Black and white
In 2010, Ford reinvented one of its bestselling cars and, by the same token, created seemingly countless opportunities to make an army of great products. The current generation Taurus has spawned the likes of the new Explorer, Flex and, the subject of this review, the Lincoln MKS. Strange then that the Taurus is the least enticing of the lot...
Lincoln is working hard at fixing itself thanks to Ford's desire to return their luxury brand to its former glory. They still have a long ways to go, but they have to start somewhere.
The 2013 Lincoln MKS is one of the necessary steps, but it certainly will not help draw crowds to dealerships. As a whole, the car is good, but there are so many controvertible issues with it that those who will end up buying one will make the conscientious decision to try and ignore some of them.
Here's how I see it:
Hold on for this one: The 2013 Lincoln MKS is a great car! And, it's quite the looker, especially when fully decked out with the EcoBoost engine.
While on the topic, the 365 hp twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 is fantastic. With little lag, responsive throttle and gobs of torque, the 2013 Lincoln MKS with EcoBoost seriously moves. This is, in fact, the identical powertrain found in Ford’s touted performance sedan, the Taurus SHO.
With the 6-speed autobox and all of its 350 lb-ft of torque, the 2013 MKS shoots forward like no oversize Lincoln ever should. The launch is done in maximum civility and comfort, much more to the tune of what is expected from a Lincoln. The engine and transmission combo is simply delectable and frugal, as I averaged 10.5L per 100 km during my road test.
To match, and partially counter, the forceful nature of the EcoBoost powerplant, Ford provides AWD as a standard feature in Canada on the 2013 Lincoln MKS. The system is front-wheel biased, and in the blink of an eye will transfer power to the rear wheels when required.
The non-stop cosseting provided by the 2013 Lincoln MKS is principally the work of the car's fabulous seats. The 12-way power adjustable perches are perfect for all types of treks. The amount of room available in the cabin makes occupants almost feel greedy, and quietness reigns supreme at all speeds. Fit and finish are impressive, as is the dashboard's design.
The other part of what makes the big 2013 MKS this comfortable is the presence of Lincoln's Drive Control continuously controlled damping. The suspension’s sensors constantly monitor the road and the driver's inputs and matches them up perfectly. This same system enables the 2013 Lincoln MKS to handle far better than I anticipated.
As with any and all luxury cars, the Lincoln MKS is loaded to the gills with high-end features such as active park assist, an arm’s length worth of safety gadgets, navigation and a fantastic THX II certified audio system.
Unfortunately, to get most of it to work and fiddle with the cabin's climate, passengers have to go through Lincoln's version of the awful MyFord Touch: the horrible MyLincoln Touch.
The dreadful MyLincoln Touch... This looming shadow over an otherwise well appointed cabin kills any, if not all, reason to purchase this car. As a standard feature, there is no way around quickly working the fan or regulating the volume if you are the front passenger. That is, unless the occupant reaches up to the 8" LCD touchscreen in the centre stack.
The driver has the ability to modify certain comfort aspects through the redundant controls on the steering wheel. All I can say about it then is: Thank the maker!
The hours I spent driving the car, I avoided trying to negotiate with the terrible, supposed touch-sensitive "sliders" to increase fan speed or volume or use any of the non-descript, stubborn, non-cooperative "buttons" to increase cabin temperature. Want a glimpse at what it will be like in the winter with gloves on? Read my 2012 Ford Edge review.
As part of MyLincoln Touch, the 2013 Lincoln MKS features two configurable 4.2" color LCD screens on each side of the speedometer. Although novel and intriguing at first, once set, I’m willing to bet anyone a grande salty caramel mocha that owners never touch them again other than to check the trip or fuel consumption meters.
As well, the single left-hand stalk is very passé. For all the efforts Ford put into making the MKS' cabin modern, why would they leave this as is? On every other application of the flashers, I would accidentally push the stalk a little too forward and high beam the cars ahead of me.
At $47,700, the base 2013 Lincoln MKS is priced like a smaller, lower-scale, well equipped luxury cars like the Infiniti G, Audi A4 or Cadillac CTS. The MKS competes with larger more expensive cars, but is far less pricy. Does this make it a viable alternative? Yes and no.
No because of the SYNC and MyLincoln Touch systems. Yes for nearly every other reason.
Other Reviews Available For The 2013 Lincoln MKS
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Editor's Review Highlights
2013 Lincoln MKS Specifications
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