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2017 Lexus NX 200T vs. Lincoln MKC Black Label – Which Is Your Crossover?

We compare the 2017 Lexus NX200t and Lincoln Black Label MKC in their top trims.

The premium compact crossover market is hot. Like all compact crossovers, the premium versions are selling very well and replacing sedan sales at almost every automaker. Our comparison today will not choose a winner. Both of these vehicles have a lot to offer any buyer. We hope to offer some insights into the two so that a buyer looking for the top-spec version of a premium crossover might have a starting point in their search.

Size and Layout
Both the Lincoln MKC Black Label AWD and the Lexus 200t Premium (our description for the top trim) are roughly the size of the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. The Lexus has the edge in size with a three-inch length advantage and one-inch width advantage. Both have plenty of room for five and in back adults can sit behind the front passengers comfortably, but just barely. These crossovers don’t compete with larger vehicles the size of a Nissan Murano on space, but both have larger crossovers in their showrooms.
- Read a full review of the Lexus NX 200t

The Lincoln has the clear advantage in power with 285 hp from its 2.3-liter turbocharged engine. The smaller 2.0-lite engine in the Lexus only offers 235 hp. Both used a geared automatic transmission, and both offer smooth shifting and ample power in normal driving. However, despite the marketing push by Lexus in particular, these two are not the match of a true sporty crossover like a BMW X3 xDrive 35i which offers 300 hp and a suspension built for cornering. They are worlds away from a sports crossover like a Porsche Macan, but that is not a demerit, just an observation of where these stack up.
- Read a full review of the Lincoln MKC

The Lincoln Black Label MKC AWD has a 21 MPG Combined fuel economy rating, and the Lexus NX 200t AWD earns a 24 MPG rating. The advantage here is for the Lexus. At today’s fuel prices the EPA says the Lexus will cost $500 more to fuel per year. Over a 10-year life that means the Lexus has a $5,000 operating cost advantage. This is the first consumer choice. Slightly more real world power in the Lincoln, or measurably better fuel economy and operating cost for the Lexus.

Interior and Infotainment
Inside, both the Lexus and the Lincoln are impressive. Seating is high-quality leather and both have a modern look and fell. The Lexus is more modern, perhaps too modern. Its remote touch interface is frustrating to many owners. Lincoln’s touch-screen system is easier to operate and more intuitive. The Black Label’s 700 watts of sound power is also an advantage. The Lexus uses a conventional gear-selector, and the Lincon is unique in that it uses push-buttons on the dash.

Pricing and Value
If you are leaning Lincoln at this point, hold onto your hat. The Lincoln Black Label MKC rings in at $57,895. There are touches included in that price that the Lexus does not offer, such as a suede microfiber headliner. The Lexus tops out at under $48K no matter how many options you check. We would not normally compare two vehicles with such a difference in price, except that these are both premium, not luxury, offerings and both have the maximum bling available.
Your dealership options will depend on your location. In general, Lexus has an edge in this regard, but try both to see if you find one has more loaner car availability, free café, or other premium aspects.

Both of these premium crossovers are worthy of consideration for a shopper looking for a better than mainstream compact crossover, but not ready to pay Mercedes and Porsche prices. Each vehicle has a very high-quality feel and distinct personality. The choice between these two may come down to how much extra value and desirability the $10K more expensive and $5K more costly to operate over ten years Lincoln shows a shopper in comparison to the Lexus.


Mark Day (not verified)    November 11, 2016 - 7:20PM

Every year, vehicles become more mandated government products than the choice of consumers. A horrible thought - that those paying the bills should make the choices. "Luxury" compact SUV's with Pinto and Vega engines in them at $50k – give me a break.

The news is that auto sales have "peaked", maybe next they'll tank. And now for the bad news...:)

Mark Day (not verified)    November 11, 2016 - 10:19PM

In reply to by John Goreham

Thought that the Lincoln price might have been a typo – but have thought that before on other vehicle prices. A positive note regarding the Lexus – reliability, and resale value, makes it a no-brainer. One can buy anyToyota or Lexus and be fairly confident of not having to have a reserved spot at the dealer for reliability issues.

John Goreham    November 12, 2016 - 12:03PM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

When I saw the price I checked to see if I was in the next larger Lincoln. The one that competes with the RX 350. I'm not sure an RX 350 can be configured to be more expensive than this Lincoln and its way more "car."