2012 Lincoln MKS Styling

8.0
Styling

Maybe it looks too handsome, too well-tailored? Whatever the case, the MKS has been a slow seller, and it could be that it represents such a dramatic break from the baroque Lincolns of just a few years ago.

No dusty homage, the handsome, well-executed MKS is basically a cousin to the Volvo S80, penned in tandem when Ford owned both brands. The MKS' cockpit and panels are completely different, and more compelling than the very conservative Volvo. The MKS is a classically handsome car, in the Lexus mold, with a large winged grille calling attention to itself a little more insistently than the rest of the car. Elsewhere, the MKS wears simple, wide bands of metallic trim to outline its glass areas, and to bring the tail to a point, a cue that's been on Lincolns for generations. It all knits together very well, and it's one of a handful of cars that read better in very dark colors. More like this one, please.

Graceful and sleek, the 2012 Lincoln MKS sets a new tone for full-size Ford luxury sedans.

The quiet, classy styling inside and out is a marked counterpoint to Cadillac’s brash CTS—and the MKS’s fit and interior finishes are a step beyond the Caddy’s pieces, too. The cabin sports a linear, spare theme that Lincoln has been evolving all decade. There’s a wide dash wearing thin ribs of metallic trim, a callback to the Lincolns of the Sixties. White-lit electroluminescent gauges glow softly at night off its leather and wood trim, with noticeably closer attention to detail. It’s fine enough, and we’d pit it against the likes of the Audi A6, which has gotten more plasticky over time. The MKS would win, too.

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