2005 Lincoln Mark LT Review

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High Gear Media Staff High Gear Media Staff  
April 17, 2005

Ford may struggle to move its highest-dollar sedans, but it’s always had success selling ultra-expensive versions of its trucks. Take the F-350 King Ranch we drove a while back: at $45,505, the Ranch stakes out some adventurous territory, from its hardware to its hard-to-swallow pricetag. It’s got the goods — like a 13,000-pound towing rating — and the sticker to match.But what’s a more sensitive, urbane cowboy to do when the brown-and-tan-and-more-brown King Ranch design theme is, like, so Santa Fe? Ford kindly directs you to look at a Lincoln, and the new Mark LT full-size truck.

Ford says the LT has the luxury and design elegance of Lincoln with the functionality of a pickup truck. And the appeal here, for the $42,700 in 4x4 trim, is the same as the King Ranch, but in a piano-black and platinum theme. The LT is a sophisticated truck that tows horse trailers from Lexington to Middleburg and still looks in place at the Inn at Little Washington.

Sharp-dressed truck

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Lincoln expects mostly men in their 40s and 50s to be attracted to the LT, but is not so secretly hoping it will be a blinged-out favorite for the same guys who buys $5000 ostrich-skin boots and find the HUMMER H2 and Caddy Escalade way overdone. A narrow niche to be sure, but they’re not expecting the LT to account for anything close to the related F-150’s staggering 900,000-plus sales per year. At 10,000, the LT likely would be a profitable exercise.

For the better, the LT is basically an F-150 Crew Cab done over by folks who clearly have been watching Queer Eye even in its dotage. There’s no Blackwood-style sacrifice to appearance. The LT sports four full doors, front captain's chairs and a three-passenger rear bench, with good room and support for five adults. You wouldn’t want to be the middle passenger on the rear bench for an eight-hour trek up I-95, but an hour or two without complaint to the corners of, say, the Crawford ranch wouldn’t be out of the question.

2005 Lincoln Mark LT

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Functionally, the Mark LT operates as any short-bed F-150 does, even on the order sheet. It’s available in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations with a 5.5-foot pickup box. The base price on 4x2 models is $39,995; our 4x4 version started at $42,700 and with options, ended up costing $47,605.

The veneer of Lincoln accents applied to the F-150 hardware are aesthetically pleasing and well-executed, for the most part. Outside, new metallic trim gets applied to the tall Navigator-like waterfall grill, to a thick band of bright metal around the LT’s equator, and to the door handles, mirrors, running boards and tailpipe. Optionally, it’s on the 18-inch chrome-plated wheels and pickup-bed rails.

The cabin fares even better in its transformation to citified luxury. The Mark takes on ebony-wood accents, Nudo leather piped in contrasting black on the seats, a unique Lincoln face for the instruments, and a limited palette of two color combos, “Pebble with Light Parchment” or “Black with Dove Gray.” The leather trim is two-tone on the steering wheel, and the console as well.

Our tester, in black and dove gray, was quite appealing. The black plastic trim around the periphery wasn’t impressively grained at second look, but all the touch-and-feel features at hand’s reach were pleasant to absorb. Add in a great audio system and the optional rear-seat entertainment system, and the LT could double for a private screening room.

Tough like a Lincoln?

Whether you prefer “Truck Tough” sloganeering or simply “keeping it real,” the LT won’t disappoint. Since it’s nearly identical to one of the more capable trucks on the planet, there’s no worry that your task will go undone — or that you’ll hear the groaning and creaking you might feel if you tried to pull an Airstream behind, say, a shiny new Lincoln LS.

2005 Lincoln Mark LT

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Ford’s modular 5.4-liter V-8 burbles smoothly under the LT’s hood. With identical power to the F-150 — 300 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque — it’s far from the most hormonal powertrain among the full-size trucks, but it is about the quietest and least rumbly, entirely fitting to a Lincoln-badged vehicle. The four-speed automatic gearbox teams precisely to the V-8; a fifth gear might boost fuel economy a tad, but it’s hard to see how it would make the Mark better at highway speeds.

On its double-wishbone front suspension and a Hotchkiss rear end, on loan from the Ford version, the Mark ambles amiably down most roads, with steering that doesn’t require the torture of a thousand tiny inputs to maintain a true heading.

In towing and hauling, the Mark excels. With a towing capacity of 8600 lb and payload of 1460 lb (the 4x2’s limits are slightly higher, at 8900 lb and 1620 lb), it can pull all the usual suspects from the end of its hitch. Heftier tasks will have to wait for the inevitable Lincolnized F-350 duallie.

Plush and protected

Ford’s full-size array of equipment doesn’t include curtain airbags, but four-wheel discs with anti-lock control and electronic brake distribution are standard. Among luxury items, the LT sports the wood trim, a CD changer, power leather seats, automatic climate control, and a Homelink garage-door opener.

Options on our test vehicle included the 3.73 axle, power adjustable pedals, running boards and skid plates, a towing package, a bed extender, 18-inch seven-spoke wheels, a reverse-sensing system, and a DVD rear-seat entertainment system. Also available are a moonroof and a power sliding rear window.

The LT squarely hits the mark that the Blackwood all but ignored. So long as there still are buyers looking for urban pizzazz and F-Series skills, Lincoln finally has the vehicle for them. It’s no bargain, but if nothing more, it’s an altogether natural extension of the F-150’s country gentleman style.

2005 Lincoln Mark LT 4x4
Base price:
$42,700; price as tested, $47,605
Engine: 5.4-liter V-8, 300 hp/365 lb-ft
Transmission: Four-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Length x width x height: 223.8 x 73.5 x 78.9 inches
Wheelbase: 138.5 inches
Curb weight: 5370-5677 lb
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 14/18 mpg
Safety equipment: Dual front airbags; anti-lock brakes
Major standard equipment: AM/FM/CD changer with MP3; power leather seats; automatic climate control; ebony wood trim; power windows/locks/mirrors; Homelink
Warranty: Four years/50,000 miles

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