Lincoln Motor Co. is taking steps to align the styling and features of its MKC compact crossover with the rest of its lineup.
A facelift for the 2019 model year features design cues such as the chrome mesh grille already found across the brand. The refresh also adds new safety technology and connectivity to the small SUV.
Lincoln, Ford’s luxury division, will introduce the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.
The brand is targeting female buyers with the newest enhancements. Women account for more than half of MKC sales, according to the brand.
Ford wants the MKC to bring in new customers at a faster pace than the other vehicles in its lineup, said Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln’s president. “We recognize it takes a lot to attract a buyer from other luxury competitors, but the Lincoln MKC has that kind of appeal.”
For the 2019 MKC, Lincoln added a suite of active safety technologies, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection that warns drivers of potential collisions and automatically brakes if the driver isn’t reacting to slow the vehicle.
Active park assist is an option for those who prefer not to navigate tight parallel parking situations. Lane keeping alerts and blind spot monitoring are also available.
Driver safety also is a consideration with the addition of new LED headlamps designed to minimize eyestrain at night. LED lighting in the lower front body and tail-lamps automatically will illuminate upon the driver’s approach to provide a little guidance in the dark. During daylight hours, an optional panoramic roof will optimize natural lighting.
The 2019 MKC will offer its third generation Sync infotainment system. It is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both manage audio, phone and navigation from the vehicle touchscreen or steering wheel-mounted controls.
The new MKC keeps its standard turbocharged, direct injection 2.0-liter engine that makes 245 horsepower and 274 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharged 2.3-liter holdover engine is also an option, making 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque with a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Either option can be paired to Lincoln’s all-wheel-drive system for more capability and sportier performance.
The MKC is one of Lincoln’s better selling vehicles. Through the first 10 months of this year, Lincoln has sold 22,507 MKCs, a 9 percent gain compared with the same period a year earlier. But overall Lincoln sales have climbed just 2 percent this year to about 92,000 vehicles. It is one of the smaller luxury brands with only about a third of the sales of either BMW or Mercedes-Benz and half that of Audi.
The new 2019 Lincoln MKC will go on sale summer 2018.