2019 Lincoln MKC vs. 2018 Toyota Rav4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lincoln MKC are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Toyota Rav4 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Compared to metal, the MKC’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Rav4 has a metal gas tank.

The MKC has standard SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the MKC and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lincoln MKC is safer than the Toyota Rav4:







5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Stress

181 lbs.

505 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

175/258 lbs.

502/540 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Stress

115 lbs.

236 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Lincoln MKC is safer than the Toyota Rav4:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.5 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

102 G’s

163 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

54 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The MKC comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKC 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.


The MKC has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the MKC first among compact premium suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.


The MKC’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 69 more horsepower (245 vs. 176) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The MKC’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 109 more horsepower (285 vs. 176) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (305 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lincoln MKC is faster than the Toyota Rav4:


MKC 2.0

MKC 2.3


Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

6.5 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

15 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.4 MPH

91.1 MPH

82.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MKC 2.0 Turbo’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The MKC has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lincoln MKC higher (5 out of 10) than the Toyota Rav4 (3). This means the MKC produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Rav4 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the MKC’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:



Rav4 LE

Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

10.8 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The MKC stops much shorter than the Rav4:





70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MKC has larger standard tires than the Rav4 (235/50R18 vs. 225/65R17). The MKC AWD’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 (255/40R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The MKC’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The MKC AWD’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Rav4 SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Rav4 LE/XLE. The MKC AWD’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Rav4 SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure.

Suspension and Handling

The MKC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The MKC offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Rav4’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKC has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the MKC’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Rav4 (105.9 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

The MKC AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Rav4 SE 4WD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The MKC AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Rav4 XLE (26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .57 average G’s).


The MKC is 4.3 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the MKC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the MKC uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKC uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Rav4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the MKC AWD is quieter than the Rav4 SE 4WD (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The MKC has .2 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room and 3.9 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

The front step up height for the MKC is 1.7 inches lower than the Rav4 (16.8” vs. 18.5”). The MKC’s rear step up height is .3 inches lower than the Rav4’s (17.5” vs. 17.8”).

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the MKC. The Rav4 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.


The MKC’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Rav4’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

While the Rav4 SE is not recommended to tow, any MKC can tow a minimum of 2000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

The MKC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Rav4 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The MKC has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Rav4 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 33% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.


The MKC has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MKC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the MKC and the Rav4 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the MKC is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The MKC’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Rav4’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the MKC the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Rav4 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKC’s exterior PIN entry system. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The MKC’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The MKC’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure’s manually variable intermittent wipers don’t change delay with speed.

The MKC’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota only offers heated mirrors on the Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure.

The MKC’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The MKC Select/Reserve/Black Label has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Rav4 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The MKC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Rav4 SE/Limited/Platinum. The MKC also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Rav4.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the MKC Reserve/Black Label keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Rav4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The MKC has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure.

Both the MKC and the Rav4 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the MKC has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The MKC Reserve/Black Label’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKC is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MKC than the Rav4, including $269 less for a starter, $102 less for fuel injection, $190 less for a fuel pump and $92 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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