News Column

Lincoln MKS Marries Modern to Classic

April 2, 2009

Ralph Gray, for

Lincoln MKS, test drive, car review, auto review

The Lincoln MKS may be stuffed with oodles of high tech, but it still delivers traditional Lincoln virtues.

While the MKS may succeed the ancient Town Car, it's really a reborn Continental.

It's not the classic Continental of the 1940s but the front-drive Continental of more recent memory. The MKS does borrow the gleaming split grille of the historic car.

It cossets the driver in a thoroughly modern update. This is a mid-luxury segment sedan that's still all about luxury rather than sportiness.

That's not to say the MKS can't handle highway curves. The tested all-wheel drive sedan enters them sharply, holds the line well but there's no real road feel.

Yet its 275 horsepower 3.7L V-6 will get the MKS to 60 mph in a quick 6.6 seconds. That's a full three seconds quicker than the V-8 Town Car. A lot of credit goes to the crisply shifting six speed automatic transmission.

Much of the comfort comes from heated and cooled front seats that are bolstered just enough. The 12-way power driven seat provides a good driving position. There's plenty of legroom up front and in back where rear seats are heated--but not cooled. The ride itself is well controlled--never a floaty "boulevard ride."

The wood and leather steering wheel is cunningly designed with leather for most driving positions to keep fingers away from cold wood on chilly days.

MKS technological goodies include a navigation screen that responds to voice commands. The adaptive cruise control keeps vehicles apart.

The remote entry fob works even if it's in the trunk, says Lincoln. You enter via the exterior keyless pad and a single button starts the MKS. There's a capless fuel filler door and a two-panel moonroof.

The MKS is a real Lincoln.

Lincoln MKS Awd

Engines... 3.7L V-6

Dimensions...112.8" wheelbase; 204.1" length.

Base price... $39,105/tested $45,570.

Fuel economy...16/23 mpg.

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Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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