Test Driving the 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label
We've seen actor Matthew McConaughey pushing the Lincoln MKX heavy in a number of ad spots since last Fall, so getting behind the wheel of one has been a priority... and we recently made it happen.
The folks at Lincoln recently dropped off the 2016 MKX "Black Label Edition"... and it to say we were thoroughly impressed would be an understatement.
The car brand touts "Quiet Luxury" as a marketing bullet point... and they aren't lying. The MKX isn't overly this or overly that. Instead, it offers a subtle luxury, with features added to the places that matter most.
First, it the crossover SUV sports an elegant design that doesn't try too hard. There's no flashy chrome or big wheels. It's design offers sophistication and sleekness almost effortlessly. Details like full-LED headlamps are subtly executed as blades, rather than projectors, and aligned with the horizontal execution of the Lincoln split-wing grille. Its full-width taillamp employ a filter to help the lamp read as one piece, rather than dots of light. And finally, it's fitted with beautiful 20-inch, premium painted aluminum, 10-spoke wheels -- one of number of options are available.
The exterior gives off that "Quiet Luxury" vibe, which flows nicely into the interior. Inside, the MKX is constructed of rich materials like plush leather on the seats and dash, while Alcantara is utilized on the headliner. It also features modern technology, but the highlight has to be the exclusive Revel Ultima audio system, which we're told is rigorously tested by experts to give passengers the best sound possible. In fact, the Black Label trim features a 19-speaker system that offers three listening modes that allow for an immersive, multi-dimensional surround sound experience. The standard Revel system has just 13 speakers... but we're sure 13 is more than capable of pumping out quality sound.
One thing that did confuse us, at first, was the push-button gear shift. Yes, there's a push-button panel to the left side of the instrument panel that you use to put the MKX in gear. At first, it does feel a little weird to use, but after a few drives, you forget all about it. And, you find it's actually nice not to have a gear shift in the way.
The 22-way front seats are also a treat. They feature Lincoln's patented Active Motion function, which can ease muscle fatigue and be tailored for preference and comfort. In fact, the brand developed the feature with input from orthopedic surgeons, resulting in seating that is beneficial on long trips or while waiting in traffic.
There's also a 360-degree camera with enhanced park assist. Yep, when parking or reversing, the driver gets a full, 360-degree view of outside the vehicle on the display inside. Pretty amazing, right?
Oh, and the drive... is soooo smooth. We're unsure of the suspension details, but alongside a noise-cancelling cabin, it's as if you're driving on the smoothest paved road ever made. No complains whatsoever.
Our MXK is equipped with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, rated at 335 horsepower, which had quite a bit of power, but was surprisingly quiet. There is a standard 3.7-liter V6, pushing out 303 horses, though.
Overall, the 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label was impressive. While it's not as flashy as some of its competitors, that's probably not what Lincoln was going for. "Quiet Luxury" is their tagline and that's what you get. All the luxuries of the MKX is reserved for its passengers, and not the person watching it pass them on the highway. It's visually appealing without overdoing it and that's refreshing.
However, the bells and whistles of the "Black Label" MKX comes at a price. Our model came in at an MSRP of $67,930 USD -- luxury isn't cheap. Fortunately, the base model MXK does start at $38,260 USD, so you can get all the standard options without breaking the bank.
Lincoln provided us with the vehicle, insurance and full tank of gas for this review.