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2019 Lincoln MKC Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The 2019 Lincoln MKC doesn't feel that quick with either of its turbocharged engines, though they do provide ample power for daily driving. Fuel economy is OK for the class. The MKC provides a fantastic ride, even over rough roads, but some critics report it isn't as composed or agile on winding roads as class competitors.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 same [2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder] 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 MKC comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 240 horsepower. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine feels responsive and delivers adequate power, but it lacks the energetic feel of many rivals' engines. There's also a noticeable lag between when you hit the gas and when the car really takes off.

A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is available in all-wheel-drive models. It produces 285 horsepower. Like the base engine, turbo lag is an issue here. Despite its extra 45 horsepower, this engine doesn't really make the MKC feel any faster.

The base engine gets better fuel economy, earning an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. That’s about average for a luxury compact SUV. The more powerful engine gets 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 (2017)
  • "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

Some reviewers think the MKC handles worse than many competitors, displaying little grace or agility on winding roads. However, others argue that the Lincoln feels almost sporty. Either way, it rides smoothly, and road imperfections won't jostle you or your passengers. The MKC comes standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available, as is an adaptive suspension with three driving modes (Normal, Sport, and Comfort).

  • "The MKC leans significantly when you push it through a corner, lacking the poise and composure of most competitors, even with the suspension in its sportiest mode. In the city, the MKC's modest dimensions are a boon in tight spots." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "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." -- 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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