2011 Lincoln MKX

3.7-liter V-6 engine

Six-speed automatic transmission

Available all-wheel drive

Lincoln styling

BLIS

Rearview camera

Power lift hatch and rear storage

Interior

MyLincoln Touch gauges

Dual d-pads for the PlayStation generation

Sync by Microsoft

Navigation

MyLincoln Touch home screen

MyLincoln Touch phone screen

MyLincoln Touch contacts screen

MyLincoln Touch Bluetooth messaging

MyLincoln Touch destination entry

MyLincoln Touch climate controls

MyLincoln Touch audio controls

Inputs

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.
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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.
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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.
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Our MKX was equipped with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which adds traction in low-grip situations, but costs a few mpg in fuel economy.
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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.
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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.
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Optional on the MKX is a rearview camera, but after a week spent parking the crossover, we're thinking it should come standard.
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A power hatch lifts to reveal a spacious rear storage area that can be further expanded thanks to fold-flat rear seats.
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The Lincoln's cabin features an assortment of high-quality materials and is generally a nice place to sit.
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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.
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Users interact with the MyLincoln Touch gauges via a pair of directional pads on the steering wheel.
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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.
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Optionally available is a Flash-based navigation system that features turn-by-turn directions, voice command, and very good traffic integration.
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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.
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Bluetooth connectivity is standard on the Lincoln MKX.
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Thanks to PBAP contact syncing, you can browse to your phone's contacts and initiate calls using Sync. It's as simple as saying, "Call Brian Cooley."
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On phones that support Bluetooth MAP, Sync can also read text messages aloud and can even send one of up to 15 preset responses.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh P. Miller/CNET
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