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Photos: 2009 Lincoln MKX

As Ford's luxury brand, Lincoln offers a crossover competitive with the likes of the Acura MDX and the Infiniti EX35. The MKX may not drive as well, but its cabin tech is the best in the business, with excellent MP3 player and cell phone connectivity and information services.

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Wayne Cunningham
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2009 Lincoln MKX

As automakers shifted from building SUVs to crossovers, interesting new models cropped up, the Lincoln MKX being one of them. This car is based on the same platform as the Ford Edge, but gets luxury touches to comport with the Lincoln brand.

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Sedan styling

Although the MKX has some SUV-like chunkiness, the body styling mimics that of a sedan. The big chrome grille copies the idea of luxury put forward by the Cadillac Escalade.

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Engine

The MKX is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6, its 265 horsepower enough to get the car moving at a brisk pace. Mileage is unimpressive--our combined city and freeway driving produced just under 15 mpg.

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Capacity

As a crossover, the MKX has the capacity of an SUV, with seating for five and plenty of cargo space.

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Handling

The MKX has a less-than-luxury ride, as it doesn't quite float over bumps and imperfections in the road. It's also not designed for fast cornering, being a little too top-heavy. This one features all-wheel-drive, but it can also be had with front-wheel-drive.

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Cargo space

Cargo area is ample, and the power lift gate makes access easy. The rear seats also fold down at the push of a button.

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Interior design

Although the MKX has nice luxury touches inside, such as cooled and heated seats, the center stack shows the same blocky controls found in Fords.

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Voice command

One of the most important buttons is on the steering wheel, activating voice command that lets you ask for music by artist and album, phone people by name, and enter addresses into the navigation system.

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Instrument cluster

With chrome bezels and rounded corners, the gauges look like they come out of a car from the '70s.

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Automatic transmission

The six speed automatic shifts smoothly enough, but it's slow to downshift when you need power.

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3D maps

The cabin electronics are a high point in the MKX, with a hard drive-based navigation system that can show maps in 2D and 3D.

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Traffic

The traffic reporting service shows traffic flow with colored lines next to major roads, along with specific incidents such as construction or accidents.

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Ski conditions

As another information source, car includes ski conditions for many resorts around the country.

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DVD player

The disc player can read DVDs and CDs. You can watch DVD movies on the car's LCD screen, with pretty good resolution.

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Music player connectivity

A USB port in the console can handle USB drives, iPods, Zunes, and other MP3 players, letting you select music with voice command and the touchscreen LCD.

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Music indexing

Any music device plugged into the USB port gets indexed, so you can choose music by artist, album, genre, and track.

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CD ripping

For more music options, the disc player can rip CDs to the car's hard drive, so you can have an onboard music library.

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THX audio system

The THX audio system in the MKX is excellent, using 14 speakers and 600 watts to play music with great clarity, depth, and separation.

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