Ford’s premium Lincoln Motor Company brand has turned its attention to the Lincoln MKC, granting the compact crossover a refresh as it prepares to enter the 2019 model year. The update sees Lincoln’s smallest CUV adopt the new corporate grille premiered by the 2017 MKZ and Continental sedans, and a host of new driver-centered technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection.
Apart from the new grille, the Lincoln MKC will soldier on into 2019 with only minimal styling changes, including chrome highlights at the rear of the vehicle. The overall shape of the front and rear fascias, headlights, taillights, and lower front lighting seems to carry over. Not that that’s a bad thing; since its introduction for 2015, the Lincoln MKC has always been a rather handsome machine.
The powertrain, too, has been left virtually untouched. Engine options are limited to the same turbocharged 2.0L and 2.3L four-cylinder mills that were offered previously, producing 245 and 285 horsepower, respectively. We’re a bit surprised not to see the new transverse GM-Ford 9-speed automatic transmission make an appearance, but here again, the refreshed Lincoln MKC will make do with the outgoing vehicle’s equipment: an ordinary 6-speed slushbox.
Perhaps the biggest change for 2019 is the addition of Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. The system is designed to lessen the severity of frontal collisions or avoid them altogether, using radar and camera technology to scan the road ahead and issue a warning to the driver if there’s an obstacle. Should the driver fail to respond, the system can apply the brakes automatically to slow or stop the vehicle. Other technologies, such as Ford’s Blind-Spot Information System, Active Park Assist, and SYNC 3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, carry over from 2018.
The list of updates may seem a bit sparse, but keeping the Lincoln MKC fresh as it heads into its fifth year on the market is crucial, given what the crossover represents. Since its launch in 2014, the MKC has brought more people into the Lincoln brand than any other vehicle, Lincoln says. In fact, more than half of all buyers in all that time have come from other automotive brands, and the luxury compact crossover segment has grown by 29 percent in the past decade.
“Our redesigned Lincoln MKC offers style, substance, and technologies that create an effortless ownership experience,” says Lincoln Motor Company President Kumar Galhotra. “We recognize it takes a lot to attract a buyer from other luxury competitors, but the Lincoln MKC has that kind of appeal. We believe the new MKC will capture even more luxury clients.”