All photos by Lincoln
We had the opportunity to drive the new 2011 Lincoln MKS Ecoboost and, with this car, first impressions went a long way. The MKS luxury sedan is the flagship vehicle for Lincoln so our expectations were high to say the least. The addition of the powerful and efficient Ecoboost engine offers a significant upgrade as Lincoln strives to reclaim its place at the top of the luxury car market. After driving the vehicle for a week, we can say with confidence that the MKS met our expectations and we expect Lincoln to make progress with its planned renaissance.
The MKS we tested was Tuxedo Black Metallic with 20" cast aluminum polished wheels with tires measuring at 245/45R20 that, together with the chrome accents, really set this car off. The front fascia and HID headlamps joined the lower forward looking stance to give the impression that the Lincoln MKS was ready to go at the press of a button. The MKS is a large sedan but has an athletic and clean look that should satisfy those looking for the finer things that are available in the luxury car segment.
The interior cabin of the Lincoln MKS Ecoboost is plush and spacious, giving you the feeling of total comfort. The model we tested had a black ultimate leather interior with so many options that we would be here all day listing them all. Among the notable features, we truly enjoyed the THX II certified audio system, Sirius Satellite radio, SYNC voice activated system, leather/wood power tilt telescoping steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, active park assist and adaptive cruise/collision control. The seating is higher than what you would expect in a typical large sedan, but it gave us a feeling of command over the road, and the spacious interior gave us a feeling of comfort that all have come to expect from the Lincoln brand. The voice activated navigation system was clear and precise with a perfect location on the dash where it won't hinder your front views, unlike some systems from competitors. Our test MKS also had a dual panel moon roof that was a joy for all who were in the vehicle and the rear view camera worked like a charm and made us a better and more careful driver around town.
The Ecoboost engine has been a huge winner for Ford and Lincoln as it continues to get rave reviews. For the MKS, the new engine takes the vehicle from an above-average powered sedan to "Oh My!" This 3.5 liter twin turbo charged direct injection V6 with six-speed with select shift put out some serious power that rivals many sports cars on the road. The biggest difference is the smooth take off in the MKS Ecoboost while the four-wheel disc brakes with ABS made it easy to slow down when needed. When cruising on the highway and you need to pass or make a move, you are flying just like that. This turbo engine is awesome! Since the MKS is quite large, the gas mileage isn't off the charts at 17mpg city and 25mpg highway but hey, when you’re laying down over $50K, a few miles here or there shouldn't influence your decision as the driving experience matters much more. That said, the gas mileage is solid given the performance. When the winter months roll in, the all-wheel drive on the MKS we drove provides an invaluable feature for anyone living in colder climates.
Before we drove the Lincoln MKS AWD Ecoboost, we had heard about the size of this sedan and that Lincoln was still searching for its mojo. Yes, the MKS is large and heavy. Yes, the design hasn't changed much since her launch. But after spending time in the vehicle we were impressed by all the things that Lincoln got right. The ride is smooth, the interior rivals other luxury sedans in its class, the handling is much better than the perception out there and the overall design makes the MKS a real competitor. If you like a big sedan, you’ll love this vehicle. The MKS experience is what Lincoln should build on, and it’s been too long since Lincoln competed seriously in this segment. The word out there is that the next generation MKS is going to get a little smaller and sportier, so in the meantime you should get behind the wheel of a full-size MKS and feel the power.
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