With the all-new Lincoln Aviator set to arrive this year, one might think there’s no need to look at the 2019 Lincoln MKT. But even though the MKT is an older design soon to depart this world, there is still a lot to like in this plush, 7-passenger luxury SUV. And with dealers eager to move inventory, it should be easy to get a good deal on reaming models. Although not as muscular or performance-oriented as newer crossovers like the BMW X5, the Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90, the MKT caters to a class whose tastes lean more toward comfort, quiet and luxury rather than razor-sharp handling and blistering 0-to-60 mile per hour runs.
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.
What’s New for 2019?
There are no changes of note for the 2019 MKT. The Premier trim is dropped, and all models now come only with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and standard all-wheel drive.
What We Like
Well-crafted interior; an abundance of standard amenities and high-tech features; a powerful twin-turbocharged V6; plush ride and capable handling
What We Don’t
Exterior styling is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition; limited third-row headroom for adults; missing some of the latest technology features; weak fuel economy figures
The 2019 Lincoln MKT offers only one engine: A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost direct-injection V6 delivering a robust 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Full-time Intelligent AWD is standard, as is Lincoln Drive Control and Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD). In accordance with its V8-like power, the EcoBoost engine returns fuel economy 15 miles per gallon in city driving and 21 mpg on the highway.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Lincoln MKT is offered in two trim levels: Base and Reserve.
The base MKT ($50,495) has a vast standard equipment roster that includes CCD and Lincoln Drive Control, 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, 12-way heated and cooled power front seats, leather upholstery across all rows, 60/40-split folding second-row heated seats, tri-zone automatic temperature control with rear seat controls, a power lift gate, power adjustable foot pedals, rear-door sunshades, power folding third-row seats and a power tilt-telescopic heated steering wheel. For technology, the base MKT comes with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, voice-activated navigation, 14-speaker THX II 700-watt audio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and a rearview camera. Safety features include blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, MyKey programmable key fob and the SecuriCode invisible keypad.
Standalone options include 20-in wheels, heated and cooled second-row captain’s chairs, Class III trailer tow 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.
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 and lane-departure warning 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.
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.
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. The twin-turbocharged V6 with its 365 hp is the perfect engine for this vehicle. 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
2019 Audi Q7 — The Q7 has a more luxurious interior and more advanced optional equipment. It can also be equipped with a choice of a turbocharged or a supercharged engine, but the MKT offers more horsepower and a lower price.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS — The GLS can be equipped with a choice of twin-turbo V6 or V8 engines, including a high performance AMG version. The GLS offers more luxury 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.
2019 Buick Enclave — The Enclave offers much of the luxury and security of the MKT, but with a roomier third-row seat, a lower price tag and better fuel economy.
Used Infiniti QX60 — A 2013-2017 Infiniti JX35/QX60 will cost less than the MKT and may even still be covered by its original warranty depending on the model year. The QX60’s interior is more lavish, but its V6 engine is not as powerful as the MKT’s twin-turbo V6.
Given that the difference in price between the base and the Reserve is a mere $3,000, we’d go big for the added safety features of the Reserve Trim. Toss in the heated and cooling captain’s chair seating and console refrigerator, and you’re road-trip ready.