Lincoln Brand Deserves Not Only Survival, But Success
More than two years ago, we had our first test drive with the Lincoln MKZ. By then with the 2.3L Ecoboost engine. You can read this post at the link below:
This time we had another engine from Ford’s inventory:
2.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 240 horsepower (on 93 octane, 231 on regular) at 5,500 rpm, with 270 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. This engine is slightly less powerful than than the 2.3L engine we tested earlier. The difference is negligible in daily driving. also the price: Our test vehicle, fully loaded (see the details below) has a sticker (MSRP) of $53,975.
Except the engine (for our test purposes) essentially everything remained the same since our first test.
The MKC is a high-quality product in a surging, but crowded and highly competitive luxury compact SUV segment. The differentiation from its Ford cousin, Escape is good and it has no common sheet metal. The body is elegantly styled with unique-to-Lincoln features like the shift button on the console and the panorama glass.
As of the first two-months of 2017, only 253 units were sold in Canada, down from 309 in the same period of the previous year.
Ford Escape, on this the MKC is based, reached 5048 units sold in the same period and up from 4721 in 2016. The factor of internal competition also deserves attention: A fully loaded Escape has the roughly the same price as a base MKC.
With regard to MKC’s direct competitors; the sales figures are: Acura RDX 909 units, the BMW X3 770 and Lexus NX 756.
Looking Back in Earlier Decades
Obviously, there is a problem especially when you factor in the rich history of the Lincoln brand. I think the problem lies in the Ford’s mistakes in earlier years: Remember the serial failures with the luxury brands like Jaguar, Volvo and and Land Rover which Ford owned in the previous decades. In an unforgiving, tough statement, may I say that “Ford killed the identity of all these brands and then had to give up”.
Remember the unlucky Jaguar S-Type that borrowed so many parts from Ford Mondeo and had a less-than average quality record.
Now Lincoln is the only luxury brand Ford owns.And even in the last decade, during successful restructuring and re-defining Ford under Alan Mulally, Lincoln was still largely omitted. The design language was still half-defined, as we saw the change in the face-lifted MKZ series. (It is much better now).
So, among at least half a dozen luxury brands in North America, Lincoln is still a fading name and whatever Ford has done so far, is not enough. My 19-year old son, who drove and liked the MKC said, he would not consider buying an MKC or even a Lincoln.
In today’s market realities, every major manufacturer has to have at least one luxury brand to survive. Ford still has some time to build and define the identity of Lincoln. This brand with a great history deserves to survive.
Remember the long journey of GM’s Cadillac. Lincoln probably needs the same “pilgrimage”.
Type of vehicle All-whell drive compact SUV-CUV
Power 2.0L, 4-cylinder GTDI Ecoboost engine,
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $48.300 / $53,975
Destination charge $1,900
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 12.4 city, 9.0 highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler, Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Technology Package $ 2,250 (Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist), Class II Trailer tow Pkg $ 500, Aluminium Trim / Sonata Spin Pkg $ 225
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media
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