Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lincoln's upgraded MKX excels with luxury, pep

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California ­– Unless you quit watching television a year or so ago, you’ve likely seen a lot of the extensively reworked-for-2016 Lincoln MKX luxury sport-utility vehicle on the airwaves.

You know, the SUV seen in the slow jam commercials with Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey at the wheel.

Yes, that one.

I’ll admit that I’m apparently missing the esoteric driving pleasures experienced by the actor, but for my humble tastes, this is a good luxury vehicle getting better.

My 2016 Lincoln MKX AWD tester was decked out with the “Reserve” equipment group, which is Lincoln-speak for it’s loaded with a lot of cool, over-the-top stuff.  The 22-WAY power driver seat got my attention, for example.

The tester’s base price checked in at $47,650, but all the extras pushed the bottom line to $58,740.  So yes, this is a luxury liner on all levels.

It looks smooth and aerodynamic in profile, with a nicely sculpted, but somewhat understated grille for this day and age.  Classy-looking from bumper to bumper.

Hitting the unlock fob at night illuminates puddle lights that project the Lincoln logo in “floormat” shape on either side of the car.  Your kids and neighbors will love this; take my word for it.

Stepping inside the cabin, I was impressed with the level of luxury and quiet.  Not a sound penetrated the cabin, not even the neighbor boy moving the lawn.

Devices of all types were within easy reach of my fingertips, including heated seats/steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and state-of-the-art audio, climate and multimedia controls.  Safety and driver-assist features were stuffed into the thing, ready to help you park, drive safely or panic stop.

The vehicle earned a top five-star safety rating in federal government testing.

Many of the tech features were mind-blowing, but simple enjoyment came in firing up the MKX and taking it out on the roadways.

The tester was equipped a turbocharged, 2.7-liter V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque.  With that power plant, the MKX qualified as a freeway warrior, luxury beast and hill-climbing devil, depending on what I wanted from it at a given time.

For all that power, very little noise reached the spacious interior cabin, and the MKX was monorail-solid on slalom runs.

Very impressive.

Naturally, you lose a little something on the fuel mileage end, which comes in at a tepid 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

All in all, this is a top-flight entry in the midsize luxury SUV segment.

Or as Matthew McConaughey would say: “Alright, alright, alright.”

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