2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Lincoln MKC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Lincoln MKC doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The MKC doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and MKC have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The MKC’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The MKC doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Safety in the XC40 as “Superior.” The MKC scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The MKC doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKC doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera 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 XC40 and the MKC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 XC40 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.

Warranty

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MKC’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKC.

Engine

The XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (248 vs. 245) than the MKC’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the Lincoln MKC 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.:

XC40

MKC

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

87.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the MKC:

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

MKC

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the XC40’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKC 2.0 Turbo.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKC.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKC:

XC40

MKC

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.2 inches

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The MKC doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the MKC.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the MKC AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the MKC’s (37.4 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis

The XC40 is 5 inches shorter than the MKC, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .3 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the MKC.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the MKC with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MKC doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the MKC’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lincoln MKC is only 3000 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The XC40 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 XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The MKC’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The MKC doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the MKC’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the MKC’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MKC doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The MKC doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the XC40 with available tilt-down mirrors 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the MKC because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the MKC, including $158 less for a water pump, $217 less for a muffler, $351 less for a timing belt/chain and $800 less for a power steering pump.

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

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