LINKIN' LINCOLN'S LINE-UP
Published on Sat, Nov 21, 2009
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Lincoln's new MKT features the 355 hp EcoBoost V6
LINKIN' LINCOLN'S LINE-UP
By Harold Osmer
By Harold OsmerHeadlining Lincoln's lineup is the all-new MKT crossover. The seven passenger MKT provides ample room, quiet, and power for long or short drives in luxurious comfort. MKT shares the same base chassis and driveline platform as its Flex cousin. But there are no interior or exterior parts shared between the two. Indeed, these are two very different vehicles. MKT is much more upscale than Flex (which we like very much). Our first impression was set at first touch, before the door had closed. Lincoln stylists have returned to their signature split-wing grill design up front, bevel chamfer down the shoulder, and full-width taillight arrangement. Call it a return to Lincoln's DNA and you'll have the right idea. In the way-back days, Ford allowed Lincoln to become as much a rebadging exercise as anything else. Those days are gone.
Lincoln's MKX MKT imparts a luxury experience upon driver and passengers which exceeds that of its market segment competitors. The tactile feedback of MKT's interior speaks of quality craftsmanship. Standard (if such a word still applies at Lincoln) interior features include genuine wood trim, leather seating surfaces for first and second rows, and a combination of leather/wood on the steering wheel. Tri-zone air conditioning, touch screen systems control, and global one-touch up/down window controls are just a few of the elements that bring MKT to the head of the line. Optional heated/cooled second row seats are a well-thought addition. Acoustic dampening via door lamination, glass treatments, and body quality provides a super quiet ride at all speeds. The utility of fold-flat seats creates a high-class carrier with minimal effort for those times when more capacity calls. Lincoln's high-tech SYNC system keeps you in touch with MKT's operation at all times. We've seen and tested automated parking assist systems in the past and were blown away by MKT's Active Park Assist. The parallel parking system activates with a single button then aids in selecting an appropriately sized space. It then guides you through a very quick, hands-free parking procedure. We're pretty good at parallel parking ourselves, but would be hard pressed to maneuver any quicker or more accurately than Active Park Assist.
Lincoln's MKZ We drove the new EcoBoost powered version and found the turbocharger system seamless, smooth, and predictable under a variety of conditions and hills. At 3.5-liters displacement, the V6 EcoBoost engine is slightly smaller than the stock 3.7-liter Duratec while offering up 87 additional horsepower (355 from 268). EcoBoost also delivers a nearly flat torque curve peaking at 350 ft.-lb. in the useable range of 1,500 rpm to 5,250 rpm. All this comes with astounding 16/22 mpg numbers. V8s can only dream of such things. Lincoln engineers are once again serious about their cars. The MKT crossover is a big hit in our book. We had short visits with the MKS and MKZ sedans as well and were equally impressed with the distinctive styling, luxury appointments, and the overall quality, feel, and driveability of these cars. A longer visit with them is very much on our agenda. For more information about Lincoln products, go to www.lincoln.com