Joe LoGiudice: More a luxury station wagon than an off-road utility vehicle, the 2012 Lincoln MKT turns functionality into an elegant pursuit.

Dawn Hayes: Lincoln definitely put family first in designing the MKT: the seven-passenger seating, the body that rests lower than a typical SUV...

Joe: And some would argue that the oddly sloping roof turns it into a five-passenger plus two children, because there's little headroom in the two-seat third row for adults.

Dawn: Okay, so it's not a bus. It's a combination minivan, SUV, luxury station wagon that feels a lot like a car.

Joe: This is classic sophistication with thoroughly modern convenience. The chrome trim, wood inlay and leather seats gracefully meld with this eight-inch color touchscreen and console controls.

Dawn: That touchscreen is home to features like the voice-activated navigation system with 3D mapping and even XM travel and weather updates.

Joe: I guess if you really needed to check the weather, you could look through either of these two moonroofs, and they have an exceptional view from the rear seat.

Dawn: And speaking of the rear seats, there's even an optional refrigerator in the rear console that's great for taking the family on long trips.

Joe: There are two engines available on the MKT: a 3.7-liter V6 that sends power to the front wheels and a more powerful twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Dawn: Regardless of which engine you get, it's mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, and both deliver decent fuel economy, considering the sheer size of the MKT.

Joe: The MKT also offers advanced safety features like Collision Warning with Brake Support that flashes a warning and primes the brakes if the driver approaches slower traffic too quickly.

Dawn: You won't find that in lesser vehicles. But this luxury crossover competes with tall wagons and other high-end crossovers like the Audi Q7, Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

Joe: With prices ranging from around $45,000 on the base model to a bit over $55,000 for an EcoBoost model with options, the MKT's price is on the lower end of this group of luxurious family haulers.

Dawn: Call it a crossover if you must, but the 2012 Lincoln MKT looks and feels more like a luxurious station wagon, and that's a noble calling.

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