ROAD TEST: 2015 Lincoln MKC

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By Shari Prymak

It’s safe to say that when it comes time to purchase a luxury vehicle, Lincoln probably doesn’t come on the radar. Compared to brands like BMW and Lexus, Lincoln is a positively miniscule brand. Ford, Lincoln’s parent company, is obviously aware of this, because, over the last several years, they couldn’t be bothered do anything with Lincoln other than give it a model line consisting of reskinned Ford models.

Fortunately for Lincoln, Ford has decided do some serious remodeling, and the first new product of its investment is a small crossover, the MKC. Lincoln couldn’t have picked a better segment to start with, because, as anyone who follows the auto industry knows, small crossovers are hot.

Like all other Lincoln models, the MKC shares its bones with a Ford. In this case, the Escape. But don’t let those pedestrian roots discourage you, the MKC is an impressive crossover.

For one thing, it’s incredibly handsome. From its sharp-looking nose, to its beautiful clamshell rear end, the MKC has a certain elegance that’s been missing from Lincoln models of the past.

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It’s also very comfortable to drive. The suspension absorbs the pothole-ridden roads of Toronto without complaint, and the cabin is whisper quiet. Even when you hammer the punchy, 2.3L Ecoboost engine to its max, all you hear from the cabin is a faint, soothing hum. The handling and overall performance are nothing to brag about, but when the trade-off is a ride this comfortable, few will care.

As much as I enjoyed my week in the MKC, I did have a few issues. Considering its overall size, the back seat and trunk space feel a little on the tight side. The push-button gear selector is a tad awkward to use. And even though my test vehicle came packed with pretty much every feature luxury vehicle shoppers would expect, the steep, as-tested MSRP of $54,170 opens one up to several strong alternatives.

And that’s the final issue with the MKC. Most of its competitors are truly excellent, well-established crossovers. The stylish Audi Q5 is the bestselling luxury crossover in Canada. If you want a crossover that doubles as a driver’s car, there’s the BMW X3. The Acura RDX, with its strong value and reliability, is the clear rational choice. And even Lexus has entered the segment with its impressive new NX200t.Whether the MKC has enough going for it to top its competitors is a matter of personal taste, but it’s certainly worth putting on your test drive list.