When other brands start making comparisons with your brand's total sales volume by comparing it with one of their trim levels, as GMC has comparing its Denali sub-brand with Lincoln's total volume, you know you've got a long way to climb. The days of Lincoln relying on Town Car or even more recently MKZ sales alone to float the brand are long over. Today, legitimate luxury brands by necessity have to have a luxury crossover in their lineup. Lincoln already has the MKX, but the Edge-based two-row midsize hasn't exactly set the sales charts ablaze. Dearborn's upscale brand hopes the 2015 Lincoln MKC will be the play to catapult it into the thick of the premium crossover segment. Starting at just $33,995 for the entry Premiere trim including destination, value looks to be one of the MKC's strong points.

Based on the Ford Escape, the MKC has a much smoother, elegant profile, with unique touches inside and out to differentiate it from its blue-collar brethren. The MKC's all-EcoBoost engine lineup starts with the 2.0 engine shared with top-trim Escape models producing 240 hp and 270 lb-ft. For those who crave a little more power, a 2.3-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost will be available producing 275 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, available on the Select and Reserve trims, both of which come standard with the 2.0-liter engine. The 2.3-liter engine is a $1140 option on both models.

Pricing for the Select trim starts and $37,225, and the Reserve starts at $40,930. All-wheel drive is a $2495 option on all trims. Navigation is optional on the Select trim as part of the $1100 Select Plus package which also includes a blind spot warning system and cross-traffic alert. The Reserve trim includes navigation as standard, and adds a hands-free liftgate, cooled front seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Wheel upgrades include 19 and 20-inch sizes for all trims. The MKC will be built at Ford's Louisville assembly on the same line as the Escape, and will be in dealerships summer 2014.

Source: Lincoln