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Lincoln MKC
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Overall: Lincoln offers its dramatic styling in a small and tall format; now offered with optional SYNC 3 connectivity.

Drivetrain: Both the standard and available engines are of the turbocharged-four-cylinder variety, with each linked to six-speed automatic transmissions; AWD is also a menu item.

Lincoln made plenty of hay with its mid-sized MKX tall wagon, so when it introduced the smaller MKC for 2015, it wasn’t much of a surprise. The compact MKC faces off against the BMW X3 Mercedes-Benz GLC and other upscale car-based wagons. Lincoln’s design team started with the Ford Escape platform and created a unique and handsome shape. The MKC’s luxury content ensures there will be little, if any, commonality with the Escape, however. It’s also quieter inside, thanks in part to Active Noise Control, which uses hidden microphones and a special control module to create opposing sound waves sent through the car’s speakers that cancel out unwanted engine noises. The system can be combined with continuously adjustable shock damping, power-assisted electric steering, variable transmission shift mapping plus traction and stability control to form “Lincoln Drive Control.” The result, says Lincoln, is improved ride and handling in Normal, Sport, or Comfort modes, as selected by the driver. The base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 240 horsepower and a stout 270 pound-feet of torque. The optional 2.3-liter turbo-four is rated at 285 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift controls. Front-wheel-drive is standard, with all-wheel-drive an option for the 2.0, but standard fare with the 2.3. Base “Premiere” models include dual-zone climate control, heated power-adjustable front-row seats, backup camera, remote start and “Lincoln Premium Sound.” The “MKC Select” model adds a 10-way power passenger seat (same as the driver’s), power folding outside mirrors, a power liftgate, and nickel-plated 18-inch alloy wheels. The top-line “Reserve” comes with a panorama sunroof, voice-activated navigation, hands-free power liftgate and heated and cooled front seats. Options include heated second-row seats and steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and automatic high-beam headlamps. The biggest change is the adoption of the much-improved third-generation SYNC connectivity system, which is simplified for easier use.