Features & Pricing

Features & Pricing  - 2011 Lincoln MKX Review - Reviews - Lincoln MKX

Lincoln continues to add a lot of features standard across its lineup, but when it comes to pricing, the MKX still costs slightly more than a similarly equipped Lexus RX.

Lincoln does, however, have two standout features that Lexus can't match.

One is a simple panoramic sunroof that has two gigantic panes of glass. The front pane that slides open is a significant size, adding a nice open-air feeling to the SUV. Lexus, on the other hand, has just a standard sunroof available. Both cars include the sunroofs as part of pricey option packages.

The Lincoln's other wow-inducing feature is the standard MyLincoln Touch system, a new endeavor by Ford to bring more technology into its automobiles. One part of the system is a customizable gauge cluster with an analog speedometer flanked by two LCDs that can show a variety of information in different ways, from a trip computer to a compass to heat settings.

There was no question as to the appeal of this aspect of MyLincoln Touch.

But then there was the multimedia system. The system is standard, including an 8-inch touch-screen and a number of features. (Navigation, however, is part of a $7,500 option package.)

I was impressed by how easy it was to set up the Bluetooth system for my iPhone and the display for my iPod tracks. The optional THX sound system was good, but not nearly as robust as the Lexus RX's upgraded system. And other than all that, I found the MyLincoln Touch system to be a dismal failure.

Every touch command is delayed a tick too long, which makes this very advanced-looking system feel like an antiquated one. While some of the buttons have a visual effect like water rippling when you touch them, that doesn't overcome the fact that my radio station didn't change instantly.

As in systems from Audi and BMW, some functions Ч like whether you want your climate-controlled air directed at your feet, head or both Ч are in this LCD system versus having physical controls down below. And don't get me started on trying to turn on the heated seats.

I found the navigation graphics to be a bit behind some of the better systems on the market. It was also nearly impossible to point to a part of the map and adjust the view, or to select a road incident to see what exactly it was.

Add a black screen and tiny fonts, and I'm not sure Gen Xers Ч let alone Baby Boomers Ч will enjoy hunting for the controls they need.

Remote start, dual-zone climate control, Ford's Sync voice-recognition system, a 10-speaker sound system, heated and cooled leather seats up front, a power liftgate, parking sensors and 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard for the MKX's $39,145 starting price for front-wheel drive and $40,995 for all-wheel drive.

There are only two option packages: a $2,500 Premium Package that adds xenon headlamps, ambient interior lighting, premium leather seats, heated rear seats, a rearview camera, a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping, and rain-sensing wipers. The $7,500 Elite Package adds voice-activated navigation, a blind spot warning system, a THX surround-sound stereo system with HD radio, a panoramic moonroof, and 20-inch, chrome-clad aluminum wheels.

All told, our tester came to $51,635. A similarly equipped Lexus RX 350 with the largest available wheels (19 inches) and that smaller moonroof comes in at $49,168. Buyers may have a hard time reconciling the higher price for what is essentially a newcomer versus the well-known quantity of the Lexus.

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