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STYLING | 8 out of 10
On the road, the new MKS has far more presence than any production Lincoln in years
it does look pretty damn cool
adorned simply and effectively
In the metal, the MKS appears handsome, with cohesive themes
It's too bad Lincoln can't turn the MKS inside-out…The interior is the car's greatest strength
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.
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.
Graceful and sleek, the 2012 Lincoln MKS sets a new tone for full-size Ford luxury sedans.