2015 Lincoln MKC

2015 Lincoln MKC

Episode 3401
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.

Specifications

  • 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 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles