Test Drive: Lincoln MKT Crossover

In New York, the black Lincoln is well-known for being the go-to car service car – a car you call to drive you to the airport when you’re not in a neighborhood with many Taxis. Sadly, the Town Car is going the way of the Dodo, being replaced with monster like the MKT (which could also be phased out). With that in mind, I see the Lincoln as coming from two worlds. First, it’s a geek Dad’s dream with a THX-certified sound system and fun little tweaks like automatic seat adjustment and auto-parallel parking. Second, it would make a really nice car to have someone drive you around in if you’re a Manhattan oligarch.

When we first pulled the MKT up to our little house we discovered that this thing is a monster. We could feasibly roll our Honda Fit up into this thing as a spare car while on the road. It’s 17 feet long and the model I tested was black as night with specks of starlight embedded in the paint – a sort of vehicle for a soccer mom.

Starting at about $44,000, the MKT is a huge car for the price. With all the extras you can start pushing $60,000 but generally, as it stands, it’s a formidable vehicle. The engine accelerates evenly and can really go in a pinch thanks to the 415 hp 3.5 L V6 EcoBoost engine which gives the horsepower of a larger block with the eco friendliness of a smaller one thanks to the twin turbos. While the MKT got 0 to 60 in just 6.3 seconds, it also got about 20 miles per gallon, on par with the estimated 16 city/21 highway on Lincoln’s website. This engine can more than power the huge chassis.

The car itself was a pleasure to drive, but that’s to be expected when your last whip was a Honda Fit. Fans of SUVs will already know the comfort and power of having a nice fat engine on a nice fat frame. This thing can hold seven people and at one point during my test/road trip it held a stroller, a lady’s bike, a huge suitcase, and three picnic chairs and it still had room for two kids with their own power outlet in back for the Nintendo DS and a mini-fridge for milk. We felt like we were in a mobile home without the bathroom.

In terms of eco-friendliness, it’s hard to recommend this to true tree-huggers. Generally it’s a very nice crossover with an amazing amount of space but even at 21mpg this thing is still a resource hog. A 40mpg Prius this ain’t. However, for the power you do get out of an engine that would usually offer 17mpg in a vacuum, the MKT isn’t too shabby.

The on-board electronics offered great THX-certified audio from great speakers, iPod connectivity, two power outlets, and a built-in GPS system. Two buttons controlled the automatic seat controls with set-it-and-forget-it accuracy and the keyless button starter was quite a bit of fun. It was, on the inside, a dream. However, from the outside it reminded me more of those morose Lincoln Town Cars than a family escape pod. Generally, this would make a good fleet limousine for rushed knowledge workers but it also makes for a great family crossover.

Although I’m loathe to admit it, I wanted to get rid of the MKT as soon as possible. Why? Because I knew that when I got behind the wheel of the Fit I would miss the MKT. It’s a great crossover with a lot of pep and although the price is a bit high it was a great ride.

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