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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Review: 2010 Lincoln MKS by The truth about cars

Fifty-three thousand dollars! I’m tempted to say it again! Fifty-three thousand dollars! What are the chances that any American-branded sedan could be worth this kind of money, particularly in our newly cost-conscious era? Mr. Farago has repeatedly pummeled the “MKTaurus” on these pages, and that was before the price of Lincoln’s big sedan cleared the fifty-K mark. Before we can even get a handle on whether or not the MKS is a good car, it’s critical that we take the competition’s temperature and see just how unjustifiable the pricing is.

Boost mobileWe can start with the Lincoln’s distant relative, the 2010 Volvo S80. In V8-powered, all-wheel-drive trim, the Volvo is $50,950. The S80 cannot be equipped quite as thoroughly as the MKS — it cannot park itself, as the MKS can, and there’s nothing to compare with Ford’s SYNC system — but a thoroughly equipped S80 costs about $56K. It’s not as fast as the MKS, it’s not as big as the MKS, and it’s not as gadget-heavy, but it is made in Sweden and it will carry more credibility with your daughter’s friends at any of the Seven Sisters. Call it a draw,

I like the idea of a matchup with the Audi A6 3.0T. The example we tested earlier this year was priced almost dollar-for-dollar with the MKS. I will admit to being an unbashed Audi fan who owns a rather questionably-colored S5 coupe, but of the dozen or so thirtysomethings I put into both the A6 and the MKS, nobody preferred the Audi. The MKS simply murders the Audi in a straight line, on the spec sheet, and on the open road. Only in full-throttle, wet-road situations or around a racetrack does the Audi’s superior driveline pedigree reveal itself. There’s never any torque steer from an A6. On the other hand, perhaps if the Audi had as much power as the Lincoln there would be more danger of torque steer. Nor does a low-option A6 feel quite as special as the “Ultimate Package” MKS inside. This round goes to the challenger from Dearborn.

Lexus doesn’t offer an AWD GS460, and the GS350 is outgunned in this comparison. If we equip an Infiniti M45 AWD to match, we are well past $62K and it still won’t hang with the MKS in a straight line. As with the Audi, I prefer the layout of the M45’s AWD system, which avoids the annoyances of a transverse engine and the attendant wandering steering wheel. Still, the M45 has neither space nor pace to match the MKS. Acura offers a facelifted RL, about S Marks the spotwhich the less said the better.

At the end of this little market-pricing journey, we have to conclude that the “MKTaurus” offers pretty decent value for the money. You won’t get more for less anywhere else, and in EcoBoost form, the Lincoln is genuinely rapid. Taurus SHO owners are already dipping into high twelve-second quarter-mile times with nothing more than an ECU reflash and premium fuel. The MKS would be capable of the same feat. Previous-generation BMW M3s should, perhaps, worry. I personally smoked an SLK55 AMG in a 0-60 sprint for a two-into-one lane merge, primarily due to the traction advantage. While his traction control was stutter-stepping the back tires along a rather chilly fall Ohio road, the MKS had briefly spun the fronts and shaken the wheel before redirecting drive to the rear for a steam-catapult launch.

You can get this same twist in a thirty-eight-grand Taurus “Show”, however, so to justify the markup the MKS needs to feel special in a way that numbers can’t describe. After putting substantial drive time behind the wheel of the Taurus and the MKS, I wouldn’t hesitate too long before spending the extra money for the Lincoln. It’s much quieter on the freeway — as quiet as any D-class German under most circumstances — and it rides impeccably.

The less-than-cultured responses at the steering wheel that plague the D3 Fords have been tidily addressed with the new EPAS electronic steering. Not only does EPAS exchange the syrupy, indistinct direction-finding of the standard car for a vibration-free, variable-effort smoothness, it also permits the Cocoon...MKS to park itself. This feature works like a charm, and best of all it works in the middle of the night. Even the best parallel-park artists need light to operate, but the MKS can and does park itself in a situation where it’s too dark to see the curb.

I will readily admit my personal biases here. Not only do I thoroughly approve of the D3-platform Fords, I also find that after a long weekend of club racing in cars with 800-pound springs and open headers it’s a genuine pleasure to drive home in a car like this. It’s no BMW wannabe. It’s not even a sporty sedan, Lincoln’s aggressive “starship” marketing aside. It’s a big, comfy, wickedly fast cocoon, with a kick-ass sound system and cruise control that effortlessly slows the car on its own when some mouth-breather swings into the left lane. In other words, it’s a convincing American luxury car, and that’s enough for me.

Overall rating: 4/5 stars


One of the fastest sedans you can buy for the money.

RIDE: 5/5

It would need a longer wheelbase to be any better.


It’s not a sports sedan.


I like the bird-of-prey front end, but it’s an awkwardly-proportioned car.


Easily a match for the competition.


Panel gaps are big in places.

TOYS: 5/5

It parks itself!


MKS owners will still have to do some explaining to the neighbors.

PRICE AS TESTED: $53,600 (approx.)

401 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're welcome :) . I was shocked too because I think this is their first review that praises a new Lincoln product :) .

think they still need a bit of work with their number-ratings)
Couldn't agree with you more :) .

Mercury C557
22,734 Posts
MKS Reviews: TTAC vs

figured I'd post this new review here as a Review-Comparo ;)
there are some obvious similarities to TTAC's but quite a few important (imho) differences...

2010 Lincoln MKS: Technology Improves Driving -
Posted by Stephanie Brinley on November 10, 2009 3:29 PM

We recently spent a few days with a Lincoln MKS equipped with EcoBoost and its host of technology features. (tho)Not industry firsts, Lincoln's execution is impressive. From headlights that adjust high- or low-beam spread based on conditions to adaptive cruise control and parallel parking assist, these systems work smoothly and confidently. As systems like these tend to get better quickly after their first automotive application, Lincoln should still be commended for putting together a comprehensive and usable package.

If you're driving the MKS EcoBoost, you have a willing and comfortable partner in a stylish package... ...The MKS driving dynamics seem pretty spot on. There's power, comfort, a compliant but not overly soft ride, and plenty of technology to make being in it as easy as possible. I can't say sporting. This is not a sports sedan, but offers grace and presence, with the muscle to back it up.

MKS is sized between an Audi A6 and A8, BMW 5-Series and 7-Series, and Mercedes E- and S-Classes, and slightly bigger than the Cadillac STS. Our EcoBoost could boast a nearly $57,000 price tag. While a healthy number, to be sure, in context of the amenities, style, and power offered, the price seems quite reasonable.

Technology Won Me Over
I've driven cars with adaptive cruise control (adjusts cruising speed based on traffic--automatically slowing when necessary and then resuming the set speed), but not often felt confident in their overall behavior. In the Lincoln, the system operated seamlessly on the freeways around southeastern Michigan. Like others, you can adjust the gap between your car and the vehicle in front based on your own faith in the system and to adjust for the driving situation.

Blended in with the Adaptive Cruise Control system is Collision Warning Brake Support. That's a feature I find more difficult to test--designed to help drivers who've become distracted or otherwise come up on a dramatically slowed or stopped vehicle when they didn't expect it by pre-conditioning the brakes and providing a visual and audible alert--because the distance I want to keep between me and the car in front is high enough the system doesn't have a chance to respond. Having said that, it did alert me to the parked car across from me as I left a parking space one night... ...I expect that the collision braking system will do more than its share of preventing rear-end collisions over time, but attentive drivers are likely to rarely see it in action.

Other features that were impressive included the auto high-beams and adaptive headlights. Before I even had a chance to move my hand and put the high beams on at my own motivation, there they were. And they were just as effective turning back off when lighting was stronger and/or there was oncoming traffic. The adaptive headlights sweep much more smoothly than even BMW's, again giving you light just as you need it, and are a far better solution than the VW corner lighting system. (In VW's case, there are corner lights that turn on depending on the angle of steering and then back off--that system is low-cost and abrupt, more of an annoyance than a help.) Certainly, Lincoln is not alone in offering these features. But they've done both well.

I've seen the parallel parking system in operation, and it is impressive. While the Lexus system gets traffic around the parker impatient because it takes so long and is so complicated to set, the Lincoln system is smooth and fast...

...Lincoln offers Intelligent Key and rain-sensing windshield wipers, and makes heated-rear seats standard with the EcoBoost model, all three features that have won me over in general. Rain-sensing windshield wipers often react faster than the driver, and it is terrific to pretty much always have a clear windshield, having the car nearly sense your need...

Technology as Intended
Overall, the MKS offers a stable ride, good power, and technology with the ability to improve your life and driving experience, rather than complicate things. And isn't that what technology is for?
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