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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Lincoln MKS Base include 3.7L V-6 305hp engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, Safety Canopy System curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 19" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, AdvanceTrac electronic stability.
Starting at: $39,010
Acceleration with either engine is strong, as well as mature and refined, though performance doesn’t approach that from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The standard 304-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 propels the Lincoln MKS smartly enough, if short on fervor, but that’s hardly a deficit for most likely owners. Front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available.
Only all-wheel drive is offered with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 twin-turbo engine, which generates 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. An EcoBoost-equipped Lincoln MKS feels almost like a V8, though the exhaust has a sound all its own. Each powertrain works with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Despite its uninspired look, the Lincoln MKS has a more eager personality than you might expect. This sizable four-door might even be called a tad nimble. Then again, that trait has to be balanced against an overall ponderous feel, making the Lincoln MKS somewhat difficult to park. At any rate, it’s far removed from those best-forgotten land yachts that Lincoln once turned out.
Electric power steering provides a quicker ratio than in the past. To better balance ride/handling characteristics, the Lincoln MKS suspension uses continuously-controlled dampers all around. All Lincoln MKS models have Lincoln Drive Control, with settings to adjust the steering, suspension, and powertrain.
For a full-size sedan, fuel-economy ratings aren’t bad, EPA-rated at 19/28 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined with the 3.7-liter engine. All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 18/26 mpg City/Highway. The EcoBoost engine sinks it further yet, to 17/25 mpg City/Highway.
Compared to its rivals, the Lincoln MKS looks antiquated. Its behind-the-times styling is accentuated by a high beltline, as well as the short, abbreviated arch of its roofline. For 2015, the decklid was reshaped slightly, to make it easier to use. Otherwise, not much has changed in the Lincoln MKS’s lifetime.
Several major competitors, including the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, qualify as sports sedans.
Though pleasant and inviting, the interior of the Lincoln MKS appears restrained, with a low-set dashboard. Surfaces and trim pieces lack the level of opulence that would match the cabins in alternative luxury sedans.
In comfort, the Lincoln MKS scores better. Front occupants can expect to feel comfortable during day-long journeys, helped by good seat support. Thanks to active noise cancellation, the ride is comparatively quiet. The reconfigurable gauge cluster in each Lincoln MKS is most welcome, but its touchy slide controls annoy.
For a sedan of this size, headroom, especially in the back seat, falls short. Heads of taller occupants are likely to brush against the headliner. The reason for this snugness is simple enough: an arched roofline, combined with the shape of the back glass.
The Lincoln MKS offers satisfying performance with a luxury aura.
Driving impressions by Marty Padgett, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.
The 2016 Lincoln MKS 3.7 Premiere ($39,010) comes with the 3.7-liter V6, heated/ventilated front seats, adaptive HID headlights, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, and 19-inch alloy wheels. The Lincoln MKS 3.7 AWD ($41,005) adds all-wheel drive.
The Lincoln MKS 3.5 AWD EcoBoost Twin Turbo ($46,000) includes the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 20-inch wheels.
An Elite Package adds navigation, multi-contour front seats, premium wood trim, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, THX II certified sound, and power-adjustable pedals with memory. A Technology package includes active parking assist, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. A collision warning system is optional, but automatic-braking is not. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)