$20,277 - $30,388

2016 Lincoln MKC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Lincoln MKC was new.


Performance: 8.0

When it comes to the performance of the 2016 Lincoln MKC, reviewer opinion is mixed. Some test drivers say it delivers smooth acceleration and adequate engine power along with a soft ride, even over rough roads. Others report that it feels imprecise and that the transmission sometimes hesitates to downshift when acceleration is needed. Many test drivers enjoy the added versatility the MKC’s adaptive suspension affords with its Comfort, Normal and Sport modes, but others feel that there is too little difference between the three settings.

  • "No matter the EcoBoost engine or drivetrain layout, Lincoln's 2016 MKC small-luxury SUV feels solid, confident and safe." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Ride comfort is superb with the optional adaptive suspension dampers, as the MKC dispatches poorly maintained urban streets without a hint of distress." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 MKC comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that puts out 240 horsepower. A 285-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine is available on the Select and Reserve trims. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The MKC gets an EPA-estimated 20/29 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class.

Test drivers say that both engines offered in the MKC are responsive and offer adequate power for daily driving. While some reviewers report that the MKC feels quick when accelerating or passing, others say that its power and acceleration are disappointing. Some critics prefer models with the more powerful 2.3-liter engine, which also feature all-wheel drive. They note that the transmission occasionally hesitates to downshift when maximum acceleration is required.

  • "Regardless of engine choice, the MKC's acceleration is underwhelming, while overly sensitive gas and brake pedals can make this small Lincoln hard to drive smoothly." -- Edmunds
  • "Unfortunately, the MKC's additional luxury features mean additional weight, a factor in its lackluster acceleration times. Opting for the 2.3-liter engine, however, helps keep the MKC somewhat competitive with most rivals." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2015)
  • "With both engines offered, normal acceleration is fairly smooth and seamless. But if you're in a hurry and the throttle is floored from a stop, it takes a moment for either of the turbocharged engines to start producing real power, which then comes on with a slight surge. 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 (2015)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard in the 2016 MKC. All-wheel drive is available, as is an adaptive suspension with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. Test drivers report that the MKC delivers a smooth ride, even over tough roads. Some reviewers say that the MKC provides plenty of road grip and is surprisingly agile, but others think that there is too much body roll and that the steering can feel imprecise. Most critics agree that the MKC is somewhat engaging to drive, though some point out that there is little difference between the three suspension modes.

  • "The MKC's Ford Escape roots serve it well. With a wider track and lower center of gravity, the MKC corners with all the fun of a compact sports sedan. Lincoln further improves upon the MKC's handling with standard Front-wheel Torque Vectoring control for assured grip on any road surface." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "When the road bends, though, the MKC is less appealing. The comfort-tuned suspension allows a lot of body roll, or lean, which cuts back on how precise the MKC feels." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

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