Detroit, MI - Tough! Tough! Tough!
Although I'm sure they didn't intend it, tough is what the T should stand for in Lincoln's new luxury crossover, the 2010 MKT. The face of this vehicle is probably the best example yet of what Lincoln's new mug will ultimately look like on future models.
What I call Lincoln's butterfly grille was in full span on the MKT. It really did wrap around the headlights and made them seem like a part of the deep sweeping art deco grille. Lincoln calls it a split-wing grille.
Whatever, properly applied Lincoln's split-wing grille is arguably the most distinctive grille on the market. And because the MKT is a three-rowed crossover it was and is long, low and sleek. The vehicle had a stunning silhouette.
My test vehicle's stylishness did not stop at the door. The exterior was cinnamon and the interior was stone hued with perforated leather seats. They were cooled and heated. My test vehicle did not have the optional flow through second row console. Instead, there was a 60/40 bench seat.
And while we're in the back, the third row seats were substantive. But they were for kids. I got back there and couldn't sit up straight. That was the price of the MKT's sloping roof line. But my MKT could carry seven people.
Still, the third row seats could be reverse folded into the floor creating a flat floored cargo space in the process.
That functionality only enhanced the sumptuousness of my MKT's interior design. The interior was split by a band of blond "wood." I do like the lighter colored timber or polymer that has been treated to look like wood.
Although my MKT was chock full of stuff the controls were simple, straight forward and elegant. It reminded me of Scandinavian luxury. The side windows were tinted so dark it was challenging to see into the vehicle from the outside.
The MKT vehicle had dual climate control, adaptive headlights as well as adaptive cruise control. There were adjustable pedals, a power lift gate, blindside warning system and my test vehicle could park itself.
I had an EcoBoost engine. It was a dual turbocharged V6 that made 355 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. The engine was mated to a six speed transmission. This powertrain was smooth and responsive. What's more the vehicle accelerated effortlessly.
Getting on the Lodge Expressway early one morning here, my MKT hit 100 mph and I didn't know it until I looked. The car ran extremely quietly, handling was great and gear shifts were imperceptible. It also had paddle shifters but I didn't bother with them.
At three rows the MKT was a sizable vehicle but it didn't drive big. Cornering was great. The ride was firm but not harsh and the seats were really comfortable. My lone complaint was with the panorama roof, well the screens for the roof. They worked in tandem.
In other words, there was no way that I could easily find to retract the forward screen over the front seats without retracting the back screen over the second row. Luxury should be about choices and Lincoln should make those screens operate independent of each other. But that was my lone beef.
The Lincoln MKT had an EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the hwy. That doesn't sound all that great but considering the vehicle weighed almost 5,000 lbs and had all-wheel-drive, that kind of mileage wasn't bad. Actually it was pretty good.
My test car was a preproduction model so it didn't come with a price list. Thus, I can't tell you its exact cost. But the 2010 Lincoln MKT has a base price of $49,995. Tack on the price of the Elite Package of my test vehicle and the production version would be in the neighborhood of $55,000.