The Lincoln MKX was completely redesigned for 2016, offering a surprisingly compelling alternative to favorites like the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX while remaining distinct enough not to be confused with them.

Even though the MKX remains on the Ford Edge platform, the two share no body panels or interior designs; this is not one of those badge engineering jobs from the '90s with swapped-out emblems. The MKX appears wider and longer than the Ford crossover, and its 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with 300 hp on tap has plenty of power for just about every traffic situation.

The cabin is still the MKX's highlight: it's dead-silent inside at all speeds and it fits a modern 5'11" human like a glove with a well-gauged ride height and supportive seats. The interior materials look and feel expensive and, aside from some small switches, there's no hint of Ford parts-bin swapping. From the driver's seat, the A-pillars don't obstruct crucial blind spots at intersections, but the design means forward visibility is not as good as it could be -- a complaint we've had on other Ford products

The XT5 outclasses the old SRX in every way, from sheetmetal to power and smoothness, interior feel and handling.The body and styling look like a stylized drawing of what a futuristic SUV would look ...

The 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 is a great choice here; there is no reason to lug around a hefty and thirsty V8, and any four-cylinder (there are some in the Ford parts bin) would make the driving experience needlessly revvy. It delivers smooth sailing without any drama during acceleration or braking. In fact, the MKX is a remarkably quiet sprinter with the chassis working to mute out noises and bumps from the road. There is hardly any tires noise at any speed and wind noise is kept in check as well. Repeat buyers of the Lexus RX wil find this experience familiar.

Even though the MKX is more than happy to eat up highway miles, it offers up a cosseting ride in town as well. A relatively short wheelbase helps the MKX maneuver in tight spaces, and despite generous overhangs it's easy to squeeze into narrow parking spaces. However, with that silky smooth suspension comes moderate nosediving during hard braking, as well as some generous lean in the corners. That's to be expected in a crossover tuned for comfort rather than sporting ability, and overall it's not bad.

The drive to offer third-row seating as a standard feature in SUVs has already led several automakers to engineer themselves into a corner, with impractical seats that do not permit dignified ingress ...

The version that I drove had a base price of $48,545 and was optioned up to $60,105, after $11,560 of options and a destination fee. The model itself has a starting price of around $39,000 -- exactly where the Cadillac XT5 starts as well -- and it's safe to assume that these will comparison-shopped quite a bit by domestic-leaning prospective buyers. Still, Lincoln has done an impressive job of turning the Ford Edge into a luxury crossover -- with a price to match.

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