- Modern yet classic styling
- Exceptional list of standard features
- Remarkably quiet ride
- Dynamic enough for the class
- Odd front headrest position
- Steering wheel doesn't telescope out far enough
- Looking forward to more powerful EcoBoost turbo engine [this engine is not mentioned anywhere in the text]
The 2009 Lincoln MKS’s smart performance, subdued good looks, and roomy interior put the brand back in full-size, luxury-sedan territory.
The 2009 Lincoln MKS is new for Ford’s upscale brand, though its basic running gear links it to a large family of Ford products, including the new Volvo S80, as well as the current Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, and Volvo XC90.
The 2009 Lincoln MKS's distinctive styling sets it apart from its close kin. The MKS is the first production Lincoln to use the division's new grille design, which the company previewed on the MKS and MKT auto show concept vehicles. The winged design reaches back to Edsel Ford's 1941 Continental and gives the newest Lincoln a welcome bit of character that's grounded in something other than a designer's imagination. Inside, the MKS’s combination of clean lines, luxurious materials, and lighter trim colors plants it squarely in the Lexus idiom of luxury, instead of the darker, more somber German sphere.
A new 275-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 powers the MKS. The engine performs adequately, with a high degree of smoothness and little noise or fuss. While premium fuel is required to hit the 275-hp mark, using regular fuel delivers a still healthy helping of horsepower with no change in fuel economy (17/24 mpg for front-wheel drive and 16/23 mpg for all-wheel drive).
The new Lincoln's six-speed automatic is seen in other Ford products such as the Edge, but has been thoroughly recalibrated for this upscale installation. In the MKS, the transmission includes a sport mode as well as manual shift capabilities. Throughout the hills of Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C., with the transmission in the sport setting, the gearbox shifted aggressively. Its performance was close to anticipatory and did an excellent job of keeping the Lincoln in the right gear at the right time—just what an automatic transmission should do.
Another bright spot for the 2009 MKS is its chassis. The MKS features a totally new multilink rear suspension (not shared with the Ford Taurus or any Volvo) with coil-over shocks and a retuned front strut suspension, then bolts them both to a reinforced chassis that is 35 percent stiffer than that of the current Taurus. The resulting ride is Goldilocks taut: not too soft and not too hard, even with the optional 20-inch wheels. Steering response is quick, and when driving at street speeds, the understeer one expects from a largish front-wheel-drive sedan is totally absent. The MKS is also available with all-wheel drive.
The safety equipment you'd expect to see in a car of this caliber is all present and accounted for: multiple airbags, stability control, and so on. While the 2009 Lincoln MKS has not been tested, the related Ford Taurus scored very well in government crash testing.
Pricing starts at around $38,000 for a front-wheel-drive MKS without any fancy options—but including standard features as heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Ford’s SYNC entertainment system, and HID headlamps—and runs up to $46,000 for a decked-out, all-wheel-drive edition.