It won’t be ignored—that’s how brash the Lincoln MKT looks against its crossover competitors. While the Enclave’s lovely and curvy, and the Q7 is Germanic and technical, the MKT’s an unabashed love affair with the martini-generation land yachts of the 1960s, more so outside than in.
Casual glancers might be thrown by the MKT. It’s based on the same mechanicals as the boxy Ford Flex, but that impossibly long body, all the chrome and bright trimwork, and the styling-statement front end put more distance between it and the Flex than most corporate cousins. Where the Flex is a two-box design in the purest sense, the 2010 MKT flows from a canted twin-nostril grille to a sensual upkick in its shoulder line, finishing in a broad, angled decklid banded by a ribbon of taillights and badges. It’s a standout design with details that will have you looking a second and third time to identify its heritage. If you’re familiar with the Continentals of the mid-Sixties, though, it’s almost touching in its retro cues.
Climb into the cabin, and there’s a far more traditional interpretation of luxury waiting. The MKT’s wood- or metallic-trimmed dash echoes the shapes on the front end smartly; its LED white lighting and that big, sharp LCD screen will draw your eye to the high-tech features. They’re underscored by rows of black buttons that don’t do much for driver-oriented clarity. The impressive interior’s the sum of lots of well-executed details, like the fonts on the gauges and the tight fit of the wood trim against low-gloss, soft-touch plastic.