By on October 16, 2009

MKS

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

PEFORMANCE: 4/5

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

RIDE: 5/5

It would need a longer wheelbase to be any better.

HANDLING: 2/5

It’s not a sports sedan.

EXTERIOR: 3/5

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

INTERIOR: 4/5

Easily a match for the competition.

FIT AND FINISH: 4/5

Panel gaps are big in places.

TOYS: 5/5

It parks itself!

DESIRABILITY: 3/5

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

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

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147 Comments on “Review: 2010 Lincoln MKS...”


  • avatar

    Don’t worry about the price. It won’t stay that high for long. Just wait three years and buy a lightly-used one off lease for a third of the price.

  • avatar
    snabster

    Two stories:

    1) I walked by one parked at the nearest Ritz-Carlton; looked decent although a bit too much like a lexus.

    2) got a cab ride in another Lincoln – older model — and was very impressed with the leather. Perhaps I was drinking too much that night.

    Does seem a much better value than a lexus, however.

  • avatar
    basho

    I really like the Lincoln ads and I really like the new products. I think Lincoln is showing all the halmarks of a company that “gets it”. I think the market comparisons agree. It’s not my kind of car and not my price range. But clearly Lincoln knows it’s market and is exceeding expectations. They may not have a product for everyone, but the “new” products they have are very competitive. They just need to find a way to get people into the showroom.

    It’s hard not to feel good about the Ford comeback story. Their not out of the woods yet, but they can see the clearing. If the economy doesn’t take it’s sweet time turning around, Ford should be profitable when AM predicted.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    Jack,

    In a previous review you did on Autofiends, you complained about the cheapness of the centre console plastic in the 2009 model. Has this been corrected for 2010?

    Also, I predict a lot of people will ask why the V8 Genesis wasn’t included in your comparison. I presume this is because the Hyundai doesn’t offer AWD?

  • avatar
    BDB

    I saw an MKS in the flesh the other day, and it looks much better in person than it does in photos (even though it’s pretty handsome in photos anyway).

    It’s good to see Jack describe this as an American luxury sedan. I’m tired of Cadillac and Lincoln trying to be something they’re not.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    Nice review, Jack. I have to admit I really like this car. I sat in a non-Ecoboost MKS at the NY Auto show this year, and it struck me as everything a Lincoln should be: Big, Comfy, Big, Solid, Big, Plush, Big, Heavy…did I mention Big?

    Adding a Seriously Hot engine & AWD and suddenly this becomes a really compelling ($53k) car, but as your comparison pointed out, Fifty Grand seems to be the Lux mid-range these days.

    I say this car has the goods to command that price.

  • avatar
    Sigsworth

    This morning, while waiting for my boss to turn in his Acura for service, I wandered across the driveway to the Jaguar dealership. The un-supercharged XF was $57K. The interior and exterior styling, while not perfect, both look nicer to me than that of the Lincoln. It also has a 385hp 5.0 liter V8, which is good for something, I guess. I wonder if Mr. Baruth has any opinion on the relative merits of the Jag vs. the Lincoln?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Your last paragraph hits it on the head 100%…what Lincoln (and Cadillac, for that matter) need to be is unabashedly American…big, comfy and powerful. I don’t see how trying to target Audi/BMW will work for them. I just wish Lincoln would move away from their naming schemes and go back to vehicle names that carry some panache…I mean, MKS?? Whatever…

    Still, the (almost) 40-year old in me is starting to think he likes the idea of a quick, comfortable ride. Just not yet, and not for $50k+…I’ll let others buy one first and wait three to five years for the massive depreciation to hit…

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    U.S.A!! U.S.A!!!

  • avatar
    npbheights

    It’s nice to see Ford taking an interest in one of their brands that people actually associate with the parent company. After they wasted billions of dollars and decades of time playing with brands that most people did not know were even associated with Ford, like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Volvo and Mazda, they finally are giving Lincoln some products to be proud of. The Panther body and F150 platform weren’t going to hold the fort down forever.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    The interior is my biggest gripe with this car.

    The leather looks OK, but the dash plasti-metal looks cheap.

    American designers are also trending toward too many colors and surface textures in the interior of the car.

    I’ll admit, I do like most black German interiors – they age well, and years down the road still look stylish.

    I fear these multi-color, multi-surface interiors will look very dated while you are still making payments.

    Finally, what is with the parking brake? That foot operated parking brake looks like it belongs on a car from 20 years ago. My last run-of-the-mill Passat loaner car had an electronic parking brake – why doesn’t this $50,000 luxury sedan have something similar?

    -ted

    • 0 avatar
      schuh61

      Don’t understand your gripe both my BMW 750 and 650 had the same  parking brake  never use them anyway , I think the interior looks great , its way more Comfortable than the BMW’s  I had my  2010 MKS for 18,000 miles and  no problems yet   which I cannot say for the BMW’s

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    Agree that it looks better in the flesh, BUT the exposed exhaust plumbing visible when approaching the MKS from the rear is a major turn off. It looks like the rear of the car is jacked up and needs to be towing a trailer to bring it down to the correct ride height.

  • avatar

    WOW! Don’t let C&D see this review. They’ll all have coronaries and put that mag in the coffin once and for all.

    FWIW: I liked and agreed with your review.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    I like what Ford’s new management has been doing, and I like this new Lincoln. I do hate the name however, and hope that they soon feel that their products are again worthy of some of the old, great names.

    My only hesitation is my “Detroit 3-year rule” –
    In the last 20 years there have been many new cars from Detroit that have been reviewed well when new only to become buckets of woes after a few years. Being a little tigger-shy has served me well in avoiding a lot of pretty bling that turned out to only be cheap plating.

    In short, I want to believe in the new Lincoln, but I’m afraid.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    Jack,

    When you reviewed the 2009 model for Autofiends you criticised the centre console plastics. Has this deficiency been addressed for 2010?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hmmm, this may be on my used car shopping list in a few years. Cars like this depreciate at a horrific pace.

  • avatar
    BDB

    In the last 20 years there have been many new cars from Detroit that have been reviewed well when new only to become buckets of woes after a few years.

    Two words: Ford Fusion. It didn’t suffer from that at all. Been out for years now, even had a facelift, and still dead reliable. Ford doesn’t suffer from this problem anymore.

  • avatar

    I just wish Lincoln would move away from their naming schemes and go back to vehicle names that carry some panache…I mean, MKS?? Whatever…

    Or at least make them sound different. What are they, MKX, MKS, MKZ, I can hardly tell the difference.

    John

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    Don’t worry about the price. It won’t stay that high for long. Just wait three years and buy a lightly-used one off lease for a third of the price.

    I gotta to disagree on this point. Previous attempts at a hot-rod Lincoln have genereally failed, usually due to the same demons; quality issues and marketing. Yes, marketing. The Lincoln LS was a decent ride, but when you compared it by its own marketing to an Audi A6 or BMW 5 series, it fell flat on its face. The MKS is a vast step in the right direction and given Ford’s strong stance in the economic world right now, coupled with Cadillac’s resurgance of blowing people’s minds that American cars can be great again, I’d say odds are in Lincoln’s favor.

  • avatar
    BDB

    The problem with Cadillac is they give no reason for people to buy up from the CTS. They STS is mediocre, and the DTS is just…horrible.

    At Lincoln there is a reason to move up from the MKZ to the MKS.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    To all people defending this price point, who aren’t Ford employees, that’s fantastical!

    To all people defending this price point, who actually bought or will by this vehicle, and think resale value won’t be anything other than absolutely gut-wrenching, I wish you good luck!

    Straight line performance is so one dimensional, especially in the world of “luxury vehicles” professing to compete with teutonic things.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    I just wish Lincoln would move away from their naming schemes and go back to vehicle names that carry some panache…

    Amen to that. The word Continental comes to mind…why on Earth would they let that name collect dust? (The same can be said for Thunderbird, Cougar, and Galaxie.) These days it seems to be all about the Brand name first while the car name is secondary.

  • avatar

    The one thing about the interior I don’t like is that large piece of plastic below the controls that says Lincoln on it. You’d think it was a cubby or something, but it’s not. Seems like a waste of prime real estate.

    I’ll add my desire for real product names again. The the alphabet soup need to go. I mean they went from Zephyr to MKZ. This should be the new Continental.

  • avatar
    BDB

    ohsnapback–

    Resale value is the last thing to go up as a car company improves its products, and HAS been going up for Ford in recent years slowly but surely.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “# JEC :
    October 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Don’t worry about the price. It won’t stay that high for long. Just wait three years and buy a lightly-used one off lease for a third of the price.”

    I sure don’t. I am not about to go shopping for one of these ugly atrocities, new or used.

    However, FORD should worry about the price!

    And what about the name? It consists of 3 characters, which mean MK=mark and S=sedan. Even if you know what they mean, you can’t but be impressed with how incredibly useless this name is! Instead, like Merc and BMW, of using the characters to inform the consumer about what kind of car this is, (engine Cu in? Cylinders? Body size type?), they utterly waste 2/3 of the name with the stupid “MK” which just means “mark”, and then offer “S” for sedan, as if the consumer is effing blind and dumb as an ox and can’t see (or even just feel, if he or she is utterly blind) that the vehicle has 4 doors!

    And beyond that, NOTHING! No info. Contrast to BMW’s 740iL, for example, you know that 1. it is the largest size series, 2. it has a 4.0 (later a 4.4) lt engine, and it is the “L” version (huge room in back seat, limo like).

    Now THAT is what I call intelligent, informative, no-nonsense, not wasteful naming of a vehicle!

  • avatar
    86er

    American designers are also trending toward too many colors and surface textures in the interior of the car.

    I’d like to log my vote for more choice not less. Leave black to the Germans, they can have it.

    Now, if we’re talking a weird melange of wood grains, plastichrome, etc. without a unified design to it, then I agree with the poster.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Now they just need to do something to make it look more like a Lincoln and less like a Lexus or Hyundai. The exterior is too plain and in fact Ford did a better job with the refreshed Taurus giving it it’s own unique look. As for the interior, the center console suffers the same problem as the Taurus or way too wide Burtha. It cuts down on useable space up front and digs right into your leg. The trunk also is a major dissapointment, especially compared to the departed Town Car. The opening is litterally half the size and space is down noticeably. Downsizing, making FWD luxury cars that get better mileage etc was tried during the 80′s in the form of the Deville/Park Ave/98 series cars and then by Licoln with the Continental. Now everybody is clamoring for RWD. The trouble with the new Lincoln is that what your losing; RWD luxury ride, trunk space, distinctive styling, seat comfort and V8 power and refinement etc is not made up at the pump. Yes this new Lincoln can muster no better than a lackluster 24 (23 with AWD)on the open road or the same mileage as last years larger V8 Town Car. It does offer lots of gee wiz high tech features but that alone doesn’t make it worth the price of admission IMO. And then there are the stupid dumb meaningless letter names again copied from Lexus.

    Quote:American designers are also trending toward too many colors and surface textures in the interior of the car.

    You must be joking! By too many colors your referring to black, tan and gray. Uh those aren’t really colors more like dull boring non color choices. If anything car designers are totally lacking in color choices today. The interior is the place you spend 99% of your time in. Looking at a nauseatingly boring drab gray interior that always looks dingy is best left to Camry/Corolla drivers. Black interiors are ok on sporty type cars but are really sun heat absorbers in the Summer for 2nd degree burns at times.

  • avatar
    NickR

    I wonder how tall one can be and still be comfortable in this?

    If I don’t fit (6’4″) I will be pissed.

  • avatar
    geeber

    I don’t know if I would say that Cadillac has undergone a resurgence. At best, one model has succeeded – the CTS, and even it isn’t best in class.

    The rest are either outright flops (old SRX, STS, XLR), Cadillacs for a dying owner base (DTS) and reworked Chevys (Escalade, new SRX). Hardly a mind-blowing line-up.

    Granted, Lincoln isn’t blowing anybody away, either, but at least Ford didn’t spend $4 billion on Lincoln and not have much to show for it.

    As for the MKS – I’m seeing more of them on the road lately. The front is very handsome – I like the new Lincoln signature look – but the tail looks too much like a Suzuki sedan.

  • avatar
    basho

    Most luxury cars have their resale value fall off a cliff several years down the road. Why would you avoid this $50K car over some other $50K car for the reason of depreciation? They are all bad investments. If you worry about depreciation you buy a Honda.

  • avatar
    BDB

    I dare anyone to say with a straight face that Lincoln’s alphanumerics are any more confusing than Lexus or Acura.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Jack – nice review, but here’s what I’d like to hear more of – specifics on handling.

    How was the steering feel? Did the car feel eager, or just competent?

    I haven’t driven the turbo variant of this car, but I did drive the base version, and I had much the same feeling as you did about it – sumptuous inside, with lots of toys, and quiet. Performance-wise, I found it willing but underpowered in a straight line, but front-heavy and unwieldly in corners. I wasn’t much of a fan of the steering, either.

    Having driven the A6 you mentioned, I’d think of this as a major problem for the MKS in a head-to-head comparison. And if the MKS can’t measure up to the Audi, it won’t measure up to a BMW 5-series either.

    Also, how did the Ecoboost feel? Any turbo lag? Any growly engine noises?

    Any thoughts on all that?

    Gracias.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    My ratings:

    Exterior Styling: 2/5, largely due to the god-awful grille.

    PEFORMANCE: 3/5

    One of the fastest sedans you can buy for the money? You can buy a G8 sedan for a fraction and get far better performance and a gigantic V8 Corvette engine to boot.

    RIDE: 5/5

    It would need a longer wheelbase to be any better.

    I’ll take your word for it.

    HANDLING: 2/5

    It’s not a sports sedan.

    Unacceptable!

    INTERIOR: 3/5

    Easily a match for the competition.

    FIT AND FINISH: 1/5

    Panel gaps are big in places.

    inexcusable! 20 years ago, this might be OK for a $7,000 cavalier, but not today and not for a $53K ‘LUXURY” sedan!

    TOYS: 5/5

    It parks itself!

    (I could care less, learn how to park and give us something useful. And few Americans in flyover land will ever need to parallel park anyway.)

    DESIRABILITY: 1/5

    I could care less.

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

    Overall rating: 1/5 stars. Would not buy it even for $25k, let alone $50k plus.

    Ford is the only Domestic maker I respect today, for not yet picking my Taxpayer’s pocket like bankrupt GM and Chrysler, but they need to do a lot of Homework with the Lincoln Brand.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant, have you DRIVEN this car? Just curious.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “FreedMike :
    October 16th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Autosavant, have you DRIVEN this car? Just curious.”

    Of course I have Not Driven it, nor do I have the least desire to do so after reading this review.

    If I HAD driven it, I would not have blindly accepted the generous 5/5 ride rating of this reviewer, and his damning 2/5 HANDLING (aka Active Safety!) ranking.

    HAve you driven it, and if yes, is your impression any better than that of the reviewer here, who did drive it?

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    I dare anyone to say with a straight face that Lincoln’s alphanumerics are any more confusing than Lexus or Acura.

    I’m pretty sure you won’t find anyone who will defend Acura’s move away from popular names like Legend and Integra to ridiculous combinations of letters.

    At least with the Germans it’s very obvious what’s going on. A bigger number or later in the alphabet is a bigger car. Numbers indicate engine size, etc.

    Lexus at least does the engine bit, higher numbers means more performance.

  • avatar
    tedward

    “it’s a convincing American luxury car, and that’s enough for me.”

    sigh…why the low expectations? Not that I disagree with the meat of the review, but there simply isn’t a reason to give American cars a pass on handling dynamics (Ford love story, rose tinted glasses and all that). Fact is, if they continue to improve the car, they will be benchmarking the better performing competitors and making changes to catch up on this front. It is not necessary to install a washboard suspension in order to acheive progressive weight transfer and decent steering, so that’s no excuse. And it isn’t as if they wanted front wheel spin to be the initial reaction to throttle inputs, all that means is that they haven’t ponied up the money for a rear-biased AWD system (as many playing the AWD upmarket game are doing for VERY good reasons).

    Room for improvement is what it is, so why not congratulate them for making a good start at this without letting that slide? If they aren’t planning those upgrades already then they are planning for future failure.

    BDB
    “It’s good to see Jack describe this as an American luxury sedan. I’m tired of Cadillac and Lincoln trying to be something they’re not.”

    But isn’t that how the Big 3 lost the plot and allowed the Axis powers to eat their lunch? Let their cars be good to decent at just one or two things (call it American, wave flag on cue) and refuse to acknowledge the competition’s advantages, rinse and repeat. As it stands now if you want a car built to the American ideal you should buy a Mercedes, and it’s been that way for quite a while.

  • avatar
    geeber

    tedward: As it stands now if you want a car built to the American ideal you should buy a Mercedes, and it’s been that way for quite a while.

    I always thought that the current big Lexus is the best Cadillac ever built. It’s what the Cadillacs of the 1950s and 1960s should have become – well built, creamy smooth, reliable, powerful and available with the latest gadgets.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    HANDLING: 2/5

    It’s not a sports sedan.

    Unacceptable!

    So you feel that everybody everywhere should be forced to drive a sport sedan? It’s unacceptable that this car, which is clearly not built/meant/marketed as a sports sedan, is not a sports sedan? This is especially baffling in light of Cadillac’s utter and well-documented failure to reinvent itself as a BMW/Mercedes/Lexus copy. Obviously Cadillac customers don’t want those types of cars. And Lincoln customers probably don’t want an Audi A6 or Infiniti M. If they did, wouldn’t they just, oh, say, go buy one of those?

    Glad you’re not in charge of product development or marketing at Lincoln.

  • avatar

    I drove the regular MKS last year the same day I drove a Hyundai Genesis V6. While the original tuning of the Genesis V8 had some issues, the V6′s suspension both rode and handled better than the Lincoln’s. The Lincoln just didn’t feel sorted out, with vague steering and occasional jitters from the suspension. The Hyundai isn’t with the Germans in this regard, but it outpointed the Lincoln.

    Jack says the electric-assist steering helps. If so, this is a first. He’s still not ready to stick up for the handling.

    I also thought the 3.7 V6 sounded too course for a luxury sedan, and a recent drive in an MKT confirmed this impression.

    Does the EcoBoost 3.5 sound better?

    On the reliability front, the MKS got off to a rough start, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey (and others as well). The 2009 has improved since, and the 2010 could be better still.

    To read more about the Car Reliability Survey, and sign up to participate in it:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I forgot to add that the TTAC Ford love-in continues on a roll.

    This was a glowing review of a car competing at a MB/BMW/Lexus price point that can’t handle worth squat, and is a gussied up Taurus (Lexus has a gussied up Toyota – the ES – but it’s 20k less than the Lincaurus).

    Someone mentioned the G8 and a better performing car at about 1/2 the price, and I’d like to know if this thing rides any better than a new Lacrosse.

    All Ford products get good love on TTAC; even the Flex, which is a commercial failure, and which has radically divergent reviews on other sites/publications.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I hate to encourage any replies, but someone should tell Autosavant that the Pontiac G8 isn’t a competitor since it’s extinct.

  • avatar
    Caraholica

    The problem with Lincoln is not with the attributes of this version, but that it’s not going to be cross shopped by anyone who knows what a Lexus,BMW or Mercedes is. It was never on the radar screen from this part of the market and none of the ads are going to change that. We enthusiasts know it exists and what it could be and what we want it to be. But the rest of the world simply doesnt care and never will unless there is some compelling aspect of the car. Something has to be WAY better, not just as good, to get noticed. (BTW, Sorry Mr. Lutz) None of the MKwhatevers bring it. While we’re on it – ever been to a Lincoln show room? My local one is still the last refuge of the polyester suite and white shoe crowd. Even if the cars ever get the plot, I couldnt hold my nose long enough to buy one.

  • avatar
    Cougar Red

    Why pay $53K for an MKS when a fully loaded V8 Genesis is $10K less?

    I guess part of the answer is no one pays sticker for Lincolns. Which should tell you all you need to know about re-sale.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Re Resale Value. Have you guys seen the resale on Audi and Benz products? I would venture to say that they have the highest depreciation in the industry right now.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Few things,

    First, you cannot use just a straight feature for feature compairson to justify the price. While the other manufactures were working very hard to establish their brand as a BMW or Mercedes equal, Ford was busy murdering the Lincoln brand. Lincoln has not been a legitimate luxury mark for the past 20 years. Now, with one model (MKTaurus), Lincoln is ignoring how damaged the brand is by pricing it WAY out of it’s league. And with a bland interior, horrible handling, and a very generic exterior, People will not pay over $50K for this appliance. Same with the Lincoln version of the Flex. And sales have been down for the Lincoln Taurus already…almost 30% last month.

    Second….the Taurus SHOW. A car that offers 98% of what the Lincoln version does at a much lower (yet still overpriced) $38K-$45K. What does the Lincoln do that is worth another $10K…other than screw you out of another $10K?

    Lincoln (and Ford) cannot charge Audi/BMW/Mercedes and Honda/Toyota prices for their appliances. They need to charge HYUNDAI prices for everything thereby establishing their customer base with the new appliances. At that point, they can start raising prices.

    The only thing Ford’s outrageous prices are doing is driving people away.

    • 0 avatar
      schuh61

      Totally disagree   I got rid of my overpriced piece of garbage BMW that was in the shop  once a month  for the   three years  that I leased it . When the lease was up I  bought the new 2010 MKS w/ eco boost   hasn’t seen the shop except for regular maintenance since purchasing it   ,  this car drives better and is way more comfortable than the BMW 7 series was .   I’m not sure  what the resale will be in 3-4 years but   0-0 financing,  I thought was totally worth it  as for driving people away  this car brought me back to Lincoln  it would take BMW  something really great  to get me to even look their way again.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Cougar Red :
    October 16th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Why pay $53K for an MKS when a fully loaded V8 Genesis is $10K less?

    I guess part of the answer is no one pays sticker for Lincolns. Which should tell you all you need to know about re-sale.

    You can get a nicely equipped V6 Genesis for about 20k less than the MKwhatever, and it’s a proper RWD sedan.

    And I guarantee it handles better, rides better, and is just as quiet inside.

    It probably isn’t far off the mark in terms of acceleration, even…

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Good review. I think this is a step in the right direction for Lincoln. They need to scrap that grill and have a genuine RWD flagship, but it is encouraging to see they are executing well.

    Still, I believe the MKS will continue to be a slow seller. Who is the target market? While the design does a decent job of hiding this car’s hugeness, it is still a huge sedan with huge sedan gas mileage, huge sedan handling, and not much more useful space than less huge sedans. And the market for huge sedans just isn’t that, well, huge anymore. I think this is the central failing of the D3 platform. The other problem is that Lincoln has been lost for so long that it lacks the prestige buyers are looking for in a $40-50K sedan. It will take many years (and a RWD flagship) for Lincoln to gain status in the market.

  • avatar
    aug1516

    Good review Jack. It’s nice to see that Lincoln has a vehicle that can compete well with others in the segment. It probably won’t be cross shopped with the Benz’s and BMW’s but it may do well with the Lexus crowd. None of the recent Lexus models I have driven seemed to be very sporty when it comes to handling but they still sell like crazy to people that don’t care about that element.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    $53K, it’s called rampant inflation, however vigorously denied by our Government over the past two decades.

    Hell, a Hyundai Elantra is almost $20K.

  • avatar
    tedward

    geeber

    You’ve got a point with the LS, but that was a copycat S class (which kind of proves my point), and both are modeled on the being driven around idea. Notably, neither the Lexus nor the S class exhibits front wheel spin (obviously) in any trim. If Lincoln wants to be class competitive as a very high end brand with huge cars, big power and soft suspension it needs a RWD chassis or at least a RWD biased AWD system (IMO it’s a weight thing). The Lexus ES is my least favorite Lexus for this same reason.

    KalapanaBlack
    “So you feel that everybody everywhere should be forced to drive a sport sedan? It’s unacceptable that this car, which is clearly not built/meant/marketed as a sports sedan, is not a sports sedan?”

    It dosen’t need to be a sports sedan to have good (not fast) and predictable (no FWD then) handling. Witness Jaguar and Mercedes.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Hyundai knows what American Luxury is…..Big, V8, RWD.

    Lincoln….not at all.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Patrickj, I hardly know you, but inflation? Where?

    The inflation in the USED CAR market is a temporary blip, caused by CFC, and will sort itself out.

    As far as new cars, there’s a whole lot of wiggle room between sticker and ‘can have’ price, and that’s even granting that dealers are light on inventory as production plunged, but I can assure you production will pick back up, manufacturers will pressure dealers into carrying more inventory, and prices will settle down.

    Deflation is the major threat to the U.S. economy, even with reckless gov’t spending, and not inflation, no matter what the goldbugs (who should sell that gold now) say.

    Money is not making it into circulation, but is being absorbed by financial institutions to pay loan losses down, and recapitalize their severely wounded balance sheets.

    p.s. – 10k/11k Elantras were very popular during CFC madness.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “johnthacker :
    October 16th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I dare anyone to say with a straight face that Lincoln’s alphanumerics are any more confusing than Lexus or Acura.”

    Acura’s are as silly and meaningless. Lexus’s are a bit better. LS460 is telling people far more specifics about the vehicle, than Lincoln MKS tells them, can’t you see it?

    “I’m pretty sure you won’t find anyone who will defend Acura’s move away from popular names like Legend and Integra to ridiculous combinations of letters.”

    Acura’s ditching of the “Legend” name has allegedly cost it $1,000,000,000.00 US! I read that somewhere. However, this is because the name “Legend” inspired respect and appreciation among Acura buyers. I doubt that Lincoln’s ditching of “Continental” or “Town Car” will have such a severe penalty…LOL.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    ‘KalapanaBlack wrote

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    HANDLING: 2/5

    It’s not a sports sedan.

    Unacceptable!

    “So you feel that everybody everywhere should be forced to drive a sport sedan? It’s unacceptable that this car, which is clearly not built/meant/marketed as a sports sedan, is not a sports sedan?”’

    I knew that somebody would question the above, and I added my reasoning, which you did not quote.

    I am not some rabid 18 year old that sees cars as mere toys. I am in fact more than three TIMES older than that! BUT I really appreciate both a comfortable ride AND Outstanding Handling, not because I care to take the car to the track and whip it senseless, BUT because Handling is Active Safety, and if you delude yourself that buying a 6,000 lb Escalade because it gives you sufficient PASSIVE Safety, despite its huge cost of purchase and operation, you do not understand the importance of ACTIVE Safety.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    I wish Ford would get rid of the EcoBoost TM and the attendant badges. Are we really so gullible?

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The problem with Lincoln is not with the attributes of this version, but that it’s not going to be cross shopped by anyone who knows what a Lexus,BMW or Mercedes is. It was never on the radar screen from this part of the market and none of the ads are going to change that. We enthusiasts know it exists and what it could be and what we want it to be. But the rest of the world simply doesnt care and never will unless there is some compelling aspect of the car. Something has to be WAY better, not just as good, to get noticed. (BTW, Sorry Mr. Lutz) None of the MKwhatevers bring it. While we’re on it – ever been to a Lincoln show room? My local one is still the last refuge of the polyester suite and white shoe crowd. Even if the cars ever get the plot, I couldnt hold my nose long enough to buy one.

    Quoted for truth.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    My brother-in-law traded in a BMW 5-series for an MKS with EcoBoost, and he’s quite happy.

    Autosavant . . . you have an abrasive manner, but often make good points. However, your seeming pride in passing judgement on a vehicle without directly experiencing it yourself is a disappointment.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Autosavant,
    Newsflash, but German automakers no longer feel obligated to factually describe engine size in vehicle makes. So the 335 has a three liter engine, as do various 528 and 525′s depending on year.

    At least BMW isn’t as bad as Audi, which connotes a supercharger with the letter T.

  • avatar

    Regardless of the particular merits or shortcomings of the MKS, Ford badly needed to give Lincoln a full size sedan.

    My brother in law has driven Lincolns for decades. When they effectively discontinued the Town Car, he switched to a DTS Cadillac. If Ford genuinely wants Lincoln to succeed, it can’t afford to let those customers just walk away. He and my sister were eagerly waiting for the MKS.

    We can joke about Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln’s geriatric set customers but they pay cash on profitable vehicles.

  • avatar
    carguy

    There is plenty other competition that will make the life for a $53K Lincoln very difficult. As mentioned above, the Jaguar XF not only looks better but has the kind of brand prestige than Lincoln only wishes it still had.

    The Genesis is probably a more logical competitor and that is were the MKSs price tag really becomes a liability and not all the techno gadgets in the world will make up the lost ground.

    The Volvo S80 comparison is fair but the MKS needs to do a hell lot better as the S80 is poorly selling niche product at best.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    Some of y’all are snobs. What sort of pixie dust allows BMW to sell a car for $50K without raising eyebrows, but prevents Lincoln from doing the same? BMW and Ford share suppliers. If you toured their respective factories, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Why is the badge so important?

    If I were in the market for a luxury sedan, I wouldn’t have paused for a moment before buying a Genesis, a Phaeton, or any of a dozen equally compelling cars maligned solely because they originated from the “wrong” make. This Lincoln appears another of the club.

  • avatar

    All Ford products get good love on TTAC; even the Flex, which is a commercial failure, and which has radically divergent reviews on other sites/publications.

    While the Flex didn’t do well when it first came out, sales have started to climb. Word of mouth seems to be helping since the folks who have them like them.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I like the this review in a lot of ways. Finally someone points out the cars good points over the competition without making the competition seem insignificant. Its faster and bigger then some of its competition, great point. Those things are enjoyable in there own right. No need to get so down about what it cannot do. It is what it is. I feel more like driving the Lincoln now, but I have not forgotten or gotten scared of my preferences. Which are control over space, softness, and speed (530i).

    Thank you Jack.

  • avatar
    geeber

    tedward,

    Point taken about the S-Class inspiring the big Lexus, although I don’t believe that the S-Class is terribly reliable.

    The Lexus does provide more isolation from the road and total, supreme comfort…much like Cadillacs did during the brand’s heyday.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “dkulmacz :
    October 16th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    My brother-in-law traded in a BMW 5-series for an MKS with EcoBoost, and he’s quite happy.”

    While this may be true, this does not prove that the MKS is comparable to the 5 and its refinement, even if it is the current Bangled-styled 5 and not its far better looking but smaller and lighter predecessor

    There are too many people that have the $ to own High-end Mercs and BMWs, and too few of them can appreciate what they offer (beyond the obvious status symbol!).

    Dentists and Lawyers come to mind, and most of them are really not auto-literate. On the other hand, there are many excellent engineers, who should be the ones driving these excellent vehicles, who instead have to drive around in Accords and Civics…

    “Autosavant . . . you have an abrasive manner, but often make good points. However, your seeming pride in passing judgement on a vehicle without directly experiencing it yourself is a disappointment.”

    You are the second poster that demanded this today, and demanded it only of myself and not of anybody else, sure not those who praised the Lincoln.

    If you impose a rule that nobody should comment on any vehicle reviewed here unless he or she has driven them, and enforce that rule rigidly, the number of posts here would drop from 59 to …9!

    One can be quite knowledgeable on a car even if one has not driven it. Same way a doctor can be very knowledgeable about a disease without having to suffer it!

  • avatar
    Bruce from DC

    Well done, Jack. If I were feeling more confident about my financial future, I would test drive this car. I think that’s the function of a car review — to answer the question: would I spend the time visiting a dealership to see and drive this car?

    One issue not addressed in the review (not that it should have been) or in the comments is that buyers in this price class are purchasing an intangible as well as all of the intangible characteristics of the car. That’s why the Hyundai has to be $20K (or whatever) cheaper. It’s a Hyundai. That’s why Toyota Motor, Nissan and Honda launched separate luxury marques when they wanted to play in that market in the U.S.

    That leaves the question of what the remaining brand value is for Lincoln (or Cadillac, for that matter). Thankfully, it’s not equivalent to Hyundai. But I don’t think it’s Mercedes or BMW. Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura? I dunno. Maybe better than the last two; probably not better than the first two.

    So, my point is that Lincoln and Cadillac are in the “winback” mode (people who can remember when a Lincoln was a Lincoln and a Cadillac was a Cadillac are fast approaching retirement, if not already there). They need to win their way back to a place among the luxury marques. And, if you’re in the winback mode, you have to exceed the customer’s expectations. For this class of buyer, I think exceeding expectations has more to do with quality of materials and assembly than absolute performance. Put differently, once performance reaches a certain level, the marginal value of even better performance is quite low. Take the average driver of any luxo sedan — Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, etc. — and begin to explore the edges of his car’s performance level and I think most of them would wet their pants. As Rolls-Royce used to say about the horsepower of their car’s engines, back in the day: “adequate.” Rollers weren’t about absolute performance and neither are most luxury cars. BMW’s “ultimate driving machine” slogan was nothing more than a way for them to differentiate themselves from Benz when they were trying to grow beyond the company that built a cool, little sedan (the 2002).

    So my suggestion to Ford and Government Motors is to take these cars (Lincoln and Cadillac), price them competitively (not cheaper than the Germans and Japanese, but competitively) and then sacrifice some margins and really load up on content inside where the driver can see and feel it. Be prepared for several years to make the same absolute number of dollars in profit on the sale of each Lincoln or Cadillac as you make on each Ford or Chevy, even though the former two cars are more expensive. Because that’s the way to buy into the market, which is what you need to do. Not by being cheaper, but by being nicer. In other words, no petrowood; real wood. No petrometal trim; real metal (if the design calls for it). If you don’t know what that looks like, grab a Mercedes from the 1980s or a 1990 Lexus LS400.

    And yeah, let’s clean up the dealer experience while we’re at it and make sure the cars are reasonably reliable (at least better than the Europeans, if not the Japanese).

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    re: tedward – But isn’t that how the Big 3 lost the plot and allowed the Axis powers to eat their lunch? Let their cars be good to decent at just one or two things (call it American, wave flag on cue) and refuse to acknowledge the competition’s advantages, rinse and repeat. As it stands now if you want a car built to the American ideal you should buy a Mercedes, and it’s been that way for quite a while.

    You make a good point. And here’s mine. Yes Lincoln and Cadillac did exactly as you stated. At the time their customer base was in their late 40s, early 50s and had a lot of discretionary income and they didn’t want a Lincoln sports sedan. Bimmers were for Yuppies and Benz’s were for bankers. Real Amuricuns wanted a real Amuricun sedan, big enough to swallow you into couch luxury along with five of your friends and their luggage. Who cared what the gas mileage was as long as the V8 hummed and the A/C froze your socks off.

    Lexus’ clientele is heading in this direction more rapidly every year. As is the Bimmer crowd. Brands such as Lincoln and Jaguar are looking forward finally.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Even if you can afford a new luxury car, there is no reason why you should buy one, and not buy an excellent, like-new used version for half the considerable price.

    LAst time I looked around at my BMW dealer’s showroom, the prices sounded utterly ridiculous.

    Even the smallest, not luxurious units, that did not even have real leather, ended up costing more than $40k, while the top of the line 7 (and not even an “L” or a V12!) cost $100,000!

    After the financial crisis, people are far mode defensive, they worry about the future and are already saving more and spending less. I predict a shift, especially if gas prices go up again soon, to smaller, less luxurious NEW cars with smaller engines. After all, many 4s today found on lowly Accords have more HP than the I-6 in the Mercedes S-class had until 1991!

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    They’re taking the brand upmarket, unlike Cadillac, who was just lambasted for going downmarket. Having an expensive flagship is the NORM for a luxury make. Jeesh.

  • avatar
    Mark

    BDB: I dare anyone to say with a straight face that Lincoln’s alphanumerics are any more confusing than Lexus or Acura.

    For some reason I find it much easier to remember the difference between alphanumeric names when the first letter changes like Lexus (ES, IS, HS, GS, LS) and Acura (TL, RL, TSX, MDX, RDX) rather than when the last letter changes like Lincoln (MKZ, MKS, MKX, MKT)

    I understand where they are coming from trying to have a link to the Mark naming convention of old, but it’s just too confusing for a small brain like mine.

  • avatar
    Mark

    While I’m not convinced on the styling, I think this is a good step in the right direction for Lincoln to stake it’s claim as THE American luxury cruiser brand since Caddilac seems to have given up on the STS and DTS and is moving downmarket with the ATS. I think Lincoln needs to can the MKZ and make the MKS the starting point for the line and focus on powerful luxury and let Caddiilac blow it’s brains out trying to be the American BMW. (wasn’t that Pontiac’s job before it got the axe?)

    There is still a segment that is looking for a traditional American luxury cruiser that is nicely appointed and has good power and a smooth ride for long distance touring and I think that is what Lincoln should focus on. Unfortunately for them the Genesis 4.6 is now in the picture and at just over $41K fully loaded makes a compelling arguement against the MKS at $52K

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    As an outsider (a Brit), I’ve always associated the likes of Lincoln and Cadillac with big plush cars with soggy suspension and a big V8 up front. I couldn’t agree more with all the people saying that Ford shouldn’t try and mimic european luxury saloon car makers (ie the Germans).
    Immitating terminally boring teutonic grey drab autobahn speed wagons is no the way forward for an American car manufacturer – Lincoln should do what it does best – build big and plush!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Of course I have Not Driven it, nor do I have the least desire to do so after reading this review.

    If I HAD driven it, I would not have blindly accepted the generous 5/5 ride rating of this reviewer, and his damning 2/5 HANDLING (aka Active Safety!) ranking.

    I see. So Jack’s ratings were wrong, even though you’ve never driven the car?

    And, no, I haven’t driven the turbo MKS. That’s why I’m asking Jack questions about the car, versus rating it myself.

  • avatar
    James2

    If Lincoln is making a return to an “American” luxury brand, they need to ditch the alphabet-soup naming scheme and go back to using real names. As someone said earlier, this should be the new Continental. I can’t believe there is anyone inside Lincoln who can keep a straight face when thinking about this ludicrous arrangement. Otherwise, why isn’t the Navigator the MKN?

    They are not alone. The idiot who decided that “Integra” and “Legend” weren’t worth a bucket of warm piss, marketing-wise, ought to be lined up against a wall and hosed by a Vulcan cannon.

    Even the Germans have dropped the logic ball here. How many variations of “CL” can Mercedes dream up? (26, I guess. It’s just a matter of time.) Or a BMW “328″ that actually has a 3.0-liter motor while a twin-turbo 3.0 = 3.5 liters.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    BUT I really appreciate both a comfortable ride AND Outstanding Handling, not because I care to take the car to the track and whip it senseless, BUT because Handling is Active Safety, and if you delude yourself that buying a 6,000 lb Escalade because it gives you sufficient PASSIVE Safety, despite its huge cost of purchase and operation, you do not understand the importance of ACTIVE Safety.

    Great. And how do you go about evaluating the handling prowess of a car you have never driven?

    Just curious.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    You are the second poster that demanded this today, and demanded it only of myself and not of anybody else, sure not those who praised the Lincoln.

    That’s because those praising the Lincoln were mainly praising its looks or that it’s fast. Can you legitimately make a judgment on a car’s looks without having driven it? Sure. And since the MKS has been tested by several car mags, there are all sorts of performance stats proving it’s fast.

    You, however, are calling this vehicle’s handling unacceptable, but haven’t driven it. How do you know?

    Drive the thing and you can comment all you like.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    P71_CrownVic :
    October 16th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    Now, with one model (MKTaurus), Lincoln is ignoring how damaged the brand is by pricing it WAY out of it’s league. And with a bland interior, horrible handling…

    So you’ve driven the car and know it handles horribly?

  • avatar
    gregaryous

    There are so many good things happening today (and tomorrow) at Lincoln and Ford, thanks to the leadership of CEO Alan Mullaly. Thanks to his guidance you will see considerable and dynamic new product coming rapidly every few years with a goal to refresh/replace 150% of their portfolio by 2014.

    Plus, Lincoln will establish EcoBoost as an exclusive performance signature for the brand supported by over 125 patents to sustain its advantage in the market.

    If you haven’t already seen the “6versus8.com” footage about the MKS going up Loveland Pass vs. BMW, MB, Jaguar and Maseratti… its a surprising outcome!

    Yes, its about time they got some DNA for Lincoln design and supported it with fresh styling, interiors, the MKT is outstanding and a technology portfolio second to none, plus this tech is actually useful (unlike the Lexus parking system, its a $4000 joke!).

    Just give’m some time to get the word out with positive customer referrals in the luxury segment and I believe you will see a surprising resurgence at Lincoln.

    Also, with their product development cycle down to less than 2.5 years, you should see the Concept-C come to life as a striking 2012 model.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I haven’t driven the MKS turbo, so I can’t comment on its perfomance, handling or braking.

    But this much I can say as someone who has driven cars in this class – midsize luxury performance sedans – $53,000 is entirely reasonable for a car with this size, equipment level and performance envelope. In fact, it’s on the low end of the scale – a BMW 535 or Mercedes E550 will cost a LOT more.

    What’s remarkable here is that we have an American sedan that can even be mentioned in the same breath as BMW or Mercedes, much less run with them – which this car definitely can.

    Seems to me that means Lincoln is serious about re-entering the luxury market.

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    I gotta say, I found this review to be well-written and enjoyable to read. I will probably never be in the market for a car like this, but nevertheless I feel like now I have a better perspective on the Lincoln. Maybe I’ll give it a little more respect next time I see this “Mk Taurus” on the road.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    So it´s a good drag racer.
    Do you really think that´s important for the customers of this car???

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    P71_CrownVic writes:
    October 16th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    …Lincoln (and Ford)…cannot charge Audi/BMW/Mercedes and Honda/Toyota prices for their appliances. They need to charge HYUNDAI prices for everything thereby establishing their customer base with the new appliances. At that point, they can start raising prices.

    Exactly. What you have done is a perfect summary of Toyota’s marketing strategy for the 1990 Lexus LS 400. They took a hit at $35K per car while M-B and BMW were charging over $50K for their fat-cat sedans. It took about three years before Lexus was the gotta-have luxury car brand, and it put the Germans on the run.

    I always thought that the current big Lexus is the best Cadillac ever built. It’s what the Cadillacs of the 1950s and 1960s should have become – well built, creamy smooth, reliable, powerful and available with the latest gadgets.

    Geeber is right. Lexus is today’s Cadillac and Toyota is today’s Chevy. When Caddy & Lincoln didn’t keep up, Lexus grabbed all the bucks-up buyers that preferred creamy smooth and gadgets to tire slap and Teutonic rigidness.

    Thanks, Baruth. I’d love to test drive either this or the Taurus SHO. The problem is price. Value is what gets customers in the door, and it’s just not there at $50K.

    Still, I’ve previewed the Fiesta and like a lot of Ford product, enough to buy 1,000 shares of FoMoCo stock today.

    One last thing, Autosavant. Yes, everyone has a right to comment in a forum. But what you do is rush to judgment while displaying willful ignorance. The effect discredits any good points you make. Test drive the damn thing before labeling it “unacceptable.” As Sgt. Hulka said, “lighten up, Francis.”

  • avatar
    ConejoZing

    “Fifty-three thousand dollars”

    That’s a little out of my price range.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Even after reading the review, I still don’t fully understand how this is worth around $10K more than the Taurus SHO.

  • avatar
    rockit

    Good review. This is why I come to the site.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    P71_CrownVic”…The only thing Ford’s outrageous prices are doing is driving people away”

    Can you quantify this statement ? Last I looked, Ford has gained market share every month sans one over the past twelve months. Contrary to your statement…Ford is bringing people in…not driving them away.

    It’s continued false/hyperbolic commentary that leaves you with little credibility my friend.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Buckshot – While I doubt any MKS owners will be drag racing, straight line acceleration is a very big selling point to buyers of cars like this. The vast majority of MKS owners will never take their cars to a track, nor even try to drive it to the limits on twisty backroads. The car needs to have power to pass other vehicles on the highway, and to get up to speed quickly on the onramp. American roads are different by and large than European ones. While the sportiness of a BMW might be appreciated on the autobahn and through twisty German highways, aside from a small collection of mountain passes and coastal routes, American’s roads are by and large flat, wide, and open.

    The MKS by no means handles poorly either. It isn’t a sports sedan, but that isn’t a bad thing. It is easy to maneuver away from road obstacles, it doesn’t wallow in corners, and as proven in the 6versus8.com test, it can even hold its own in the twisties.

    Ajla – Why is a Lexus ES worth more than a Camry, a RX more than a Highlander, a BMW 550i more than a Pontiac G8, or a Porsche 911 more than a Corvette? Some of it is brand appeal, the luxury mark means something to a lot of people, for better or for worse, but the MKS is genuinely nicely appointed inside. The leather is nicer, the wood is real, there is more space all around, the gauges are classier, the stereo is nicer, and it has touches like electric steering wheel adjustment, a double panel moonroof, and a power rear sunshade. The collection of bits and pieces may or may not be worth $10K to you, but people are buying the $55K MKS models, so, they are apparently worth it to someone.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Why pay 53K on this car now if it will be worth no more than 35K in 12 months and no more than 23K in 36 months?

    This is a 35K car (new), not a 53K.

  • avatar
    IdiotSavant

    JEC : Don’t worry about the price. It won’t stay that high for long. Just wait three years and buy a lightly-used one off lease for a third of the price.

    I’m certainly no Big 3 slappy, but I see this type of statement quite often. You do realize, ultimately, the market dictates the real selling price of anything? Gee….I wonder who the market is and how do they set that price? Maybe it’s time to modify out knee-jerk reactions?

  • avatar
    ajla

    @NulloModo:

    I was asking a serious question, not trying to be sarcastic or anything.

    Recently, I got a test drive in the new SHO. I still hate the “Ecoboost” name and think the “SHO” badge doesn’t belong on the car, but I have to admit, I was quite impressed by what Ford turned out.

    However, the SHO is so well appointed, I really questioned where the MKS justifies its premium. I’ve never been a major badge guy, so maybe I just don’t “get it”.

  • avatar
    jamie1


    The only thing Ford’s outrageous prices are doing is driving people away.

    P71 etc, my irrational Ford-hating chum. You are wrong yet again, and again, you are letting your hatred get in the way of the facts.

    Market share is up at Ford so they are doing the entire opposite of driving people away. And while they grown market share, their per-unit revenue is up over $1.9 BILLION in the first six months this year. So the so-called outrageous prices are what people are happy to pay for a well-built, safe and exciting vehicle from a domestic manufacturer standing on its own two feet without bail out funds from the tax payer.

    You need to temper your hatred and stick to facts please.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Michael Karesh, who carries much credibility, remarked earlier that the MKS he drove has an unrefined suspension, steering wheel slop, and handled poorly.

    Jack conceded the handling issues in this review, but Michael and Jack are world’s apart on the ride quality and steering feedback.

    The last thing I’ll add, then, is that 53k is a helluva lot of money, period, especially when MB was blowing out new 09 E350s for basically 16k off sticker through USAA and some other programs (which tells you how weak the luxury market is, in addition to the steep discounts Porsche and others are giving), and some on this site basically state 53k is a competitive price for this car.

    Well, what is this car’s direct competitor? It doesn’t really have one.

    Isn’t it just a gussied up SHO which is a gussied up Taurus?

    Why front wheel drive?

    For 53k in today’s market, with heavy discounting at the middle-upper range, and heavily subsidized leases (ala BMW), this thing better be refined as all hell, and it doesn’t really sound as if it.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Ajla – I wasn’t trying to infer that you were being sarcastic. I don’t quite get the badge snobs either, but for some people the badge is worth paying thousands of dollars. Compared to the SHO (which I believe is one of the best deals to be had on a large sedan with performance aspirations at the moment) the MKS just feels richer all around inside.

    ohsnapback –

    The steering and suspension setups are different between the regular 3.7 liter MKS and the Ecoboost version. The regular MKS has to straddle the difference between drawing in new customers from Lexus/Acura/Merc/etc, while at the same time not offending Lincoln loyalists coming out of Town Cars who like the floaty-boaty ride. I’ve never felt anything as harsh as what Michael describes in a regular MKS, but I don’t know the exact situation of the car he drove nor the quality of the roads.

    As far as comparisons to the E-class go, the E350 starts at $48K, the regular MKS (which compares to the E350, the Ecoboost MKS compares to the V8 E class) starts at $40K for 2010, and includes features such as push button start, upgraded THX certified audio system, bluetooth/Sync, turn by turn directions, satellite radio, adaptive headlights with auto hibeams, real leather, heated front and rear seats, air conditioned front seats, full twelve way power with adjustable lumbar front driver and passenger seats, and some other stuff that all cost thousands extra on the Mercedes that starts out at $8000 more. Yes, ther Mercedes badge carries more prestige, and when all is said and done, I will concede that the E class is likely a superior overall vehicle, but loaded compared to loaded for a 2WD E350 and a 3.7 liter MKS, you are looking at high 40s on the MKS vs high 60s on the E class.

    As far as why front wheel drive? Because for most people it works just as well or better than RWD. For less than skilled drivers FWD gives better traction in inclement weather, it allows for better fuel economy, no transmission tunnel through the rear seating area, and neater packaging on the vehicle. Given that RWD only really shows its benefits at or near the handling limits, and very few MKSs or E class sedans will ever see those limits, there is no need for Lincoln to offer the pretension of a sports sedan by making it RWD.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    All Ford products get good love on TTAC; even the Flex, which is a commercial failure, and which has radically divergent reviews on other sites/publications.

    The fact that the Flex has been a commercial failure doesn’t mean it isn’t a good car; I’ve read over 15 reviews and have yet to hear any major criticism except perhaps on loaded price as well as styling, which is highly personal. It is what it is. The Taurus X failed in the market as well, and yet I thought it was an incredible package overall. Very much looking forward to the new Explorer, smoother styling than the Flex, with nearly as much room for those who need it, and yet the planned ecoboost 4 is awesome technology. It’s about time the D3 finds some success – its a great chassis.

    We’re about to drop $37k on an Edge tomorrow…. I’m impressed with many things about the car, but ultimately it’s the solid structure, safety ratings, reliability, and multiple creature comforts (nav! ginormous skyroof! cargo door! dvd!) that have us buying our first domestic vehicle in nearly 30 years.

    Great review Jack. Somehow, though, I think this car is priced $5-7k too high.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “FreedMike :
    October 16th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Autosavant :
    October 16th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Of course I have Not Driven it, nor do I have the least desire to do so after reading this review.

    If I HAD driven it, I would not have blindly accepted the generous 5/5 ride rating of this reviewer, and his damning 2/5 HANDLING (aka Active Safety!) ranking.

    I see. So Jack’s ratings were wrong, even though you’ve never driven the car?”

    Read your own quote of my post above.

    Where did I say that any of his ratings were wrong????

    I accepted all the FACTS in his review as true, and then I gave MY evaluation of the car based on my PREFERENCES, which of course are NOT the same as yours or his or anybody else’s!

    Better luck next time.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “bomberpete :
    October 16th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    P71_CrownVic writes:
    October 16th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    …Lincoln (and Ford)…cannot charge Audi/BMW/Mercedes and Honda/Toyota prices for their appliances. They need to charge HYUNDAI prices for everything thereby establishing their customer base with the new appliances. At that point, they can start raising prices.

    Exactly. What you have done is a perfect summary of Toyota’s marketing strategy for the 1990 Lexus LS 400. They took a hit at $35K per car while M-B and BMW were charging over $50K for their fat-cat sedans. It took about three years before Lexus was the gotta-have luxury car brand, and it put the Germans on the run. ”

    And this is exactly what Hyundai did witht he Genesis Sedan. Its alleged success (it still sells only a modest number of units) would be a total failure if they charged as much for it as BMW, Merc or even Audi and Volvo charge for theirs (does Volvo even have a V8? HAve not paid attention to its boring, fake-hip styled offerings for a while.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    PS While I have said I have not driven the MKS, I have had the misfortune of seeing it in the flesh, several times on the road and while stopped next toone at a stoplight, and it is NOT beautiful and not even remotely graceful. If you want to ask $53k for this, you need to make it attractive. “Got to have it”!

    Not only is the front grill ridiculous, like an old cowcatcher on a train, the whole car suffers from its design. Due to its height, the windows seem tiny and the high belt line makes it also look obese (we already know it IS unnecessarily obese in terms of weight… and it does not even have a V8!)

    ALso, nobody mentions the MPG, which I bet will not be that good. Even with the ecoboost.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    FreedMike :”..That’s because those praising the Lincoln were mainly praising its looks or that it’s fast. Can you legitimately make a judgment on a car’s looks without having driven it? Sure.”

    Of course you have! I have given it a monumental thumbs down on exterior styling. It is ungainly and almost ugly and out of proportion. Cars that cost $53k should better be Elegant and Beautiful and have a ton of style. I have commented on this because, as I posted above, I have seen them on the roads and even had one or two next to me at a traffic light and had a chance to see them well.

    I did not see the interior nor did I offer any comment.

    ” You, however, are calling this vehicle’s handling unacceptable, but haven’t driven it. How do you know?”

    Because the REVIEWER in this post told you so! And if you took the trouble of noticing, I wrote the “unacceptable” right underneath his DISMAL 2/5 rating for its handling!

    PS You Can’t have it both ways, once you falsely accuse me of not believing the review on this post, despite the above (!) and then tell me I cannot comment because of not having driven it!

  • avatar

    #1 PARALLEL PARKING – I don’t see ANYONE using this feature because no one trusts computers that much, and in most situations its easier to park yourself relying on ultrasound. I’ve NEVER been in a situation where I couldn’t see the curb at all. I live in a MODERN city with LIGHTING.

    #2 BIG SPACIOUS? – only if your a small person. The Chrysler 300 has a far better interior space and a great tilt/telescope steering wheel for guys with long legs who recline while they drive.
    The MKS’ left foot rest is horrible and takes away a lot of space – THE SHO’s is EVEN WORSE.

    $3 for $more than $50,000 this car is no bargain, especially when you compare it to wannabe LS sedans like the Genesis V8 which costs less. And I am not saying that cause I like the genesis… I think its cheap and I’d never buy one…but the Lincoln didn’t feel like it had much more quality.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’d take the $55,000 + tax that you’d need to buy the MKS with Ultimate Package and I’d spend on a brand new MERCEDES BENZ E350 …or …I’d buy a used S-class 550.

    The MKS and the SHO take over 200 inches of length and offer WORSE interior space than the 198 (or less) inch Chrysler 300 and Eclass.

    NO THANK YOU LINCOLN.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “As far as I’m concerned, I’d take the $55,000 + tax that you’d need to buy the MKS with Ultimate Package and I’d spend on a brand new MERCEDES BENZ E350 …or …I’d buy a used S-class 550.”

    I’d definitely wait for the E-class diesel, if not already on sale.

    Another thing: Senior engineers that have worked at Ford all their lives would tell me, over time, how Ford designs and builds its cars and trucks, and they insisted that they build the cars to last an avewrage of 100k miles and the trucks for an average of 150k miles! Gives meaning to the Ford Truck ad slogan “Ford tough” (LOL). But raises questions if anybody who shells out $53k wants his car to last a mere 100k miles… which will surely reflect on Resale Value!

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Though I don’t work for Ford, I spent quite a bit of time in this car while it was in development. Given that the MKS has only been out a year, I am amazed how quickly it’s been updated. The original IP had some ergo issues, and it’s already gone. New gauges for the win. Night and day difference in handling and feel between the Ecoboost AWD and the 3.7 FWD. Barely comparable. Given the polished state of the EPAS, I wonder if it was just simply late for introduction with the ’09s. I’ve used the parking assist hundreds of times. I’m a pretty decent parallel parker, and it can park tighter than I can; I cringed for the first few times it swung the nose within inches of the left rear bumper of the vehicle in front. After that I just trusted it. Never kissed a curb, and once you get a little practice interpreting their tones, the sensors will let you get to within about two inches of other cars. The adaptive cruise, too, is something I could really get used to having. Both of these features just simply work, reliably and transparently.

    Is it better than the Taurus? Yes. Love the SHO, but that center console takes up a lot of room, and the MKS feels much more spacious. Nicer materials. And the new appearance package removes just the right amount of chrome for black and body-color.

  • avatar

    ” they insisted that they build the cars to last an avewrage of 100k miles and the trucks for an average of 150k miles!”

    I have an Expedition 2002 pushing 105,000 miles. The only problems I’ve had are replacing the spark plugs and recharging the AC. I’ve also had to get new bushings for the suspension but most of this was covered by warranty the first time I had to do it.

  • avatar

    By the way… I think “Ecoboost” is a silly badge to have on an MKS.

    They coulda called it the MKS-V

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    A couple of things about pricing and market positioning:

    Comparing this to a Hyundai is ludicrous, even a car as capable as the Genesis. On paper, possibly, the cars are comparable. But Lincoln has lost twice as much prestige as Hyundai will ever have, even given the Korean mfr’s steady improvement. I’m guessing the target market won’t even bother to cross-shop. This Lincoln actually merits its prestige.

    Mid-fifties for ANY manufacturer’s flagship is a steal. One this radically improved over anything that has ever worn a Lincoln badge, especially so. You’d have to look back to the Continental Mark II in 1955 to find an American car that stood so high above its peers in quality and luxury.

    I don’t get why people want this to be a sports sedan. It isn’t a sports sedan. Never was, never will be. I’ve flung it around some horribly surfaced twisty roads–roads I won’t travel on my sportbike–and don’t find a need to make excuses for its handling. It does just fine. Funny thing happens to import sports sedans after a few years–they get bigger, quieter, and softer, in the American luxury idiom. Almost like Cadillac and Lincoln got it right to start with. I see this car as absolutely true to Ford’s vision of what it should be, with only some minor demerits on execution. If the first two years are any indication, there’s more good stuff to come for this platform.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    @Flashpoint: I am 6’2″, 225lbs, wear a 48Long coat, and I can wear a top-air-vent Impact helmet in the MKS. Furthermore, after adjusting the seat in front I can sit behind myself and have the same room in the back. I’m not sure what you’re looking for with regards to space.

    @ohsnapback: Michael and I are going to have differing opinions about ride and handling, as we have different backgrounds, but we also drove different cars.

    As regards the handling of the MKS Ecoboost: I can easily double the posted speed around any offramp in the car, which is all I would ask of a luxury sedan. As some of TTAC’s readers know, it is not all that unusual for me to find myself making rapid lane changes at well over 130mph. I am perfectly satisfied with the amount of roll stiffness, rebound damping, and steering response the MKS offers.

  • avatar
    shiney2

    I think there will be far less issue with Lincoln re-establishing itself as a luxury make than Hyundia will have establishing itself as a Luxury make, and Audi, BMW and MB are all very vulnerable.

    I’m in my early 40s, but the bulk of my friends are non-gearheads in their late 20s and early thirties, single folk or married couples without kids, the prime luxury car buyers of the next decade. We car freaks may have noticed Lincolns second rate lineup over the last 20 years, but they didn’t sell enough of them to leave an impression on the general market. My friends only impressions of Lincoln are from the Town Cars that have been dutifully serving as indestructible Taxis and limos since before they were born, and the cool Kennedy era Continental. To them Lincolns are tough, comfortable, but out of date, and the marque itself has a certain kitch value. When I suggest they look a new Lincoln they are amused but open to the idea. Woman in particular seem inclined to view Lincoln as a retro 60s luxury brand more than a failed 80s Luxury brand.

    In contrast, they have all had personal experiences with the recent expensive reliability issues the German makes have had, either with their cars or friends cars. When they ask for my car recommendations, it often comes prefixed with “no German cars”, and thats from current Jetta owners. My taste for old Benzs is looked on with pity by a whole generation that thinks of them as overpriced, unreliable, and painfully expensive to fix.

    Hyundia also has its work cut out for it, as many buyers moving into the Luxury car world still remember the punishment box Hyundais they and their friends drove in high school. When I recommend Hyundais they still look at me like I have lost my mind or am just uncouth. It simply is not yet an aspirational brand.

    In other words, Lincolns near non-existence in the private Luxury car market for the last 20 years may work to its advantage now. And the complexity and dismal reliability of the big German makes over the last decade is going to bite their resale value hard. Who wants to buy a 10 year old car they cannot trust or repair? And that will start driving down the resale value of the cars at 3-6 years, if it hasn’t already.

  • avatar

    Jack Baruth

    I am 6’6 1/2 300 lbs and I own a Chrysler 300, an S550 and a Expedition 2002.

    the S and the 300 have more space than the MKS inside. The 300 is smaller than the MKS which is closer to the size of my Sclass.

    the E350 also has more space than the MKS and it too is smaller.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    According to Edmunds the MKS trumps the E class in all interior measurements. It beats the S class in front and rear headroom, as well as front leg room, but the S class beats it in rear leg room and in hip and shoulder room (however that is measured). The MKS beats the 300C in all categories except for rear leg room and hip and shoulder room. The MKS also has a bigger trunk than any of them.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    @Flashpoint: You are that 99th-percentile person for whom Mercedes-Benz makes the S-Class. I have clients who are well over 6’6″ and they are all S-Class fans.

    I would suggest you are being a little subjective and combative on this topic, but past experience in local TKD heavyweight-class sparring has taught me to be careful around people who are 6’6″ and 300lbs.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    +1 shiney2

    Your comments seem to be a reasonable reflection on the brand. There’s always some wanton lust for German cars but I agree that I’d have some real concerns about the cost of long term ownership if I were that buyer.

    I’m pleased to see a more demure ass on the MKS because I’ve never been a fan of the wall2wall tail lights on many models. I think it’s reasonable to make their statement in the front and I’d say Lincoln’s are unique that way in terms of design.

    Personally, I think Infiniti has been the only star of the luxury show for the past several years. Their design, performance and reliability create a real 1-2-3 punch combo.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant :
    October 17th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    And if you took the trouble of noticing, I wrote the “unacceptable” right underneath his DISMAL 2/5 rating for its handling!

    So you thought Jack’s rating was unacceptable? What was wrong with it?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but how would you know that without having driven the car?

  • avatar

    NulloModo :
    According to Edmunds the MKS trumps the E class in all interior measurements.

    The MKS and SHO have ridiculously huge trunks…and there lies the problem. The rear seat space is swallowed by trunk and the wannabe coupe roofline – so they make the front seats as far forward as possible to make knee space for row two.

    Then to make matters worse, the steering wheel doesn’t telescope very far.

    Get in a Chrysler 300 and a MKS and tell me which is bigger.

    By the way…on paper, it can say WHATEVER. If I can get my body into a car THEN AND ONLY THEN IS IT SPACIOUS.

  • avatar

    Jack Baruth

    In the 300, I sit with the seat all the way back and a half tilted backrest. Its comfortable.

    In the S-class, I sit the exact same way, but I have even more leg room.

    I think the problem is the MKS’ transmission tunnel, narrow doorway entry and a dash that doesn’t offer enough room from thigh to knee.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I think the question about the 2/5 is whether it is a 2/5 compared to other luxury sedans or cars in general. The 2/5 somehow implies that the MKS handles badly, which it doesn’t. It doesn’t handle as well as a luxury sports sedan, or perhaps even a mainstream sports sedan or sport compact, however, it does handle just as well, if not better, than the vast majority of regular cars. To put a fine point on it, the MKS handles better than a Camry, which is the best selling sedan on the market. There is no room to bitch about lack of ‘active safety’ as the handling is more than fine to get you out of the way of any hazards on the road. It doesn’t handle like a BMW, but it isn’t trying to be a BMW.

    Kyle –

    For me, Infiniti died with the Q45. The QX emulates the Navigator and Escalade, and doesn’t do the job as well as either, the M isn’t a compelling alternative to the 5 series, E class, or even the Lexus GS, and Infiniti’s heritage contains cars like the G20, which was one of the worst examples of badge engineering ever in the luxury market.

    The only truly competitive and desirable models in the Infiniti lineup are the FX and the G class. I like the looks of the FX, and the performance of the FX50 is hard to ignore. Likewise, the G makes a strong case for itself as a cut-rate 3 series competitor, and the convertible version looks better than both the Lexus IS and the BMW 3 series drop tops. Aside from those two models however, Infiniti has nothing special.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Rule for modern living:

    If you see your own name atop three consecutive posts, you’re posting too much and thinking too little.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    The QX was an obvious “me too” SUV concoction which is a rebrand special, but practically any luxury SUV from a two-tier company falls into that recycling bin.

    Infiniti died with the Q45
    Or another way of thinking about it is, that Infiniti had the smarts to let the Q45 die instead.

    I used to think that Infiniti was off their chain for their oddball design philosophy, but now they have a more coherent line of cars. We’ll see how the new M stacks up with the competition.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Jack Baruth:

    Thanks for clarifying that you drove the higher end, ‘EcoBoost’ edition, while Michael Karesh drove the normally aspirated 3.7 liter.

    Having said that, isn’t the steering setup the same, and what’s radically different between the two regarding the suspension?

    I take it there’s not much, if any, difference in the interior trim materials/quality.

    Justin Berkowitz also reviewed the normally aspirated MKS on TTAC, and didn’t seem to be terribly impressed with it.

    Not that Consumer Reports is the ultimate authority, but their opinion carries a tremendous amount of sway undeniably, and they gave the MKS a lukewarm review, talking about an “unsettled ride,” “poor fuel economy,” a granular motor (3.7 normally aspirated), and “so-so reliability.”

    Out of curiosity, the normally aspirated, lower end MKS is selling for as little as 32k in many parts of the country, with about 6k on the hood worth of incentives.

    What I’d like to do is drive this car back to back with the Cadillac CTS and Hyundai Genesis, which are both rear wheel drive setups, and then back to back with the LaCrosse (with the larger motor when it comes), which is front wheel drive.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Almost forgot; Healey ragged on the MKS.

    Such divergent reviews befuddle me.

    He called the ride unpleasant and choppy, the handling sloppy, and disliked the car in general.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2008-07-10-lincoln-mks_N.htm

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Such divergent reviews befuddle me.….

    The only real way to judge is drive it (whatever “it”is) yourself. If you like the look and it passes the TruDelta reliability test, and it seems to fill the bill, get in one and go for as long a test drive as possible. There is not much likelyhood for overlapping reviews because people have different priorities as to what is important. For me, poor driving dynamics automatically disqualifies the car no matter what it is. I’ll trade ride for handling any day. My father would be just the opposite, as a creamy ride is what takes top billing. If you ever take a look at the tire reviews on the “Tire Rack”, you’ll see what I mean. You wouldn’t think the people were talking about the same item.

    The biggest problem is that very few reviewers can put aside preconceived notions or bias for a given brand. It takes a lot for a person to be open minded with a brand that, for valid reasons or not, sits poorly with them. While GM blames everything from poor sales to the weather on “perception problems”, there is certainly some merit to it. Just read all the comments on this car. You can easily see those who simply dislike Ford; this car could be built like a BMW, as reliable as a Corolla, and still it would be no good. Drive for yourself, folks…

    shiney2: well said and right on the mark…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    NulloModo :
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    The only truly competitive and desirable models in the Infiniti lineup are the FX and the G class. I like the looks of the FX, and the performance of the FX50 is hard to ignore.

    Out of curiosity, have you driven the new G? I’d say its’ “cut rate BMW 3-series competitor” days are long gone – it’s every bit the 3-series’ match in terms of performance and handling, and just happens to cost a LOT less.

    I’d say Infiniti is rebuilding its brand in a very smart way – start with the entry level and establish a loyal customer base, and then move them into more expensive models.

    As things stand, the move-up model is the M, which has a sweet chassis in a plain vanilla wrapper. But the new M, which will be out in a few months, looks great.

    Personally, I’m looking for great things from Infiniti. Any luxury brand that builds its line around performance is aces by me.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Flashpoint :
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Get in a Chrysler 300 and a MKS and tell me which is bigger.

    By the way…on paper, it can say WHATEVER. If I can get my body into a car THEN AND ONLY THEN IS IT SPACIOUS.

    Reminds me of car shopping with my late dad…he was built like you, and had a hell of a time trying to find a car to fit him. My brother has the same problem, and he too has found comfort in his 300. Is it accidental that so many football and basketball players bought this car? I think not – for a big, tall guy, it’s a great fit.

    The MKS has the same high beltline as the 300, but the windshield is raked very steeply, and there’s a wide center console, so I can see where big or tall guys might feel a little constricted.

    Otherwise, I was very comfortable in the MKS I drove, but I’m only 5’10″. In the 300, I felt like I was sitting in a hole. Ah, well, that’s why Baskin Robbins makes 32 flavors, I guess…

  • avatar
    rockit

    ohsnapback:

    Your still posting your rants at 4am on a Sunday?

    Jack gave a respectable review on the newly released ecoboost, NOT the normal aspirated model you gave a link for which was first released last spring.

    He gave this car 4 stars.

    Deal with it.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    rockit: Why so whiny?

    I’m not posting rants; just observations and reviews of some other journalists who drove the MKS.

    By the way, even now, it’s 12:07 a.m. where I live, and I’m off to bed. Where do you live that it’s 4:00 a.m.? Iceland?

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    @ohsnapback: It’s hard to extract “disliked the car in general” from that Healey review. But even if he did dislike the car in general, it’s hard to take that guy seriously. He’s no driver; more of a specialized robot sent back through time to evaluate the number and capacity of cup holders in every car made. He’s one of these guys who gets in a BMW 328i with the base suspension and calls it “go-kart-like”.

    I think it’s fair to say that your overall opinion of the MKS is going to be based strongly on your initial bias. I’d recommend driving a current ES350 immediately before driving the MKS to get an idea of what FWD luxury cars are actually like.

    I can hand any car a negative review if I approach it with a chip on my shoulder. For many writers, any domestic car gets an automatic chip. There’s nothing quite as easy, rewarding, and simple as writing a snotty review of a domestic car. Quick credibility with the pre-teen set and lots of opportunities to burnish one’s chops with the baying applause of self-loathing emo kids close behind.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, Jack, having reviewed this review three times and some of the others you’ve written for TTAC, plus reviews you’ve done for other sites, I’d like to offer my congrats. I think you’re the best reviewer out there at the moment.

    That includes your writing style. Excellent job. I think I get a better feel about a vehicle from you than any other source. Please keep it up.

  • avatar
    salhany

    Am I the only one that doesn’t hate the styling? I see these on the highway and they are instantly recognizable, and I like the styling. I also suspect that color has a huge influence on how this car looks: in black it’s damn handsome, and it’s also offered in a cinnamon-type of color that’s striking.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Jack Baruth :
    October 19th, 2009 at 4:05 am

    @ohsnapback: It’s hard to extract “disliked the car in general” from that Healey review. But even if he did dislike the car in general, it’s hard to take that guy seriously. He’s no driver; more of a specialized robot sent back through time to evaluate the number and capacity of cup holders in every car made. He’s one of these guys who gets in a BMW 328i with the base suspension and calls it “go-kart-like”.

    I think it’s fair to say that your overall opinion of the MKS is going to be based strongly on your initial bias. I’d recommend driving a current ES350 immediately before driving the MKS to get an idea of what FWD luxury cars are actually like.

    I can hand any car a negative review if I approach it with a chip on my shoulder. For many writers, any domestic car gets an automatic chip. There’s nothing quite as easy, rewarding, and simple as writing a snotty review of a domestic car. Quick credibility with the pre-teen set and lots of opportunities to burnish one’s chops with the baying applause of self-loathing emo kids close behind.

    Jack,

    Point taken about Healey, right or wrong, but I could literally list a half a dozen reviews knocking the handling, ride quality and granular sound of the (base) 3.7 liter Duratec (granted, you drove the EcoBoosted version).

    So, as far as I can tell, the only real difference in components in the car you drove is that it has the new twin turbo V6, while the suspension and handling bits are pretty much the same as the base version.

    Hence my comment on the divergence in reviews.

    This doesn’t make your review or driving impressions ‘wrong’ or ‘right,’ but simply reinforces my perception that the MKS is one of the vehicles where I’ve seen the upper limits of extreme and divergent reviews concerning.

  • avatar

    I’m more of a sporting luxury car kind of guy (and thus not in this market), but this Lincoln looks great! I’ve seen a few around town and can’t stop looking at them. They are definitely not small vehicles either, at least on the outside. Nice review.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    Took a good long look at one yesterday. It’s not an unattractive car (for its size) at all … probably the best looking Lincoln in several decades. Even more importantly, its looks struck me as being in sync with its price.

  • avatar
    krasnodar

    Regarding comments about depreciation, inflation, RWD, Lincoln quality and so on:

    Eighteen months ago I was looking to replace my ’96 Mark VIII. Balance and power requirements mandated V8 and RWD, which limited the field without going Euro and the associated upkeep. While brand loyalty wasn’t imperative, the LS was one of the few models met all my needs.

    I found a 2004 off-lease with 36,000 miles, all options including navigation/THX, for less than $14,000. Original MSRP was $51,300. I preferred it to my brother’s BMW 5-series and my father’s 500 S-Class, but that’s just me. Outside of the transmission that needed to be rebuilt at 50k (and was covered by the extended warranty that came with the purchase), it is, comparatively speaking, the finest vehicle I have owned in 30-plus years of driving in terms of solidity, handling, power, comfort and driving pleasure. Lincoln had a real contender in the LS before unwisely killing it, IMHO.

    Would I consider a similarly depreciated MKS in three years? Lincoln quality would not be an issue. The lack of rear-wheel drive, though, would preclude it as an option, even though I live in snow country. I cannot seem to shake the notion that RWD is the only properly way to drive an automobile, a feature that makes the LS such a pleasure for any of the other limitations it may bring to the a larger world in which I don’t live.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    When a car has to be compared against a modern Volvo to win then it’s already lost.

    It is kind of unfair to evaluate this car based on its MSRP when Ford will be lucky to move any of them within $10K of sticker, except for maybe some senile old people that sleazy Ford dealers are more than happy to take advantage of.

    Even if this thing is selling for ~$40 actual transaction price a used Infiniti M is still a better deal. A $25K used Infiniti M has more useful life in it than a new MKS, and is a better handling, smoother, more serene car.

    Ford is notorious for abusing suppliers and getting the absolute worst components from every supplier, so anyone interested in this car would be well advised to lease.

    Ford got a jump on the competition with the turbo (maybe because the competition cares more about long term reliability), but this is just a strong engine in a mediocre car, kind of like a Cobalt SS.

  • avatar
    Ach

    The less-than-cultured responses at the steering wheel that plague the D3 Fords have been tidily addressed with the new EPAS electronic steering.

    Thing is, Ford got this right a long time ago with the Five Hundred, which had outstanding steering for its class. Unfortunately, the steering (along with handling in general) suffered mightily at the hands of the dumbing-down campaign that resulted in the 2008-09 Taurus, and apparently spilled over into the Flex and 2010 Taurus as well. Shame that it took EPS to get back to where they were five years ago.

  • avatar
    Citizen Chin

    This is the kind of car that beckons me to hop into and drive aimlessly around the country.

    http://escapefromjersey.blogspot.com/

  • avatar
    Greigert

    Love the review! Appreciate the comments comparing it to the SHO mostly. However, I’m tooootally agreed on the names. If ever a car wanted to go by Continental…. Agreed on the stop chasing the Germans and Asians bit, too. So, I think this WILL be my next car next summer unless GM offers Lux II Slades for 49k again next Jan. Or unless BMW carries on with the whore-out leases of a 535xi.

  • avatar

    Nice review. I like Jack’s writing style; I also appreciate his driving experience – it certainly helps with the reviews. I like the looks of this car, and would certainly consider it if I had sixty thousand bucks to spend on a car. The only thing is that the long-term reliability is unknown, though OTOH it should be better than a Merc. NulloModo is right – North American roads are mostly straight and flat – no need for sporty handling; good ride comfort and good passing/merging ability are much more important.

  • avatar
    tedward

    NulloModo
    “As far as why front wheel drive? Because for most people it works just as well or better than RWD. For less than skilled drivers FWD gives better traction in inclement weather, it allows for better fuel economy, no transmission tunnel through the rear seating area, and neater packaging on the vehicle. Given that RWD only really shows its benefits at or near the handling limits”

    I’d disagree with just about all of that and especially the assertion that RWD bias is only felt at the limits. Where I notice the difference is taking off from a stop, or any low speed, loose surface condition (not talking drifting here). I just don’t think front wheel slip, or even the slightest of tugs from torque steer, is appropriate to the class. I guarantee that the FWD bias was budget imposed on this car, and will probably be ditched at some future date.

    Remember, we’re talking about an AWD car here, not a front driver, it has a tunnel and this is just a matter of refining the driving experience by adjusting the bias. It sounds like a great car for Lincoln otherwise, and I’m really not looking for a sports sedan in this criticism.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    @Flashpoint :
    “I think the problem is the MKS’ transmission tunnel, narrow doorway entry and a dash that doesn’t offer enough room from thigh to knee.”
    Considering this vehicle has a transverse mounted engine and gearbox… how the hell does it have a transmission tunnel? Besides, I thought you’d never been near the thing. I’ve sat in one and there’s plenty of room (considering I’m 6ft and bit hefty).

  • avatar
    Jim Cherry

    Lincoln is definitely back in the game. And the MKS is a serious competitor in its league. The interior reaches Audi standards. And I agree, its refreshing that Lincoln isn’t straining to make a BMW clone but updating its classic strengths: http://www.examiner.com/x-6882-Classic-Autos-Examiner~y2009m10d16-How-Lincoln-got-its-groove-back-Classic-styling-clever-engineering-and-branding-unity

  • avatar
    PennSt8

    “It’s much quieter on the freeway — as quiet as any D-class German under most circumstances — and it rides impeccably.”

    Wasn’t something very similar said (regarding the E350) in the recent Import Sport Sedan Comparison? Having driven both vehicles, I’d agree that the MKS and the E350 are one in the same…

    My biggest pet peeves with the MKS…..

    1. The hood cut line above the grille is busy, and Ford should have integrated the grille with the hood

    2. The ride height in the rear drives me nuts. Is this a Dodge Neon?

    Other than that I don’t get the complaints regarding the interior, it’s not the best but it works at this price class.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    Don’t shoot the messenger, and do forgive me if I’m in error, as it’s not ill-will behind it, but rather, honest observation, but does anyone else get the sense that the more critical reviews of Ford products on TTAC are missing in action?

    This is TTAC, after all, and I am deeply worried that a troubling trend is now firmly in place; one that seeks to undermine the singular quality that made TTAC uniquely divine among auto review websites: scathing objectivity.

  • avatar

    I took a fifth look at this car trying to figure out where all the space went. Basically the driver’s position is tight because the door panels are ridiculously thick, the B pillar is ridiculously thick and the center console+ armrest are ridiculously high and sloping downwards. Kills every bit of driver space.

    Not to mention seats too far forward.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    Give it more RWD bias and a 6-speed manual. Now that would be fun.

  • avatar
    Galactus21

    I’ve driven my 2009 MKS for a year now and if one were to take the insecurity out of the decision process when analyzing an American sedan and truly match features, not many compare to this car for the cost.
    From an interior tech perspective, SYNC’s ipod integration and the quality of 5.1 audio sources played over the THX certified system can’t be matched.  The sound is utterly clean and crisp and very well engineered.  Other Navigation systems seem to be less intuitive and granular than what is equipped in the MKS.  All customers and colleagues, pretentious or technical, are completely impressed with this car.   My wife’s previous two BMW X5′s were very nice with very nice interiors, but for north of $48k, those X5′s were horsepower, CPU, and Audiophile barren.  The same has to apply to their similarly priced sedans, especially when the drive off cost for my MKS was just over $40k.  Compared to my father in law’s M35 with similar hp and features, the M35 interior is noticeably cheap compared to the MKS higher quality build.  The M35 has a Chuck E Cheese-like console and runs over $100 per month more on a near identical lease.
    My only disappointment is that coming off my previous Lincoln LS lease, the EcoBoost was not ready yet, but 280hp with premium and a K&N Filter works for now.   My mpg average for 9.4k miles is sitting right at 21.8.  Not bad for a very large car.  Since the MKS is not breaking the bank, the idea of buying a 1986 or 1987 Buick Grand National to satisfy my 12-13 sec 1/4 mile urges is very realistic.
    Thanks for a very objective report that satisfies my very subjective affection for my MKS.

  • avatar
    treedom

    Patrick, inflation is and has been low for many, many years. (But it IS cumulative…so if your reference point is 20 years ago, you’ll be shocked.) Inflation APPEARS higher than it is, because of late it has been concentrated primarily in foodstuffs and gasoline, and everyone goes shopping and fills the tank.

    If you correct the math for feature content, cars are cheaper today than in the supposed heyday of the 60s. Car sticker-price inflation is driven partly by the need for periodic Big Sales Event trickery, partly by Net-savvy consumers reducing carmakers’ captive loan companies’ ability to make the money on the loan instead of the car, but mostly by skyrocketing content in terms of safety features, comfort content, convenience features, horsepower, and the quality and capacity of braking, and suspension components… to say nothing of the economic benefits of greater reliability, fuel economy and durability vs. the cars of, say, the 70s.

    Everyone says they want a simple, reliable, inexpensive car, but the last one of those on the market, the Saturn SL, got murdered by critics. I call BS. We’ll get cheaper cars when we accept less from our cars.


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