2011 Lincoln MKT Review

2011 Lincoln MKT - Lincoln MKT pairs power with luxury.


The 2011 Lincoln MKT is not your typical luxury crossover.

Instead, MKT's stance is significantly lower, making it easier to enter and exit. And another benefit of being hunkered to the ground is MKT's incredibly agreeable driving dynamics.

Some may not like MKT's distinctive exterior styling but I find it quite attractive. The bold front fascia features a signature split-wing grille that's unmistakably Lincoln. Large 19-inch or available 20-inch wheels provide some added bling.

Call it a crossover, but I see MKT as an appealing, luxurious, contemporary wagon. It's more wagonlike, and I mean that in a good way.

MKT offers three rows of seating and is loaded with many standard amenities and safety features.

All models include a fixed glass panoramic vista roof with power front and rear shades, intelligent access with push-button starting, adaptive HID headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, 8-inch touch screen for audio and climate controls, capless fuel filler, MyKey programmable vehicle key, rear-view camera, SYNC voice-activated communication and entertainment system, and much more.

Pricing for the MKT starts at $44,995 for a front-wheel-drive model. The base MKT is powered by a strong 268-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional and comes standard in the top-of-the-line MKT with the EcoBoost engine.

Yes, the EcoBoost is the same twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine offered in the performance-oriented Ford Taurus SHO.

Rated at 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the EcoBoost engine makes the MKT quite the performer.

Plus, MKT models with the EcoBoost engine ($49,200) also include AWD, 20-inch polished wheels and an innovative electric power steering system that compensates for factors like road crown and steady crosswinds to help reduce driver fatigue.

Whether you opt for the naturally aspirated V-6 or the EcoBoost, you can splurge for the elite package, which adds a power panoramic glass roof, THX II 600-watt audio system, voice-activated navigation system with HD radio (new for 2011), blind spot monitoring and a power-fold third-row seat.

Those who choose the EcoBoost and the elite package can add active park assist, which automatically parks the car for you quickly and painlessly.

Even without all the added goodies, slip inside MKT and you'll be greeted by an ultra-luxurious cabin featuring high-quality materials, precision-stitched craftsmanship, a jewel-like acrylic instrument cluster and seating for six or seven passengers.

I like MKT's standard 8-inch touch screen that allows you to control the climate and audio systems by either touch or voice.

The standard back-up camera displays on that screen and so does the available voice-activated navigation system.

I also like the ambient lighting that bathes the foot wells and door pockets with soft glowing light that you can personalize from cool blue to warm orange or white.

If you take long trips you might want to add the optional second-row refrigerator console. This refrigerator, which can chill up to seven 12-ounce cans, four half-liter bottles or two 20-ounce bottles, actually uses a compressor. There's even a freeze mode that'll go down to 23 degrees.

You really have to drive the MKT to fully appreciate it. The ride is extremely smooth and quiet. The family will actually look forward to those long road trips, especially if you opt for the available dual headrest family entertainment system with twin 7-inch screens.

MKT's sloping roof line does cut into headroom for third-row passengers. And rear visibility is hampered when driving forward. Still, the MKT is extremely delightful to ride in and drive.


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

TRANSMISSION: six-speed automatic

DRIVETRAIN: all-wheel drive

FUEL ECONOMY: 16 city/21 highway

BASE PRICE: $49,200

AS TESTED: $57,775 (including $795 for destination)

WEBSITE: Lincoln.com