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The Lincoln MKS Makes the Grade



Make jokes about Lincoln if you will. Say that it's the brand that takes you to the airport and the cemetery, but not to the country club or to your friend's backyard picnic. But no matter what you may think of the cachet of Ford's (F) upmarket brand, it's hard to ignore that the newest model, the 2009 Lincoln MKS, has come to play for real against its longtime rival, General Motors' (GM) Cadillac, and even luxury import brands such as Toyota's (TM) Lexus, Nissan's (NSANY) Infiniti, and Honda's (HMC) Acura.

Until now, Lincoln has been getting along on some competent badge-engineered models: the MKZ (derived from the Ford Fusion) and MKX (derived from the Ford Edge). These models, while ho-hum to many, are nicely appointed in their interiors, and so quiet that I almost didn't mind somewhat average handling. The MKS, though, is the first unique model in the Lincoln lineup to come from the current revitalization team at Ford and a new design direction for Lincoln.

Ford has to rebuild Lincoln. For years, it neglected the once-iconic American brand as it poured billions into buying and trying to fix Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin. Within the last year, Ford has jettisoned all three of these British brands. It still retains Volvo, though the automaker has shopped it around as well. If it does sell Volvo, then Lincoln will be Ford's only remaining luxury brand.

The exterior design lines of the MKS evoke an almost generic European sedan look. That may not tickle serious sports sedan aficionados, but it's a big step up from past Lincolns and hardly polarizing like the origami-inspired design of the Cadillac CTS.

The MKS comes in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, making it an almost must-look choice for luxury buyers in the snow states. Standard features on both include 18-inch wheels; heated power side mirrors with memory and auto-dimming; Xenon HID headlamps; a new capless fuel-filling system; and a cool touchpad entry system in which the keypad is buried beneath the surface of the car. Lincoln buyers are especially keen on the touchpad entry, which I have never understood. Inside, the four-door sedan comes standard with Ford's voice-activated Sync system (hands-free phone calling and MP3 player), leather, tilt/telescoping power steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated (cooling) power front seats, heated rear seats, rear center armrest with pass-through slot, and an eight-speaker, THX-certified AM/FM stereo system and Sirius Satellite Radio. It has all the little things I like, including rain-sensing wipers and a rearview camera system.

True confessions. When this car arrived for my week-long test, I didn't want to like it. C'mon, it's a Lincoln. The Town Car? Continental? Gas-guzzling Navigator for posers? It's not even my Dad's brand. It was my grandfather's brand. And I get hung up on Lincoln being the airport car. But as I settled down into the air-cooled leather driver's seat, punched up the sharp nav and Sync systems, and peeled out of my driveway, I felt different about Lincoln. For one thing, I am thinking about the cachet of being the only one at the barbecue I'm going to under 60 driving a Lincoln. I'm actually looking forward to telling people what I think: that I really like it.

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/aug2008/bw20080812_717046.htm?campaign_id=yhoo
 

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I concur and will consider it the next time around. Looking hard for Buicks response and LaCrosse/Invicta is not it. MKS is a true modern full-size vehicle.
 

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This article its spot on and I think this is where Ford is aiming with the MKS

What the MKS is not is a sports sedan. It competes more against a Lexus ES than a BMW (BMWG) or even Lexus IS. Driving the MKS did not raise my blood pressure or make any of my hairs stand up. Next year's twin-turbo version may come closer to doing that. But I found the whole package so darn likable that I have recommended it to two car shoppers who are, in fact, far more interested in comfort, features, and style than speed.
 

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That review is ridiculous. The car isn't RWD, it doesn't have a 550hp optional engine, and it shares parts with another vehicle... it CAN'T be a credible luxury car. A fully loaded Taurus is the same thing, since they share about 10% of their parts.
 

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Lincoln buyers are especially keen on the touchpad entry, which I have never understood.
I don't understand why Ford gets so much grief about the keypad. It is such an amazing convenience to be able to lock your keys in the car and be free from carrying a fob, a card, a key or anything- and also to never have to WORRY about locking your keys in the car. Every car should have this (at least every luxury car). As far as I know, there is no other system that allows one the option of locking keys in the car without having to carry anything.

It is so frustrating to see this feature consistently portrayed as being dated or preferred by the blue-hair crowd. Quite the contrary- for those of us who run or hike and want to carry as little as possible, it is a convenience of the highest order. And that's what luxury is all about IMHO.
 

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My local LM dealer has been selling a good amount of these, Seems to be about 4-5 a week which is probably more than the rest of the lineup combined lol.
 

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That review is ridiculous. The car isn't RWD, it doesn't have a 550hp optional engine, and it shares parts with another vehicle... it CAN'T be a credible luxury car. A fully loaded Taurus is the same thing, since they share about 10% of their parts.
I dont know what you have been smoking:lmao: or if its sarcasm by you :fall:
 

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I really do think the MKS is going to take a LOT of sales from Lexus in particular. Lexus already isn't doing well with their cars and here the MKS comes along, extremely competent, luxurious and much better looking. Time will tell but I think the MKS will be successful for what it was intended to do.
 

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Looks like a credible effort by Ford. I'd consider it. I think Mullaly is doing some good work over there

Anyone know why they let the LS wither and die? Hope they don't do the same thing to this one.
 

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My only concern is that this vehicle isn't going to be a good "replacement" for the Town Car.. It's far too stiff.. I hope it works out for them...
 

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My only concern is that this vehicle isn't going to be a good "replacement" for the Town Car.. It's far too stiff.. I hope it works out for them...
Isn't that the point? The floaty barge cars are relics with a very limited market.

You can have a supple ride without being floaty on the road.
 

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Looks like a credible effort by Ford. I'd consider it. I think Mullaly is doing some good work over there

Anyone know why they let the LS wither and die? Hope they don't do the same thing to this one.
LS died because the platform couldn't accommodate AWD.

And I was being sarcastic.
 

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My only concern is that this vehicle isn't going to be a good "replacement" for the Town Car.. It's far too stiff.. I hope it works out for them...

The MKS can be considered as a stop gap until the GRWD program gets to production and thats when the MKR comes to the game as the true Lincoln flagship, but until then or unless the program is halted just like GM has been doing lately with a lot of the RWD programs the MKS its Lincoln top dog:D
 

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I concur and will consider it the next time around. Looking hard for Buicks response and LaCrosse/Invicta is not it. MKS is a true modern full-size vehicle.
I am still considering it. I really wanted more juice and the local dealer did not have and AWD demo.

Buicks response?
Huh? Buick and Lincoln are not in the same league. Buick - Mercury, yes.
Lincoln - Caddy, yes.
 

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I am still considering it. I really wanted more juice and the local dealer did not have and AWD demo.

Buicks response?
Huh? Buick and Lincoln are not in the same league. Buick - Mercury, yes.
Lincoln - Caddy, yes.
Um... How about no. How about Cadillac is so far out of Lincoln's league it isn't even funny. When Cadillac has a competent competitor to the CTS or STS or SRX or Escalade; call me. Until then, it will be Buick, Chrysler and Lincoln duking it out here in the states for who becomes irrelevant last.
 

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Um... How about no. How about Cadillac is so far out of Lincoln's league it isn't even funny. When Cadillac has a competent competitor to the CTS or STS or SRX or Escalade; call me. Until then, it will be Buick, Chrysler and Lincoln duking it out here in the states for who becomes irrelevant last.
You mean the STS and SRX about to be cancelled, and the Escalade that's fallen off a sales cliff with the Navigator?

CTS competitor is coming.

On top of all that, having compared them back to back, the MKS is definitely a superior luxury sedan to the STS4.
 

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Um... How about no. How about Cadillac is so far out of Lincoln's league it isn't even funny. When Cadillac has a competent competitor to the CTS or STS or SRX or Escalade; call me. Until then, it will be Buick, Chrysler and Lincoln duking it out here in the states for who becomes irrelevant last.

"When Cadillac has a competent competitor to the CTS..." Um my guess is you were smoking something.

Ok lets look at the list

Cadillac copied the Navigator, Escalade is alot more money=Navigator wins

STS v MkS- MkS wins

SRX has been a failure from the beginning, MkX did very well. The next SRX will be more in line with the MKX. MKX wins

MkT- Cadillac doesnt have one

MkR v CTS- ill give you that one.
 

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MkR v CTS- ill give you that one.
The MKR is still a designer's wet dream......so in the end, it's a tie (discounting the models you already listed)

CTS > MKR

MKS > DTS/STS
 
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