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2015 Lincoln MKT: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2015

The 2015 Lincoln MKT hasn't been the big seller that Lincoln had hoped for, at least not when compared to luxury rivals such as the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Buick Enclave. We think that's unfortunate because the MKT is a remarkably capable 7-passenger SUV, and has its own unique sense of style.

More compact than its sizable sibling, the Lincoln Navigator, the MKT still provides the space and comfort of a full-size utility vehicle in a 3-row configuration. With amenities galore, passengers will find themselves pampered within this upscale cabin, whether they're taking a quick trip to the grocery store or a full-on road trip.

An unprecedented emphasis on passenger safety makes the MKT even more family friendly, with industry exclusives such as inflatable second-row outboard seat belts. Overall, this sophisticated crossover has developed into a strong contender among its luxury-laden competitors.

What's New for 2015?

Aside from new color choices, there are no major changes for the 2015 Lincoln MKT.

What We Like

Well-crafted interior; an abundance of standard amenities and high-tech features; efficient and powerful EcoBoost V6; plush ride and capable handling

What We Don't

Exterior styling is take it or leave it; limited third-row headroom for adults; MyLincoln Touch can be temperamental at times

How Much?

$44,105-$58,875

Fuel Economy

The 2015 Lincoln MKT offers two engine choices. Standard on the front-wheel-drive version is a 3.7-liter V6, producing 303 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic, this engine delivers fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The better choice is clearly the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which employs a twin-turbo to deliver a robust 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. It adds full-time Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, Lincoln Drive Control and Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD). Despite its V8-like power, the EcoBoost engine returns fuel economy that's not far from that of the 3.7-liter V6. The EcoBoost engine receives an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Lincoln MKT is offered in two trim levels: MKT and MKT with EcoBoost.

The base MKT's ($44,105) vast standard equipment roster includes 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, push-button start, a sunroof, 12-way heated and cooled power front seats, leather upholstery across all rows, 60/40-split folding second-row seat, tri-zone automatic temperature control with rear seat controls, power lift gate, power adjustable foot pedals, rear-door sunshades and a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel.

For technology, the base MKT comes with the MyLincoln Touch infotainment system, SYNC voice command system, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker stereo system.

The MKT with EcoBoost ($46,100) model is enhanced with a more robust powerplant, all-wheel drive, CCD and Lincoln Drive Control.

The $3,500 Elite package, which is exclusive to MKT with EcoBoost, adds a power-folding third-row seat, heated steering wheel, navigation, an upgraded 14-speaker sound system and blind spot monitoring. The $2,000 Technology package builds upon the Elite package with adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system and an advanced collision-warning system.

MKT with EcoBoost also offers some standalone options, such as 20-in wheels, a panoramic sunroof, second-row captain's chairs and a second-row refrigerated bin to keep beverages cold.

The MKT offers an abundance of cargo space with 17.9 cu ft. behind the third row, 39.6 cu ft. behind the second row and a cavernous 75.9 cu ft. behind the first row.

Safety

The MKT benefits from an array of standard safety measures, including front and front side-impact airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags covering all three rows. At the wheels, standard anti-lock brakes are joined by electronic traction control and electronic stability control. Available adaptive cruise control, advanced collision warning, lane-departure warning and cornering headlamps all help to mitigate the risk of an accident. If an accident does occur, the SOS Post-Crash Alert System will honk the horn and flash the hazard lights. Optional inflatable second-row outboard seat belts help minimize torso injury.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not crashed-tested the Lincoln MKT, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has. The MKT earned top marks in IIHS's moderate overlap, side-impact and roof-strength tests, and was awarded a Top Safety Pick in 2013.

Behind the Wheel

The MKT's ride and handling are more than adequate for how this vehicle is likely to be used on the freeway and around town. The steering is nicely weighted but also a bit over-assisted. The MKT's ride is exceptionally smooth, and the cabin is very quiet. Although the 3.7-liter V6 doesn't strain to move the MKT, it doesn't exactly inspire, either. The EcoBoost V6 with its 365 hp is the right engine for this vehicle, offering both Lincoln Drive Control and CCD. Lincoln Drive Control refines the driving experience with a more balanced ride and handling equation, intuitively responding to driver inputs and road surface variables. CCD enhances ride smoothness and driving dynamics by monitoring and adjusting suspension settings up to 20 times per second based on road conditions and driving style.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Audi Q7 -- The Q7 has a more luxurious interior and more advanced optional equipment. It can also be equipped with a diesel engine, but that will cost you thousands more.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class -- The GL can be equipped with a diesel engine and a potent V8, and its resale value far exceeds that of the MKT. You'll pay for the prestige of the Mercedes name, and in some cases that's nearly twice the MKT's base price.

2015 Buick Enclave -- The Enclave offers much of the luxury and security of the MKT, but with a roomier third-row seat and a lower price tag.

Used Infiniti QX60 -- A 2013-2014 Infiniti QX60/JX35 will cost less than the MKT and will likely still be covered by its original warranty. The JX35's interior is more lavish, but its V6 engine is not as powerful as the MKT's EcoBoost V6.

Autotrader's Advice

Given that the difference in price between the front-wheel-drive V6 and the all-wheel-drive EcoBoost V6 is only $2,000, we recommend the EcoBoost and all-wheel-drive option. You get a lot more power, a better ride and better handling, as well as many more available options. Our advice is to load up your MKT. If you're going to spring for an upscale ride, you might as well do it right.

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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.
2015 Lincoln MKT: New Car Review - Autotrader