2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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Long ago, Lincoln represented the top-of-the-line vehicle lineup for the "Blue Oval" Motor Company (Ford).  As time went on, the marque seemed to fade from glory as the company's benchmark luxury brand and its mainstay, the Continental, was relegated to serve primarily as a livery vehicle.  On top of that, along came Ford models that were deemed just as luxurious, with some models surpassing the once mighty Lincoln. 

Well, that was then, and this is now, as the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company has once again climbed back up onto the ladder's upper rungs in terms of luxury and performance. 

The 2010 Lincoln MKS sedan is a perfect example of Lincoln's new excellence, and will reign as the division's flagship.  The MKS comes with a choice of two powertrains: a base 3.7-litre, 273 horsepower V6, or an optional 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, which is the first direct-injection, twin-turbocharged engine produced in North America.  The 3.5-litre engine makes 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque over a very broad range, providing power equivalent to a V8, while delivering the fuel economy of a V6.  Acceleration is brisk to say the least, and fuel economy estimates of 12.3L/100km city and 8.0 highway are good for a vehicle with such performance.  The unique combination of power and efficiency makes the EcoBoost-enhanced MKS the most fuel-efficient Lincoln MKS available, topping the naturally aspirated AWD model by 0.5 city and 0.8 highway. 

Both engine variants transfer power to the road via a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, while the EcoBoost version also features steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters when in manual mode -- a squeeze back on either paddle delivers an upshift, while a push forward on either paddle induces a matched-rev downshift. 

The drive configuration of the MKS is standard front-wheel drive (FWD) or optional "Intelligent" all-wheel drive (AWD).  The AWD system is fully automatic, utilizing an advanced array of internal electro-mechanical clutches for an efficient distribution of torque between front and rear wheels as needed.  AWD is standard on EcoBoost-equipped models. 

The MKS displays an elegant exterior with distinctive styling cues that draw upon Lincoln's design heritage.  The B-pillar is blacked out with chrome brightwork encircling the window glass of both the front and rear doors.  The interior features meticulous, precision craftsmanship, with seating leather by Bridge of Weir, the same Scottish company that supplied hides for the iconic Continental Mark II -- chosen for its high quality and organic, chromium-free tanning process.  Seating surfaces are perforated and double-stitched featuring an exclusive Lincoln perforation pattern on the inserts.  MKS seats feature side bolster supports designed for spirited driving support, heating and cooling, and 12-way power for driver and front passenger.  The Ebony wood trim used in some models is reclaimed from furniture makers and others sources offering a beautiful and rare wood with minimal environmental impact.  Rear seat passengers enter the cabin via the largest rear door opening of its class.  The MKS also offers standard heated rear seats. 

There is a host of standard and optional safety and convenience features and equipment that make the MKS worthy of its Lincoln flagship sedan status, not the least of which is Active Park Assist, which searches out an appropriate spot and parallel parks the MKS without driver steering input.  Active Park Assist costs a mere $535, which is less than the replacement cost of many alloy wheels.  It's also very easy to use.  Compare the Lincoln system to that of the Lexus self-park system, which is in the $2,000 range, and not nearly as intuitive.  One suggested improvement for the MKS system would be to move the Active Park Assist instructional display to the navigation system screen or into a Head Up Display, as the steering wheel partially blocks instructions (brake, pull forward, put in reverse, etc.) when turning. 

My test 2010 Lincoln MKS was powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged engine with AWD.  The exterior finish was Tuxedo Black metallic, while the interior was executed in Cashmere Ultimate leather.  The base sticker of the EcoBoost model read $52,999 (a base FWD MKS starts at $47,399) while options can be added such as the EcoBoost Appearance Package at $3,500, a GTDI Vision Package at $6,500 that includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning, Active Park Assist, a navigation system with voice activation, a rear view camera, Sirius satellite radio and THX-II certified audio system.  A dual panel moonroof at $2,200 can be had as well, while some of the aforementioned items can be ordered separately.  Include all option and the tally bumps up to $59,329, less delivery and PDI.  This may seem a tad on the pricey side, but there's a lot here for the money. 

The 2010 Lincoln MKS definitely moves the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company back into the premium luxury spotlight.  It is stylishly elegant, luxuriously comfortable, and with the EcoBoost engine, it is a strong performer, capable of putting many higher-priced European imports to shame.  Just for the record, it would not be improper to categorize the EcoBoost-powered MKS as a luxury sport sedan. 

Make no mistake about it: with the MKS, Lincoln is back with a vengeance.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Lincoln, 2010, MKS, $40,000 - $49,999,

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