The 2011 MKT crossover utility vehicle graces the Lincoln marquee with its long, low and sleek body. Its massive split-wing grille demonstrates a willingness by Lincoln designers to reach beyond the ordinary.
The rear end exhibits the flair of earlier Lincoln Continental models with taillamps that horizontally span the full width of the gently curved liftgate in a totally updated flourish. Leather-trimmed seating with elegant stitching accentuates the flow-through second-row center console and standard jewel-like acrylic instrument cluster with LED white lighting.
The MKT design, from virtually every angle blends all elements harmoniously and in good taste, evoking an emotional appreciation in its execution.
The interior approach matches that of the exterior — it is tastefully done and luxuriously appointed, exuding exemplary fit and finish along with quality craftsmanship heralding a return to Lincoln’s glory days.
There are two fuel-efficient engine choices: Ford’s 268 horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 or the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that generates more horsepower (355) with a higher level of performance, while delivering the fuel economy of a V-6 without compromise. Both engines mate to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission that offers the driver a fully automatic operation or manual control.
My test 2011 Lincoln MKT was powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 with twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection.
The 2011 Lincoln MKT with the EcoBoost turbocharged V-6 marks not only a significant step toward Lincoln’s return to its former stature as Ford Motor Company’s luxury division, but is also a refreshing approach to styling and design that once again stirs emotional sensibilities.
The MKT not only looks good, it rides comfortably, handles with agility while accelerating briskly and braking efficiently. If there’s any shortcoming at all, it lies in the space available behind the 3rd row seat with a full complement of seven passengers. Fold the 3rd row flat and live with two-row seating, and there should be more than enough room for accompanying gear.
The Intelligent AWD system is fully automatic, utilizing an array of internal electro-mechanical clutches that efficiently distributes torque as needed between the front and rear wheels.
New for the 2011 model year, Lincoln expands the optional MKT Elite Package to include HD Radio and a PowerFold 3rd row split bench. The Elite Package also includes: a Voice-activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Link; THXII Certified 5.1 Surround Audio System; Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert; and a Multipanel Vista Roof.
The tester’s base price was set at $49,200 while options such as: the Rapid Spec 202A Package with the Elite Package, Premium Package, Voice activated Navigation system, THX II 5.1 surround sound, Power Panoramic Vista Roof and Blind Spot Monitoring System; 20-inch tires and wheels; 2nd row bucket seats, 2nd row, flow-through console; woven metal appearance package; 2nd row refrigerator console; Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning; and Destination and Delivery Charge bumped the final cost to $58,370.
The MKT not only displays a stirring and elegant visual presence, but delivers in the performance department as well. It may seem somewhat inappropriate, given its premium status, but refer to the 2011 MKT crossover utility vehicle as a “Hot Rod Lincoln” station wagon, and you’ve actually hit the nail right on the head. — Arv Voss, Motor Matters
Manufacturer photo: The 2011 Lincoln MKT offers luxury crossover shoppers Lincoln’s signature design in an inviting three-row configuration, with intuitive technologies including available Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning with Brake Support, Active Park Assist and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert. An unbeatable list of features comes standard on the 2011 Lincoln MKT, including a fixed glass roof, 10GB music jukebox, 110-volt power outlet, push-button start and the award-winning Lincoln SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system.
Next New On Wheels: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo
Next Bonus Wheels: 2011 Ford Fiesta
2011 LINCOLN MKT
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 6/7-passenger AWD CUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $49,200 (as tested: $58,370)
MOTOR TYPE___________________ turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 w/DI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 355 at 5700 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 350 at 1500-5250 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 117.9 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 207.6 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 41.5 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 18.6 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
2012 CHEVY SONIC: The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback small car debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. The Sonic offers turbocharged performance, class-leading rear-seat roominess/cargo space and a variety of connectivity features. “The all-new Chevrolet Sonic blends the practicality of a small car with the passion for driving that Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette are known for,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “Its combination of great design, fun driving experience and the latest connectivity features create a serious competitor with a fun spirit.”
(Source: General Motors)
2011 SALES GROWTH: U.S. new-car and light-truck sales are headed for double-digit percentage gains in 2011, says Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “The auto industry is coming back strong from what has been a difficult economy,” Taylor says. With the average age of cars and trucks on the road today at more than 10-years-old, Taylor says Americans will need to replace their aging vehicles. This fact, combined with low financing rates and wider credit availability, will help boost new-vehicle sales nearly 12 percent this year, he says. “Sales will reach 12.9 million new-cars and trucks in 2011,” Taylor says. Last year, 11.55 million light vehicles were sold. (Source: NADA)
CAR REPAIR ADVICE: I own a 2003 Dodge Caravan. How do I lower the rear to be level with the front? Answer: You can lower the rear of just about any car without causing any front-end problems. The type of spring and mounting location will determine the way the rear is lowered. Do not lower the rear level with the front. Leave the rear up no less than 1 inch to provide a safety net for passengers or added weight in the rear. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2011