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2017 Lincoln MKC: What You Need to Know

U.S. News & World Report - Cars logo U.S. News & World Report - Cars 10/13/2017 U.S. News & World Report
2017 Lincoln MKC© Ford Motor Company 2017 Lincoln MKC

If you're looking for a luxury SUV with a comfortable, relaxed ride and an upscale, feature-laden interior, the 2017 Lincoln MKC could meet your needs. However, if you can stretch your budget a bit more you can get an SUV with better performance and more cargo and passenger space.

Is the Lincoln MKC a Good SUV?

The Lincoln MKC is a good SUV for its below-class-average price of $32,880. It has a long list of standard features and a relaxed ride, but neither of its engines will wow you with their power. It has a stylish interior, but rear-seat legroom is cramped, and competitors like the Lexus NX give you more space to stretch out.

Should I Buy the Lincoln MKC?

If you're in the market for luxury but don't want to spend a pretty penny, the Lincoln MKC may be for you. This SUV gives you an upscale cabin and a lot of features for the money, including an intuitive infotainment system. However, it falls short on performance, as neither of its available engines will excite you. If performance isn't your top priority and you don't need extra passenger or cargo space, then the MKC could be a good choice.

We Did the Research for You: 23 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We analyzed 23 pieces of research and data from around the automotive industry to help you decide if the 2017 Lincoln MKC is right for you. Our reviews are based on hard data like crash test and reliability ratings from independent agencies, as well as reviews from other auto journalists. The MKC was introduced for the 2015 model year and has seen few major changes since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 through 2017 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team of researchers and writers has a combined 75 years of experience in the auto industry, and we’ve been helping consumers make educated buying decisions for almost 10 years. We are also impartial: Any ads you see on our site are sold by an outside company, and we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Lincoln MKC Cost?

The Lincoln MKC starts at $32,880, which is less expensive than many of its luxury compact SUV competitors. Despite its relatively low price, it comes with a generous list of standard features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, heated front seats, and leatherette upholstery. There are also many a la carte items and packages available. They range from $45 to $2,295 and add features like a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, navigation with voice recognition, and blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert.

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

Lincoln MKC Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKC or Lexus NX?

The Lexus NX has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 235 horsepower. The MKC's base turbo-four makes 5 more horses, but the NX actually boasts better performance than both the MKC's standard and upgraded engines. Both MKC engines have turbo lag, while the NX accelerates smoothly. The NX glides away from red lights and gets up to highway and passing speeds with no problem, whereas the MKC needs to work a little more to keep up with traffic. Both SUVs have attractive interiors, but the NX boasts better fit and finish. The NX is also more spacious than the MKC, with plenty of head- and legroom for rear-seat passengers. While both get good safety ratings, the NX's are slightly better. The Lexus NX is about $2,200 more than the MKC, but it's worth the extra money for the improved performance and the nicer, roomier interior.

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKC or Lincoln MKX?

The main differences between these two Lincoln SUVs are size and cost. The Lincoln MKX is a luxury midsize SUV, while the MKC is in the luxury compact class. Not surprisingly, you'll pay more to step up to this larger class, about $5,400 more. For that, you'll get 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the MKX's rear seats and 68.8 cubic feet with them folded. (The MKC has 25.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 53.1 with them folded.) You won't, however, get much more passenger space in the MKX, and those sitting in the rear seats won't notice much of a difference when it comes to leg- and headroom. Both SUVs carry five passengers and come with similar standard features, including a power liftgate, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you don't need the extra cargo space, save some cash and go with the MKC.

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKC or Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape is a comparable affordable compact SUV that shares the same platform as the MKC. It starts at $23,750, which is about $9,000 less than the MKC. The Escape comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes an underwhelming 168 horsepower, but a 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is available in higher trims (bumping the price to $26,595), and it provides lively acceleration. The MKC's base engine is adequate, and though there's a more powerful engine available, it's not worth the extra cost. Additionally, you'll notice turbo lag with both of the MKC's engines and none with the Escape's.

With the Escape's lower price tag comes a shorter list of standard features. Both SUVs comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview camera, and the MyKey system, but the MKC also comes with heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, and a power liftgate. However, these – and more – are available in the Escape for thousands less than the MKC. If you can live without the brand cache of the Lincoln badge, go with the upgraded Ford Escape and you'll save a lot of money while getting similar features and better performance.

MKC Interior

How Many People Does the MKC Seat?

You can fit up to five people in the 2017 MKC's cabin. Leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable heated front seats are standard, while leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated power tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel are optional. Spending the extra money for the optional leather upholstery is worth it for its luxurious softness.

You'll have plenty of headroom in both the front and back seats, but legroom is another story. The rear seats have limited legroom with the front seats far forward, so if there's a tall passenger up front the rear seats become even more cramped. If you plan to drive around with adults in the rear seats frequently, you may be better off with the Lexus NX, which has ample rear-seat legroom.

You'll have a fairly good view of the road ahead if you're in the front seats, but the view to the rear is blocked by the thick roof pillars. Fortunately, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard, making it easier to see behind you when backing up.

MKC and Car Seats

For installing child safety seats, the Lincoln MKC has two sets of lower LATCH anchors in the rear outboard seats and three top tethers. Both the lower anchors and top ethers are easy to access and connect. There is plenty of room to fit rear-facing and forward-facing convertible seats. However, to fit a rear-facing infant seat, the front-passenger seat has to be moved all the way forward, making for an uncomfortable front passenger.

MKC Interior Quality

The 2017 Lincoln MKC's cabin has an upscale design fitted with mostly high-quality materials. Still, there are some low-rent trim pieces that don't match the quality of those in some luxury competitors, like the Lexus NX.

Active noise cancellation comes standard in all models, and it does an excellent job of negating most road noise.

MKC Cargo Space

The MKC has a typical amount of cargo room for a luxury compact SUV, with 25.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. This is about enough room for five suitcases. There is 53.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. If you need more space, you can upgrade to Lincoln's luxury midsize SUV, the MKX, which has 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 68.8 with them folded.

The base MKC comes standard with a power liftgate to help make loading easy. In higher trims, there's a hands-free power liftgate that opens when you wave your foot under the rear bumper so you won't even have to put down your shopping bags. Around the cabin, there's plenty of cubbies to stow your small personal items.

MKC Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base Lincoln MKC Premiere comes well-equipped for the price, with standard features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, a nine-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a proximity key, remote start, a rearview camera, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Optional features include a panoramic sunroof, navigation, and a 14-speaker THX premium audio system.

The MKC has a long list of standard features with one of the lowest base prices in the class, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. All models come with Lincoln's SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is intuitive to use thanks to its large and easy-to-see buttons. The system recognizes smartphonelike gestures like pinching and swiping. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, so you can use some of your smartphone's apps on the infotainment screen.

The center console is uncluttered because the MKC uses gear selection buttons on the center stack rather than a traditional stick gearshift. Audiophiles will love the optional THX audio system that delivers exceptional sound quality. Whether you spend the extra cash for the THX system or stick with the standard audio system, you'll be able to stream your own music via Bluetooth.

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.

MKC Performance

MKC Engine: Sufficient Engine 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.

You should be aware that both MKC engines have some turbo lag when you first punch the gas pedal, so you'll need to give yourself some extra space when merging with highway traffic. The transmission responds well and shifts at the appropriate times to give you more power when you need it once the lag has worn off.

MKC Gas Mileage: Just Average

MKC models with the base engine can get up to 21 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway and cost about $1,400 annually to fuel. That's typical for a luxury compact SUV. Fuel economy with the larger engine and all-wheel drive drops to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway and raises your annual fuel economy cost to $1,550. A comparable affordable compact SUV, the Ford Escape gets up to 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway and costs $1,250 per year to fuel. The Escape saves you money at the pump and also has a much lower starting price of $23,750.

MKC Ride and Handling: Comfortable Cruising

The Lincoln MKC has a decidedly relaxed and comfortable ride but not one that's particularly agile. It's at its best cruising on the highway for long distances, so it's a great road trip companion. You won't feel rough patches of pavement with the base suspension, which smooths out bumps. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional with models equipped with the larger optional engine.

To adjust driving dynamics based on your taste, you can also add adaptive suspension with three different modes: Comfort, Sport, and Normal. You'll likely find yourself sticking with Normal mode most of the time, as it pairs driving comfort with composed handling around curves. Sport mode makes the suspension a little too firm over broken pavement, while Comfort mode is too loose with lots of body lean around curves.

MKC Reliability

Is the Lincoln MKC Reliable?

J.D. Power and Associates gives the Lincoln MKC a predicted reliability rating of four out of five, meaning it is more reliable than most cars on the road. The Lexus NX has the same rating, while the Ford Escape, a comparable affordable compact SUV, does a little worse (three).

Lincoln MKC Warranty

Lincoln covers the 2017 MKC with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Lexus covers the NX with the same warranty lengths.

MKC Safety

MKC Crash Test Results

In crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the MKC performs fairly well, getting four out of five stars in overall safety, front crash tests, and rollover tests. It receives a perfect five stars in side crash tests. Still, many rivals, like the Lexus NX, perform even better, earning five-star overall ratings from NHTSA. The NX also receives the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's prestigious Top Safety Pick+ designation.

MKC Safety Features

The base MKC has a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, which help when you’re backing up by letting you know if there's anything behind you. It's good that they're standard because visibility to the rear is limited by the roof's shape, so you'd have difficulty seeing behind you without them. Optional safety features include forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, parallel park assist, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, wiper de-icers, and front parking sensors.

Which Lincoln MKC Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Lincoln MKC starts at $32,880, which is below average for the class, but its base Premiere trim still comes with a generous list of standard features. It comes with a little bit of everything: safety features such as a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, comfort features such as heated front seats, and infotainment features such as Apple CarPlay and an 8-inch touch screen. However, the midlevel Select trim ($35,880) is your best option. It gives you the ability to add numerous a la carte items and packages to your MKC, getting you the features you want without having to upgrade to the top model.

Lincoln MKC Premiere

Starting at $32,880 the base MKC Premiere comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, leatherette upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, a nine-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a proximity key, remote start, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and Lincoln's MyKey driver monitoring system that lets you place speed and volume limits on the car when another person is driving. Also standard is the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Lincoln MKC Select

Moving up to the Select trim, which is priced at $35,880, gets you power-folding side mirrors, leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and a power-adjustable tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel.

 Lincoln MKC Reserve

The $39,645 Reserve model adds a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, navigation, and blind spot monitoring.

All-wheel drive is optional in all trims for around $2,400. A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive is available in Select and Reserve models. Optional packages include the Climate package ($605), which features heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and wiper de-icers, and the Technology package ($2,295), which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, front parking sensors, lane keep assist, and parallel park assist.

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

The Final Call

The MKC is a good value, with one of the lowest prices in the luxury compact SUV class, and it comes with a long list of standard features. It has a stylish interior, though legroom in the rear seats is cramped. Additionally, its infotainment system is a breeze to use. Though adequate, neither its base nor its upgraded engine will impress you with its power. Cargo space is average at best.

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

Read the full 2017 Lincoln MKC reviewon U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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