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2010 Lincoln MKT AWD Luxury Crossover Review

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)
2010 Lincoln MKT AWD

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Specs, Pics and Prices-Lincoln Buyers Guide

By Bruce Hubbard
Auto Advisor Group

Lincoln was Henry Leland’s dream in 1921. The cost of his vision was too high for the market and his company was taken over by Henry Ford for 8 million dollars. Henry Ford and his son Edsel took the dream of luxury and performance to heights that few automakers were able to do.

Today, William Clay Ford Jr. has decided that Lincoln and Ford will be Green and reduce CO2 gases. He also took great strides to have the engineers at Ford develop as Edsel Ford did the best designs. He does not want to put diesel cars into the US market, yet. I feel that this is a major mistake. Ford and the company are on a roll and eventually they will see that what they are already doing in Taiwan, Europe and other parts of the world needs to be brought to the USA.

Quality, fit and finish in the 2010 Lincoln MKT are exactly what Henry Leland would have demanded in 1921. Perhaps equaling the most impressive Lincoln cars of the 1930's when elegant bodies housed the superb V 12 engine. Later Edsel Ford took the design team and even produced more style into the Lincoln Brand. In 1936 Edsel B. Ford produced the Zephyr and later the famed Continental.

The Ford designer that took a piece of paper and designed the new 2010 MKT is no longer with Ford. Peter Horbury went back to Volvo where he had previously worked. I remember when he was in Miami with our Southern Automotive Group a few years back to introduce the Ford Flex. The Ford Flex and our Lincoln MKT share the same frame, have the same wheel base, engine and other amenities. Standard models of each do not offer the upgraded suspension that comes with Eco Boost is the Flex or MKT. Peter Horbury’s inspiration with the Ford Flex and the other Lincoln vehicles continues at Ford design and I expect that all the new designers will try to even do better than Peter. The future of Ford Motor Car looks good if the team keeps making new vehicles as fine as the Mks , MK Ultra, MC5, MKZ and MKT.

“We’re growing Lincoln’s product portfolio with a full-size crossover that offers more of everything luxury buyers want today – including more variety,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

I drove the high end 2010 Lincoln MKT on some of the most challenging roads of the great Northeast. The Lincoln four door, seven passenger MKT with the optional all wheel drive system and their magnificent V6 EcoBoost engine.

The Lincoln MKT is just a bit over 207 inches. Looks large but drives more like a car thanks to the Lincoln having the car like chassis that so many crossovers now have.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

Standard on every Lincoln MKT is the brand’s signature design – complete with a split waterfall grille, a beveled chamfer along the vehicle’s shoulder line, a flowing cantrail that frames the greenhouse and full-width horizontal taillamps that span the subtly curved weight-saving magnesium liftgate that adds visual character while protecting generous rear cargo space.

The standard 2010 Lincoln MKT front wheel drive model offers a standard 3.7 liter V6 that delivers 268 horses but is not equal to the fuel efficient 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost. In all wheel drive add a few more thousands and look at a figure approaching $50,000. The test vehicle was the all wheel driver version of the 2010 MKT that adds around $4000.00 to the sticker price. For the $4000 you also voice activation on navigation system and a top end THX surround sound system. In addition the Blind Spot monitoring system is included.

The fuel economy is better than the large Lincoln Navigator which I love. 16 miles per gallon in the city and on the highway Lincoln states 22 miles per gallon.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

The EcoBoost engine produces 355 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.. Its tremendous low-end torque provides smooth power on demand, as well as excellent launch and acceleration. This advanced engine delivers a class-leading estimated 355 horsepower at 5,700 RPM, while generating 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 RPM. Bosch systems are one reason the EcoBoost is here today. Their knowledge of direct injection and turbo charging has improved performance and fuel economy in gasoline and diesel engines. The Ford EcoBoost engine has received awards and raves from the press and the first customers who have purchased the big and bold Lincoln MKT.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD(select to view enlarged photo)

Getting into the Lincoln MKT is easy with the four doors as is seen here.

Behind the wheel is impressive in the MKT. It is what you would expect in a high end Crossover/SUV. Superb seating with a great steering wheel that has all controls at your fingers. If you have activated the Gates Microsoft voice system you can do most of the same demands by merely speaking to the navigation system.

Voice-Activated Navigation System with Integrated SIRIUS Travel Link SIRIUS offers both SIRIUS Satellite Radio with more than 130 channels of music, news, sports and more, and integrated SIRIUS Travel Link™ with the available Navigation System. And right now, both come with an introductory six-month subscription. Travel Link provides real-time traffic information, current and forecast national weather information, gas prices and stations, live sports scores and schedules, and movie times with theater locations.* On top of all that, it has a 10GB hard drive so you can store approximately 2,400 songs. Browse your music with your fingertips on the touch screen or use voice activation to play back a track. *Real-time traffic monitoring

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

The steering wheel also controls the adaptive HID headlamps. This to me is another safety feature Lincoln has offered to their customers. On the mountain passes of Pennsylvania the lights followed the direction I turned. The steering wheel moves the lights to follow the path you travel. In addition steering is now electric in many of Ford and Lincoln vehicles saving the customer fuel at the pump.

Blind Spot or BLISS uses two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels. The radar detects moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side-view mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. An audible alert is sounded as well.

On the 2010 Lincoln MKT also had another great safety system.That was their adaptive cruise control and collision warning system.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead. When the danger of a collision is detected, the system warns the driver with an authoritative beep and a red warning light projected on the windshield above the instrument panel. The system also automatically pre-charges brakes and engages a brake-assist feature that helps drivers quickly reach maximum braking once the brakes are engaged.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support offers three programmable alert settings ranging from approximately 1.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds.

“It depends on the user’s preference, because one person’s false alarm may be another person’s near miss, and it's important that drivers are comfortable with the system,” said Tom Pilutti, technical expert, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Some people have a slower reaction time, and the longer time setting may meet their needs better than the shorter setting. Our research shows that most drivers will prefer and feel more comfortable with the longer default setting.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, forward collision warning systems like Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support have the potential to help prevent the kind of rear-end crashes that occurred 2.3 million times per year from 2002-2006 – almost 40 percent of the total crashes reported to police each year in the U.S.

The side air bags and safety canopy are a plus in the 2010 Lincoln MKT. It uses two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels. The radar detects moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side-view mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. An audible alert is sounded as well. In addition every MKT has Ford’s dynamic stability control system and roll over security system. Add this with the front and rear independent suspension along with the optional all wheel drive system and on slippery surfaces the big Lincoln MKT keeps moving in a straight line.

A new rear suspension system features a “one for one” shock absorber ratio. The resulting linear response gave the engineering team a stable base line for suspension tuning, allowing better balance between responsive handling and control as well as a smooth ride. It also improves rear suspension isolation and enables the use of 20-inch wheels.

A feature that may be considered a safety feature to many is the park assist that will assist you in tough parallel parking. I need this? But, it activates easily by merely pushing a button. In the future you will be able to talk to it. Sure Lexus was first with this technology but Ford and Lincoln have a new and even better system for park assist.. Superb system that will get you into the parking space and not allow you to ding the wonderful alloy wheels on the Lincoln MKT. This innovative Lincoln-exclusive technology employs an ultrasonic-based sensing system, as opposed to video camera-reliant competitive offerings, making hands-free parallel parking a breeze. Active Park Assist is also the first system to operate in uphill parking situations.

The MKT also has a back up camera that lets you know what is behind you. I also like it when trailering. I can back up the MKT to hitch and get it to the perfect spot to attach the trailer. I have done this alone with no problems at all! Of course you must add to the sticker the trailering package from Bosch which includes a superb trailer hitch and sway control for safety in trailering you boat or PWC on the highway. However, the vehicle I tested indicated I could only tow 4500 pounds. That is actually lower than the competition? With the diesel competition they tow a lot more. Or the V8 engines from GM and Dodge towing capacity is higher.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

The Lincoln MKT third row is not bad for short trips. Seats are comfortable but leg room is tight. The third row seats can be folded electrically thanks to buttons located by the rear hatch to fold the seats to a flat position which increases cargo capacity. Wonderful system. I need the cargo space. With the seats folded the cargo space is nearly 76 cubic feet!

Access to the rear cargo space is also made easy with the key fog. Merely push a button and it lifts up. Closing is just as simple with the same key fob or a button to allow it to close. However, if you do wish to sit in the third row it is darn good. Comfort but limited leg room. The opera style seating allows for view throughout equal to a greenhouse!

The Lincoln MKS and MKT deliver the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. Thanks to Bosch with their gasoline direct injection Ford has been able to downsize and boost the power of their engines. As with the MKT line of new SUV’s the engines are traditional gasoline except for the turbocharged EcoBoost MKT. Technology Enablers: In addition to this family of new gasoline turbo-charged direct injection engines – and as part of the company’s near- and mid-term plans – Ford will introduce a portfolio of technologies to achieve even greater fuel savings and emissions reductions.

A new generation of fuel-saving twin-clutch transmissions, which deliver the fuel economy of a manual with the convenience of an automatic. These new transmissions include greater use of 6-speeds to replace less-efficient 4- and 5-speed gearboxes. This advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control.

In addition, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a “matched-rev” downshift.

This capability makes the Lincoln MKT driving experience sporty, yet smooth. Unlike other competitive transmissions, SelectShift won’t “second guess” the driver with an override shift. With SelectShift, manual control is truly manually controlled.

During the next five years other EcoBoost engines will be sold world wide, Ford expects to introduce a range of gasoline turbo-charged direct injection engines in 4-cylinder and V-6 configuration in a significant number of vehicles globally.

In the Lincoln products the performance of the EcoBoost V 6 comes in from low 1500 rpm’s to 3000 rpms giving the feeling of a diesel (almost).

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

Other computer software has been advertised as a plus from Microsoft. The SYNC is a success and of course offered on every Ford and Lincoln vehicle. Bill Gates overlooks the Ford account as his own and has recently even come up with new voice activation for the upcoming F250 Diesel Trucks.

Sync effectively combines the car with a user’s cellular phone and portable music device, This includes cassette, CD players, DVD players, satellite radio, digital audio and video, text messaging, ring tones, games, navigation systems, e-mail, and others. There’s also telematics, such as roadside assistance or concierge services.

I drove the all wheel drive version of the Lincoln MKT and prefer that for North or Southern driving over the base 2 wheel drive sytem. The 2 wheel driver version is available well equipped for around $44,000. US dollars.

The competition from domestics like Jeep Commander and Buick Enclave offer quite a savings when you get the check book out. They too are wonderful vehicles to consider. The Jeep Commander has been proven over four years of hard work at our studio. The tow package we have with the Jeep Commander equals that sold as an option on the Lincoln MKT.

The Lincoln MKT has one of the newest six speed automatic transmissions with dual clutch that helps deliver better fuel economy. With the manual mode operational I was able to traverse the mountain ranges selecting the gear I wanted. With six speeds I found that third and forth with the powerful Eco Boost worked well. I Found that less braking was needed as I descended from the higher mountain roads than if I had kept it in drive mode.

This transmission was an upgrade to the successful 6F-50 transmission, the 6F-55 is dedicated solely to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and incorporates a number of component and calibration upgrades that help guarantee every bit of torque produced by the twin-turbocharged V-6 is seamlessly transmitted, giving customers that V-8-like performance they love, as well as the fuel economy they demand.

“Adapting the 6F architecture to the EcoBoost engine demanded a close look at every component, piece of hardware, and calibration measure to ensure that this transmission could answer the needs of a higher output engine; help, not hinder, fuel economy; and meet Ford’s strict durability standards,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering.

Diesel Power in the Lincoln MKT?

You know with the new diesel Ford will be putting in the F 250 and higher “commercial” models they could easily drop one it into the Navigator or the MKT? Why not. They brought over their best engineers from Europe to work on code name “Scorpion” engine. This had to be the best. It had to meet all US standards and beat the competition. Back a few years ago PSA Peugeot Citroen worked with the Blue Oval to drop a new high performance diesel into the Range Rover.

Ford sells the second most number of diesels in Europe. Even Bill Ford Jr has stated they can bring the expertise to the North American market with out a problem. When I want to know? With systems from the Bosch group Ford built a superb DIESEL engine. Borg Warner and others applaud what Audi, VW, Mercedes Benz and BMW have done with diesels in the US market. Not trucks but small cars, SUV’s and Crossovers.

Tim Manganello, chairman and CEO of BorgWarner Inc., notes diesel engines provide 30% better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts, as well as 25% fewer emissions and 50% greater torque. Ford states they want to be green. This would help.

“The problem is there aren’t many choices in the U.S.,” says Manganello, whose company supplies auto makers with parts for diesel engines. “But the Europeans are changing that.” BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG all sell diesels in the U.S. VW’s Jetta TDI has won several green awards, as well as a Ward’s 10 Best Engines nod.

Just a few years ago Wolfgang Hatz of VW/Audi stated that diesels did not make sense for the US market for they were not exciting. Twenty years later VW and others use Turbo Diesel Injection to make Diesels exciting. Hatz states what I believe today that few people even realize they are driving a diesel. No more smoke or smell. And as I have found in so many diesel cars and crossovers they are quiet.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

Inside the cabin it is all Lincoln. Sure the splendor of leather is abundant. Then add the wood trim. Certainly not a cheap version. They did it all including letting you have cooled or heated seats! Not just in the front but in the second row too! If you purchase the entertainment system the head rests have large screens in them for viewing.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD(select to view enlarged photo)

One amenity I insist upon is a moon/sunrrof and the MKT has a superb system that is very large. This allows front row and the second row passengers sun and fresh air. Customers get a standard fixed glass Panoramic Vista Roof with power-assisted front and rear sunshades – or the available Power Panoramic VistaT roof . T love the later and that was in our test vehicle.

Lincoln stands at the front of a crowded pack of wonderful crossover gasoline vehicles. Time will tell if it is a winner. Residual value is not yet known and will take some time to determine.

2010 Lincoln MKT AWD (select to view enlarged photo)

The 2010 Lincoln MKT photos I took show that nothing has been overlooked by the Lincoln Mercury engineering and design team. The vehicle is a star performer and all the amenities make it a winner in my mind. The MKT competes with some very impressive entries including the Audi Q7, the ACURA MDX, BMW’s X5 , the Mercedes Benz GL and R class, Jeep Commander Limited, Buick Enclave and the Volvo XC90. However, unlike the competition the Lincoln MKT is not offered in a diesel as is the Audi, VW, BMW, and Mercedes products.

Certainly the MKT will turn heads and make some serious dollars for Ford and Lincoln.

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Specs, Pics and Prices-Lincoln Buyers Guide

Text and Photos by Bruce Hubbard, Auto Advisor Group