Used Car Review

2011 Lincoln MKS: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo December 2015

If your idea of luxury car includes a comfortable ride, standout styling and a plethora of options, then a used 2011 Lincoln MKS will likely hold strong appeal. Because the MKS is built from the Ford Taurus platform, it's not really a contender to challenge cars like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Mercedes Benz E-Class. But, when placed against the Lexus GS, Acura RL and Volvo S80, the MKS can more than hold its own. It also helps that the MKS looks nothing like its Ford twin, touting shapely lines, additional chrome accents and a distinctive split grille. Lincoln's best technology is in full force inside the MKS, including a robust 355-horsepower EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and the SYNC interactive entertainment system. The MKS may not be a luxury car that driving enthusiasts will admire, but if you're looking for a big, roomy and comfortable cruiser with an iconic heritage, it certainly deserves a good, long look.

What We Like

Roomy interior; comfortable ride; powerful EcoBoost engine; available all-wheel drive (AWD); SYNC audio system; plenty of high-tech options

What We Don't

Some cheap-looking interior bits; so-so fuel economy; definitely not designed for aggressive driving

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Lincoln MKS offers a choice of two powerplants. The base car derives power from a 3.7-liter V6, good for 273 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine is offered with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive and is mated to a SelectShift 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates for the front-wheel-drive MKS are 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway; the AWD version sees those figures drop to 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

The MKS's other engine choice is the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that develops a whopping 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Available only with all-wheel drive, the EPA estimates for this engine are 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The Lincoln MKS is offered in one trim level with three different drivetrains, including front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and EcoBoost.

The MKS comes well-equipped and includes a hidden SecuriCode keypad that illuminates with the swipe of a finger, the SYNC hands-free entertainment and communications system, AM/FM/6-CD/satellite audio, leather seating, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, power heated side mirrors, 12-way power heated and ventilated front seats with power lumbar support, Intelligent Access keyless entry with push-button starting, adaptive HID headlights, a power rear sunshade, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, heated rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a reverse-sensing system. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.

The MKS EcoBoost adds a more powerful turbocharged engine, 19-in wheels and additional trim pieces and badges.

Among the many available options are 19- and 20-in wheels, AWD, a 14-speaker THX II audio system with 10 gigabytes of music storage, adaptive cruise control, a rear backup camera, remote starting, Active Park Assist (automatic parallel parking), voice-activated navigation with HD radio, a dual-pane sunroof and color-keyed suede seat inserts.

Pricing

The 2011 edition of the Lincoln MKS holds only average resale values, far below many of its luxury and near-luxury rivals. This may be bad news for someone selling their MKS, but it definitely benefits buyers. A good-condition MKS EcoBoost can be had for much less than a similar Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series or Acura RL. All-wheel-drive models will likely fetch slightly higher prices in areas where snow is a regular impediment. For a good idea of the MKS's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2011 Lincoln MKS:

A recall was issued regarding cars equipped with the EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine. The electric-assist power steering on these cars may suffer a sensor failure leading to loss of power-steering assist.

A recall was issued regarding a possible problem with the interior door-handle return spring. If the spring becomes unseated, the door may unlatch in the event of a side-impact crash.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2011 Lincoln MKS earned five out of five stars in NHTSA front- and side-impact crash tests. In the rollover roof-strength test, the MKS earned four out of five stars.

The MKS left the factory with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition to the new-vehicle warranty, second owners can purchase extended coverage when they buy from a certified pre-owned (CPO) Lincoln dealership. CPO vehicles come with a 169-point inspection and a 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty starting from the time the vehicle entered service.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Lexus GS 350 -- The Lexus GS 350 offers better handling with an equally comfortable ride. Its V6 engine isn't as powerful as the MKS's EcoBoost, but the GS is still capable, luxurious and holds better resale values, which means it will also cost more than a comparably equipped MKS.

2011 Cadillac CTS -- The CTS places performance over a smooth ride, but its best V6 is not as powerful as the MKS EcoBoost. The CTS has a refined interior, a sophisticated suspension and more high-tech features.

2011 Chrysler 300 -- The Chrysler 300 isn't as technically sophisticated as the MKS, but it offers a huge rear seat, a powerful V8 engine and superior ride and handling. It will also cost less than a comparably equipped MKS.

Autotrader's Advice

Although the AWD option on the base car is appealing for a number of reasons, it's hard to turn away from the power of the EcoBoost twin-turbocharged engine. Most MKS's will come with navigation and the THX II audio system. Try to find a fully loaded model, so you can enjoy the best of Lincoln's luxury offerings.

Find a Lincoln MKS for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Lincoln MKS: Used Car Review - Autotrader