To its credit, at this time when Lincoln is in the midst of yet another identity crisis, the brash, polarizing style of the MKT is arguably a good thing, and it's the most distinctive product in the lineup at the moment, from a design standpoint.
While the rest of Lincoln might remain a bit foggy at the moment, the Ford Motor Co. has done a great job establishing a consistent face for the brand. Lincoln has retouched the MKT this year to bring that updated look here, in a new front fascia and grille. Simply put, the grille design remains essentially the same, but the slats are closer together, in finer form, and the lower air dam is more chiseled and detailed.
We're happy that Lincoln hasn't changed much else about the MKT. Unlike the luxury brand's other current models, which merely fit right into the luxury landscape, the MKT stands out, as if it's unabashedly in love with the martini-era Lincoln land yachts of the 1960s, yet bows to modern design inside. Lincoln designers have worked enough visual tricks here so that, from a casual glance, you'd never know that this is essentially the same vehicle as the box-o-matic Ford Flex. There's a masterful distinction between the pair, with the Lincoln being just as provocative as the Ford.
The MKT's sheetmetal flows from a huge twin-nostril grille, riding a big shoulder line all the way to a slinky upkick at the rear quarters. The only even vaguely disappointing aspect of the design is the relatively unfinished look of the tail, and its thin ribbon of taillights and badges. Whether you like it or not, the MKT is an arresting design with details that require a second and third look to fully digest, and it's almost touching in its Sixties homages.While the design theme of the interior remains the same as well (modern here, not at all retro), Lincoln has given it new materials and trims and revamped infotainment for 2013, and it's a pretty extensive makeover altogether. The sea of matte metallic material is gone, replaced by a darker look, with MyFord Touch infotainment and capacitive audio and climate controls--as in Lincoln's other recently reworked products like the MKS--subbed in. Gauges are new as well, with a reconfigurable cluster that can show place some MyFord Touch displays, like navigation instructions, right in front of the driver. Just as in the past, it looks closely coordinated from a detail standpoint.