2016 Lincoln MKC AWD

Let’s talk about comfort and safety. Winter finally hit last week—nearly a month after the solstice and more than two months later than last year—but it was careful to make up for lost time. Which was fine for the Lincoln MKC. This all-wheel drive SUV laughs in the face of winter, climbing snowbanks, gripping icy corners, launching easily in deep snow and ramming through squalls—all executed in sensual style. My wife and daughter loved it.

Visual impact and tactile sensuality are what Lincoln does best.

The MKC’s thoroughly modern exterior manages to retain a classic grace with that distinctive slightly tapered front end. On a ¾ angle it’s reminiscent of an early luxury cruise ship.

Inside, it’s a treat for the senses. At first you search for the ignition and gearshift. Oh yes, they’re a vertical series of buttons with the on/off at the top, a feature unique to Lincoln. This column of buttons flanks the infotainment system, which distracts the eye but is easy to learn and fiddle with for atmospheric control. Speaking of which, just being in the cockpit is calming and uplifting, courtesy of the massive ($2,200) sunroof, thoughtfully arranged wooden accents and supple, brightly coloured leather seating. Plus the $650 climate package includes a heated steering wheel. Perfect. And others? There’s loads of space in front and back for legs, hips, heads and shoulders.

That’s two senses pampered; next comes hearing. The $1,100 THX II sound system brightens even the vilest weather forecast and ugliest traffic reports—and includes satellite radio.

With the back row down, there are 1,505 litres of space. Even with our skis, boots and weekender supplies, including groceries and booze for 7, there was so much room to spare I used the netting.

The corollary of all that comfort?

The 2-litre inline 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine’s automatic transmission has a 6-speed paddling option. (Sorry if that’s a lot to digest in one sentence.) Sport mode does change the feel of the car but it’d be a nose-stretcher to call it sport shifting. The ride prioritises smooth over firm always in its performance. Even clambering over foot-high packed snowdrifts felt like a futuristic elevator ride.

And interestingly, despite the volume of climate, I never felt the need to take greater control by paddling on the snowy ups, downs and turns (though I did for testing purposes). Mostly I just lazily left it to the automatic transmission and the driver intervention technology to keep us safe, which they did. Not that Lincoln’s engineers have neglected your sense of control. The MKC has a decently long wheelbase of 2,690mm, providing some confident squatability even at this soccer mom approved height of 1,657mm.

More good news: the engine was surprisingly good on gas — keeping in mind this was a bitterly blustery few days — and blessedly doesn’t require premium. This tester came with the Select Plus Package, a $1,250 albatross, with blind spot recognition and voice-prompted navigation technologies. Your phone already does the latter and without that albatross around your neck, you could just look in your blind spot before turning. This is not really a complaint, as much as an observation from a mellow seated position.

Conclusion? If your idea of a weekender’s SUV is more spa than gym, the MKC could the choice for you—especially if yours is a team decision. My wife and daughter loved it.

Base price: $39,940
As driven, including options taxes, destination and delivery: $50,475



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