2011 Lincoln MKT AWD Review


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2011 Lincoln MKT

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 2011 Lincoln MKT AWD
Engine: 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
Horsepower/Torque: 355 hp @ 5,700 rpm/350 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 117.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 207.6 x 85.7 x 67.4 in.
Tires: P255/45R20
Cargo volume: 17.9/39.6/75.9 cu. ft. (third row seat backs up/third row seat backs down/second row seat backs down)
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/18.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.6 gal.
Curb weight: 4,857 lbs.
Sticker: $57,775 (includes $795 destination and delivery plus $7,770 in options)

The Bottom Line: The Lincoln MKT, while based on the Ford Edge platform, is a much better looking, larger and more capable vehicle. Technically a crossover, the MKT can serve as a cargo or people hauler, a limousine, or a family car.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Lincoln has a nomenclature problem. What's the difference between a MKT, MKZ and whatever other MK they have? Life is so much easier for we senior citizens with names like Zephyr, etc.

That said, the new 2011 MKT is the kind of vehicle Lincoln needs if it is to survive. Based loosely on the Ford Edge, it is so much more than the Edge. It's bigger, wider, has a longer wheelbase and, while it shares some of the Edge's styling, the MKT has a more limousine-like rear end treatment.

I also fell in love with the "cinnamon metallic" exterior paint color, which is more chocolate-like. Chocolate or cinnamon, I like `em both.

Lincoln has crafted a neat vehicle in the 2011 MKT. It's a nice package, with a rear end that is not the same as the Edge, nor is the front. It also has some nice "luxury" touches, like blue-lighted foot wells and blue-lighted cup holders in the center console.

But what is it? Is it an SUV, a CUV or a wagon? There are three rows of seats, so it could be called a wagon. In addition, the second and third row seat backs can be folded to create a flat cargo floor all the way to the backs of the front seats with 75.9 cubic feet of cargo volume. Even with all the seats up, there are 17.9 cubic feet of cargo, which should be enough for family trips.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivers 355 horsepower, which is more than enough for the 4,857-lb. MKT. The engine is noisier than you'd expect from a Lincoln (or a V6) on hard acceleration, but it's relatively quiet in normal driving.

Handling is also good for a big car with a fairly tall aspect ratio. We drove the MKT over our hillclimb test course and it did well. there are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for the manual mode of the 6-speed automatic, but they're really unnecessary; there's no need to shift a vehicle of this type.

Front seats are comfortable, if firm. The AWD mechanics under the floor do restrict foot room slightly, but only toward the seat. These seats are heated and cooled, a treat in some hot weather.

The second row bucket seats have excellent legroom. There's also a second row console with two cup holders, a deep cubby and 110V and 12V outlets. The second row console also has a cooler/freeze compartment.

The third row seats are tight, but useful. The flat floor allows for three people to sit back there, but there are belts for only two (unless I missed the center one).

The cargo area has tie-downs to secure anything you might be carrying. In addition, the button for the power door is located on the left side of the cargo area. My wife was able to reach this one, while she sometimes can't reach power hatch buttons that are located on the hatch.

On the dash is an interesting navi system display. On power up, it is a triple view, with audio and HVAC settings on one side and the map on the other half. However, if you change the map, getting back to this more practical view is difficult.

For a view of the sky, there is a double sunroof. The visors have a sliding feature that helps position it better.

Lincoln has added a blind spot warning system to alert the driver to cars that may be in the right or left blind spots. This light is located inside the exterior rear view mirrors. There's also a crash warning; a string of red lights light up along the bottom of the windshield and there's an audio alert as well.

Our tester was equipped with Microsoft Sync, which is supposed to connect the entertainment and telephone functions. I couldn't get it to work with my iPod (Microsoft vs. Apple?). so I changed stations manually.

Overall, I liked the 2011 Lincoln MKT. It carries a healthy price sticker, but it has a lot of functionality that makes it almost worth it.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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