2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 Lincoln MKC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigating Braking System in the RDX as “Superior.” The MKC scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKC only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the RDX and the MKC 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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





4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

99 lbs.

115 lbs.

Neck Compression

84 lbs.

152 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

362/441 lbs.

667/277 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The MKC was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 7 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.


The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (272 vs. 245) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 275) than the MKC’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura RDX is faster than the Lincoln MKC:


MKC 2.0

MKC 2.3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.6 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.9 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

87.4 MPH

91.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the MKC:




2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy


2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy



2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy


2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

The RDX has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKC (17.1 vs. 15.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the Lincoln MKC (5). This means the RDX produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MKC every 15,000 miles.


A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKC.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops shorter than the MKC:



60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the MKC.

The RDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The MKC doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RDX’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the MKC (108.3 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the MKC.

The RDX AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the MKC AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The RDX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the MKC AWD (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The RDX has 6.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKC (104 vs. 97.9).

The RDX has .6 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKC.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the MKC with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 25.2 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the MKC with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MKC doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 1% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.


The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MKC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RDX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKC doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The RDX’s standard headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the MKC’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

When the RDX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The MKC’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RDX will cost $895 to $1690 less than the MKC over a five-year period.

The RDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RDX will retain 51.89% to 53.05% of its original price after five years, while the MKC only retains 45.06% to 45.58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the MKC because typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the MKC, including $136 less for a water pump, $292 less for a muffler, $661 less for a timing belt/chain and $36 less for a power steering pump.


The Acura RDX outsold the Lincoln MKC by over two to one during 2018.

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

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