2015 Lincoln MKC

2015 Lincoln MKC

Episode 3401
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The newest target for the crossover craze is small luxury utilities. Auto makers can’t seem to bring them to the market fast enough to satisfy a public hungry for luxury in a small yet versatile package. The most recent brand to plunge into the mix is Lincoln, with the compact MKC. Let’s see if this latest Lincoln can help the brand “escape” their current also-ran status and head back to prominence. 

With their last few all-new vehicle launches, Lincoln has made a big deal about that particular model being the one to reverse a decline in sales and image. Well indeed, things are finally starting to look up this year on both counts and their latest, this 2015 MKC will certainly help further the cause. 

This compact, premium utility is without a doubt the right vehicle at the right time; as small luxury utes are springing up everywhere, and people are just as eagerly snatching them up. And it doesn’t take much time behind the wheel to discover that being incredibly quiet and ultra-comfortable were clear priorities in this design. Long distance cruising is where the MKC’s ride really shines. 

Lincoln Drive Control includes Continuously Controlled Damping and the usual Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes to tailor your driving experience. Perhaps surprisingly, handling is on par with its primary European rivals, yet the ride remains smooth and controlled no matter the drive mode setting. 

It’s all turbo-4, all the time, under the hood of the MKC. You choose whether you want the boost coming from the Escape’s 240-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost or a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost that outputs 285-horsepower and 305 lb-ft. of torque. 

We spent all of our early drive time around Santa Barbara, California in a 2.3 and found it to be super torque-y feeling and spirited around town. But once the roads got more interesting, it and the 6-speed automatic transmission didn’t always seem to be on the same page, as there was occasional hunting for gears and power. All-wheel-drive is standard with the 2.3 and available on the 2.0. Torque Vectoring Control is standard on all. 

Lincoln didn’t release a 0-60 time, but the 2.3 should just best the Escape 2.0s 7.0-seconds. Towing capacity is actually greater with the 2.0-liter, but at 3,000-pounds it’s still rated 500-pounds less than in the Escape. 

Like the MKZ sedan, the trans is controlled by push buttons on the dash. It works fine, unless you’re in a hurry doing 3-point turns, as there is some lag time between Drive and Reverse. 

It’s lux to the max inside, as most materials are both good to look at and touch. With the possible exception of the center stack, where function appears to overcome form. But kudos to Lincoln for actually adding buttons and knobs to the Sync with MyLincoln Touch interface. 

Front seats are large and comfortable and just about every current tech feature you can think of is available. Rear seats are equally comfortable and the space is pretty roomy for a compact. As for storage, cargo volume is also less than the Escape at 25.2 cubic-ft. behind the 2nd row, expanding to 53.1 cubic-ft with the standard 60/40 split-folding seat backs lowered. 

Wow factor features include an epic panorama Vista Roof, and approach detection with cool but gimmicky welcome mat lighting. 

The same can be said about the highly sculpted exterior. It looks cool and very athletic, yet also a little attention-seeking. 

The MKC obviously shares the Ford Escape’s chassis, but body panels are more smooth and classy than edgy. Upper bodylines are reminiscent of the Hyundai Santa Fe. Out back, the full width tail lights and unique wraparound lift gate give the appearance of a road-going, art deco toaster.

The retro split winged grille is back, and here less objectionable, though none of our crew appreciated the tired 90’s gray cladding that encircles the MKC.

Taking self-parking to the next level is Park Out Assist which helps guide the driver out of tight parallel parking situations. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 2.3 are 18-City, 26-Highway, and 21-Combined with Regular gas. Making the Energy Impact Score very much average for all vehicles at 15.7-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 7.0-tons. 

Base pricing of $33,995 is probably the best news yet, as that is significantly less than most rivals. But stepping up to the 2.3-liter requires a more considerable investment. Technically, it’s only about 11-hundred dollars more, but as for now, Lincoln requires you to also step up to Select trim, which brings your total to $40,860. 

And that’s where things get muddled for the entire small luxury crossover segment. When you hit that 40K mark, there are quite a few larger options out there. Still, among its smallish peers, the 2015 Lincoln MKC stacks up well as it is a very nimble, well-crafted piece. And, it will certainly do its part on putting the Lincoln brand back on track.


  • Horsepower: 285
  • Engine: 2.3-liter
  • Torque: 305 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds est.
  • EPA: 18 mpg city/ 26 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 15.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 7.0 tons/yr
2024 Mazda CX-90 Front Quarter 1

2024 Mazda CX-90

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.

Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.

Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.

There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.

2024 Mazda CX-90 3
2024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile
2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine
2024 Mazda CX-90 32024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine

It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.

At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.

Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.

There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.

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Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.

As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.

Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.

Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.


  • Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
  • Horsepower: 340
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
  • EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
  • Starting Price: $40,970