The midsize luxury crossover arena is a hot one, with an ever-expanding roster vying for your upscale dollar.

Lincoln has given its all-wheel-drive five-seat MKX a major refresh for 2011. With a starting price of $46,500, it’s right in the thick of the BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti, Acura, Lexus and Land Rover fight.

The 2011 MKX gets new LED taillights, new headlamps, sculpted front fenders, 18-inch alloys (20s are optional), a new hood and, of course, Lincoln’s split-wing signature grill. To these eyes, it’s the best looking vehicle in Lincoln’s lineup — a classy take on the well-resolved proportions of the Ford Edge.

Power comes from a 3.7L V6 Ti-VCT that makes 305 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, and achieves 12.2 L/100 km city and 8.8 L /100 km highway.

The previous car’s cheap-ish interior gets ditched for a contemporary and finely detailed effort that nearly rivals those from Audi and Infiniti.

The horizontal finger-swipe bars for audio volume and fan speed are pretty cool but rotary knobs still work better.

Standard kit includes stitched dash-top, MyKey, heated and cooled leather front seats, remote start and MyLincoln Touch, the next level of connectivity between iPhone-dazed humanoids and their vehicles.

While it’s easy to get caught up in all the tech, a few hours on the road revealed Lincoln is also serious about giving the MKX some competitive moves. The suspension gets a makeover in the pursuit of more engaging road manners, and indeed, this 2011 is hands above the outgoing model when it comes to steering feel and body control.

Is the 2011 Lincoln MKX savvy enough to sway buyers from the premium Euro-brands? It may not have the badge, but it has the goods.

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