Car Tech Video
2015 Lincoln MKCThe 2015 Lincoln MKC has some stiff competition with the Cadillac SRX and Audi Q5 as its benchmarks. Brian Cooley tells if it measures up.
Lincoln has the following task in front of it. Identifying an audience and letting them know the company exists. [MUSIC] Let's see what their latest effort is doing. Exactly those things is like. As we drive the 2015 all new Lincoln MKZ. And check the tech. [MUSIC] Before you even see a Lincoln MKZ, you may smell one. Select Lincoln dealers that have a lot of these are going to have the Lincoln scent sprayed around their showroom. They worked with master perfumer, Rene Morgenthaler, to develop this smell that is, I'm told, a combination of jasmine, for a sense of well being, and green tea to relax you. The look is very different. The Lincoln face has come along, I think, to a very nice look. It's not so deep and exaggerated as it was. They also point to the tailgate being a very different look and style. It's kind of like the big brother MKT and it's got this wraparound clamshell design that the Escape does not have. Now, inside our MKC, a lot of familiar link-ins used with some modifications. You've got video animated needles on the tach and speedometer, even though the actual bezel with the markings is. My Lincoln Touch is similar. We've seen this system before it's the four zones that are communication, navigation, climate and media. They've had a lot of knocks on this so let's see how the response is. That was always the big gripe. Now as you can see this is a pretty responsive screen at this point. It used to be real laggy. They've moved things along so the screen. And the response to your touches of it are much more crisp. However, if you wanna drop back to voice, of course you've got a good system there, too. Please say a command. Find an address. In California. Say the street address, including the city. 235 2nd Street, San Francisco. When ready, press the voice button and then say set as destination, or say change something. Very good. One phrase, got it right off the bat, didn't have to do a double take whatsoever. You've also got a lot of knobs and switches, this is cutting back the other way from the last two model years, you still have V tent knobs here. These went away for awhile. Volume used to be this finger strip that I hated. Here are little rocker switches for temperature and fan, this is a car company learning lessons and applying them. The map quality remains really good on this system and it has been for some time and you've got a whole variety of options and abilities to tweak this. This is one of the most configurable systems out there which is part of why they've had some problems with customer acceptance. There's just almost too many settings. Screens like this don't do anything to instill confidence in people who are not tech forward. I mean how many people know what dial up network settings are for or query on connect status should be set to. This should be buried like a body out in the desert outside Vegas. The media choices are familiar. AM and FM with HD radio. Sirius satellite radio. Optical disc is still here. You have two USB ports, not just one. There is still no native app support in my Lincoln TOuch. Media streaming, like Pandora or Tune In will just have to hitch a ride on the more universal bluetooth streaming selection. Our vehicle is hotted up with the THX audio, as you can see with these speakers that are kind of carved up on top of the dash, and the badges every where. And I always applaud THXM. This remains perhaps my favorite sound system on the road. Some of the options you've got around there, I'm pleased to say, are pretty simple. Sound settings can be very complex. This car cuts against the grain and has a pretty straightforward surround or not. Real simple. How much speed compensation do you want? And, beyond that, standard tone controls, bass, mid, treble, balance, and fader. I applaud the relative simplicity of that because no matter how far you crank it, it never gets out of shape. It keeps the ratio of bass. Midrange and travel nicely measured together. It just will not distort. Parking tech galore in this vehicle. Rearview camera is standard. More than I can say for some of their imported competitors. And it has trajectory and distance. It does not have different views, however. Which you are able to zoom in and get a really grainy look. I just leave it where it is. But more interestingly they have the self-. Parking assist where you operate the pedal, it operates the wheel but this is new. It'll also get you out of a spot using the same technology, which they say is useful if you get into a spot and then someone comes later and really boxes you in. This car, they say, will know how to get out of that better than you do, without scraping anyone's paint. Now, of course LIncoln is struggling to find it's place amidst the sea of Japanese, American, and German luxury cars. THis one really goes for a lot of soft trim. Really comfortable seats. I noticed that as soon as I got in this guy. And this wood trim? I'm still trying to figure out if it's fake or not. It looks like the real deal, as opposed to some plasti-wood. So they're taking a lot of pains to make this car look a cut above. Second row knee room is tight if you're sitting behind a six-footer. But head and shoulder room seemed pretty generous. No third row on this car. [MUSIC] Now up into the snout of our MKC is an interesting story. It's not just it. Engine, which is new. But this is also a sneak peek of the new Mustang engine. The 2.3 liter, four cylinder ecoboost. This is actually the bigger of the two engines. The base engine on an MKC would be a two liter ecoboost four. This, of course, has 300 cc more and makes a lot of it. 285 horsepower. 305 pounds of torque. A front wheel drive on the lower. Engine or all wheel drive. If you get the 2.3, they're all all wheel drive. Like the one we have here. The power always goes out to a six automatic. And all MKZ configurations. And this all wheel drive guide is almost 4,000 pounds, gets to 60 in seven seconds or so and the mileage is 18/26 MPG. Not bad but it would have been nice to crack that 30 mark. But of course the bigger engine and the heavier all wheel drive vehicle doesn't help. Ahead of this engine, by the way, there are active grill shutters up here that will close up at freeway speeds to improve the aerodynamics when the car doesn't need that excessive amount of cooling air. Also interesting, the 2.3 motor has [INAUDIBLE] 1000 pound lower towing capacity than the 2 liter. That's kinda counterintuitive, bear that in mind if you're gonna lug something around. First thing you notice in the [UNKNOWN] is this is a nice little engine. I'm looking forward to it in the Mustang where it will. Almost certainly have a different tune but they're off to a good start. This is a nice, healthy feeling four cylinder. Then it's brought down, I think, a lot by it's transmission. I am not a fan of the transmission programming on this vehicle. To me, its hit the paddle now, [UNKNOWN] tomorrow. It's an incredibly sleepy gearbox. Maybe they did that on purpose to make the car comfortable and not jarring, but for the market they're aiming at. People who are being cross shopped across Audi and some Acura and Infinitis, that's not the right thing. The sport mode can be configured by you to be sport power, sport handling, either or neither. It does shifts much long but doesn't seem to make them much quicker. All wheel drive MKZ is gonna continuously adapt to suspension, impressive stuff, in sport though, the handling never gets a aggressive. If you wan Lincoln comfort the MKZ is your huckleberry, if you want an American X3, it ain't. Buy this car because you want to arrive refreshed, not so much stimulated. The lane departure tech is calibrated kind of late to my mind, you're already in the other lane. Lane before it does anything, and then it does guide you back in your lane, kind of moderately. And it also gives you a stick shaker. It vibrates the wheel. The blind spot [UNKNOWN] not so interesting. Tiny little indicators on the mirror that I never even see. The forward collision technology will give you a bright LED bar in the. And the windshield there, it'll beep like it's gone nuts, and it will precharge the brakes so they really clamp on hard when you jump on them, but it doesn't self brake to a stop. [MUSIC] The base price on a 2.3 liter MKZ, which is always four wheel drive and includes adaptive suspension is a little under forty-one. I'm going for the Reserve group at a little under 7,000. Primarily for the vista roof. Navigation with good voice command. Blind spot tech. And the hands-free tailgate and more. Tech package is about 2,200 for adaptive cruise. Forward collision with brake boost. And that in-and-out parking assist. Along with the lane keeping tech. I love THX audio. $1,000, a no-brainer. So we're at just over 51 for the top of the line MKC done our way. What we end up with here is a vehicle that slots in between the very popular Cadillac SRX and of course, Audi's Q5 is a very strong inspiration. [UNKNOWN] For this vehicle. Two good benchmarks but Lincoln still has to figure out who they appeal to that everyone else hasn't already staked out. [MUSIC]