• Great ride and handling
  • Gutsy EcoBoost engine
  • High-quality interior
  • Design lacks cohesion
  • Modest cargo room
  • Cramped back seat

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for MKT in 2014

There is one new color choice for the 2014 Lincoln MKT, platinum dune tri-coat...
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Vehicle Summary

Shown as a concept car in 2008 and fully revealed at the 2009 Detroit auto show, the Lincoln MKT is a luxurious take on the Ford Flex and Explorer three-row crossovers. The T in the name is for Touring, and designers said they envisioned the new Lincoln as, "the Lear jet of the road, a vehicle we see both for the executive dashing around Manhattan and for a family loading up for a trip." By virtue of its carlike chassis, the MKT is much better to drive and more fuel efficient than Lincoln's other three-row model, the Navigator.

Overview

The 2014 Lincoln MKT is meant as a luxurious people hauler, and it serves that purpose very well. Its third row and cargo area aren't especially large, but the MKT's interior is pleasant and well-appointed. We wish the button-free center stack and MyLincoln Touch systems were easier to operate, although the capacitive touch controls make for a cleaner, prettier design. The same can't be said of the exterior. Inspired by the elegant Lincoln MKR concept, the MKT isn't the most attractive three-row crossover on the market, especially after an update for the 2013 model year that added a more prominent split-wing front grille. The wide LED taillights are also somewhat aesthetically challenged.

The standard 303-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 engine does not want for power, but we prefer the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6. With 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, it makes for instantaneous passing and merging, and standard all-wheel drive helps prevent wheelspin. The 2014 Lincoln MKT is surprisingly good in corners, too, with precise steering and responsive handling. Even so, its ride is gentle and compliant. That nuanced ride-and-handling mix can be attributed to the Continuously Controlled Damping suspension that debuted on the EcoBoost model for 2013. It monitors road conditions 500 times per second to automatically adjust the suspension. In addition to preventing jarring over major bumps, Lincoln says the system reduces body roll by 20 percent and cuts understeer by 25 percent.

As is expected of a luxury model, the 2014 Lincoln MKT boasts a long list of upscale features. A fourteen-speaker sound system, a heated steering wheel, a power-folding third row, a power liftgate, and a self-park function all figure among the options. Safety gear includes inflatable second-row seatbelts, adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane-keep assist, and a blind-spot monitor. Buyers can even opt for a small refrigerator that slots between the two second-row seats. In a most recent comparison test, the Lincoln MKT fared well against an Acura MDX, a BMW X5, and an Infiniti JX35, with editors anointing the Lincoln, "the best car here for passengers."

Key Competitors

  • Acura MDX
  • BMW X5
  • Buick Enclave
  • Volvo XC90

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