Lincoln MKX's Maddening Volume Sliders

2013-LINCOLN-MKX
I spent the past several days traversing Florida with my family for a long weekend retreat in Clearwater Beach. We happened to be driving the Lincoln MKX, which worked beautifully for our family in all ways but one: The touch-sensitive slider bars on MyLincoln Touch were maddening.

My kids were getting a kick out of listening to the local radio stations while my husband and I took in the ocean view on the way to our hotel. When Justin Bieber or Carly Rae Jepsen came on, the kids egged me on to crank up the volume. Then, as soon as that song was over, I'd try to turn the volume way down again so that I could actually converse with my husband about the bizarre frequency of bright-pink stucco on homes, or to add to our count of stone manatees holding mailboxes, or to marvel at people walking down the street with pet raccoons (or parrots or iguanas). I felt like an observing character in a Carl Hiaasen novel.

During the whole time in the MKX, I never quite figured out how much I needed to slide my finger across the bars to get the volume or fan speed I wanted.

2013-LINCOLN-MKX-1
Sometimes a slight slide made the volume jump too far up. At other times, a complete slide across the bar didn't register a noticeable change in volume at all. It seems like the slider bar should illuminate — a la KITT from "Knight Rider" — to show me exactly where I last set the volume. After a few frustrating attempts, I stopped using the slide bar entirely and opted for the volume toggle switch on the steering wheel.

Unfortunately, that's not an option with the fan speed for the climate control; the slider bar works (or doesn't work) in the same manner as the volume. On top of that, to operate the fan control you must first switch to the climate control screen by touching the blue corner button (which is too narrow to fit a whole fingertip), then you adjust the fan speed from there, and then you go back to the map screen by pressing the green corner of the touch-screen. That seems like a few too many steps just to turn the fan up one notch.

Lincolns, of course, have a reputation for being popular among retirees, who tend to be fiercely brand loyal. I kept trying to imagine my 69-year-old mother (a retired art teacher who ironically "winters" in Florida) calling me several times a day to walk her through adjusting the fan speed in her car.

While the MKX was comfortable, luxurious and totally pleasant in every other way, the slide bars are in desperate need of a quick evolution to be functional and usable for the general public, regardless of age, technological knowhow or propensity for decorating houses with papier-mâché tropical fish.

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2013 Lincoln MKX Review
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Comments 

Bowrider

Good article. You "painted a good picture." I guess the alternative to the fan speed bar would be to just use the auto fan with speed determined by temperature setting.

WTF

There's this thing. It's called steering wheel controls.

sheth

leave it on automatic. problem solved

Skankzilla

Leaving it on automatic isn't really a solution to the problem. Nor is having to use the steering wheel controls.

A solution to the problem would be a better system that isn't infuriating, which should have been caught during the R&D process. Perhaps they should've stuck with knobs or push buttons.

eagle2x

FOMOCO should can MyTouch. Admit it: this system is not user friendly.

Cadillac is doing it to and theirs really dont work at all

Mike Mitchell

I recently testdrove the Lincoln and had the exact same experience before I even backed the car out of its space. I'll buy one when they get this craziness resolved. How about a knob that works?

Jo Ann Timbanard

I have had 2 MKX's and love the ride and comfort; however the GPS and the package that goes with it is not dependable at all. It needs lots of work. Also, if you are thinking you will be getting 26 miles to the gallon, forget about that or the car if gas mileage is important. We have a Prius, so I know how to drive a car for gas efficiency. The highest you will most likely get on the highway while using A/C is close to 22, but more reasonably, it will be 21.5. Love the car, but wouldn't buy it again because they can't get things worked out.

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