Review: 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
review 2010 lincoln mkt ecoboost

Remember the scene in Jaws when Quint is being eaten by a great white shark, where he kicks his legs at the beast’s head, trying to avoid its endless rows of razor-sharp teeth? I reckon Lincoln’s designers based the MKT’s snout on Bruce’s man-eating maw. Sure, there’s a touch of Hannibal Lecter’s mask to the MKT’s grill design. And yes, HR Giger’s aliens would feel right at home wheeling this whip to a Humanity’s End party. But there are children who laughed at the liver-loving psycho killer and sniggered at the acid-tongued incubus who will wake-up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, begging Daddy to take them to school in the morning in his sedate sedan. Congratulations, Lincoln: the MKT is the world’s most terrifying family vehicle.

The MKT’s grill is so unrelentingly grotesque it’s easy to overlook the fact that the crossover’s hind quarters are equally—if less aggressively—hideous. For anyone who appreciates well-sculpted sheet metal and artful illumination, the MKT’s butt is an abomination. The enormous red strip bisecting the back end at nipple height is a distorted echo of an over-sized Ford Thunderbird logo pasted onto an homage to the Acura RL’s ungainly reverse snow plow motif. Adding insult to aesthetic injury, the MKT’s back-up lights are in exactly the wrong place (dead center).

But wait! There’s more! The rear’s glass-to-metal ratio and forward tilt suggests nothing so much as an oncoming Amtrak train. You can’t ask the MKT’s designers “what the hell were you thinking?” because, clearly, they weren’t. The MKT’s profile is blessedly bland, if you discount the 10-spoke 20″ EcoBling wagon wheels filling-up the arches and ruining the ride. We’ll get to that . . .

Based on its looks, the only logical market for Lincoln’s unfathomably ugly station wagon is someone driving a

hearse. Unfortunately, the $50K plus sticker puts it out of reach for all but the most successful goth rockers, who’d instantly opt for a proper tour bus. Which leaves . . . who? Seriously. I have no idea why anyone would buy a Lincoln MKT. An engine freak?

Lincoln proudly proclaims that the EcoBoosted MKT is the “only vehicle in its class with a twin-turbocharged direct injection V6 engine.” There’s a reason for that. Vehicles in this genre (at this price point) are tuned for quiet composure. Unlike a smooth-spinning naturally-aspirated six or a lazy, loping V8, the EcoBoosted 3.5-liter V6 is a thoroughly manic motor. The MKT’s force-fed mill feels like an amphetamine-crazed stallion, ready to drop a couple of cogs and bolt for the horizon at a moment’s notice. Or, indeed, without a moment’s notice.

Never mind the occasional roller coaster-like jolt, when the MKT’s speed-seeking six-speed gearbox loses its [freight] train of thought. Or the fact that the MKT’s paddle shift transmission gave up the ghost in the middle of my test drive. With 350 lb•ft of torque at just 3500 RPM, the MKT accelerates

like its hair’s on fire. How great is that?

Not much. The the carnivorous Lincoln’s an answer to a question nobody asked: where can I buy a really fast Medusa-class crossover with a hair-trigger throttle? Oh, and don’t worry about wind noise, tire roar or a stiff, crashy ride. Or handling.

Sensibly enough, Lincoln equips its blown MKTs with all wheel-drive. While the big rig’s brakes are almost as touchy as the go-pedal, the steering system serves-up something roughly approximating feel and the car corners without excessive body roll. To no appreciable effect save safety. Tap into the MKT’s seemingly endless thrust (just try not to) and its forward momentum completely outstrips the Lincoln’s ability to do anything about/with it. The MKT is more Hyundai than hot rod; it’s Sonata sports wagon it Hertz.

Yes, there is that. The MKT’s materials, interior design and overall build quality suggests a future spent scaring jet-lagged travelers trudging through rental car lots. What the hell are those pieces of foam glued to the top of the engine bay (in front of the base of the windscreen)? My guess: a twenty-five cent fix for an at-speed hood rattle. Got duct tape? Yup. Well we may need some more over here . . .

As an automotive brand struggling to reclaim its place in The Bigs, Lincoln has equipped all MKTs with “premium perforated leather trimmed seats.” While the chairs are comfortable enough for government work, they’re as aromatic as a window pane. Without any eau de dead cow to distract the nasal palate from nasty, out-gassing plastics, Lincoln’s luxury crossover smells exactly like an oven-fresh Ford Focus.

It’s no small point. Lincoln owes its miserable existence to its inability to sweat the small stuff. Everywhere you look, there’s evidence of cost cutting. From the glove box lid’s flimsy feel, to the execrable embalmed mouse fur material covering the third row seats, to the nasty faux nickel-finished plastic adorning (in the ironic sense) the radio and HVAC housing, the MKT is more econo-box than luxury limo.

I know luxury cars. And you, sir, are no luxury car.

The MKT’s central dials are an especially egregious example of Ford’s lack of commitment to, or understanding of, an upmarket ethos. Garish markers illuminate an otherwise vapid tachometer and frame the speedometer in twenty mile-per-hour increments. [Note: if Lincoln wants buyers younger than 60, perhaps they shouldn’t put that number smack dab in the middle of the speedo.] I’m thinking the MKT’s vanilla-ice-cream-topped-with-gravy styling owes its genesis to a penny-pinching rummage through Ford’s parts bin. If so, shame on them. If not, double shame on them.

The MKT’s plastics may smell bad, but they engender the same amount of haptic happiness as any other Ford product (i.e., none). About the best that can be said about the MKT’s cabin: the wood’s shiny and the second row seating is expansive, cosseting and comfortable—provided the owner opted for twin chairs (as advertised on TV).

Hang on; why would they do that? Who wants an ugly-ass six-chair

leather-lined station-wagon-on-stilts? How’s that whole R-Class thing working out for Mercedes, anyway? True story: the moribund Merc enjoys pride of place on the Lincoln’s Compar-O-Matic, flanked on either side the not-exactly-flying-off-the-shelves Audi Q7 3.6 and the not-entirely-unpopular Acura MDX.

Yes, well, as well all know, three’s company and six is a crowd. And there are not one but two more 5000 lb gorillas in or near the MKT’s vicinity. I know Lincoln’s nonsensiclature makes it virtually impossible to memorize their lineup, but I seem to recall that they already have a crossover. The MK . . . uh . . . X. Trying to create a market for the MKT—instead of improving and promoting their existing model—is yet more evidence of Ford’s ongoing wander through the wilderness.

Anyway, primate number two: the Ford Flex. The twin-under-the-skin Flex is no oil painting either, but it costs less, does everything the Lincoln MKT does, and wasn’t designed by a psychopath serving a life sentence in a maximum security mental health facility.

Time to face facts: the MKT’s fugly grill and bulbous butt are an insurmountable obstacle. The EcoBoosted Lincoln could be as fast and agile as an Mercedes S63 AMG, as luxurious as a Bentley Flying Spur and as economical as a Toyota Prius and you’d still need to a brace of beta blockers to buy one.

I know Lincoln dealerships treat their customers well, if only because of their scarcity. But anyone who buys an MKT instead of an up-optioned Flex or something else entirely is an idiot. Actually, make that a blind idiot.

As even the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles’ licensing division has to draw the line somewhere, I don’t expect the Lincoln MKT will do much for Lincoln’s bottom line or future prospects, save weaken them. The Lincoln MKT AWD EcoBoost proves, once again, that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Performance: 5 stars. Anyone who’d want more thrust in this thing ought to have their headers examined.

Ride: 2 stars. If it was an SUV, fair enough. But it isn’t, so no fare.

Handling: 3 stars. Deadly dull but not deadly.

Exterior: 0 stars. Ghastly.

Interior: 0 stars. What we have is a failure to luxuriate.

Fit and Finish: 1 star. Nothing broke or fell off during the test drive, but Lincoln needs to reach higher. MUCH higher.

Toys: 4 stars. It honest-to-God parks itself and the SYNC works a treat, but the ICE audio quality is so muddy I wanted to put a pair of Wellingtons over my ears.

Desirability: 0 stars. I can’t imagine anyone pining to plunk down 50 large on one of these things.

Price as tested: $50K

Overall Rating: 0 stars. Beats walking and goes like stink, but the MKT is a complete embarrassment to all concerned, really. A badly built car that never should have been built.

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  • Impala 64 Impala 64 on Feb 15, 2014

    Eh gats! Nary a positive word and the honda oddesy reigns supreme. What kind of bizzaro site did I stumble into. The small pud that did the review knows luxury, eh... a definition to him that more than likely means when he upgrades to 2 ply toilet paper prior to sitting on his hemeroid ring while writing this crap. This was like walking into a city with a population of thousands of roger eberts, who's utterly worthless opinion about movies, (or, in this case cars), typically means that if they "hated it" then chances are good that it is exactly the one you should watch, or drive. Patetic.

  • Bbqueen Bbqueen on Aug 10, 2014

    Don't Knock It Till You Try It!! Are these reviews for real, this car is loaded with every feature imaginable. It's every child's dream come true. Who cares about how it looks on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts :0) Pros: -Plush perforated leather heated and cooled front and back seats -all 6 seats are captain chairs/bucket seats -middle row features a centre row console which contains a refrigerator/freezer, cup holders and storage area with things like USB ports and a 3 prong plug. - reverse backup camera with parking assist/ warning - navigation with DVD sync and my lincoln touch - really cool ambient lighting that lights up the whole front and back flooring of the car as well as around the cup holders and door handles, can choose many different colors the kids love it. - oodles of safety features like blind spot alert, collision warning front and back as well as cross traffic alert warning/ -auto parking which means if you have to parallel park . the car will find a spot where it can fit and will back up and perfectly parallel park itself, hands free and perfect parking every time!! -huge double sunroof almost the whole roof is glass - adaptive cruise control, couldn't live without it - power folding seats that stow and fold and flip up with push of a button, even the middle row sitting flips forward to let 3row passengers in with a push of a button. - 3rd row seats flip backwards into tailgate position so kids can sit and watch their siblings football game from the comfort of the trunk, and the trunk door acts as a sun visor/ rain shade , another one of my kids favorite features. - back windows have retractable sun blinds/ shades for backseat passengers. - incredibly smooth luxurious ride -amazing sound system and memory to store 2000 songs -the list goes on and on too many to list Cons - heavy back doors Best 2010 family car out there and by far the coolest, please don't listen to these comments, your kids will be thrilled and so will you, everyone that steps foot in this car says wow I need one!!

  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.
  • Inside Looking Out To me it looks like French version of Hummer. The difference is that while American Hummer projects power French little Oli projects weakness.That vehicle reflects the bleak future for EU. For now they have to survive coming winter but in general population collapse it coming soon, Europeans will be gone in the long run. Only artifacts like this concept and legends will remind us about advanced and proud civilization that populated that small continent the civilization that in the end lacked will to exist.
  • Conundrum "the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union." Nah, wrong. But it's Posky, so should I be surprised? That body material, Duroplast, was invented by Germans, used on the East German Trabant car and dulled many a saw blade when trying to cut it.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuroplastThe Soviets made regular sheet tin cars. Nothing fancy, they just worked, like Soviet farm tractors you could repair with a pipe wrench and a 14 lb maul. They exported quite a few to Canada in the '60s and '70s and people used to swear by them.I suppose this new Citroen Ollie has LED lights. If they fail, does one go to the Dollarama for a $1 flashlight, then rip out and use those LED "bulbs" for a repair?I think this Ollie thing is off the rails. The Citroen 2CV was ingenious, both in chassis and especially suspension design and execution, but where's the innovation in this thing? Processed cardboard panels, when corrugated tin, a Citroen and Junkers favorite fascination would be just fine. Updated with zinc coating from circa 1912 and as used in garbage cans and outdoor wash tubs ever since, the material lasts for decades. Citroen chose not to zinc plate their 2CVs, just as the car industry only discovered the process in the mid 1980s, lagging garbage can manufacturers by three-quarters of acentury, with Japan holding out until the mid '90s. Not many 1995 Accords still around.This Ollie thing is a swing and a complete miss, IMO. Silly for silly's sake, but that's the modern day automotive designer for you. Obsessed with their own brilliance, like BMW and Toyota's crews creating mugs/maws only a catfish could love, then claiming it's for "brand identity" when people take offense at ugly and say so. They right, you wrong. And another thing -- hell, Ford in the 1950s, if not well before, and innumberable Australians found that a visor stuck out from the roof over the windshield keeps the sun out when necessary, but Citroen delivers first class BS that an upright windshield is the solution. And as GM found out in their newly-introduced late 1930s transit buses, flat windshields are bad for reflections, so they actually changed to a rearward slanting windshield.This design reeks of not applying already learned lessons, instead coming up with useless new "ideas" of almost zero merit. But I'm sure they're proud of themselves, and who gives a damn about history, anyway? "We new young whiz kids know better".
  • Conundrum Can't see that the Espada chassis had much to do with the Miura. The Miura had a rear-mounted transverse V12 with the transmission and final drive all part of the engine block. So it's a bit of a stretch saying the north-south V12 and regular transmission Espada chassis was related to the Miura. It looks to be no more than an update of the 400 GT. And short and long-arm independendent suspension was hardly unique -- a '53 Chev had that in front, it was standard for years on most cars that didn't have Mac struts. The Brits call SLA suspension double wishbone, so Honda thought that sounded more mysterious than SLA and used that terminology in ads, but it's the same thing. Only a few mid '30s cars had same length upper and lower A-arms like a '36 Chev, before the obvious advantage of a short upper arm for camber control was introduced. Of course Ford used a dead beam front axle until 1949, so it was last to climb out of the stone age.Do you have a link to a reference that says the Miura and Espada chassis were related?
  • FreedMike One of the things that we here in North America often forget about Europe is that it's a COMPLETELY different world to drive in. Imagine driving in the downtown area of the city you live in 24/7, and never leaving it, and you have a decent simulation of what it's like to drive in a place like Paris, or London, or Rome - or Manhattan, for that matter. As far as the "dystopia" is concerned, I don't really see it that way. This isn't made for people living in the 'burbs - it's for urban dwellers. And for that application, this car would be about perfect. The big question is how successful the effort to provide large-scale EV charging in urban areas will be.
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