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The 2013 Lincoln MKS is neither a replacement for the legendary Town Car nor a model conceived to chase German sport sedans. Instead it's a bit of a sleeper, a husky, American-sized four-door that delivers surprisingly strong performance, quietly, and may even blow past your expectations for refinement and safety features. Furthermore, the MKS piles on the advanced tech features and luxury extras.
Handsome is what we'd call the stance of the MKS. In a crowded field that includes the Lexus GS, Volvo S80, and Infiniti M37--as well as the new E Class and even the Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series, the MKS is a step bigger, and it has an especially handsome stance. Its thick proportions are the result of the platform underneath, derived from Volvo's XC90 and S80. The high beltline and short, abbreviated roofline arch have their consequences to backseat space, but it works well from the outside. And inside, at least in the front seat, quiet, classy styling is a big contrast with the glitzy showmanship you'll find inside some of these rivals.
For 2013, Lincoln has cut out the matte-metallics and given the interior an understated makeover, also subbing in the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system and a new reconfigurable gauge cluster. Barring the capacitive-slider controls that this system brings, it's MyLincoln Touch and all the included luxury and tech features that make the MKS so tempting. Standard equipment includes ventilated front seats; heated front and rear seats; adaptive HID headlamps; rear parking sensors; automatic climate control; and an exterior keypad entry system. With a Premium Package, you get a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, navigation, premium audio, a power rear sunshade, and blind-spot and cross traffic alert systems; while the Elite Package adds Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping, premium wood trim, and a few other extras. Altogether, you can load an EcoBoost MKS just past the $50k mark--but then you get quite the collection of luxury and tech features, at what might also buy a rather basic German sport sedan.
That said, you need to be willing to accept performance that's quick and strong, if not perhaps dynamically on par with those true sport sedans. What you get is a strong, mature personality, and a sense that the MKS is a luxury car first and foremost, but it's going to deliver on most fronts. In the EcoBoost edition.a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6 now makes 365 hp (10 hp more than last year), and all-wheel drive is mandatory; while models with the base 3.7-liter V-6 come with a 304-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 (31 more than for 2012). You can get the non-turbo version with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Go with the base engine, and you'll get an enthusiastic performer. Opt for the EcoBoost model, with its 350 pound-feet of torque, and you get impressive V-8-like pull, with a little more of a ripe, baritone exhaust note--and fuel economy that's only down 1 mpg versus the base engine (with AWD)--at 17/25 mpg with EcoBoost. The six-speed automatic is a smooth and well-damped companion, and we anticipate that the new electric power steering with a quicker ratio--and continuous damping--will amount to a more eager-driving personality, although we haven't yet driven this 2013 model. Brakes have been upgraded for 2013.
Good looks match up with a very spacious cabin--although the back seat and the rather high beltline don't add up to what you might expect from the outside. Front seats are all-day comfortable, and the MKS interior is supremely quiet on all kinds of surfaces (there's active noise cancellation, too). Additionally, for 2013, Lincoln has reshaped the trunklid to make the big trunk easier to access, with a shorter liftover height.
Finally, if you're concerned about safety, the 2013 Lincoln MKS is one of the best choices you could make. In addition to top-tier occupant protection ratings, the MKS offers a set of available safety features you won't easily find elsewhere at this price. Top Safety Pick status and an excellent five-star overall rating make this a model that protects better than most; and with with adaptive cruise control an option, as well as lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and an active-parking system, this is a model for those who want the most technology and security with their luxury.
- Handsome exterior
- Turbo EcoBoost power
- Quiet ride
- Huge standard-features list
- Plush, understated cabin
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- Not much street recognition
- Drives big
- Headroom in back
- New climate/audio controls