LINCOLN GIVES 2019 MKC A FACELIFT BEFORE MOVING ON TO CORSAIR FOR 2020
The Lincoln MKC has been on sale only about five years after hitting showrooms as a 2015 model in the summer of 2014, but already a replacement is coming.
For 2020, the Corsair will be the company’s nameplate in in the compact, premium crossover segment as Lincoln goes with the more traditional automotive nomenclature in place of the alpha-numeric codes so popular in the the luxury segment.
But don’t give up on the MKC just because of the name change.
This is not just a gussied up Ford Escape, which provides the underpinnings for the MKC, but a distinctly different vehicle on a separate mission.
The 2019 model gets a refreshed front end for a more luxurious impression and new safety features such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian collision avoidance for a more confident ride.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission serves as the base engine for the MKC pumping out 240 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque while drinking fuel at the rate of 20 miles-per-gallon city, 27 highway with premium 93-octane fuel.
An optional 2.3-liter turbo-4 available with all-wheel drive only is rated at 285 hp and 305 lb.-ft. of torque but with fuel numbers of 18/25.
Though it may not match the zero-to-60 mph times of its Teutonic rivals, the MKC has enough power for ordinary tasks. With the optional towing package, it can tow up to 3,000 pounds.
Comfort is the biggest plus. The seats are soft but still supportive, and the second-row seats recline. The ride is on the cushy side, and the cabin is quiet even when pushed. The vertical, push-button arrangement for shifting gears located along the centerstack creates an open space between the front seats for storage.
The MKC rides at a height that makes it easy to get in and out of, and there is nice legroom (42.8 inches) up front, though the second-row occupants get a snug 36.8 inches.
Cargo space is adequate enough for every-day chores, though its 25.2 cubic feet behind the second row pales in comparison to its Escape cousin’s 34 cubic feet. With the second row lowered, capacity is more than doubled to 53.1 cubic feet.
Standard features on the Black Label trim that served as my test vehicle include 19-inch wheels, a hands-free liftgate, upgraded leather upholstery (replacing leatherette), a simulated suede headliner, panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cargo cover, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, a navigation system, LED headlights, and rear parking sensors.
The Sync3 infotainment system features and 8-inch touchscreen and is very user-friendly. The MKC is awash in technology that includes Bluetooth communications, Lincoln Connect with 4G LET and a wi-fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Pricing is competitive with the base model starting at $33,995 (including the $995 destination and delivery charge. Upgrading to the Select trim costs $36,750, and the top-of-the-line Reserve and Black Label models top the $40,000 mark at $40,625 and $47,200, respectively.
Considering many of its competitors start at over $40,000, that makes the MKC a bargain.
What I liked about the 2019 Lincoln MKC Black Label: The interior doesn’t follow the usual emphasis on dark color schemes often found in the luxury segment and the result is a sophisticated, less-imposing ambiance. The ride is very comfortable and quiet.
What I didn’t like about the 2019 Lincoln MKC Black Label: I’m still not completely sold on the push-button system used to select gears. The buttons are lined up in a vertical row alongside the center stack with the starter button at the very top. The MKC’s successor model, the Corsair, is due to have those buttons in a horizontal arrangement at the bottom of the stack as on the Navigator.
Would I buy the 2019 Lincoln MKC Black Label? Definitely worth a look if you want to get away from the usual run of luxury imports and aren’t looking to break speed records in the segment.