Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

Road test: 2019 Lincoln MKC

Does the exceedingly smart-looking crossover SUV justify its premium price?

2019 Lincoln MKC. Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKC. Lincoln

It can be easy to forget, while ­piloting some of the finest automotive ­offerings in the world today, that not every car necessarily needs to be mind-blowingly exciting. Many ­drivers simply want to go about their day with a minimum amount of fuss in the maximum comfort that their wage packet will allow. Which, subtle segue alert, brings us to the Lincoln MKC.

Perhaps that introduction is a little unfair, though, because the latest MKC is an exceedingly smart-looking crossover SUV. Almost nothing about it is utilitarian, with a sheen of quality that you don’t feel when eyeing up the majority of this sector, although ­admittedly the lion’s share of small SUVs don’t cost from Dh169,995 (or in the case of my Select model test car, Dh192,045).

Lincoln says that the evolution of the MKC, which has been on the market globally now for almost five years, and in the UAE for three years, borrows from the absolute summit of its luxurious range, namely the ­generously ­proportioned Navigator and Continental.

At more than a metre shorter than the largest Navigator and half a metre shorter than the Continental, with two fewer cylinders than both of those bigger brothers, the MKC is an entirely different proposition.

But while the styling of that pair could probably be best described as divisive – and, in the Navigator’s case, pug ugly – the much more ­manageable MKC has a nose that you could justifiably feel proud of when climbing aboard each morning, all confident grille and stern headlamps.

The rear is a close second when it comes to visual impact, with a smart light bar extending across the boot sill, while a back spoiler and twin exhausts slip a sports shoe over the general, mildly executive air of the car. Squash racquet and a suit, anyone? The rather less-than-premium wheel hubs could perhaps use an upgrade, mind you.

It is a nippy little number around town, thanks to a turbocharged, ­2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine that ­pumps out an entirely respectable 253hp. That won’t be enough to land you in any trouble, but you never feel like it is lacking zip when some ­right-foot application is required.

Though I’m not blessed with children of my own to put test cars through the full punishment that comes with younger folks ­frequenting the rear seats, my time with the MKC coincides with a family visit – my brother, his wife and their two ­children, who are one and three.

How does the crossover deal with the combined tribulations of five people, one baby seat, a double pushchair and a whole bunch of associated luggage? Admirably, it has to be said, while retaining its speediness despite being weighed down significantly. The seats may never recover from the addition of half a packet of biscuit crumbs but, shh, Lincoln hasn’t noticed yet.

Crumbs aside, the interior ­maintains Lincoln’s premium ­intentions, sharing parent company Ford’s knack for producing common­sense controls, particularly when it comes to smart choices for steering-­wheel buttons. Leather and wood abound throughout.

Other features of note? Well, Lincoln points to the “luminous welcome mats that quietly appear on the ground”. In normal-person talk, that refers to little illuminated company logos (and light is usually pretty quiet, science fans) projected from the mirrors.

After the initial novelty factor of that, your attention will probably be better kept by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto coming as standard on the MKC. Heated and cooled seats will also keep you happy in all seasons.

So, will the MKC allow you to go about your day with the minimum of fuss in maximum comfort? Affirmative. And you will be smug in the knowledge that the little Lincoln looks rather natty while doing so.

Updated: January 24, 2019 03:51 PM