2011 Lincoln MKX First Impressions Review

Expert Reviews Lincoln

By contributing editor David Colman


  • Luxuriant and well put together
  • Heated front and rear seats and steering wheel
  • Panorama dual sunroof


  • Distracting Disneyland dash
  • Useless up/downshift button on gear selector stick
  • Needs to lose some of its 4,251 pound curb weight

If you’re looking for a mid-size crossover SUV for less than $50,000, then you’ll want to consider Lincoln’s newly empowered MKX. Last year, the 4,251 pound Lincoln depended on a modest 3.5 liter V6 to produce 265hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. This year, Lincoln has upped displacement of the V6 by 200cc. The enlarged engine now makes 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, a 15 percent increase that improves performance and pulling power. The 2011 MKX steps out smartly when asked to accelerate, yet despite the bonus power, the new MKX gets better gas mileage than its predecessor (19/26MPG versus 17/23MPG).

2011 Lincoln MKX

If that isn’t reason enough to trade in your old MKX, you’ll find more incentive inside the cabin, where Lincoln has revamped the accoutrement from Best Western to Westin. Chose a particularly attractive interior color like “Light Stone Premium Leather,” and pair it with a comforting exterior hue like “Bordeaux Cabernet Reserve.” This combination not only inspires tranquility, but makes you feel like you’re having a night on the town every time you climb aboard. Maybe it’s the “Tuxedo stripe and piping on the seats,” or the heated front and rear seats that come with the Premium Package, but there’s no denying that Lincoln has imbued the MKX’ interior with undeniable elegance. A particularly homey touch is the heated steering wheel, which stays hot until you turn it off, rather than having an arbitrary timer decide the interval for you. The only question left unanswered is the vintage of that Cabernet Reserve exterior paint. A 2011 Chateau Dupont perhaps?

Jennifer's favorite Lincoln MyTouch voice command is find nearest shoe store

Lincoln’s connection with Microsoft informs the layout of the MKX’ dashboard and control surfaces. Actual control buttons are few and far between. Additionally, those that do exist are tiny and hard to finger. In their absence, a large illuminated touch screen on the center stack looks (surprise!) just like the one on your Windows 7 laptop, with dozens of little pictograph and instructional tidbits scattered all over the map (literally, if you the summon the Navigation screen). This constant influx of information is hard enough to sort out on your home PC at zero miles per hour. At 60 or 70 mph, maintaining control of the big Lincoln while trying to sort through reams of non-essential visuals to perform even the simplest functions becomes an accident waiting to happen. The Microsoft “Sync” umbilical with Ford/Lincoln will inevitably lead to a nation of even more distracted drivers than already exists. The MKX desperately needs more and larger control buttons that are not tied into the exasperating computer interface.

The 2011 Lincoln MKX makes a great urban cruiser

That caveat aside, the MKX is a fun to operate. It’s sizable and $995 optional 20 inch, chromed alloys bear beefy Pirelli Scorpion off-road- capable tires that perform admirably in heavy downpours. Even though the front-wheel-drive version of the MKX lacked available all-wheel-drive, it never evinced any skittishness, even in the worst flooding conditions. This Lincoln is stable, quick and handsome. With the addition of a few more control buttons and the deletion of the overwrought laptop whiz-bang graphics, this Lincoln would fill the mid-size crossover SUV bill just fine.


  • ENGINE: 3.7 liter DOHC V-6
  • HORSEPOWER: 305 @ 6,500 rpm
  • TORQUE: 280 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
  • TRANSMISSION: Six-Speed Selectshift Automatic
  • FUEL CONSUMPTION: 19 City MPG/26 Highway MPG
  • PRICE AS TESTED: $49,785


David Colman has been writing vehicle tests for 25 years. His work has been featured in AutoWeek, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Marin Independent Journal. In 1987, he helped start Excellence, The Magazine About Porsche, which he edited for many years. He has been an active participant in racing and Solo events since 1961. More car reviews written by Colman can be found at autoeditor.com

2011 Lincoln MKX Photo Gallery

2011 Lincoln MKX Specs

Lincoln CarsOfficial website for Lincoln luxury cars and SUVs – www.lincoln.com

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