Jump to content
  • Greetings Guest!

    CheersandGears.com was founded in 2001 and is one of the oldest continuously operating automotive forums out there.  Come see why we have users who visit nearly every day for the past 16+ years. Signup is fast and free, or you can opt for a premium subscription to view the site ad-free.

El Kabong

C/D Tests Lincoln MKC: "A Competent Pod"

Recommended Posts

"There’s a lot of mixing and matching of powertrains and platforms between mainstream and premium divisions these days as market segments get sliced ever thinner. But the skill with which different carmakers blend the componentry varies. Which begs the question: Is the new MKC 'premium' enough to be a Lincoln? That, of course, depends upon one’s expectations."

...and the conclusion, after doing a thorough review at this link:

http://m.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-lincoln-mkc-20t-fwd-test-review

"It does present an opportunity for Lincoln to avoid losing some of its current buyers to other premium brands." Which is an odd goal for a segment-busting product-don't you normally hope for conquest sales rather than trying to retain customers fleeing your other products? So strange.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lincoln's like a daily newspaper - dependably disposable and old news by the time it's off the production line. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, if I wrote that then a certain someone would have soiled their diaper in a frothy-mouthed rage. But you did so it passes muster.

Still 100% true tho :(

Edited by El Kabong
  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for calling it an "MXC" in your title.  :AH-HA:

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is EVERY SINGLE PRODUCTION AUTO going to feature the same conceptual 4-spoke steering wheel ? Has this been federally mandated and I missed the update??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the MKC, but with the 2.3T. In the same way I like the MKZ but only with the V6. The 7+ second 0-60 sprint and mid-15 quarter mile times just leave so much to be desired in the $35-40k price point. I thing they're both very strong in design terms in the luxury class. Much better than Acura. And the push button transmission is infinitely better in Lincolns than Hondas and Acuras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most damning part of the article for me was the discussion about the suspension: "What saves the MKC is... its Escape DNA. Lincoln’s new compact SUV puts a fork in the brand’s previous legacy of offering filigreed Fords with soft suspensions. Where previous Lincolns floated, the MKC’s dynamics are buttoned down."

When your "luxury" brand's suspension tuning is so out to lunch that your base brand is the preferred starting point?... you know things are bad.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

That interior below is no Escape or Focus.

 

And meh on the article.  They picked apart not having enough power and an interior like a Lexus or Audi, yet reviewed a FWD 2.0L, not the much more powerful 2.3L with AWD and certainly not the Black Label trim, which is much more luxurious than the picture below.

 

 

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-interior.jpg

Edited by Wings4Life

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They were quite clear in the article about the options driving the price unacceptably high. Can't imagine that package would make the matter any better, to say the least.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^

And I can't imagine you would admit to the obvious.

 

Clearly, their complaints were focused on interior luxury levels and adequate power differentiation from the Escape.

The much more powerful engine option.....combined with AWD.......combined with a premium trim option that focuses on interior materials and luxury appointments would clearly address their 'Con' list.

 

And yeah, a technology package combine with a massive sunroof, jacks the price on ALL vehicles.  Assuming they offer them.

 

Regardless, Lincoln recognized the trend for CUV, and the MKX (shown below) is hitting dealers in a few weeks and is the 2nd of 3 major luxury CUV's that will feed that trend.  The Aviator will launch shortly after the all new aluminum Navigator, replacing the style challenged MKT.  So in total, I think Lincoln will supporting the needs of it's customers, while the competition still tries to figure it all out.

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-black-label-indulgence-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most damning part of the article for me was the discussion about the suspension: "What saves the MKC is... its Escape DNA. Lincoln’s new compact SUV puts a fork in the brand’s previous legacy of offering filigreed Fords with soft suspensions. Where previous Lincolns floated, the MKC’s dynamics are buttoned down."

When your "luxury" brand's suspension tuning is so out to lunch that your base brand is the preferred starting point?... you know things are bad.

 

Actually, it's because the Escape is so good, especially at its price point, that it makes an excellent starting point for the lux model.   So, why not start with a tune that already punches above its weight and gets nearly universal great reviews?  I don't have a problem with it. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

That interior below is no Escape or Focus.

 

And meh on the article.  They picked apart not having enough power and an interior like a Lexus or Audi, yet reviewed a FWD 2.0L, not the much more powerful 2.3L with AWD and certainly not the Black Label trim, which is much more luxurious than the picture below.

 

 

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-interior.jpg

 

 

I think that the MKC is priced a little high for the segment it wants to compete in, but I wouldn't rate the interior as bad.   The thing that completely kills the MKC for me is the Sync system.... I find it so terrible to use that I won't even rent Fords with it anymore.   It's unfortunate, because my partner and I are the target customer for the MKC as we currently have an Encore and want to move up in size just a little with the next vehicle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^

 

Sync III is launching as we speak.

I hear that is very much improved. We shall see.

 

 

So here's an issue I have.... Why wouldn't it be launching on a Lincoln?  Lincoln, being the premium brand in the portfolio, should get it first.... not the bottom car in the "people's brand".

I fixed the topic title. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

^

 

Sync III is launching as we speak.

I hear that is very much improved. We shall see.

 

 

So here's an issue I have.... Why wouldn't it be launching on a Lincoln?  Lincoln, being the premium brand in the portfolio, should get it first.... not the bottom car in the "people's brand".

I fixed the topic title. 

 

Not really sure there.  Perhaps it has something to do with rolling out to the masses that complained the most.  And honestly, they are co-developed anyway, so the launch is effectively same time frame, relative to next product launching that has been aligned with it.  It's not exactly new tech that will draw customers.  It is just an upgrade.  A well deserved one that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is EVERY SINGLE PRODUCTION AUTO going to feature the same conceptual 4-spoke steering wheel ? Has this been federally mandated and I missed the update??

A standardized design under the trim makes it simpler for a few suppliers to provide them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

Edited by Wings4Life

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

 

 

This is a habit that Ford (and others) need to get out of.  There is no need to wait for the next total refresh to launch an infotainment product any longer.  Cadillac has started doing Tesla style rolling upgrades to their products... when the base component has been upgraded, all of the relevant vehicles get that upgrade.  For example, the 3.6 V6 and 8-Speed auto that Cadillac just released in conjunction with the CT6;  both the ATS and CTS are getting that upgrade for 2016 as well.  The Cadillac Cue system is getting an upgrade and that will go into all of the cars too (with the possible exception of the SRX for now since that is at the very very end of its model run).

 

Simply put, if the new Sync is ready to go, it should be in all 2016 Lincolns. Period.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew's pretty spot on on this thread.

I tested an escape recently. Can't believe I hadnt. It's pretty good. Now I do say an MKc is missing a nice interior.like the mks it still has cheap ford plastic and bits. But using the escape as basis for an MKc here is alright. Crossover buyers don't need alpha platforms. Lincoln needs to upgrade the interior and justify its price more. But sales don't lie. Where are the new Cadillac crossovers ??????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew's pretty spot on on this thread.

I tested an escape recently. Can't believe I hadnt. It's pretty good. Now I do say an MKc is missing a nice interior.like the mks it still has cheap ford plastic and bits. But using the escape as basis for an MKc here is alright. Crossover buyers don't need alpha platforms. Lincoln needs to upgrade the interior and justify its price more. But sales don't lie. Where are the new Cadillac crossovers ??????

 

The MKC has the nice interior... you just need to pay more to get the higher trims.  I just think Lincoln is asking too much money for the lower trims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

 

 

This is a habit that Ford (and others) need to get out of.  There is no need to wait for the next total refresh to launch an infotainment product any longer.  Cadillac has started doing Tesla style rolling upgrades to their products... when the base component has been upgraded, all of the relevant vehicles get that upgrade.  For example, the 3.6 V6 and 8-Speed auto that Cadillac just released in conjunction with the CT6;  both the ATS and CTS are getting that upgrade for 2016 as well.  The Cadillac Cue system is getting an upgrade and that will go into all of the cars too (with the possible exception of the SRX for now since that is at the very very end of its model run).

 

Simply put, if the new Sync is ready to go, it should be in all 2016 Lincolns. Period.

 

I am a powertrain guy, completely isolated from the infotainment field, but I would guess that Sync3 involves far more than just a firmware or software update.  In the past, any software upgrades were rolled out simultaneously.  So IOW, there must be a reason to their madness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 23 Guests (See full list)



  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Lincoln is slowly rising back up with products such as the Navigator, the 2019 Nautilus, and the upcoming Aviator. This has given the brand confidence and is asking dealers in the top 30 U.S. luxury markets to split away from Ford and build stand-alone stores.
      "Customers expect the environment to be equal to the product. They want to buy a luxury product in a luxury environment," said Robert Parker, Lincoln's director of marketing, sales, and service.
      Executives point out that the stand-alone stores regularly outsell Ford-Lincoln dealers and are responsive for most of the sales gains in recent years.
      About 150 dealers are located in the 30 markets that Lincoln says account for 70 percent of the industry's luxury sales. Already, about half of the dealers have either started construction or finished standalone. Lincoln wants the remaining dealers to do the same and is offering some incentives; help finding land for their new store, large bonuses for each vehicle, and allow them to sell the high-end Black Label models. Dealers can say no to this, but executives believe most will make the switch.
      "This is the time for us to leverage this opportunity with the world-class products and continue to evolve and step up our client experience," said Greg Wood, Lincoln's sales and service manager.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Lincoln is slowly rising back up with products such as the Navigator, the 2019 Nautilus, and the upcoming Aviator. This has given the brand confidence and is asking dealers in the top 30 U.S. luxury markets to split away from Ford and build stand-alone stores.
      "Customers expect the environment to be equal to the product. They want to buy a luxury product in a luxury environment," said Robert Parker, Lincoln's director of marketing, sales, and service.
      Executives point out that the stand-alone stores regularly outsell Ford-Lincoln dealers and are responsive for most of the sales gains in recent years.
      About 150 dealers are located in the 30 markets that Lincoln says account for 70 percent of the industry's luxury sales. Already, about half of the dealers have either started construction or finished standalone. Lincoln wants the remaining dealers to do the same and is offering some incentives; help finding land for their new store, large bonuses for each vehicle, and allow them to sell the high-end Black Label models. Dealers can say no to this, but executives believe most will make the switch.
      "This is the time for us to leverage this opportunity with the world-class products and continue to evolve and step up our client experience," said Greg Wood, Lincoln's sales and service manager.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
      Exterior
      There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is.
      Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle.
      Interior
      The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles.
      If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length.
      The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet.
      As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system.
      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
      Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9.
      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
      Exterior
      There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is.
      Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle.
      Interior
      The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles.
      If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length.
      The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet.
      As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system.
      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
      Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9.
      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Unlike the Ford Fusion which will end production in 2020, the fate of the Lincoln MKZ is very unclear. Will it go away? Will it become something else? What we do know is that MKZ will be kicking around for a couple more years.
      CarsDirect has gone through the order guide for the 2019 MKZ and pulled out some interesting tidbits. The first is the removal of the Black Label trim. Aside from exclusive interior appointments, Black Label also gave owners "membership privileges" such as 4-year maintenance plan, and getting special access to events and restaurants. This is likely an effort to reduce complexity of the MKZ lineup - now comprised of MKZ (base), Reserve I, and Reserve II.
      If you desire the 3.0L biturbo V6, you'll need to jump up to the top-line Reserve II. Previously, you could order this engine on mid-level models. Depending on whether you opt for front or all-wheel drive, the V6 produces either 350 or 400 horsepower. 
      Like many Ford models, the 2019 MKZ will get the Co-Pilot360 suite of active driver assists as standard. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop & go capability, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.
      Pricing will now range from $36,990 for the base model and climb to $51,740 for the Reserve II with AWD.
      Source: CarsDirect

      View full article
  • My Clubs

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Reader Rides

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.