Lincoln arrived to the fashionable, crowded compact luxury SUV party with the MKC. Basing it on the accomplished Ford Escape should be a great place to start, but weighing down the package with too much jewelry hides the car's natural talent.
In contrast to the Escape's composure, the Lincoln bobs around too much on the road; the ride never settles down. Three optional adjustable suspension modes enable the driver to dial in the desired dynamic personality, adjusting for comfort and agility, but none of the selections strikes the right balance. Handling is ultimately secure but not as agile as other small luxury SUVs. The Lincoln feels larger in corners than it really is -- the opposite of what you want.
While a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is standard, our test model had the up-level 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder. This engine delivers enough power, but it doesn't offer the same effortless thrust as a V6. Adding insult to injury, many competing V6s get better fuel economy than the four-cylinder MKC's 19 mpg overall. And the Lincoln requires frequent fill ups, with its small gas tank limiting cruising range to about 300 miles.