The Lincoln MKT is a 3-row crossover popular for its comfort and utility rather than it looks in a market that is as interested with looks as with other features. The model’s looks have remained relatively unchanged since 2009. Still, the model will go another year without any major styling changes. Enthusiasts of the MKT love the model because of its interior which offers an excellent room that comfortably accommodated 7 passengers and plenty of cargo. Lincoln has changed the naming of the MKT’s two trims which will now be known as Premier and Reserve. Although the 2018 Lincoln MKT is a huge hit particularly for limo services, I think it is time Lincoln updated its exterior styling to attract more as the model’s current design characterized by a gigantic grille and a weird rear fascia are a huge turn off for many would-be buyers.
2018 Lincoln MKT Exterior
As mentioned above, looks are not the MKT’s best suit. The model shares its underpinnings with the Ford Flex. Although it is not attractive, the model’s looks are striking but not in a pleasant way. The huge winged grille design is the first thing that catches one’s attention. Its squinting headlamps don’t make things any better. On the sides, the model’s side windows have a odd kinked droop window-line while at the rear, the model’s long and wide taillights that cut through the rear hatch make it as unattractive as the front fascia. The tailgate is however powered to ease access to the cargo space.
Things are much better in the cabin although it still looks pretty old school. It features leather upholstery with wooden trim accenting. The dashboard is laid out well (of the designs offered, I prefer the black finish with glossy wood trim). The dash is actually fairly clean as it features capacitive-touch climate and audio controls in place of buttons and knobs. Although the automaker has done a great job adding capacitive-touch controls, they are difficult to use; I wonder why the automaker sticks with this design yet other Lincoln models have received more intuitive units.
The first- and second-row seats are comfortable but the rear seats are not as comfortable due to limited legroom. For the second row, buyers can make do with the standard bench which enables the model to accommodate 7 passengers or go for captain’s chairs which reduce passenger carrying capacity to 6 but are more comfy and provide better access to the rear bench. Front seats are power adjustable.
Despite the many negatives of the model, I like its 8.0-inch infotainment system which looks more modern and integrates Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto apps. The system features Fords Sync 3 software that offers quick response times and is also easy to use.
When all the seats are upright in their position, the MKT can only hold 17.9 cubic feet of cargo; the cargo carrying capacity expands to 39.6 cubic feet upon folding third-row seats and up to 76 cubic feet when both second- and third-row seats are folded.
The full-size crossover also lags behind in terms of advanced safety technologies compared to the models it competes with. 6 airbags, anti-lock brakes, a rearview camera and stability control are standard. The top Reserve trim adds collision warning and some other high-tech safety features but considering the price of the MTK, it is a shame the model does not offer most of the latest safety tech’ goodies which are standard in many models that cost way cheaper.
Engine and performance
Two engines options are available for the 2018 Lincoln MKT. Base models use a 3.7 L, naturally aspirated EcoBoost V-6. It churns out 303 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque which is sent to the front wheels; AWD is also available. Although this mill does the job just right, it is not exciting. One would be better off with a twin-turbocharged 3.5 L, EcoBoost V-6. This mill is good for 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. AWD is standard for the turbocharged V-6. Both engines, however, use a 6-speed automatic gearbox that features a manual-shift mode. To get the best out of both mills, Lincoln advises buyers to use 90-octane gasoline but in case it is not available, the mills can still run on 87-octane gasoline. When properly equipped, the EcoBoost mills enable the MKT to tow 4,500 lbs.
The two engines are huge fuel “sippers”; the 3.7 L, V-6 is EPA rated at 16 mpg and 24 mpg in city and highway drives respectively. The turbocharged V-6, on the other hand, returns 15 mpg in city and 21 mpg on highway drives.
Price and release date
Base models with the base 3.7 L, V-6 have an MSRP of $44,455 inclusive of a $925 destination fee. Higher trims attract higher prices and a fully equipped Lincoln MKT’s price can fetch over $60,000. The model is available at Lincoln and Ford dealerships.
The 2018 Lincoln MKT competes with the Audi Q7, BMW X5 as well as the Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX and Buick Enclave.