With Ford no longer owning Jaguar, Range Rover, or Aston Martin, its only luxury brands to concentrate on are Volvo and Lincoln. They still make Lincolns? That’s what I thought, until I had the opportunity to get a few minutes with the 2009 MKS at Ford’s upcoming model event back in August. I was impressed enough with the car there that I decided to get one into the garage for a full fledged review.
Ford sent over an essentially fully loaded all wheel drive model that had a sticker price around $47,000. For reference, the AWD model starts at $39,590. Optional equipment which was about $6,700 sticker price included the following:
- Technology package
- Navigation Package
- 19″ wheels
- Rain sensitive windshield wipers
- Dual panel moonroof
- Adaptive headlamps with auto high beam
- Forward sensing system
- Voice activated nav system
- Intelligent access key with push button start
- Rear view camera
- THX-II certified audio system with 5.1 surround sound
- Ultimate leather seating
- Adaptive cruise control
The 09 version of the MKS is built on the same platform as the Taurus/Sable/Taurus X and Flex, so you can kind of call it a pimped out Taurus. Under the hood you’ll find a 3.7-liter V6 that provides a decent 270hp and 256 ft-lbs of torque. The MKS is a bit of a fatty, weighing in at 4,127lbs, so it wouldn’t hurt to have slightly more power. With the bigger V6 making all that weight move, I was averaging about 19mpg…one of my only bigger complaints about the car. Then again, gas prices are down, and if you’re spending almost $50,000 on a luxury vehicle, how much do you care about spending a little more money on gas. The MKS does allow you to use a lower-grade gas in the car if you don’t mind it not performing optimally.
One big thing to keep in mind is that Lincoln is working on an EcoBoost version of the MKS which will supposedly feature a twin-turbo V6 with some of the hp estimates coming in around 350. While the car does move, enough to not really complain, it will really move with the additional ponies…and maybe even have better gas mileage. Even a 4-cylinder EcoBoost motor that makes similar power to the current model, but increases the gas mileage would be a welcome option.
Now that we’ve looked under the hood, lets talk about how the car is dressed. My personal opinion is that Lincoln did a fantastic job at designing this car. The split grille, which is the new Lincoln “look” is elegant and along with the nicely shaped headlights, give the Lincoln a very classy yet sporty/aggressive look. It screams luxury, but with a little muscle.
What I like best though is the rear of the car. The new vertical LED taillights and generally shape remind me of the Maserati Quattroporte…but better looking. While the overall design is not revolutionary, it does stand out as a handsome car in a sea of blandness.
The interior of the car is the best part of the MKS hands down. I was pleasantly surprised how nice all of the materials were, how comfortable the car was, and how ridiculously great the technology was integrated. One of the greatest steps that Ford has made with their lineup has been the integration of SYNC, a car operating system if you will, developed in conjunction with Microsoft. The added Sirius satellite radio with Travel Link allows you to do some really cool things like auto re-route your destination based on traffic, find the lowest fuel prices in your area, check sports scores and movie listings, and more. The voice activation feature to tie it all in works practically flawlessly, and is by far the best system I’ve ever used.
If you read the list of optional items that were included in the car, you need to know that everything other than the adaptive cruise control was part of the $5,715 “ultimate package”…and I wouldn’t buy the car without it. There is just too much cool, convenient stuff to not shell out for it. Take for example the 5.1 THX-II certified audio system. For audio cds that support it, you will be extremely impressed by the quality of the sound.
In regards to handling, I was pleasantly surprised to how well the MKS stuck to the road. While the car looks smaller than it is, it sits fairly high, especially at the rear. I’ll be honest, I was expecting a good amount of body roll. What I did find though was that I could take an exit ramp going 60 with no problems. I was also a little surprised at how much of the road I could feel, I mean it is a Lincoln right? I think this mostly had to do with the 19″ wheels that also provided a lower profile tire. Note that there is also an option for a 20″ wheel. While I did feel some of the road, the car was almost eerily quiet when driving. It was so smooth accelerating and shifting through gears. I had passengers in both the front and rear of the car, all complimenting the MKS on how incredibly smooth and comfortable the car was.
Speaking of comfortableness, the MKS definitely sticks to what you would imagine a Lincoln would be…notably comfortable. My rear passengers were pleased and with no complaints, they were happy about their rear heat warmers in the 30 degree rainy weather we were in.
The Lincoln MKS puts itself into a class of heavy competition. With cars like the BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF, Cadillac CTS/STS, Acura RL, Lexus GS, etc…it’s tough to come out as number one. What Lincoln does have going over the competition is the pricepoint. A fully loaded MKS will come in lower than most of the competition, but I still think it’s priced a little high. The initial reaction I was getting from most people was surprised when they found out how much it costs. While it’s a nice car, they really need to undercut the competition. I’d like to see a fully loaded AWD model come in at the lower $40,000 range if it’s possible. In reality though, it is a great buy for what it is…which is why it was nominated for car of the year from Motor Trend.
For more pictures, as well as the high resolution versions, see the Flickr set.