In the last couple of years, the “Have faith in Lincoln restoration campaign” has been in full swing.”

Faith is a concept not exclusive to religion.

The principle of faith is to believe in things that haven’t been seen. Then there is the loss of faith. Perhaps the lack of seeing, and the abundance of waiting, left other opinions to be formed in the waiting period.

Lincoln is a brand in which many lost faith. Its association with lacklustre quality, the stigma that only individuals who are in the latter stages of life drive a Lincoln, and the fact that there is dwindling brand appeal, didn’t help its cause.

In the last couple of years, the “Have faith in Lincoln restoration campaign” has been in full swing.

With strong products, ones that appeal to both the eyes and enthusiast, they’re coming back strong. But are these traits enough to bring a younger demographic into the fold?

With the launch of its small, premium utility vehicle, the MKC, it’s certainly a huge stride in the right direction. It’s all-new for 2015 and starts at an MSRP of $39,940.

See: The 2015 Lincoln MKC on Lincoln.com

The MKC is the first vehicle to be designed from the ground up in a dedicated Lincoln studio, and I think they’ve done a great job. From its classic and signature split wing grille, to its tight lines, to its overall form, I’m impressed.

As you slip inside its spacious and inviting interior, you’ll notice the absence of a large gear selector near the centre console. That’s because it’s integrated into the stack and you operate it via the push of a button.

While some have a very polarized opinion on this feature, I didn’t mind it at all. Yes, I reached for a gear selector that wasn’t there a few times and confused my passengers, but after a few times behind the wheel, it made sense why it was there.

The centre stack has a streamlined-nature to it. The buttons and touch screen blend effortlessly. Of course, when the touch screen is off you can see all the fingerprints but a soft cloth fixes that!

Aside from its aesthetics, the MKC does drive and handle very well. Based on the Ford Escape, this 5-passenger vehicle comes equipped with two different engines. The first is a 2.0L, EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s an optional 2.3L, EcoBoost 4-cylinder with a spirited 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. It’s then matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The MKC, regardless of engine choice, comes with an all-wheel drive (AWD) setup.

Whether at speed or crawling along in the city, the electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) has been calibrated to give the driver enough feedback that it doesn’t feel lazy, but has enough resistance to make the commute a pleasant one.

Combined with its suspension, which is an independent MacPherson strut-type up front and a fully independent multi-link with stabilizer bar around back, you have a recipe for an MKC that handles the turns with poise and confidence.

Estimated fuel consumption numbers come in at 12.9L/100km in the city and 9.2L/100km on the road. According to the trip computer, which I zeroed after picking the vehicle up, it said I was averaging 15.7L/100km. Yikes. I didn’t think I had that much of a lead foot, but I wasn’t driving the vehicle hard. And my daily routines consist of both city and highway driving. This figure wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped for.

Aside from not-so-amazing fuel results, I was quite happy with the MKC’s cargo capacity. With the rear seats up, you’re looking at 712L. With the rear seats folded, there’s 1,505L to work with. It’s perfect for larger items like my road bike! I didn’t even have to take the front wheel off to fit it inside. Bonus.

Then there are such features like the panoramic vista roof, the heated and cooled front seats, a THX audio system, and active park assist to make the vehicle even sweeter.

Despite the plethora of options – there were $14,230 worth, for a test price of $55,920 with the $1,750 delivery charge included – the MKC doesn’t need to be loaded with them to the max to make it a worthwhile vehicle to drive. It does have some tough competition, like the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, but it can hold its own and does a great job of ensuring a great driver’s experience.

Visit www.lincolncanada.com for more information.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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