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2013 Lincoln MKS AWD Review By John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2013 Lincoln MKS AWD



Model: 2013 Lincoln MKS AWD
Engine: 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6
Horsepower/Torque: 365 hp @ 5,500 rpm/350 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Select Shift
Wheelbase: 112.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 205.6 x 79.4 x 61.6 in.
Tires: P245/45R20
Cargo volume: 19.2 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20.5 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.0 gal.
Curb weight: 4,436 lbs.
Sticker: $58,265 (includes $875 delivery, $7,500 in options)

The Bottom Line: While many lament the passing of the Lincoln Town Car, Lincoln is doing something to erase the memories of the old-school big car. In its place, there is the Lincoln MKS, which is Lincoln's version of the Ford Taurus (the big one). While it may not have all the size of the Town Car, it is a modern car on a modern chassis and will go miles toward erasing the TC's memory.

I have a bone to pick with Lincoln. While I'm not dumb enough to not realize that all Lincolns have Ford underpinnings (just as Most Cadillacs are Chevys at heart), my gripe is the nomenclature. If you're not one of the cognoscenti, can you say offhand exactly what is an MKS or an MKT or an MKZ? I can't either.

Anyway, our tester today is the MKS, which is Lincoln's version of the Ford Taurus, which is the updated version of the Ford Five Hundred. The Five Hundred Taurus is a big car, and in fact the MKS is listed as a large car. I don't know if it will find favor in the livery market, but compared to other vehicles that are definitely going for that market, it should be a competitor.

Being a large car, one would expect that the ride quality would be very good, and it is. The MKS is a nice driver/rider. It's comfortable with features that made it a near-ideal cruiser post-Sandy.

There is plenty of room to stretch out in the front seats, They offer good side support, even though this isn't a sporty car. The only problem I had was with the headrests which leaned forward too much and I found difficult to find the ideal position. The front seats are heated and cooled, although we made most of our use of the heated side of the equation.

Ambient lighting kept the footwells clear with a soft blue light.

In the rear, leg and knee room is fine. There was about 2-3 inches of space between my knees and where I usually position the front seat. there's also a fold-down arm rest with two cup holders and a small console in the rear. The rear seats are heated. The side rear windows have shades, if you want privacy. There's a power rear shade.

While the large sun roof extends to the rear, only the front portion opens. However, with a glass roof, there's no claustrophobic feeling in the back.

I found plenty of power from the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6. The engine is rated at 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more than enough to keep the 4,436-pounbd MKS from getting in its own way. It's basically a smooth engine, but it does tend to complain a bit when you floor the accelerator to merge. Generally, though, it's a quiet engine.

We averaged 20.5 mpg in our test. As I mentioned, we did a lot of local driving to assess the damage caused by Sandy, so someone who does more highway driving might expect a higher number.

Safety features abound in the MKS, some are optional. For example, the optional blind spot monitoring system is a wonderful aid in highway driving. I discovered how much I missed it in a later test car.

Also, part of the adaptable cruise control system is a collision warning system. At first I scoffed at this feature, until I needed it and used it on a dark two-lane road one night. I was cruising along at a safe distance behind the car in front of me. But I was distracted for a fraction of a second and the red lights flashed at the base of the windshield and an alarm went off. I hit the brakes and noticed that the car in front had stopped. Fortunately, the MKS recognized it.

While the sound system was very good, as was the HVAC system, I had difficulty with the volume and fan controls. Both are sliding switches, and if you don't have the right touch, you can go very loud or soft unintentionally.

The trunk is a nice size with a wide opening. There's also a pass-through to the rear seats if you're carrying long objects.

Because of my generation, I liked the Town Car. I also like the MKS, which replaces the Town Car in Lincoln's stable. Over time, it will differentiate itself even more from the Taurus, although it isn't doing a bad job now.

2012 The Auto Page