2013 Lincoln MKT

Every auto journalist has a dark horse and the MKT is mine.  You know, a vehicle that doesn’t get a lot of love but is deserving of more.  This is my 3rd test-drive of an MKT since its introduction a few years back and this new 2013 model packs in some significant upgrades.

Exchanging the waterfall grille for this split wing look, the MKT now presents a more restrained front fascia giving the vehicle a wider, less vertical appearance.  The MKT’s overall design tends to be polarizing but similar to the Infiniti QX, there’s something about its bold yet elegant, retro-inspired sculpting that catches my eye.  Donned in Tuxedo Black and riding on these optional 20” polished aluminum wheels, the MKT makes a confident, well dressed statement.

The biggest mechanical development for the 2013 model is the introduction of continuously controlled damping.  This adjustable suspension comes standard with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine to produce a more dynamic balance of ride comfort and handling.  And with a full-size crossover that’s not an easy task, but the MKT now drives with sharper responses and a suppler ride.  A quicker gear ratio for the new electric power-assisted steering is also part of that equation of greater vitality.  These systems comprise the greater one known as Lincoln Drive Control that allows the driver to tailor the personality of the MKT to their style, whether it is in the default Comfort mode, Normal or Sport.  These changes are made through the gear selector of the 6-speed automatic or through the MyLincoln Touch system.  The turbocharged V6 continues to be a standout performer, producing 365 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque with refined operation.  All-wheel drive is standard with this engine choice, which garners an EPA rating of 16mpg city/23mpg highway.  And with greater capabilities comes a improved braking system, with front discs more than an inch larger than before.

Lincoln is all about innovative technology these days and this fully loaded MKT is a rolling example.  There’s active park assist that handles the dirty work of steering into an open space, curve control which autocorrects the vehicle  when taking a curve too aggressively, a lane keeping system that includes blind spot warning, cross traffic alert and forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, the big brother MyKey system, inflatable rear seat belts and an updated version of MyFord Touch with next gen Sync.  Whether the focus is safety or infotainment, Lincoln pushes the envelope and delivers a first class experience.

And as for this crossover’s utility angle, well you’ve got to love the power operated third row seats that contort at the push of a button to a number of different configurations.  Second row leg room is class leading, the third row is kid friendly and shorter people approved, and the Vista Roof lends a sense of airiness.  A 6-passenger configuration is also available.  Base price of the top trim model is $48,155 while this one with just about every option stickers for a very competitive $56,350.

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