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2006 Lincoln Mark LT 4X4 Review


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THE AUTO PAGE By
JOHN HEILIG

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer's Guide for Lincoln

SPECIFICATIONS

MODEL: 2006 Lincoln Mark LT 4X4
ENGINE: 5.4-liter V8
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 300 hp @ 5,000 rpm/365 lb.-ft. @ 3,750 rpm 
TRANSMISSION: 4-speed automatic
WHEELBASE: 138.5 in.
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 223.8 x 78.9 x 73.5 in.
TIRES: P265/60R18 all-season
CARGO: 1620 lbs. Maximum payload
ECONOMY: 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway
PRICE: $43,605 (includes $850 destination and delivery charge)
 
Lincoln tried to market a pickup truck in 2002-2003 with the Blackwood. While this had semi-luxury, it wasn't practical, with black wood in the cargo bed, among other things. This time, the Lincoln Mark LT pickup is a chromed-up version of the F-150 that has the luxury (chrome and leather), but still retains the versatility and utility of the F-150. One would guess that this effort will be a stronger one.

The Lincoln Mark LT uses the F-150's crew cab chassis on a long 139-inch wheelbase. Overall length is approximately 18.5 feet, which can make maneuverability a challenge in crowded mall parking lots. However, the full rear seats can accommodate three adults in sedan-like comfort, although the one in the middle will have reduced legroom. Those rear passengers will be treated to plenty of leg-, shoulder- and headroom. One great advantage of crew cab pickups is the comfort to be found in the rear seats. Every vehicle (essentially) has good front-seat comfort. It's the rear where many vehicles are comfort-challenged. Front seats are powered, leather-covered and heated. The passengers in the rear only get the leather.

I must admit, when the Mark LT arrived in my driveway, I was impressed. This is a huge black vehicle with tons of chrome. Somehow, the Ford/Lincoln designers were able to add maximum chrome trim to the F-150 without making it look ridiculous.

The thrill faded somewhat when I entered the truck. For there, in the driver's door pocket, was a folder listing F-150 add-ons that could be purchased at your local dealer. There's no pretense that this isn't an F-150. Granted, it's an F-150 you can take to the country club and might not want to take to the dump, but you would think they'd try to keep it a little secret, at least.

Under the long, chrome-trimmed hood is a 5.4-liter three-valve-per-cylinder V8 pumping out 300 horsepower. Since the Mark LT weighs 5,370 pounds unloaded, every one of those horses will be needed, especially if you carry cargo. Our cargo-carrying forays were limited, but we have full confidence that, like with the F-150, it will carry its load.

There is a bogey, of course. Fuel economy is listed at 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. We didn't have the truck long enough to do a test mileage, but with today's exorbitant fuel prices, you might have to take out a loan to fill the 30-gallon fuel tank, even with regular gas.

The Mark LT is built on a 139-inch wheelbase, which offers great highway ride characteristics. There's no better way to ensure a smooth ride than with a long wheelbase and weight. Rolls-Royce used that formula for years. The Mark LT has excellent highway manners, and with four-wheel drive (that should be disengaged on the highway), its off-road manners should be good too. Just don't chip up all that chrome.

For entertainment, we had an AM/FM 6-disc CD changer. In addition, there was a DVD rear-seat entertainment system ($1,295) to keep those comfortable passengers entertained as well. Among the options were a 3.73 ratio limited slip axle ($300), power adjustable pedals that are necessary for the height-challenged ($120), platform running boards (250), power sliding rear window ($250), trailer tow package ($350), 18-inch chrome clad wheels ($495), chrome box rail bars ($250), and a reverse sensing system that's also necessary ($245).

The bottom line is steep at more than $43,000. The base price ($39,200) is also steep for a truck, but if you want luxury, or at least the appearance of luxury, then this might fit the bill. 2005 The Auto Page Syndicate