Before the MKZ, the most memorable Lincoln of the past 15 years has been the Navigator. Now, that was fine back in the '03-'04 times, when that vehicle still had star status with the Escalade (and could be customized in Need for Speed Underground). However, the biggest change to the SUV happened in its third generation model in '07, and even that alteration, while a step forward, was nowhere near a drastic enough enough development to make anything Lincoln relevant.
The Ford-owned company is really making signficant efforts these days to crawl back into the light, really focusing on making consumer-friendly designs that portray luxury and sophistication. The MKZ has been extremely well-received (unless that butterfly grille bugs you too much), and the next move is with the MKC, a mid-range compact crossover that Lincoln hopes can compete with cars like the BMW 3-Series.
We were in attendance for the unveiling in NYC yesterday, and were able to take a closer look at the new ride. The most stand-out point of the MKC is certainly its wrap-around tailgate, a look and design that we've seen before but hasn't been popularized yet, and that sleek rear light strip.
The exterior design has the same split wing grille that points to slightly bulging wheels arches. It's obvious that the Lincoln designers were trying to be muscular with the pinched lines on the hood and the doors, but it's not exactly enough to make it look agressive, especially with the rounded snout.
The inside has a pretty inviting and warm feel. The leather was very soft and cushy, the design-stitched door panels were nice, the open-pore wood was a great touch, and, listening to consumers, Lincoln left plenty of buttons on the center console.
Starting at $33,995, the MKC is trying to lower the age of its average consumer, those who have "urban/active lifestyles" (most overused phrase in the auto industry right now). We estimate that this will definitely sell well, but we're not expecting any brand-saving efforts.