2018 Lincoln MKX

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MSRP: $39,035 - 56,725

2018 Lincoln MKX Review

The 2018 Lincoln MKX has excellent safety scores, a smooth ride, and plenty of features. The main reason it sits near the bottom of our luxury midsize SUV rankings is that it lacks the athletic performance of more expensive rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Cushioned handling
  • Light on the wallet for the class, heavy on features
  • Top-tier crash test scores
  • Below-average gas mileage

Is the Lincoln MKX a Good SUV?

Despite its low spot in our rankings, the 2018 MKX is a good SUV. Its high-end cabin puts comfort at the forefront with soft, supportive seats, and lots of features. Performance is capable and composed, though gas mileage isn't that great. The MKX's other virtues include decent cargo room and high safety scores. This SUV's all-around quality and value made it one of our finalists for the Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money award.

Should I Buy the Lincoln MKX?

If thrilling performance is your top consideration when buying a luxury midsize SUV, skip the MKX. However, it’s a great option if you want a luxurious and comfortable daily driver. It's the only SUV in the class with a base price under $40,000, though it doesn't cut corners or have many negatives. For your money, you get an upscale cabin replete with premium materials, comfortable seats, and loads of tech features.

Still, you may want to look around the nonluxury midsize SUV class, as some SUVs there – like the related Ford Edge – can come fully loaded for around the same price as a base MKX. You could also consider other low-priced luxury rivals, like the Cadillac XT5.

Compare the MKX, Edge, and XT5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln MKX?

After a full redesign for the 2016 model year, Lincoln made no major changes to the MKX for either 2017 or 2018. If you're open to driving a used car, consider an older MKX with similar features, which could save you thousands of dollars over a new model.

To do more research on used MKX models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2016 and 2017 Lincoln MKX. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Lincoln MKX »
We Did the Research for You: 24 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if the Lincoln MKX is the right SUV for you, we've gathered and analyzed 24 professional reviews. We've also included information about the MKX's fuel economy, safety scores, features, and more to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses. This 2018 Lincoln MKX review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Lincoln MKX Cost?

The base MKX Premiere starts at $39,035. That's one of the lowest base prices in the luxury midsize SUV class; some rivals start at around $20,000 more. You can get the top-of-the-line MKX Black Label for $54,230, which is less than the starting prices of many competitors. An engine upgrade to a twin-turbo V6 is available for $2,000, and all-wheel drive is optional in all trims for $2,495.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings and special offers at your local Lincoln dealer.

Lincoln MKX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKX or Cadillac XT5?

The MKX undercuts the Cadillac XT5’s starting price by about $1,500. Both SUVs come with a standard V6 engine, but the XT5's feels underpowered. Conversely, a V6 MKX delivers decent acceleration and is available with a stronger engine (the XT5 is not). You'll also get much more cargo space with the MKX, especially behind the rear seats. The Lincoln is the better (and cheaper) buy.

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKX or Ford Edge?

The MKX and the midsize SUV Ford Edge are corporate cousins, built on the same platform. For a much higher base price, the Lincoln offers more interior luxury than the Ford. However, the range-topping Edge Sport ($40,675) has the same twin-turbo V6 that's optional in the MKX, along with numerous tech and comfort upgrades. That example costs less than the base MKX model once you add the optional twin-turbo engine. Sticking with the Edge's turbocharged four-cylinder base engine gets you much better fuel economy than the MKX's base V6. The MKX and its refined interior are a better option for those set on a luxury SUV. If budget is a concern, go with a similarly equipped Edge.

Compare the MKX, XT5, and Edge »

MKX Interior

How Many People Does the MKX Seat?

The 2018 MKX seats five on standard leatherette upholstery. Power-adjustable and heated front seats are also standard. Higher trims offer leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and multicontour massaging front seats.

The MKX's seats are comfortable and supportive thanks to plenty of padding. Legroom in both rows is more than adequate for tall adults, but some may find headroom lacking. The interior stays quiet even at high speeds.

MKX and Car Seats

There are full sets of LATCH connectors on each of the outboard rear seats, along with an additional upper tether anchor on the middle rear seat. Because this LATCH system is fairly easy to use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it an Acceptable rating – the second-highest score possible.

MKX Interior Quality

Regardless of trim, the MKX's cabin looks and feels luxurious. Base models are fitted with high-quality leatherette upholstery, and higher trim levels have genuine leather seats, wood, or metal trims. There are a few cheaper looking pieces, but the overall look is upscale.

MKX Cargo Space

With 37.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a maximum of 68.8 cubic feet, the MKX has an average amount of cargo space compared to other SUVs in the class. There are plenty of small-item storage compartments throughout the cabin to safely tuck away your phone, wallet, or sunglasses. The MKX comes standard with a power liftgate. Higher trims have a hands-free power liftgate.

MKX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Like most luxury vehicles, the MKX comes standard with numerous tech features, including a SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. The system is easy to use and can be controlled with pinching or swiping gestures that will be familiar to smartphone and tablet owners. This infotainment system's reaction times aren't as snappy as some competitors' touch screens. The physical controls on the center stack are intuitively arranged and close enough to the driver to allow for quick audio or climate adjustments.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

MKX Performance

MKX Engine: Adequate Acceleration

The MKX comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, and a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 is available. The majority of buyers will have no problem with the base engine, which has plenty of power for daily commuting. The twin-turbo V6 is more powerful and provides quicker acceleration on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and while it shifts seamlessly, it has fewer gears than many competitors. Those extra gears in rivals' boxes help match power delivery to the driver's needs, while also improving fuel economy.

MKX Gas Mileage: Low for the Class

The MKX gets below-average fuel economy estimates for a luxury midsize SUV. Compared to competitors with V6 engines, however, its gas mileage is more typical. Front-drive MKX models with the base engine return 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the optional engine increases city fuel economy by 1 mpg. All-wheel-drive models have worse gas mileage, as low as 16/23 mpg city/highway.

MKX Ride and Handling: Cushioned Cruising

This luxury crossover is primarily tuned to keep occupants comfortable, and it succeeds. Rough patches of pavement are no match for the suspension, which keeps the cabin free from jitters and bumps. The MKX stays composed when going around corners, too, and there's little leaning or rolling, as you might expect from an SUV this size. Don't think the MKX can handle turns with the athleticism of more expensive European competitors, however. This SUV's power steering is numb and light. That makes it easy to steer at low speeds (like when maneuvering around parking lots), but you'll have no feedback for cornering, which detracts from driver engagement. The MKX comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive and Lincoln Drive Control (a system that allows you to choose a driving mode) are optional.

Read more about performance »

MKX Reliability

Is the Lincoln MKX Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 MKX an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Lincoln MKX Warranty

The 2018 Lincoln MKX comes with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

MKX Safety

MKX Crash Test Results

The MKX has great crash test scores, earning a five-out-of-five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In individual NHTSA test categories, the MKX earned five stars in the front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, the MKX earns the highest possible rating in all six crash tests and a score of Superior for its front crash prevention features. However, the MKX misses out on an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation because it receives too low a score for headlight performance.

MKX Safety Features

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard in the MKX. If you want more advanced safety features, step up to higher trim levels that offer blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, active lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, front parking sensors, active park assist, and a 360-degree camera.

Read more about safety »

Which Lincoln MKX Model Is Right for Me?

The Lincoln MKX Reserve trim is the best model for those who can afford to stretch their budget. It has loads of luxury upgrades – leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, navigation, a panoramic moonroof – that don't come in the base model, along with a few advanced safety features. There are also several packages and standalone options available in this trim level that you can't get in cheaper models. Even with all the added features, the Reserve trim is still less expensive than most luxury midsize SUVs. If the Reserve's price is too high for you, the Select trim has leather upholstery and is available with a few of the Reserve's standard features.

All MKX models come standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, an automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. A twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 is available for $2,000, and all-wheel drive is optional for $2,495.

Lincoln MKX Premiere

Starting at $39,035, the base MKX Premiere comes standard with push-button start, remote start, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, heated and 10-way power-adjustable front seats, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, a 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which comes with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

A dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system ($1,995) is available.

Lincoln MKX Select

The Select trim starts at $42,550 and adds leather upholstery, a power-tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a hands-free power liftgate.

The Climate package ($790) includes heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic high beams. The Select Plus package ($1,200) adds navigation, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Standalone options include a 13-speaker Revel audio system with HD Radio ($1,155), a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system ($1,995), and a panoramic moonroof ($1,895).

Lincoln MKX Reserve

The MKX Reserve model costs $46,560 and comes equipped with a panoramic moonroof, navigation, ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive headlights.

The Driver Assistance package ($2,250) adds active lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. The Technology package ($1,395) comes with a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors, and active park assist. The Luxury package ($3,995) includes adaptive headlights, a 19-speaker Revel audio system, and HD Radio. The Climate package ($790) includes heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic high beams. Standalone options include a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system ($1,995) and 22-way power-adjustable seats ($1,500).

Lincoln MKX Black Label

Priced at $54,230, the MKX Black Label tops out the line. Standard features include upgraded leather upholstery, a 19-speaker Revel audio system, HD Radio, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, and unique styling elements.

The Driver Assistance package ($2,250) adds active lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. The Technology package ($1,395) comes with a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors, and active park assist. Standalone options include a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system ($1,995) and 22-way power-adjustable seats ($1,500).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings and special offers at your local Lincoln dealer.

See 2018 Lincoln MKX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The MKX's low price and long list of features along with a comfortable and upscale cabin make it a solid option in the luxury midsize SUV class. It's not the right model for everyone –particularly drivers who crave excitement behind the wheel – but if you want a luxurious and accommodating SUV, the MKX is worth a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "While the 2017 MKX has changed for the better, its competitors have hardly been standing still. The Acura MDX has received some notable upgrades this year and offers a sportier driving demeanor plus a third-row seat. The Lexus RX 350 was also redesigned last year with more aggressive new styling and a top-quality interior. The Mercedes-Benz GLE is also worth a look if you can get past its higher price tag. When it comes right down to it, though, the 2017 Lincoln MKX can stand toe to toe with all of the above, proving once again that change is not necessarily a bad thing." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "If you're looking for a midsize-luxury SUV with an American flair for power, styling and creature comforts, all at a really good price, Lincoln's 2017 MKX luxury-crossover SUV deserves a spot on your shopping list. If you prefer your luxury SUVs to be brilliant performance machines, the MKX probably won't satisfy in the same way a BMW X5 M or Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC43 can. Lincoln doesn't offer a hybrid or diesel option, and its resale figures still lag behind the industry leaders." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "While the MKX has been pleasantly redesigned, it's hard to justify a $60,000-plus price tag like that affixed to the vehicle we drove. So the real problem with the MKX is no longer differentiation with the Edge but proving out its own luxury mettle." -- Car and Driver (2016)
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