The 2015 Lincoln MKC represents an effort from the domestic luxury brand to expand its line-up into a new, and heretofore unexplored area of the market. The Lincoln MKC will provide premium compact transportation for families who have outgrown their hatchback or entry-level sedan, and it will help to move the automaker away from the tech-laden interiors that have dominated its most recent products. The Lincoln MKC also offers better value than many of its competitors, as Lincoln knows that in order to get butts in seats it's going to have to present shoppers with an appealing price as well as a competent product.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Lincoln MKC.
01. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Is A Compact Crossover
The 2014 Lincoln MKC is in fact the first compact crossover to ever be offered by the brand, which had previously dabbled in the small-to-mid-size SUV segment with the now-departed Lincoln Aviator. The Lincoln MKC slots in underneath the MKX as the starting point for bringing young families into the Lincoln family, and give its starting price there's reason to believe it might compete with the Lincoln MKZ sedan for entry-level dollars as well. The MKC aims to provide solid cargo space along with a more sporty ride than one might expect out of a family vehicle, all wrapped in a luxury package.
02. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Borrows Its Platform From The Ford Escape
The 2014 Lincoln MKC is certainly starting from a strong launching point, as it makes use of the same general platform that underpins the well-received Ford Escape. Crucial differences between the Lincoln MKC and its Ford design-mate include a wider track, a lower roof, and lower seating position. The MKC also gains unique braking hardware and updated crash structures front and rear. Overall, while there is a superficial resemblance in the overall size of the two compact crossovers, Lincoln has managed to make changes where they count on the way to giving the MKC its own identity.
03. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Features Unique Styling
Even greater differentiation between the 2015 Lincoln MKC and the Ford Escape can be found in the styling department. Like every other member of the Lincoln family (now that the Navigator has joined the party), the Lincoln MKC features a toothy 'waterfall' grille that dominates the front end of the vehicle. A more aggressive bumper treatment as well as a single, unbroken rear light that stretches across the hatch lid and which connects the tail lights as one are also unique characteristics for the Lincoln. These styling conceits are in large part what required the changes made to the Escape's platform, which means that even if you tried to graft an MKC front fascia onto an Escape you'd run into serious structural issues.
04. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Offers a New EcoBoost Engine
The 2015 Lincoln MKC also introduces a new EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that simply isn't available when ordering its Escape cousin. The Lincoln MKC's range-topping 2.3-liter, turbocharged engine has been tuned to produce 275 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, which gives the crossover enough bite to handle both four and six-cylinder SUV rivals. For those whose power needs are more modest in nature, it's also possible to stick with the Lincoln's base 2.0-liter mill, which also makes use of a turbocharger in order to produce 240 horses and 270 lb-ft of torque.
05. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Is Available With All-Wheel Drive
If you are looking for foul-weather traction then you'll be happy to hear that the 2015 Lincoln MKC is available with the option of all-wheel drive. In fact, it doesn't matter which engine you order with the Lincoln MKC - both the 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter can be had in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Keep in mind that this isn't an off-road-ready system, as it's intended to primarily motivate the front axles while also offering additional traction should wheel spin be detected. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with every version of the Lincoln MKC.
06. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Re-Thinks Its Interior
Anyone who has driven a recent Lincoln vehicle is familiar with the emphasis that has been placed on capacitive touch panels and screens in order to interact with almost every vehicle system. The 2015 Lincoln MKC goes in the other direction, installing traditional knobs and buttons on the center stack to make it that much easier to access functionality such as climate and stereo controls. The reason? Customer feedback. While slick-looking, capacitive panels can be frustrating to use, especially when wearing gloves. You're never quite sure whether you pushed the button hard enough to make a difference or not, which isn't an issue with a standard dial.
07. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Comes In Three Trim Levels
The 2015 Lincoln MKC starts out in Premiere trim, which includes heated seats (with vinyl upholstery and power adjustments for the first two positions), satellite radio, dual automatic climate control, the MyLincoln Touch vehicle interface, a rearview camera, LED running lights and tail lights, HID headlights, cruise control, 18-inch rims, and a remote starter. Stepping up to the Select trim installs additional adjustment capabilities for the front passenger seat, a garage door opener, ambient interior lighting options, genuine leather seat covers and trim, power folding side mirrors, and a different set of 18-inch wheels. The top-spec Lincoln MKC Reserve trim introduces a panoramic sunroof, a two-tone rims, cooled front seats, a navigation system, hands-free opening system for the tailgate, and power tilt and telescoping functions for the steering wheel. It also includes additional safety gear.
08. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Can Be Had With Several Options Packages
The 2015 Lincoln MKC is designed to be customized via a number of available options and packages. Of interest is the Climate package, which provides heated rear seats, automatic high beam headlights, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, and a heated steering wheel. There's also the Technology package, which packs in a bunch of active safety equipment (that we'll look at in detail in the next section), as well as stand-alone options such as a surround-sound THX audio system and available adaptive suspension. If you happen to order an all-wheel drive edition of the Lincoln MKC, you'll get the adaptive suspension free of charge.
09. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Will Offer Active Safety Gear
The 2014 Lincoln MKC's Technology package is a cornucopia of safety, as it bundles together a number of important features designed to protect passengers. The adaptive cruise control system maintains a safe distance between the Lincoln MKC and traffic ahead, while the collision warning feature can brake the crossover should an impact be deemed imminent (in forward or reverse). A blind spot monitoring system (found with the MKC Reserve) keeps an invisible eye trained on the areas immediately on either side of the Lincoln, while a lane keeping feature lets drivers know if the MKC accidentally strays over the line.
10. The 2015 Lincoln MKC Pricing Undercuts Its Competition
The 2015 Lincoln MKC features an MSRP of $33,995, which undercuts rivals from Mercedes-Benz (GLK-Class), BMW (X3), and Audi (Q5) by a significant margin. Even going up to an all-wheel drive edition of the Lincoln MKC only boosts the vehicle's asking price to $36,490, which is still below the $38k+ tags associated with most of its German rivals. In fact, on the premium compact crossover scene only the Acura RDX checks in with an asking price that is within $1,500 of the MKC's starting point, making the Lincoln one of the best bargains in its segment.