2015 Lincoln MKC Priced from $33,995

Lincoln’s new small MKC crossover will start at $33,995 when it arrives in dealers next year.

Ford’s premium brand hasn’t said exactly when that will happen, but it could be a bit hit if the generally positive first impressions have anything to say about it. The same 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine slated as an option on the upcoming 2015 Mustang will offer 275 hp. That will come as a $1,140 upgrade over the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that offers 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Lincoln MKC Video, First Look

Front-wheel drive is standard, but customers can choose an all-wheel drive model if improved grip is of particular concern. Three trim levels will be available: Premier, Select and Reserve. The last of those starts at $40,930 and includes the base engine. Lincoln is offering a long list of free-standing packages and features for the vehicle including blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert for $1,100, a technology package for $2,235 that adds adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, front sensors and lane-keeping assistance. All-wheel drive comes at a roughy $2,500 premium. Pair that with the more powerful motor and an MKC equipped with the safety-enhancing gizmos will cost $47,900.

The MKC is Lincoln’s latest stab at regaining market relevance and the company is hoping a combination of high-end materials and competitive pricing will lure customers away from brands like Audi and BMW. Audi’s Q5 starts several thousand dollars higher, as does the BMW X3, but Lincoln’s biggest struggle will be less about value packaging and more about image. If the MKC can prove to be more than a warmed-over Escape – and its engines seem like a valiant effort in that direction – it might prove to be the first product with potential to lead the company a few steps closer to being competitive.

GALLERY: 2015 Lincoln MKC Live Shots


GALLERY: 2015 Lincoln MKC


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