All photos by Ford
Lincoln is putting things in high gear to get back into the luxury sales race and we feel they are making solid strides with the 2011 Lincoln MKT AWD. This high end Crossover combines luxury, styling and power in a unassuming package that will surprise many who venture into this vehicle. The MKT derives from the same platform as the Ford Flex, though you would be hard pressed to know that unless you had the serial numbers of parts deep into the chassis.
When you first check out the MKT you'll notice the front dual-winged grille that shouts Lincoln. There is some overhang on the front end but the body balances it well with stealth lines along the side panels. Our test vehicle sat on 20" polished aluminum wheels that set the tone for the neatly packaged luxury mobile. The rear of the MKT had a tail light that ran across the lift gate with the Lincoln emblem in the middle. It really pulls together the sleek and smooth exterior design. The MKT we had the pleasure to drive was earth metallic and tallied up quite a few compliments from admirers in the wild.
The interior is where I was really impressed with the MKT and for so many reasons. The canyon premium leather seats were superb and gave the cabin the look and feel of a luxury sports sedan. This MKT had 2nd row bucket seats which were also right on target with heated and cooled seat controls at your fingertips. The dashboard was sleek and the walnut swirl wood accents dressed up the interior like a fashionable condo you might see on television. The SYNC voice-activated 8" screen had everything - SIRIUS, Navigation, CD/DVD players, touch screen audio and climate controls. The 12-way power driver’s seat was very comfortable and the seating was spacious in the first 2 rows. As is the case with many crossovers, the 3rd row was tight on headspace. I also felt the rear window view was blocked by the shape of the lift gate glass and very large 3rd row headrests. To overcome that problem I relied on the rearview camera and the blind spot monitoring system in the side mirrors, of which I am a big fan on the MKT and other Ford/Lincoln models. Other features that added to the well-appointed interior were ambient lighting, a huge panoramic power vista roof, 2nd row refrigerator console, and a leather wrapped steering wheel with our favorite walnut swirl accents from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock! At some point in the future you will probably see stretched Lincoln MKT’s for limousine service. What better way to pamper your guests than to build off the already plush interior cabin of the MKT? The Lincoln Town Car can rest easily knowing that the Lincoln MKT will keep the black limo rides in style across America!
We were fortunate to drive a MKT with the 3.5-liter twin turbo Eco boost V6 coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that provided 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. This wasn't our first experience with Eco boost and we were pleasantly surprised how the 3 row MKT handled. The quickness and firm handling while driving this large vehicle can convince you at times that you are in a sports sedan. From the time you hit the push-button start, the 3.5-liter Eco boost will not let you down. Any acceleration hesitation from past Lincoln's seemed to disappear. Our model also sported Active Park Assist which can operate in uphill parking spots and also uses ultrasonic sensors rather than cameras which we have learned reduces problems with dirt. And just in case you turn your head and start closing in on the car or object ahead of you, the collision alert system works great. Paddle shifters were located on the steering wheel but we have to wonder how many drivers are going that route in a car that might be hauling 6 passengers.
The 2011 Lincoln MKT AWD is a first class people mover that adds style and performance for those who are willing to pay a premium. Although the basic platform of the Lincoln MKT is the same as the Ford Flex, you aren't just paying for a goosed up Ford! The MKT is all Lincoln and a very well designed Lincoln at that. We drove the MKT in December in the cold and snow and we were impressed with the AWD and control of the road from this luxury crossover. The exterior of the Lincoln MKT is understated and the interior is fashionable and pure luxury. The market for a $57,775 crossover isn't huge but for those looking for a top-of-the-line luxury crossover that provides 3 rows and decent storage space, the MKT aims to please.
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