2009 Lincoln MKS Review – A shot in the arm for Ford

Wednesday March 18th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

Performance

Being big and heavy, the 3.7-liter engine had 4200 pounds to move, and accelerates smoothly off the line.  As mentioned before, be prepared for the torque steer with a firm grip on the steering wheel.  In normal driving, torque steer is invisible.   Performing repeated high speed stops from 80+ mph, I wanted to see if brake fade would happen with the large braking load.  The brakes did not fade and quickly and successfully slowed the MKS each time maintaining its directional path.  The rear does lift a bit under extremely hard braking.

Handling

Responsive steering was found in this American car.  Are those two mutually exclusive terms?  In this case, they’re not.  I won’t equate this to a BMW 3-series, but it’s very responsive and provides good feedback to the driver.   On-center feel is excellent especially on the freeway where it tracked a straight line.  I recommend that Ford offer a Sport suspension package (with firmer dampers/springs) to supplement the larger wheels.  Such as package would complement the responsive steering providing a better driving experience at the upper limits of spirited driving.

Styling

It’s a good looking car albeit a little bulbous.  As the car sat on the street in front of my house, I noticed a car with two men pass it and then back up and park.  They got out, and started to admire the car like kids in a candy store.  Pretty funny, but a testament to the car’s design.  The interior has a nice mixture of chrome, wood paneling and leather, but some of the textured vinyl trim (like on the steering wheel cover) look cheap.  Buttons on the steering wheel look like they were made with a straight edge; why can’t a bit of style be used on such small details?  The fog lights and the under-the-bumper radiator opening look very shark-like: as if it’s going to devour anything that gets in its path.  Overall, I like the smooth profile that terminates with a high trunk lip creating a car that’s not flashy but leans towards luxury.

Value

The base price of this MKS was $37.7k, and with the Technology and nav packages, the sticker grew to $42.3k.  A Volvo S60 2.5T with similar features (minus a killer sound system and down on hp) would cost $39k while a Lexus ES350 with very similar features would price out to $42k.  Personally, I’d get the Lexus for about the same price as I prefer the styling and features of the ES.  I met the guys one night, and piled three large guys in the back seat … one weighed 250#+ and another 300#+ creating a very tight squeeze for the remaining passenger.  Luckily, I was only driving a few miles to our dinner destination.  The front seat passenger is rewarded with lots of leg room and all the comforts the driver enjoys.  EPA gas mileage ratings for the Lincoln are 17/24 mpg city/hwy, respectively, and I managed to average about 19mpg overall.  Not bad for a car in this class, but the Lexus with similar horsepower has a rating of 19/27 which is significantly better.

Conclusion

Ford still has a bit of work to do to perfect its premium mark, but the MKS is headed in the right direction.  It has many of the features of other luxury brands with the added integration of Microsoft Sync.  Ride quality and cockpit insulation is on par with the imports, but handling (like the quality issues) need to be refined.  If Ford can do this, and somehow lower the cost of the MKS slightly, it becomes a compelling offer to the American public.  I was amazed at the detail and clarity of the sound stage from the driver’s seat, and found the Lincoln to be easy to drive along vast stretches of highway.  If you’re looking for a car to envelope and coddle you with a quiet interior and soft suspension, this is the vehicle for you.

BUILD INTERIOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLING VALUE OVERALL
RATING 4.25 4.25 3.5 3.5 4.0 3.5 3.8/C+

2009 Lincoln Photo Gallery

Lincoln MKS Specs

2009 Lincoln MKS Specs

Lincoln CarsOfficial website for Lincoln luxury cars and SUVs – www.lincoln.com

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