2018 Lincoln MKC First Look: Tweaked But Not Totally New


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The Lincoln MKC might be based on the Ford Escape, but when we first drove the MKC back in 2014, we were impressed with how well it differentiated itself from its nonluxury sibling. It wasn’t competitive enough to win our most recent comparison test, but with a comfortable ride and generally attractive styling, it moves the brand in the right direction. But now that the MKC has been out for a few years, Lincoln’s given its compact crossover a midcycle refresh.

The biggest changes you’ll see are to the MKC’s exterior. The current model isn’t exactly lacking in the styling department, but it doesn’t have the new corporate grille that made its debut on the Continental. The new MKC changes that, tweaking the rest of the front end’s styling to integrate the new nose.

The restyled front end isn’t revolutionary, but it works well, especially when you consider that the rest of the car was designed with a different grille in mind. The rest of the exterior stays pretty much the same, with Lincoln only adding some chrome trim and subtly different lighting.

In general, Lincoln left the MKC’s cabin untouched. It already offers an exceptionally quiet, well-executed interior, so the lack of changes isn’t a major issue. The same goes for the powertrains. Buyers can still choose between the 245-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or the 285-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder.

The updated MKC is also still available in Black Label trim, allowing buyers to choose from three different themes that add high-end leather and wood accents to the cabin.

Lincoln also offers its fair share of safety features and modern technologies such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. An 8.0-inch touchscreen with Sync3 is also still standard and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also an app called Lincoln Way, which allows owners to remotely control different features of their car.

But ultimately, the updated MKC is pretty much the same as the current model. It gets new front-end styling, but that’s the only significant change you’ll see on the 2018 Lincoln MKC. We would have preferred to see improvements made to the handling, power delivery, and button-heavy center console, but it looks like we’ll have to wait for the redesign to see those issues addressed.

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