$9,091 - $9,494

2010 Lincoln MKX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Lincoln MKX was new.


Performance: 7.5

The majority of reviewers find the 2010 MKX's overall driving experience adequate enough, largely saying that it drives more like a luxury sedan than an SUV. Yet they are also quick to point out that the ride is geared toward comfort rather than sportiness.

  • "Driving, for all intents and purposes, identically to the Edge, the MKX combines high-up seating with the feel and fuel economy of a mid-size car." -- Car and Driver
  • "Steering is decently weighted, but again, it doesn't provide the confidence engendered by competing models. The MKX does offer a cushy ride, and the cabin is very quiet even at highway speeds (a rare class-competitive area). In total, it drives like a Ford Edge -- which is fine if you're paying Ford Edge money, but not if you could also afford a Mercedes GLK." -- Edmunds
  • "This SUV illustrates what can be achieved in a car-based, or unibody, model that would be complicated or plain impossible in a truck-based one ... This isn't a car, and it shouldn't be driven like one, but the advantages of a car platform are evident." -- Cars.com
  • "Body lean and noseplow are evident in brisk cornering, but MKX is competent otherwise. The steering is slightly numb and light in straight-line cruising." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The MKX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 265 horsepower. Most test drivers say it’s adequate, though it struggles somewhat under the MKX’s weight. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that also meets with complaints from reviewers. They say it’s slow to shift and doesn’t come with a manual shift feature.

Though the MKX can be a bit sluggish, its fuel economy is a big plus. According to the EPA, front-wheel drive models are rated at 18/25 mpg city/highway – one of the best ratings in its class. All-wheel drive models are rated at 17/23, which is also a very good rating for the class.

However, if you want a more powerful engine, check out the Lexus RX 350. It costs about $1,200 less than the MKX and matches its excellent 18/25 base fuel economy rating. It even increases the all-wheel-drive model’s rating by one mile per gallon in both the city and on the highway (the AWD RX is rated at 18/24, while the comparable MKX is rated at 17/23).

  • "Only AWD models have been made available for us to test so far. They have smooth, linear power for good around-town response and ready highway acceleration." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Thanks to the nice torque curve, acceleration is strong both in town and on the freeway." -- MSN
  • "The MKX is no rocket ship -- a 4,420-pound curb weight (in AWD trim) sees to that -- but it will run up to highway speeds in less than eight seconds and cruise effortlessly there while returning 20-plus mpg fuel economy." -- The Los Angeles Times
  • "The 2010 Lincoln MKX's 3.5-liter V6 is smooth but hardly provides the sort of performance we've come to expect from this luxury SUV class. The transmission doesn't help matters, exhibiting a stubbornness that often requires a full foot to the floor to summon a proper highway on-ramp downshift. A lack of any manual override frustrates this problem, as Lincoln provides only a useless L gear." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Reviewers like the MKX's handling abilities, though they wish it was sportier and some criticize its slow braking performance. The available Intelligent AWD System proactively senses wheel slippage and helps distribute power to the wheels with the most grip. It adds to the MKX’s base price, but it's probably a good deal for drivers who live in snowy or rainy climates.

  • "We haven't retested a 2010 MKX to see if Lincoln has corrected the truly awful braking distances it displayed three years ago at the vehicle's debut. However, if the virtually identical Edge is any indication, braking performance has improved, but remains prone to fade and a mushy pedal." -- Edmunds
  • "It's a great highway cruiser, partly because wheels are at the far corners of the crisply styled body for better stability. The brake pedal has a linear action that allows consistently smooth stops with the anti-lock brakes. The ride is stable and supple." -- MSN
  • "The steering has good feedback and pleasant heft without a lot of vibration." -- The Los Angeles Times
  • "Even with the available 20-inch wheels, MKX absorbs most road imperfections with aplomb, resulting in a stable, comfortable ride." -- Consumer Guide

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