2010 Lincoln MKS Review

2010 Lincoln MKS - Big power.


The story behind the all-new 2009 Lincoln MKS was that you had this wonderfully attractive vehicle that looked the part of a luxury sedan but didn't quite have the upgrade engine available to make it an outstanding luxury performer.

However, with the base model priced at $40,870, the MKS had a really competitive starting point.

Enter the 2010 MKS EcoBoost. This newest version of the MKS comes in front- or all-wheel drive with a new 355-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, this EcoBoost engine option pushes the MKS into direct competition with some of the best sedans in the class, but at a much lower price.

My MKS EcoBoost tester had a flawless Tuxedo Black exterior hue that beautifully contrasted the optional 20-inch chrome rims (part of a $2,995 EcoBoost appearance package) and huge waterfall grille inspired by the classic 1941 Lincoln Continental's showpiece cue. Lincolns are supposed to be luxury cars and this MKS exudes exterior elegance while still offering an athletic profile. You may recognize a tiny bit of the Taurus in this MKS.

Inside the quiet cabin of the MKS you will find attention to detail and a refined palette. My tester exhibited a two-tone saddle leather that was comfortable and attractive. While I appreciated the extra-soft surface treatments, my biggest concern was with the lack of statement within the MKS' interior. Everything looked great, but there wasn't one thing that was truly memorable.

That's still to come.

Dash gauges and audio/climate controls are easily seen and reached while sightlines for the driver are excellent. Front seats are heated and cooled and 12-way power adjustments for both driver and passenger allow for perfect seating positions. Rear seats are also heated. The steering wheel had all the necessary audio and climate controls at hand, though the shifter paddles seemed a bit out of place for me.

Ford's Sync system, which offers voice control for cell phones and MP3 players, is a unique hands-free system that is convenient and addictive. I love the standard capless fuel-filler system that allows you to fill the fuel tank without touching a gas cap.

Other available features include a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic updates, front-obstacle detection, a rearview camera, keyless entry and starting, and adaptive cruise control.

A totally new option for the 2010 Lincoln MKS is a hands-free parallel parking system ($535). If you live in the city, this will pay for itself in a week; if you live in the suburbs and fear the dreaded parallel, this is a must-add option.

It is important to note that you can still opt for the original base 275-horsepower V-6 power plant. It costs less and does use the same six-speed transmission; however, it does not deliver the luxo-performance aspect the EcoBoost offers.

The EcoBoost V-6 is a strong engine with smooth at-hand (or foot) power that really makes this MKS a competitor with the likes of Cadillac STS and Infiniti M45 - at a much more reasonable price.

I found the MKS to handle best in less aggressive maneuvers, which happens to be exactly what it was designed to do. This is not a BMW suspension with a taut plant and a need to hold you in place as you careen through a slalom course. On the contrary, this EcoBoost power plant wants to get up and go, which it does with ease, but it handles softer than performance sedans that pride themselves on ride characteristics.

Available safety features include antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags and front side airbags.

My tester, after adding in more than $8,300 in options, came to rest at an impressive $56,625. A trifle expensive for the normal sedan, but this MKS is not normal and with the EcoBoost power on the 2010 model, there is a value in the performance that makes up for any miscues on the interior.


ENGINE: 355-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6

TRANSMISION: six-speed automatic

DRIVETRAIN: all-wheel drive

FUEL ECONOMY: 17 city/25 highway

BASE PRICE: $47,760

AS TESTED: $56,625

WEB SITE: www.Lincoln.com

John Stein

John Stein grew up in an extended family that valued the art of going fast. Spending plenty of weekends at U.S. 30 Drag Strip and Sante Fe Speedway, he fondly remembers the screaming machines and the flying mud that made those long-gone racing havens such special memories. With plenty of late nights spent ‘tinkering’ with cars throughout high school, he never anticipated his interest cars and his love for writing might find a common ground. After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1988, John started writing for the weekly Southtown Economist. So, when the Economist went to a daily in 1994, and needed an auto editor, John took the proverbial steering wheel. Featured weekly in the Sun-Times and its 17 suburban publications, as well as ELITE Magazine, John balances being the Automotive Editor for Sun-Time Media with being a husband and dad in Plainfield, Illinois.