Intentionally unlike most anything on the road, Lincoln’s MKT luxury crossover delivers an impressive balance of sporty style, functional capability and spirited performance for the 2011 model year.
Big and bold, the 2011 MKT (starting MSRP $44,200) embodies (quite literally), the new face of Lincoln. Distinguished by a powerful front end, classic split-wing grille, a sculpted body design and a tailgate that sits somewhere between retro and futuro, Lincoln’s seven-passenger former concept vehicle isn’t short on visual stimulation. In fact, with three rows of seats, it isn’t short at all. Long, lean lines stretch across the crossover’s flanks and down the very center of its commanding hood. High intensity headlamps, a truly massive, panoramic fixed glass Vista™ roof (with power front and rear sunshades) and rear taillamps that reach across the full width of the vehicle’s power tailgate give character to a canvas already ripe with it.
The 2011 MKT complements this style with a good deal of substance in the form of two unique and equally impressive engine choices. The first, a 3.7-liter Duratec V6, delivers 268 hp and 267 lb/ft of torque, as well as class-leading fuel economy (up to 23 mpg, which bests Audi and Acura’s entries by a sizable margin). The MKT’s most impressive performance triumph, however, may be the available 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ engine, an innovative, twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers the torque and responsiveness of a V8 without the harsh fuel consumption. Lincoln’s advanced V6 makes a best-in-class 355 hp and 350 lb/ft of torque with virtually no noticeable lag in turbo delivery while maintaining up to 23 mpg. Both engines use a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission with integrated steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters.
The 2011 MKT is remarkably committed to ensuring a smooth, comfortable ride. Independent MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension setups (aided by Electronic Power Assisted Steering in EcoBoost™ models) do just that, ensuring precise, enjoyable handling, as well as a luxurious ride. Antilock brakes and Lincoln’s AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control system with Roll Stability Control™ work to eliminate slip and skid, and enhance stopping power, confidence and stability. EcoBoost™ trims also come standard with Lincoln’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which actively delivers torque to the wheels with the most grip on slippery surfaces.
The newest MKT’s beautifully tuned cabin reflects the care and consideration that drove its design. With the interior spaciousness and flexibility of a full-size sport utility vehicle, the MKT blends classic, sophisticated luxury with some of the most advanced technology ever integrated into a Lincoln. Among modern ambient lights and power-adjustable pedals with memory are three rows of spacious, comfortable seats in a seven-passenger arrangement or available six-passenger setup with refrigerated second-row console. Premium perforated-leather seating is standard. Front seats offer standard heat and cooling. Second-row seats feature standard heat. In six-passenger configurations, second-row seats are heated and cooled. Tremendous passenger volume (142.3 cubic feet) gives way to exceptional flexibility, as folding rear seats with an available PowerFold® feature unlock nearly 76 cubic feet of cargo space. The MKT’s rear bench also flips to face the rear for convenient “tailgate” seating.
In the 2011 MKT, innovation and technology are as pervasive as they are impressive. A standard eight-inch touch-screen atop the center stack features voice-activation, climate and audio control, DVD playback, a rearview camera and 10GB of internal music storage. A voice-activated navigation system (with real-time traffic information), a premium 600-watt THX®II Neural Surround-Sound audio system, and HD Radio are all available. Lincoln’s SYNC® voice-activated connectivity system is standard, and also runs through the MKT’s versatile touch-screen.
For safety, the MKT complements its advanced steering and braking systems with even more intelligent technology. An available Adaptive Cruise Control system uses sensors to actively monitor and adjust to traffic ahead while Collision Warning with Brake Support provides a visual alert and pre-charges brakes if it senses a potential accident. Lincoln’s useful MyKey™ system integrates speed limitations and seatbelt reminders for teen drivers, and the MKT comes standard with Lincoln’s Safety Canopy System with side-curtain airbags and a rollover sensor, in addition to front and front side airbags. Should any of those airbags deploy, an SOS Post-Crash Alert System™ activates the crossover’s horn, approach lights and flashers to alert emergency responders to your location. Last, Lincoln’s BLIS® with Cross Traffic Alert blind spot information system uses sensors to detect and alert you (through indicator lights in the corners of your rearview mirrors) to the presence of vehicles in your blind spots, and detects vehicles approaching from either side while you’re in reverse (particularly useful when backing out of a parking space or driveway).
There are few more apt descriptions of the 2011 Lincoln MKT than “crossover.” Classic, yet contemporary, spacious, yet sporty, sophisticated, yet capable; Lincoln’s latest delivers in every area.