If I were to think of several brands that are hurting right now, three names come to mind: Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Lincoln.

Though Lincoln once boasted a certain cachet that oozed appeal, we're far from those days.

Most folks would agree that Ford's plan of essentially rebadging its products into a premium marque isn't working. BUT, I do have to say that the Lincoln is a fine looking product. Ever since I saw its debut I've found it's exterior design oddly appealing and echoing a bit of the Audi Q5. While I don't think the Q5 is going to win any design awards, I do find it more palpable than a Cadillac SRX.

That said, we've been wondering if this will be the first Lincoln to actually breakout or if it will do what the rest of Lincoln's products have been known for as late — flop.

Pricing was announced this week and it seems reasonable that a base model begins at $33,995. But if you put on all-wheel drive and a more powerful EcoBoost motor, you're quickly hovering around $37-38 large. And, that's excluding a lot of the technology you want.

So, we turn to you, our aces — is the Lincoln MKC the FIRST class competitive Lincoln OR is it just an also ran?

What say you, Spies?

Lincoln's press release follows:

Lincoln Announces Pricing for All-New Small Premium MKC

Compelling content, supreme craftsmanship available in 2014

-Suggested retail pricing for 2015 Lincoln MKC starts at $33,995, including destination and delivery

-Three trim levels available when Lincoln MKC goes on sale next year

-Lincoln MKC introduces Lincoln Experiences with Approach Detection and an embedded modem that enables the MyLincoln Mobile App. Available features include a 275-horsepower twin-turbo EcoBoost® engine, park out assist, Deepsoft Bridge of Weir leather, Vista Roof®, 19-inch wheels, voice-activated navigation, hands-free liftgate and a host of driver-assist technologies

DEARBORN, Mich. – The 2015 Lincoln MKC, the brand's first entry in the small premium utility segment, will go on sale next year with a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price of $33,995, including destination and delivery charges. This is the most accessible starting price point in the segment.

Three trim levels will be available when the vehicle goes on sale: Premiere, Select and Reserve, each offering an array of luxury content and amenities so owners can select features best suited to their needs.

"As the newest entrant in small premium utility, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment, we have to offer our clients a fresh and compelling proposition," said Matt VanDyke, Director, Global Lincoln. "The Lincoln MKC offers the lowest base entry price in the segment as well as a host of first-to-segment features."

The Lincoln MKC debuts with a fully turbocharged lineup featuring EcoBoost® engines. It also introduces Approach Detection, which senses when an owner is near and responds by illuminating "welcome mats" on the ground next to both front doors. Simultaneously, headlamps, taillamps and door handles glow with soft lighting tuned to complement the vehicle's exterior color.

Also standard is Lincoln signature push-button gear shift that controls the automatic transmission.

The 2015 Lincoln MKC with the Reserve package, 2.3-liter EcoBoost Engine ($1,140) and optional all-wheel drive and continuously controlled damping (CCD) suspension ($2,495 MSRP) offers a lower MSRP than similarly equipped entries from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

2015 Lincoln MKC standard equipment

-Active Noise Control (ANC)
-Electric power-assisted steering (EPAS)
-Electronic parking brake
-15.5-gallon fuel tank
-Hill Start Assist
-Push-button shift
-SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle shifters
-Torque Vectoring Control

-Anodized roof rails without cross-bars
-Body-colored bumpers/fascias, door handles and spoiler
-Bright beltline molding
-Color-keyed exterior antenna
-Dual exhausts with chrome exhaust tips
-Front license-plate brackets
-Front solar-tinted and privacy glass
-Auto on/off HID headlamps with LED signature lighting
-Body-colored, dual-power heated mirrors with memory; integrated spotter mirrors
-Smoked Chrome front grille
-LED signature taillamps
-18-inch painted aluminum wheels
-P235/50R18 tires
Steel mini spare wheel – tire T165/70R17

-Four-way manual adjustable front/rear headrests
-Aluminum trim on door panel, console and instrument panel
-Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control (DEATC) climate control
-Power door locks
-Driver and passenger dual illuminated visors with ticket clip
-Driver and passenger seatback coat hooks and map pockets
-Driver and passenger power windows with one-touch up/down
-Enhanced particulate air filter
-First- and second-row floor mats
-Front floor console with storage with two cupholders
-Electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror
-Overhead console with sunglasses holder
-First-row seats: 10-way power driver's seat with two-way power lumbar and memory; four-way power front-passenger seat with power recline; heated first-row seats; Lincoln Luxury Soft Touch seating surfaces
-Second-row seats: 60/40 fold-flat split bench with recline
-Leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed and redundant audio controls; manual tilt and telescoping
-Touch LED map lights
-Lincoln Experiences welcome/farewell elements: Lincoln Logo welcome mat; door-handle illumination; Approach Detection; signature lighting fade up

-Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
-Dual-stage front airbags
-Driver knee airbag
-Side airbags
-Side air curtains
-Emergency brake assist
-Interactive vehicle dynamics with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC®)
-Lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH)
-Perimeter alarm
-Rear camera
-SecuriCode™ keypad
-SecuriLock® passive anti-theft system
-SOS Post Crash Alert
-Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
-Traction control

-Two-speed rear wipers with washer
-Active Grille Shutters
-Lincoln Premium Sound System with nine speakers and subwoofer with single-CD/MP3 player; auxiliary input jack; SIRIUS® Satellite Radio (48 contiguous states; service not available in Alaska and Hawaii)
-Cruise control
-Easy Fuel® capless fuel filler
-Front driver and passenger grab handle
-Intelligent Access with push-button start
-Intermittent speed-sensitive front wipers
-Message center with compass
-Outside temperature gauge
-Four powerpoints: two in front, one in rear, auxiliary in luggage compartment
-Rear-window defroster
-Remote start
-Reverse sensing system
-SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch®: 8-inch touch screen in center stack; media hub with two USB ports, SD card reader and RCA video input jacks; five-way controls on steering wheel; voice-activated communication and entertainment system

2015 Lincoln MKC series
2015 Lincoln MKC Premiere Select Reserve
MSRP $33,995 $37,225 $40,930
Engine 2.0-liter EcoBoost 2.0-liter EcoBoost
2.3-liter EcoBoost available
2.0-liter EcoBoost
2.3-liter EcoBoost available
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain FWD standard; AWD available
Features See standard equipment above Premiere content plus:
18-inch Luster Nickel wheels
10-way power passenger seat
Ambient lighting
Universal garage door opener
Turn-signal lamps embedded in mirrors
Configurable daytime running lamps
Power folding mirrors
New Lincoln steering wheel featuring Wollsdorf leather
Select content

Vista Roof with power shades
Voice-activated navigation
Hands-free liftgate
BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert
18-inch polished, two-tone wheels
Power tilt/telescoping steering wheel
Cooled front seats
Embedded modem
Free-standing packages
Package name MSRP Features
Select Plus (available only with Select) $1,100 Voice Activated Navigation
BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert
Technology (available only with Reserve) $2,235 Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support
Active park assist
Lane-keeping system
Front sensing system
Climate (available on Select and Reserve) $580 Heated rear seat
Heated steering wheel
Auto high-beam headlamps
Rain-sensing wipers
Free-standing features
Feature MSRP
2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine $1,140
All-wheel drive with continuously controlled damping (CCD) suspension $2,495
Enhanced THX® II Certified Audio System $995
19-inch premium painted wheels $395
20-inch premium painted wheels $995
CCD suspension (optional on FWD only, standard on AWD) $650

The 2015 Lincoln MKC will be built at Louisville Assembly Plant and is due in Lincoln showrooms in summer of 2014.

Keep checking back for the latest breaking news right here on!

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Is The All-New Lincoln MKC The FIRST Lincoln In A LONG Time That's Actually Class Competitive? PRICING Announced...

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