Lincoln MKX's Maddening Volume Sliders

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.

By Kristin Varela | October 26, 2012 | Comments (8)

2013 Lincoln MKZ at the 2012 New York Auto Show

2013 Lincoln MKZ

  • Competes with: Lexus ES, Acura TL, Buick Regal, Infiniti G Series 
  • Looks like: Lincoln is doubling down on its controversial MyLincoln Touch buttonless interface 
  • Drivetrain: 237-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with six-speed automatic; 300-hp, 3.7-liter six-cylinder with six-speed automatic; 188-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid system with continuously variable automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: Later this year

The redesigned 2013 Lincoln MKZ is meant to be Lincoln's salvation in a competitive market segment that now more than ever requires a unique look and exclusive features to stand out. Lincoln certainly did its homework and the 2013 MKZ seems promising at first glance.

More Coverage of the 2012 New York Auto Show

First off, the 2013 MKZ looks nothing like the 2013 Ford Fusion; the current Fusion and MKZ share slab-sided exterior profiles, powertrains and suspension setups. While there's still plenty of Fusion in the MKZ, features like a V-6 engine, a more sophisticated suspension and exclusive safety features such as inflatable rear seat belts will hopefully help separate the two in buyers' minds.

By Colin Bird | April 3, 2012 | Comments (1)

Lincoln Sticking with MK-Lettered Nameplates

Lincoln MKZ ConceptLike them or not, the Lincoln brand's nameplate nomenclatures of "MKT," “MKZ," "MKX," and "MKS" are here to say, according to USA Today.

Last year, Ford CEO Alan Mulally intimated that the carmaker was considering a switch from the MK naming to something more traditional, like Continental.

For the hopeful, those dreams have officially been dashed. At the 2012 Detroit auto show, Lincoln introduced the MKZ Concept, indicating the Zephyr name probably wouldn't be revived.

Jim Farley, Ford's marketing chief, also hinted that the names would stick. "What I've learned in my career is it's product that matters, not the name," Farley told reporters at the show. In a separate interview, Mulally also told reporters he had come to terms with the current naming structure at Lincoln.

No word on if this spells the end of the only model still holding a proper name at Lincoln: the Navigator full-size SUV.

No change: Lincoln Is Stuck With Alphabet Soup Names (USA Today)

By Colin Bird | January 17, 2012 | Comments (9)

As Automakers Face Hurdles, Responsiveness Becomes Key

Honda Civic Hybrid
Carmakers are reacting faster to the market these days, and their success hinges on speed more than ever.

As we head into the holiday season, consider two carmakers whose latest products have had not-so-merry receptions. Honda, stung by a new round of supply shortages from flooding in Thailand, faces harsh reviews over its redesigned Civic — a compact car we've noted drops the ball in cabin quality, though we still recommend it for other strengths. The redesigned Odyssey minivan, meanwhile, has stumbled on reliability in Consumer Reports' latest surveys.

Rival automaker Ford, a longtime reliability leader among Detroit automakers, faces its own issues in recent quality rankings, mostly over the controversial MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch center controls.

Both automakers are responding.

By Kelsey Mays | December 2, 2011 | Comments (0)

Ford Drops; Lexus, Mazda and Jeep Improve in Latest Consumer Reports Survey

Ford Explorer
Ford's dashboard doldrums persist. The automaker's buggy MyFord Touch multimedia system, rolled out in summer 2010, contributed toward a steep decline in J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 Initial Quality Study. Now it has become a sore spot for Ford owners responding to Consumer Reports' latest reliability surveys.

Problems with the dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Fiesta and Focus also tarnished the brand, which tumbled 10 spots in overall reliability to 20th among 28 major carmakers. Ford's Lincoln division, whose MKX SUV uses a variant of MyFord Touch, improved one spot to 14th place. Other movers included Lexus (up seven spots to second place), Mazda (up eight spots to third) and Jeep (up seven spots to 13th).

The survey, based on responses from the magazine's 1.3 million subscribers, covered cars from the 2002 to 2011 model years, from which Consumer Reports predicts reliability for 2012 models. Consumer Reports says other Ford models, most notably the Fusion Hybrid sedan, remain as reliable as ever. And Ford appears committed to MyFord Touch, with plans to introduce it in the 2013 Taurus.

By Kelsey Mays | October 25, 2011 | Comments (16)

Incentives Diet: Buy This, Not That


This month, incentives continue to be sparse even as more 2012 model year vehicles arrive at dealerships. That means shoppers need to be savvy about what types of incentives are available, namely low financing offers, and how the right mix of financing can save big money, even if the sticker price is higher than the competition.

2011 Toyota Sienna LE V-6 vs. 2011 Chrysler Town & Country Base

In our recent Minivan Shootout the redesigned Town & Country took the No. 2 spot behind the Honda Odyssey, while the popular Toyota Sienna finished dead last. That doesn’t mean the Sienna isn’t a good vehicle; it’s one of our Best Bets. It also seems to be a better value than the Town & Country in terms of price when similarly equipped and even more so after taking lower financing into account.

By David Thomas | June 23, 2011 | Comments (8)

2011 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX Earn IIHS Top Safety Picks

The 2011 Ford Edge and its twin, the Lincoln MKX, received the Top Safety Pick designation in the midsize SUV category from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To earn the award, a vehicle must receive the top rating of Good in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests. The vehicle also must have electronic stability control, which is standard on both Ford crossovers.

Measurements taken during the tests show a low risk of significant injury in a 40-mph frontal-offset crash. A head injury is possible; the test dummy's head hit the steering wheel through the airbag during testing. During side-impact tests, the heads of the driver and rear passenger were protected from the 3,300-pound deformable barrier traveling at 31 mph (shown above).

To pass IIHS’ roof-strength test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of four times the vehicle’s weight. Both the Edge and MKX can withstand 4.7 times their own weight.

The Edge and MKX join eight other Lincoln and Ford brand models on the Top Safety Pick roster: the Taurus, Fiesta, Fusion, Explorer, Flex, MKZ, MKS and MKT.

Learn More

2011 Ford Edge review 
2011 Lincoln MKX review

By Colin Bird | April 22, 2011 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011 Ford F-Series, Edge, Lincoln MKX

2011 Ford Edge

Ford is recalling 8,022 vehicles from the 2011 model year because an electrical short may develop in the body control module and cause a fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The vehicles in the recall are the 2011 Ford Edge, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-50 and the Lincoln MKX. The vehicles were built from Oct. 25 to Nov. 20, 2010.

The affected vehicles were previously inspected using a diagnostic system to check whether the body control module needed to be replaced, based on the serial number. However, the system’s custom software was not reading the correct set of characters and could not determine if a body control module needed replacing. An electrical short in the body control module could cause overheating and lead to a vehicle fire.

The recall is expected to begin Monday. Dealers will inspect the body control module and replace it if necessary at no charge. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA’s hotline at 888-327-4236.







By Dave Lee | March 2, 2011 | Comments (1)

Ford Paying Dealers to Teach MyFord Touch Tech

MyLincoln Touch

Ford’s new MyFord Touch multimedia interface is causing some learning pains for both customers and Ford dealerships alike, prompting the automaker to offer a new carrot with which to promote the system, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The carrot, in this instance, is cold, hard cash. Ford will give each dealership a $75 delivery allowance for every car sold with MyFord Touch. That action is in response to complaints from dealerships, many of which have hired dedicated technology specialists who train Ford owners on how to use the system. The incentive is supposed to encourage more of this type of consumer training and to promote MyFord Touch, which Ford hopes to have in 80% of its vehicles by 2015. There’s a separate $50 incentive for cars equipped just with Sync.

MyFord Touch has been widely panned by the press. We recently tested a Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX that were equipped with the system; overall, we thought it was a high-tech headache that still needs a lot of work before it’s more widely implemented throughout Ford’s lineup.

Ford to Give Allowance for Touch-Screen System (Detroit Free Press)

By Colin Bird | February 14, 2011 | Comments (7)

Consumer Reports Calls MyFord Touch Distracting

When the staff tested the 2011 Ford Edge and the 2011 Lincoln MKT, we all felt the new MyFord and MyLincoln Touch systems were over-engineered to the point of annoyance. Consumer Reports weighed in today, saying it would not recommend either vehicle because the systems cross the line from annoyance to distraction.

You can watch our video review of the MKX above and read the full review here.

Consumer Reports’ sentiments matched our own. “CR's testers looked at the system in the 2011 Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge SEL and found it to be a complicated distraction while driving. In addition, first-time users might find it impossible to comprehend. The system did not always perform as promised.”

Reviews of the vehicles and multimedia system have been mixed among the automotive press, but we can support Consumer Reports’ findings on this one.
Both the new Edge and MKX are selling extremely well, though. We’ll have to wait and see if there is any residual impact in the next few months.

By David Thomas | January 4, 2011 | Comments (21)

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