Best & Worst Lincoln MKC Years

I've taken a look at every Lincoln MKC model from 2015 up to and including 2019, and categorized the best & worst years in this ultimate guide.

In this guide, I’ll analyze the Lincoln MKC models, revealing the best Lincoln MKC years to buy and the worst MKC years to avoid for prospective buyers.

Leveraging insights from reputable sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds, we ensure our recommendations are comprehensive and trustworthy.

Focusing on the Lincoln MKC’s first generation, we highlight its reliability, technology, safety, common issues, recalls, and resale values that distinguish the best model years from the rest.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Lincoln MKC Generations

The Lincoln MKC debuted in 2015, marking Lincoln’s foray into the compact luxury SUV market. It quickly gained recognition for its stylish design, refined interior, and impressive standard features, including advanced safety technologies and a comfortable, high-quality cabin.

The MKC was celebrated for its smooth ride, responsive handling, and the choice between a potent turbocharged 2.0L I4 engine or a more powerful 2.3L option.

All Lincoln MKC generations from 2015 to 2019:

1st generation2015-2019

Generational changes, particularly in technology and performance, are crucial in understanding the evolution of the vehicle and can significantly influence purchasing decisions.

Lincoln MKC Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the best and worst years for the Lincoln MKC, our rankings and categorizations take into account a variety of factors, such as:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

This graph consolidates ratings from the above sources, visually representing the Lincoln MKC’s performance across its years.

Lincoln MKC Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Here’s a breakdown categorizing all model years of the first-generation Lincoln MKC into the best, neutral, and worst years, serving as a concise guide for potential buyers.

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
1st generation2016

“Neutral Years” do not significantly stand out for either positive or negative reasons based on our criteria.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can adversely affect our evaluations. A higher frequency of complaints and recalls decreases the vehicle’s overall reliability and satisfaction scores.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Lincoln MKC 1st Generation (2015-2019)

Lincoln MKC 1st generation 2015 model
The 2015 Lincoln MKC

The Lincoln MKC’s first generation launched in 2015 as Lincoln’s venture into the compact luxury SUV market, bringing with it an ambition to meld luxury with utility in a compact frame that did not compromise on performance or sophistication.

The best years for the Lincoln MKC span from 2016 to 2019, while 2015 is the year to avoid.

The Best Years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The best years for the first-generation Lincoln MKC—2016 to 2019—exemplified Lincoln’s refinement in the compact luxury SUV segment.

These models were powered by a choice of two turbocharged engines: a 2.0L I4 producing 240 hp and an optional 2.3L I4 engine offering 285 hp. This ensured ample power for a vehicle of its size, coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission for smooth shifts.

Fuel efficiency stood at an EPA-estimated 20 city/29 highway MPG for the 2.0L engine, balancing performance with economy.

These years introduced more sophisticated infotainment options, including an 8-inch touchscreen with Lincoln’s SYNC 3 system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, alongside enhanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Despite recalls related to engine compartment fire risks, these models represented the height of what the MKC could offer in terms of luxury, performance, and technological advancements.

The Worst Years: 2015

The 2015 Lincoln MKC faced challenges that marred its debut, primarily concerning its engine and powertrain reliability.

Owners reported engine stalling and transmission issues led to several recalls, including those for engine stalling risks and the potential for engine compartment fires due to overheating, as well as faulty door latches that could open while driving.

The 2015 Lincoln MKC, while ambitiously equipped with luxury features and promising a premium compact SUV experience, fell short in reliability and safety, making it a year to avoid for prospective buyers.

See NHTSA 2015 Lincoln MKC recalls and complaints.

Lincoln MKC Resale Values

Here’s a graph comparing the average resale values of the Lincoln MKC across different years.

Lincoln MKC Average List Price


Through our detailed review, the Lincoln MKC’s best years are 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, offering enhanced reliability, technology, and luxury. Conversely, 2015 is the Lincoln MKC year to avoid due to its initial issues.

What features do you prioritize in a luxury compact SUV like the Lincoln MKC?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.