$17,710 - $19,114

2015 Lincoln MKC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Lincoln MKC was new.


Performance: 8.0

Reviewers say the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC delivers lively, seamless acceleration for daily driving and highway passing. They report that the MKC offers both a cushioned ride and distinctly sporty handling. Test drivers appreciate that driving dynamics can be adjusted using the available Lincoln Drive Control system, which allows drivers to switch between Sport, Comfort and Normal modes. Still, some automotive writers note that the transmission can be slow to downshift.

  • "Complementing this power is genuinely athletic handling. The MKC drives more like a sporty hatchback on its tiptoes than a nearly 2-ton crossover SUV." -- Edmunds
  • "All in, the MKC is capable of being a good little handler when it's time to get yer ya-yas out, and it's still happy to deliver ride comfort when you just want to have a posh, isolative drive home after a long workday." -- Autoblog
  • "The MKC is a low-riding performer, and dispenses with any sort of off-roading pretences. Offering a choice of ride settings, it was satisfying in both extremes. In fact, we can't remember a Lincoln that had displayed such confidence on the road before this one." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Lincoln MKC comes with a 240-horsepower turbocharged (EcoBoost) 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A 285-horsepower EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is available. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates that the MKC gets 20/29 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class.  

Test drivers praise the 2015 MKC's engines, saying that both deliver more than enough power for daily driving. However, a few automotive writers think the MKC's engine options don't offer as much power as their horsepower numbers suggest. Models with the upgraded engine come standard with all-wheel drive, and automotive journalists say it offers strong off-the-line acceleration and ample highway passing power. Some critics also say the MKC's transmission shifts seamlessly and its paddle shifters work well, however they note that the transmission can be slow to respond in certain situations.

  • "The power is quickly accessible and the MKC shoots off the line and does just as well passing on the freeway. During 200 miles of driving the AWD 2.3L MKC, I never wanted for power. During a short drive in the 2.0L MKC, its 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque were nearly as quick, though it lacked the all-wheel-drive state of mind." -- Motor Trend
  • "If the throttle is stabbed while under way, the transmission sometimes hesitates to kick down for more power (more so at part throttle than full throttle), and even then, neither engine feels quite as strong as their rather lofty 240- and 285-horsepower ratings would imply - possibly because even the base model with all-wheel drive tips the scales at nearly 2 tons." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Pushing the center console-mounted gear selector to sport offered an impressive growl as it moved us past slower moving traffic. Press it again and it takes you to a near-manual experience for paddle-shifting driving." -- Left Lane News
  • "Collectively, the Lincoln remix adds roughly 200 pounds to the MKC, with the 2.3-liter/AWD model tipping the scales at nearly 4,000 pounds. While that extra weight does take some edge off of acceleration, all versions of the MKC are more than capable of coping with all daily driving demands." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base engine in the 2015 MKC is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 240 horsepower and 270 lb-t of torque. Sound familiar? The same engine appears in top-of-the-line versions of the Escape. We've raved about its smooth, assertive acceleration in the Ford, and it's more of the same here -- although the Lincoln does outweigh its humble cousin by about 150-200 pounds, depending on trim." -- AutoTrader

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Lincoln MKC comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive and an adaptive suspension system with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes are available. According to reviewers, the all-new MKC takes on winding roads with athleticism and offers a comfortable ride on the highway. While some reviewers are pleased with the ride and handling that the MKC’s standard suspension provides, most agree that the available adaptive suspension does a great job of delivering more controlled handling in Sport mode. Some are also impressed with the softer ride that Comfort mode offers, while others write that Normal mode is best suited to most driving situations. Test drivers also like the MKC's strong brakes and good steering feel.

  • "Regardless of engine or drivetrain configuration, the Lincoln MKC feels like a capable and confident SUV, whether cruising down a freeway or carving though corners. Developed primarily for on-road running, the MKC boasts a wider track and a lower center of gravity than its Ford Escape cousin and adds to its surefooted character with unique suspension/steering calibrations." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base suspension provides a decent luxury-level ride combined with good steering feel and fairly nimble handling. The adjustable suspension offers Normal, Comfort, and Sport modes, with a noticeable but hardly quantum leap between them. As with many adjustable suspensions, Normal mode seems to work the best unless canyon carving is on the menu, as Sport is a bit stiff and Comfort allows too much wallow." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I found the Sport mode too sensitive at the accelerator, making my driving less smooth, but the other changes were at least noticeable, as the MKC felt more aggressive on the twisty roads outside Santa Barbara, California, in Sport mode. This machine rode best in Comfort mode, where the suspension softened out every bump and the ride, while compliant, was predictable and well-controlled. That's really what the MKC was created to do: Provide a pleasant, smooth, quiet ride, though some of that quietness was created through active noise cancelation. … Taut steering and good acceleration mean it would handle itself well during an emergency maneuver." -- Motor Trend
  • "The MKC is actually a hoot on winding roads thanks to its Escape-sourced underpinnings, which are themselves derived from the superb Ford Focus. In fact, the MKC does the Escape one better with its available continuously adaptive suspension dampers, an affordable standalone option that adds palpable measures of suppleness and sport. But even the standard suspension does a great job, preserving the Escape's fundamental excellence while adding a creamy layer of luxury on top." -- AutoTrader
  • "The MKC isn't ever soft but it's also never stiff. This is a solid example of tuning appropriate to the way small SUVs get used: well-damped comfort most of the time, coupled with solid response and control when you need it." -- Edmunds

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