Over the past five years, Lincoln redesigned its entire lineup, settling on a common naming convention and design language to redefine its luxury image. The MKX, Lincoln's five-passenger crossover, is the final model to get the treatment, the 2011 model sporting the big, winged grille. But this model also gets the new MyLincoln Touch interface, along with other cabin improvements.
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A 3.7-liter V-6 sits under the hood, using new technology to vary each camshaft independently, resulting in 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Tied to a six-speed automatic, Lincoln claims 25 mpg on the highway. Lincoln also points out that the manual shift mode allows full driver control, even letting the engine run up to redline without an automatic upshift.
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Lincoln fits the MKX with a number of driver aid technologies, already rolled out on the MKS and MKT. The MKX gets adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot warning system that alerts drivers to traffic when backing out onto a roadway. It also has the automatic parking system we tested in the MKS, which provides quick, accurate, and easy parallel parking.
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Lincoln upgraded the cabin materials in the MKX, elevating the level of luxury while improving external sound deadening. The MKX represents an important step in differentiating Lincoln models from their Ford counterparts, using Lincoln-specific switchgear.
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Instead of large, plastic buttons, Lincoln fitted the center stack with these tidy touch buttons. When activated, an amber light glows. Otherwise, they show white lettering and icons.
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The new MKX heralds the MyLincoln Touch interface, which will find its way throughout the Lincoln lineup. It uses two user-configurable screens next to the speedometer and an 8-inch screen on the center stack. In the instrument cluster, the left side screen shows car and trip information, and the right side shows phone, navigation, climate, and audio information.
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This configuration of MyLincoln Touch shows the fuel gauge and menu options on the left, and the navigation screen on the right. Because the navigation app, which resides on an SD card, is not loaded, the navigation screen merely shows a compass.
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The big center touch-screen LCD echoes the information on the right-hand screen, but also shows the car's connected services. Sirius Travel Link is available for weather, fuel prices, and movie times, and Sync can provide off-board navigation. This screen also shows a button for a Web browser, a feature that will also be made available in the MKX, but only usable when the car is parked.
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As part of Lincoln's new cabin technology, the car can serve as a Wi-Fi hot spot. The user will need a wireless broadband modem that can be plugged into one of the car's USB ports.
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