The 2011 Lincoln MKX makes a great first impression, but we think the new MyLincoln Touch infotainment system needs a little more time to bake.
2011 Lincoln MKX
Based on the previously reviewed 2011 Ford Edge (or vice versa), the all-new Lincoln MKX differentiates itself with an external restyle that includes this huge chrome double-waterfall grille and an internal reskinning and renaming of the MyFord Touch cabin tech interface as MyLincoln Touch.
Under the Lincoln's hood is a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. Power delivery is good, but at an observed 18 mpg after a week spent mostly freeway cruising, fuel economy isn't what we'd call spectacular.
The sole transmission option is a six-speed automatic. Driven within the MKX's limits, the gearbox is completely inoffensive. A manual shift mode is available, but honestly isn't very useful for everyday driving.
The Lincoln's styling can be polarizing, but we received many compliments on its 20-inch chrome wheels and massive grille. Adaptive HID headlamps add a bit of illuminated bling, and safety, to the driving experience.
Helping to keep tabs on what's happening behind the vehicle is the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which rolls in side blind-spot detection, rear proximity sensors, and a Cross Traffic Alert that warns of approaching vehicles when reversing.
Building on technology developed in the Ford Fusion Hybrid's SmartGauge display, MyLincoln Touch adds a pair of LCDs to the instrument cluster. This time, however, the system integrates infotainment controls for audio source, navigation, phone, and climate control into the right-hand display.
Ford/Lincoln's Sync suite of voice command technologies and services is still present on the MKX and is one of the high points of the cabin tech package. New here is the ability to use Sync services and apps for functions such as navigation or vehicle health reports.
The MyLincoln Touch touch-screen interface is split into four sections visible here on the home screen: phone, navigation, climate control, and audio source. Touching any of the colored bars in the screen's corners enlarges that section to full screen.
The destination entry screen is a bit cluttered. At times we had a hard time knowing which field we were filling in, and the system's overall sluggishness dissuaded us from spending too much time here.
Climate controls are accessible on the touch screen, but many are also repeated as physical controls lower down on the center stack. However, the only way to access the controls for heating and cooling the seats is to wade through this menu.
Audio sources include AM/FM/HD radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, CD, iPod and USB, Bluetooth audio streaming, analog auxiliary input, and an SD card reader. There shouldn't be an MP3 player on the market that can't connect to this rig.
The MKX puts its connections up front and center at the base of the center stack. Users can connect to RCA inputs for analog audio and video, either of a pair of USB connections, or an SD card slot, which in this case is occupied by the navigation system's data card.