Car and Driver's David E. Davis Pimps for Lincoln

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

As my father would say, another myth exploded. Eddie Alterman brought David E. Davis back to Car and Driver to . . . what? Restore lost street cred? Re-connect with baby boomers who left the buff book in disgust at its fall from Wilkinsonian grace? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: Davis’ latest column is an unconscionable, virtually unreadable sop to Ford, CEO Alan Mulally and the dead-in-the-water Lincoln brand. Davis starts as he means to finish, deploying prose that’s the metaphorical equivalent of Huggy Bear’s wardrobe: “Mr. Mulally has now demonstrated beyond all doubt that he’s the real thing, and his revamped Ford Motor Company, with a terrific portfolio of new products, is rolling proof.” Strip away the Bend Down Low vibe and sure, you could make the case. But it doesn’t take Davis but a brace of paragraphs to stretch both credibility and credulity to the breaking point. “The Lincoln MKT is the latest of several new products that are helping Ford regain lost territory.” Speaking of losing it . . .

Lincoln MKT? The badge engineered, blinged-up Ford Flex? THAT’S Davis’ proof of a Ford turnaround? Methinks he’s got it exactly backwards. The MKT is emblematic of how far Ford has left to travel. It’s an ersatz luxury car that looks like a Hannibal Lector art car in search of an unlimited supply of plankton.

Of course, the MKT IS a crossover—a term that Davis feels obliged to define for people who read an ancient copy of Car and Driver once a year whilst waiting for bridge work. But EcoBoosted or not, pronouncing the MKT a category killer is like nominating Ralph Nader for president.

Which isn’t the worst of it. The real tragedy: Davis spends five paragraphs giving a review of the MKT that seems lifted from, or headed to, your local newspaper’s automotive section. And then he really loses it.

It is difficult to imagine our government, or any government, ever creating such an astonishing array of features and benefits in one automobile. The Soviet Union had a vast automotive industry run by workers committees and government bureaus, and the communists managed to create the Trabant, arguably the worst car ever made. They never built a good car, only “less bad” cars. U.S. Senators and TV talk-show geniuses keep wondering why American carmakers can’t make the sort of cars people want. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Ford Motor Company, presently offering the Lincoln MKT and about 8 or 10 other cars as good as any vehicles from anywhere.


Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Aug 09, 2009

    Ford, with the exception of the Mustang GT, is absolutely, positively on a torrid pace to have produced one of the longest strings of snooze-mobiles of an major automaker since we partied like it was 1999. Give us something to get excited about, Ford. I can deal with temperamental, even, as long as it raises my blood pressure. Your world through my eyes is collage of Duratec motors humming like John Deere's, green lit gauges and that now oh-so-familiar toothy and sappy grin.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Aug 09, 2009
    Ford, with the exception of the Mustang GT, is absolutely, positively on a torrid pace to have produced one of the longest strings of snooze-mobiles of an major automaker since we partied like it was 1999. That is why I call Ford, America's Toyota.
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.