$19,793 - $28,918

2017 Lincoln MKC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Lincoln MKC was new.


Performance: 7.9

The 2017 Lincoln MKC's performance should satisfy most drivers. Sure, neither of its engines are particularly potent nor is its suspension going to help you carve up the corners, but it's a fine and comfortable cruiser. Once you get up to speed, the powertrain will keep you on the move with little fuss and the MKC's suspension will cushion you from any rough patches. There are better choices if you would like to have some fun. Rivals like the Infiniti QX50 and the Acura RDX deliver both more comfort and sharper handling along with better engine power.

  • Handling is far less responsive and engaging than most rivals, but we ultimately think this shouldn't be a problem for those shoppers more interested in its comfort credentials." -- Edmunds
  • "No matter the EcoBoost engine or drivetrain layout, Lincoln's 2016 MKC small-luxury SUV feels solid, confident and safe." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "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 base 2017 MKC is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 240 horsepower. In upper trims, you can opt for a more powerful turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that makes 285 horsepower. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is probably the best choice for most drivers, as it delivers decent acceleration. You’ll pay more for the 2.3-liter engine – both at the dealership and the pump – but you won’t see a noticeable difference in power. If you’ve got the need for speed, the Infiniti QX50's standard V6 delivers more power than both of the MKC's engines.

You should be aware that both MKC engines have some turbo lag when you first punch the gas pedal, so you'll need to pay attention when merging into highway traffic. The transmission responds well and shifts at the appropriate times to give you more power when you need it.

Models with the base engine can get up to 21 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway. That's pretty typical for a luxury compact SUV, but some rivals, including the Lexus NX and Volvo XC60, have starting prices similar to the MKC and use less fuel. Fuel economy with the larger engine and all-wheel drive drops to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

  • The 2017 MKC's base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine packs a suitable amount of punch. The engine and transmission are responsive, and this helps make the MKC feel quicker than its bottom-of-the-pack acceleration numbers would indicate. In real-world driving, the 2.3-liter engine doesn't feel a whole lot stronger. It's also noticeably less potent than rival base engines, let alone other upgrades." -- Edmunds
  • "In a straight line, the MKC's nearly 2-ton curb weight with all-wheel drive holds it back, but there's still ample turbocharged thrust on tap, no matter which engine you select. The base front-wheel-drive model is quicker than you'd think, as it's significantly lighter than all-wheel-drive examples." -- AutoTrader (2016)
  • 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." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

Handling and Braking

Don't expect to tear through turns in the Lincoln MKC; its handling is tuned much more for comfort than agility. It delivers very well on the comfort front, however. It easily absorbs bumps in the road to keep you and your passengers undisturbed. Front-wheel drive comes standard in all models, though you can have all-wheel drive with the larger optional engine.

Adaptive suspension is also available, and it lets you select from three driving modes: Comfort, Sport, and Normal. Normal delivers stability around corners while maintaining a cushioned ride. Comfort mode leads to too much body lean, while Sport mode feels a bit harsh over rough roads.

If you're looking for a subcompact SUV that's fun to drive and doesn’t sacrifice ride comfort, you’re better off with the Acura RDX or Infiniti QX50, which are both engaging to drive and comfortable to ride in.

  • "If you want a luxury crossover with a comfortable and quiet cabin, though, this could be your vehicle. On long highway journeys, the MKC feels smooth and relaxed, particularly with the highly recommended CCD adaptive suspension dampers." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

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