2011 Lincoln MKX: No Buttons, All NoseS

The 2011 Lincoln MKX distances itself from the previous iteration's hyperminimalist nose with a truffle-hunting schnoz ripped right off the Lincoln MKT. Do we care? No. Mostly because they created a nearly button-free environment inside.

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The story on the refresh of the MKX isn't so much one of exterior styling, though the separated tail lights will be overlooked because of all the consternation the new MKS-like nose will cause. No, the story is inside, where Ford has made the mechanical button a scarce commodity while installing the lux version of MyFord, MyLicoln Touch (creative aren't they?). The twin LCD screens in the gauge cluster provide a myriad of data, each controlled by the five-way switches on either side of the steering wheel. The infotainment screen is large and easy to read and a highly integrated part of the control scheme, not just tacked on for the sake of it. For Lincoln buyers who have on-the-go "multimedia needs," there's an SD card reader which will play pictures or video when parked. Imagine what people watch on flip-down DVD players and you get the picture on what will show up on SD card video now.


No buttons you say? Yes, aside from a few mechanical switches (emergency flashers and CD eject), everything is capacitive touch, meaning you touch a raised but fixed surface, an audio prompt confirms the command and it's carried out. The most gee-whiz application of this is in the slider bars below the audio stack which control HVAC fan speed and audio output, run a finger over it an LEDs light up and follow the action. Pretty neat.


The rest of the interior is upgraded appropriately with newly styled seats, restyled dash, very nice materials throughout. Underhood is the new 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6, so there will be considerably more scoot, but have fun looking past that nose.