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2015 Lincoln MKC Arrives Early

Crossover / 111 Comments

Will this heavily rebadged Ford Escape be a winner for Lincoln?

Lincoln Motor Company has a lot to prove if it ever wants to be classified as a true luxury brand. And with the debut of its all-new 2015 MKC crossover, it looks like the struggling brand has a chance after all. The MKC, first and foremost, is based on the Ford Escape, which itself shares a platform with the Focus and C-Max. The MKC, however, has a wider track than the Escape and a lower center of gravity. Two turbocharged engines are on offer: an entry-level 2.0-liter with 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, or a 2.3-liter with 275 hp and 300 lb-ft.

Both are mated to a six-speed automatic. Front drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional, and 18", 19", or 20" wheel sizes are available. Official fuel economy numbers haven't been revealed just yet. Owners with AWD will have a choice of three different driving modes thanks to an active damping system. The exterior styling is without question handsome, and we're pleased to see Lincoln move away from that overly aggressive front grille styling. We'll even go so far as saying the design is a bit Germanesque in that there's a resemblance to the Audi Q5 from various angles.

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Out back there are full LED taillights and an integrated wraparound liftgate. The interior layout is equally attractive. The straightforward dash layout features the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system, and there are several varieties of real wood finishes, and even aluminum, to choose from. Final pricing is not yet available, and an official live debut will happen next week at the LA Auto Show. Without question the 2015 MKC is a step in the right direction for Lincoln, but will it be enough to attract customers away from the likes of Audi and even Cadillac? We'll have our answer in the coming months.