Youâ€™ve no doubt heard of the Lincoln Navigator.Â In the world of supersize SUVs, the Navigator is practically an A-list star, often overshadowing its younger, sleeker brother, the MKX.Â Not to worry, though.Â The MKX can hold its own.Â (MKX; starting at $35,840; lincoln.com/mkx)
Wrapped in supple leather and accented with extra-smooth wood right where your hands will naturally rest, the MKXâ€™s steering wheel sets the tone for the interior appointments.Â There is beauty in the details, and the team behind MKX seemed to keep that squarely in mind: Chrome and nickel accents abound, and the driving instrumentation is a study in elegant minimalism.
Separate heating and cooling controls for the front seats eliminate the need to bicker with your spouse over the temperature.Â And if that doesnâ€™t do it, just a tap of a button gives you up to three different levels of in-seat air-conditioning or heat; youâ€™ll feel the difference but no on else has to.
Since the MKX is about average in size, you may be surprised to know that there is plenty of room inside the cab.Â My favorite feature had to be the independently reclining rear seats. Thereâ€™s no need to put the tall people in the front anymore, especially since the MKX comes with an optional double moonroof so the backseatâ€™s occupants can see the stars too.
A large screen in the front dash will keep you plugged in, so to speak, to the car around you.Â It provides info about the entertainment system and doubles as a touch-screen navigation system.Â While the system is not the most intuitive Iâ€™ve experienced, it forces the user to give all the information possibleâ€”which makes entering the wrong destination a thing of the past.
Plus, as a Ford vehicle, the MKX comes with Microsoftâ€™s SYNC technology, which means passengers can issue simple verbal commands to manipulate the nav system (among other things).Â Once youâ€™ve programmed it, all you have to do is press a button and say, â€œHome,â€ and a course will be plotted back to your abode from wherever you happen to be.Â Gotta love that.Â Once youâ€™re back in front of tu casa, parallel parking is made simple with a beeping proximity alert thatâ€™ll keep you far enough away from the car behind you to get your surfboard out the back.
Speaking of SYNC, it also works with most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, allowing you to make and receive calls through the SUVâ€™s entertainment console.Â You can even receive text messages on the carâ€™s nav screen.Â Best of all, SYNC will access your cell phoneâ€™s contact list so you wonâ€™t have to remember anyoneâ€™s number on the fly.
The MKX is nothing if not a head-turner.Â At stoplight after stoplight, from midtown Manhattan to the Poconos, the white chocolateâ€“colored model I drove caught stares and nods of approval. Its sleek lines, imposing grill, and exterior color palette, which includes fun flavor-titled hues like CrÃ¨me BrÃ»lÃ©e, will make you want to park this bad boy out frontâ€”anywhere.