It has been well over a year since I took a sabbatical from blogging due to personal reasons. I appreciate the continued support of my readers and fans who kept checking in every so often and reminding me to get back in to my writing. I wanted to but was waiting for that impetus to start writing again. So it was a moment of serendipity when the team at Brookline PR approached me to test drive and review the latest Lincoln MKC at the same time that I was considering a road trip across Alberta – with a new addition in the family – baby Alayna. We wanted her to have the sense of adventure and quest for travel like her parents. So we decided to undertake the road trip to the Columbia icefield from Calgary in the Lincoln MKC Crossover to see how it would hold up with an extended family trip – infant, parents, grandparents! In this blog post you will not find extensive review on the technical aspects typical of auto reviews. Instead, this post brings a more humanistic side of auto review – the feelings and emotions felt by driver and passengers in driving a vehicle.
The MKC is a 5-passenger crossover SUV and smallest in this category (small luxury crossover) in the Lincoln family. So this was the perfect vehicle to test drive with an extended family. The task on hand was to fit (comfortably) an infant car seat in the middle seat along with the adults in all remaining seats and stroller and carry on bags for a 3-day trip to the Rockies. How feasible was that going to be? Let’s find out.
Despite being the smallest in its category in the Lincoln family, the MKC still manages to come out with a respectable 14.9 feet in length bumper-to-bumper and total cargo capacity behind rear seat of 25.2 cubic feet. I think it managed to get us all in there quite comfortably in the end.
If you have not had a chance to drive up to the icefield parkway from southern Alberta, I highly recommend you do, since it has been consistently ranked among the best scenic drives in North America. The road also makes for a perfect real world test track for the MKC’s superior road performance. Truth is, the MKC is more of a roadster hidden in a crossover cloak, especially when set to Sport Mode.
The Sport Mode is comparable to the typical Triptronic transmission feature available in most modern sedans – but way more agile and user-friendly than anything else that I have experienced. A simple touch of a button switches the transmission to this mode and the up/down shift is handled by paddle shifter besides the steering wheel. This is what makes it extremely user-friendly as both hands remain on the steering wheel at all times, which is what you will need when making the sharp turns on the highway to the gods.
The rear door opens and closes automatically from either the key Fob or inside the vehicle. The MKC reportedly comes with the “kick motion” lift gate opener although it is an optional feature. This a great feature especially when both arms are busy holding grocery bags – or a baby.
Lincoln engineers decided to eliminate the center transmission console and replace it with front console push buttons. Although some drivers prefer the traditional “stick shift” style arm, the push buttons are just fine to use, although reversing using push button does take some time in getting used to.
A finely crafted vehicle is experienced through the minor but pertinent details. For instance, the panoramic sunroof opens up all the way to the rear passenger seats allowing for a breathtaking view of the rocky mountains when driving along the icefield parkway. Turn on the ambient light feature during dusk or night-time and you have one of the most breathtaking interior experiences. Another nifty little welcoming gesture is the signature logo lighting from the side-view mirrors that project the Lincoln logo on the floor when approaching the vehicle from outside.
The interior trim is well designed and has a feel of luxury throughout with plush leather seat and dashboard covers and wood panel accents. Once again, luxury is experienced through the details. Despite the weight of the doors, closing and opening has a feather like touch. The vehicle can comfortably fit a family of four with a fifth addition best left to a little one. Leg space at the rear is decent though it may feel cramped for anyone above average height.
It goes without saying that when driving with family, driving safety is of utmost importance. The Lincoln MKC is equipped with most of the advanced technological features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane changing assistance in addition to the standard features of ABS and driver/passenger safety air-bags. For those readers not familiar with Adaptive Cruise Control, it is basically an enhanced cruise control feature where you can program the distance you want to keep between the MKC and the vehicle in front and the MKC will adjust the speed in accordance with the vehicle in front. This is one of my personal favorites as it removes the annoying experience of constantly having to brake and resume cruise mode in a standard vehicle, as anybody who has attempted to drive on cruise control on Deerfoot Trail (at any given time of day) can attest to.
The park assist feature was absolutely incredible and extremely refined! The park assist feature comes in handy when having to parallel park during rush hour on the streets of downtown Calgary. I timed myself doing a parallel park maneuver both with and without the park assist feature and the park assist clocked in 3 seconds faster. When you have a battalion of vehicles behind you during morning rush hour commute, every second matters!
For the first time I experienced something new with the park assist – pulling out of the park mode. So not only can the MKC assist with parking in, it can also assist with pulling out. The control feature is extremely simple, in that all it needs is the press of a button, and the vehicle handles the rest with dexterity.
In summary, the MKC managed to comfortably fit a family of five and offered an exciting and comfortable drive through the Rockies. Fuel efficiency was quite decent for this crossover both for City and Highway driving. If you are looking for a blend of luxury and practicality the MKC is definitely a worthy contender.