrants for Nav, Phone, Climate, and Sound. Click on one to expand it if necessary and each of the others can still be accessed with one click. Overall you’re never more than 1 level deep very often. Sound system was just ok, so I’d probably get the THX now. Radio signal was weak, but I had no issues with satellite.
Specific Pros: Auto high beams work really well. Foot activated liftgate is nice, although I was swinging my leg around like an idiot sometimes trying to find the right spot. Speed limit display is useful in areas I don’t drive as often.
Specific Cons: Accident avoidance feature sucks. It went off a bunch of times, including when I was taking a teething baby on a joyride to fall asleep. When rounding a curve, telephone poles seem to trip it up too easily. Parking sensors, but I hate this about nearly every car I’ve been in. Stop making systems that freak out when you back into the garage; that is all I ask. Try something other than loud beeps to communicate distance.
Dealership: Combined Ford/Lincoln dealer could use an update. Ford customers lounging around waiting for their cars, and the Lincoln loaners are not on site which seems like it would waste time. Overall it had a very meh look compared to the BMW and Lexus dealerships I’ve been in. I’d say it looked more like the Toyota dealer I was at recently. Salesmen were friendly and they got me squared away with the Lincoln pretty quickly, although it did need to be gassed up when I got there.

Overall: The MKC seems like a very strong play in the segment to me. It’s hard for me to compare apples to apples because I’m not going to throw around the car with a salesman in there, and nobody else just gives you the car for several days. I can see myself owning it, which I think is what Lincoln was hoping to achieve. Wife, who was a big skeptic going in, had parting comments of “I guess if we don’t like the NX I’d be okay getting this.” That’s probably the biggest compliment she’s ever paid Lincoln. Since my car will see a lot of miles and be with us a long time I would say the MKC has allowed me to officially cross the unreliable brands of BMW and Audi off the list. I don’t know how the MKC will fare in the long term, but the low price and reasonable brand reliability limit the risk. Total cost of ownership will get bumped up by the low MPG’s, but I’ll probably negate some of that by using regular fuel.


I am down to an interesting mix of vehicles.
Out: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Buick anything (just way too depressing to think about)
In: Lincoln MKC, Acura RDX (likely going to be eliminated after test drive), Lexus NX, Porsche Macan S (just so expensive to own), and Tesla Model X
 

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Nice review, you might add the Mercedes GLA to the list.
if you can get past the ipad looking display this car will fly out of the dealerships.
Even with all the others the Lincoln still comes out ahead for me, the only problem I have is it seems like it should be even nicer at that price range.
What is it missing if anything??
 

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Tell me Why Ford Edge has Chrome Wheels & Lincoln Doesn't.
I am now looking for new wheels for my MKC.
I have narrowed down to these 2 wheels.
Which do you Like ?




 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice review, you might add the Mercedes GLA to the list.
if you can get past the ipad looking display this car will fly out of the dealerships.
Even with all the others the Lincoln still comes out ahead for me, the only problem I have is it seems like it should be even nicer at that price range.
What is it missing if anything??
I'm a bit on the fence as to whether to bother adding MB to the list. The dealership is not in a good location for me, and the wife and I both aren't that thrilled about the looks of the GLK. In addition it's expensive for what it is and just okay MPG. It is one of the few V6's left in the class though.

As for the GLA, it does look nice but it's pushing it for size. It's really a class size down from the MKC. I don't think I'm comfortable with our family hauler being smaller than my wife's IS250. The trunk on the MKC is adequate, but I can't imagine going with anything smaller than that.
 

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You might want to take a quick look at a Jeep Cherokee. It's got a remarkable set of features for the price, including a better adaptive cruise than the MKC.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The latest designs from Jeep are much more appealing on the exterior for sure. I know it is partially just brand image, but the rugged off-roading stigma of Jeep is really just not me. I'm never going on anything worse than gravel road if I have any say, so the various drive modes will really just be future repair issues instead of features I use. On that same note Jeep as a brand tends to be in the bottom tier of reliability, so that scares me off as well. I am also just not a cruise control person, I almost never use it.

My sister has a Grand Cherokee, and I really think it's a perfectly good car that came with more features than I was expecting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just updating this thread for the heck of it since I've gotten to test drive a few new vehicles. Both of these are below the MKC as far as I'm concerned.

Q5 Diesel: Nice power and smooth transmission. Drives great. Interior is really dated, this thing is way too long in the tooth. Not a fan of the MMI dial and tiny 5.7" screen.

Lexus NX200t: Not what I was hoping for. Feels really slow and gets loud when you stomp it. The touchpad interface is better than the joystick, but that is a backhanded compliment. Kept nearly the same terrible GUI on the Infotainment from the RX. Voice Navigation couldn't understand what I said. No pano roof. No adaptive suspension. No power folding mirrors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Closing the loop on this. I did my final test drives and talked everything over with the wife.

Porsche Macan S: Incredible drive, and the interior layout and materials are beyond what I expected as well. What a phenomenal vehicle. Touchscreen mixed with some hard buttons is a little strange, but overall it seems to work pretty well. Dealer is awesome, took me out in a Cayman after we finished with the Macan. Since this will be something we keep for a long time, the projected fuel and maintenance on top of MSRP is not a pretty number. Big, and maybe only, strike against it.

Tesla Model S 85D (or X): I had driven this back before the "D" and autopilot came out. At that point I was waiting on the X (which kept getting delayed), but the S is now viable as well with those upgrades. Tax credit, coupled with fuel and maintenance savings should bring the total cost in line with the other vehicles I'm looking at in the end. Entire interface is driven through the awesome giant touchscreen. New features are pushed to the car via over the air updates. Rear seats could be better, and it needs rear cup holders. Hatched rear provides SUV-esque storage. Can seat up to 7 if 2 are kids. Acceleration for days. Untouchable safety scores. The car sold itself. Test drive of a D with the wife followed by a decision on S vs. X looks like the only thing left to do.


For the record, the MKC was in my top 2-3. I think it's a great value. They do need to address its passive safety scores from NHTSA. The Escape also did horrible in the small overlap test from IIHS, so I was worried about how that would carry over to the MKC once it finally gets tested. I was also a little uncertain about the upcoming switch to Sync 3 and the first year glitches that seemed to be more than I was hoping for.
 

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Very thorough and fair rundown which I think most folks here would agree. And it is great that you circled back to close the loop on your choice. Probably fewer here have cross shopped the Tesla - hope you get delivery someday-on a first year car.
I was hoping Lincoln would still offer hybrid power for the MKC- maybe this can come later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very thorough and fair rundown which I think most folks here would agree. And it is great that you circled back to close the loop on your choice. Probably fewer here have cross shopped the Tesla - hope you get delivery someday-on a first year car.
I was hoping Lincoln would still offer hybrid power for the MKC- maybe this can come later.
Yes, the first year aspect will certainly be a factor for the X. I feel confident I'd have it within a year given my reservation position. There's some risk mitigation as the powertrain and touchscreen components will likely be close or direct carryovers from the S. Tesla also has a fantastic powertrain warranty (8 year unlimited miles). I should be at about 125k miles by then. The falcon doors are by far the biggest long term repair risk, despite how cool they appear to be.
 
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