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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Zero turbo lag. None
At any speed, in any of its six gears, the Lincoln delivers a refreshing wave of power
New York Times
The MKT is a very fun ride
Kia may be marketing its vehicles under the "power to surprise" tagline, but the phrase could just as easily apply to the surprisingly nimble 2010 Lincoln MKT.
From the outside, the large 2010 Lincoln MKT doesn't look like a sporting machine, but as Mom always told us, appearances can be deceiving. The 2010 Lincoln MKT is available with two engines: one powering the base model and one powering the EcoBoost version of the MKT Lincoln. Cars.com reviewers state that "the base 3.7-liter V-6 produces 268 horsepower," while the "optional EcoBoost V-6 is slightly smaller in size - it displaces 3.5 liters - but makes significantly more power (355 hp) thanks to direct fuel injection and two turbochargers." Yes, you read that right-Lincoln's crossover features twin-turbos, and reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the setup is unbelievably quick and effective. Cars.com jokes that "the engine should just come with the name BiggerBoost," and The New York Times says the 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds for the EcoBoost is "blisteringly fast for a three-row crossover." Autoblog is so impressed, they claim that "anyone who was to climb in and drive off in a MKT without knowing what was under the hood would be hard pressed to guess that only six cylinders are doing the heavy lifting." Unlike some turbocharged models, the EcoBoost MKT Lincoln features "zero turbo lag. None," reports Jalopnik. As for the base 3.7-liter V6, Jalopnik reviewers call the engine "profoundly adequate and nothing more."
The 2010 Lincoln MKT's two versions come with the same "6-speed automatic" transmission, according to ConsumerGuide. Cars.com notes that the auto "comes with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for when the driver wants to control gear changes," and Jalopnik claims they are "actually capable of doing their job as advertised." Autoblog reviewers love the new transmission as well, describing it as "one of the smoothest shifting units on the market." On the base version, Edmunds observes that "front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available as an option," while the EcoBoost MKT Lincoln is exclusively available as an AWD model.
Despite its EcoBoost branding, the 2010 Lincoln MKT isn't the most frugal crossover on the market, as you may have guessed from its performance potential. Edmunds characterizes the MKT Lincoln's fuel economy numbers as "just average for the midsize crossover category." The official EPA estimates for the 2010 Lincoln MKT are that the 3.7-liter/AWD combination will return 16 mpg city and 22 mpg on the highway, while the FWD gets a 17/23 mpg rating. The 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost, meanwhile, offers a rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which matches the performance of the naturally aspirated version of the MKT Lincoln.
Out on the open road, the new Lincoln MKT's suspension provides a surprisingly engaging and buttoned-down ride. Cars.com thinks the driving experience amounts to "a very fun ride, whether driving on the big oval, slamming through a road course...or just commuting to work." When was the last time you heard that about a crossover? That sentiment isn't limited to reviewers at Cars.com, however, as Autoblog raves that "you can manhandle the MKT hard into a corner, and the combination of well-tuned mechanical bits and seamless stability control intervention allow it to just track through at speeds that are surprisingly high." More comfort-oriented passengers will also appreciate the work Lincoln does with the MKT Lincoln's suspension. The New York Times remarks that the MKT offers "outstanding ride and handling for its size," while Edmunds deems their driving experience "very smooth and quiet." That's not to say the 2010 Lincoln MKT is without its flaws, however. Chief among the complaints is The New York Times' wish for "stronger brakes," while reviewers at Autoblog think the steering effort "is a bit on the light side." Despite the flaws, the big picture remains the same-the Lincoln MKT can flat-out move.
The 2010 Lincoln MKT nails the performance trifecta of quick, agile, and comfortable.