The first car I ever owned was a Lincoln Continental Mark IV. It was 1978, I was in high school, recently licensed and legally set loose upon the public roads. To be fair, I wasn’t a spoiled brat; my father gave me the keys and told me that I would be forced to work in order to pay the insurance and put gas in the beast. A JOB? You mean I would have to perform some sort of manual labor in order to keep the car on the road?
The first time I drove the car to my high school none of that mattered however. Because it wasn’t long until I discovered I could carry five happy, giggling teenage girls quite comfortably with just enough room to keep them close. For a boy with raging hormones the car was the perfect ‘chick’ magnet. Sure there were cars that some might think more suited to a younger generation; but with a muscle car or a smaller sedan, you could only carry one perhaps two others comfortably. Why would you want to do that? Why carry one or two menu items when you could cart around an entire smorgasbord? With that huge car I was a sheik with a harem.
But I grew up and changed, and so too my needs. It became all about family. Most of the cars I owned since were smaller. Sedans or the like that blend with the rest of the traffic, are good on gas, practical for daily living and carrying the kids to school. In the end they just get you from point A to point B or wherever it is you’re going. They are just another boat in a crowded sea of average every day commuter craft.
I wasn’t the only one to grow up and change; so too has Lincoln. They have survived while others have sunk to the bottom of the sea. Sure it’s a somewhat different company; no longer are there Continentals or Town Cars; today the line is all about M’s. MKZ’s, MKT’s or like the Lincoln I had recently, the MKS. And while I have not aged so well, Lincoln has done so quite nicely.
The 2013 MKS seems like a throwback to my teenage years. It’s big, no doubt about that. But in a sea of commuter boats this is a high end luxury yacht gilding smoothly, and effortlessly, across the waves. Some reviewers have panned the MKS for being too much like its cousins the once mighty Taurus or SHO; just another Ford simply wearing a cheap tuxedo off the rack. But while it does share the same platform, I have to disagree. The MKS is more like a Ford that’s wearing a custom tailored tux and also went to Harvard, or MIT.
The electronics are ample, and well laid out. The touch screen in the center of the dash is easy to reach and easy to use. The cabin is spacious very quiet and luxurious thanks to the soft ambient lighting and sweeping lines; the music system is actually better than most and even seems to surround the occupants more completely than many of the models I’ve tested recently.
One thing that is missing from the Lincoln I once had is a V-8. The Continental I had as a youth had a big powerplant to propel it; the MKS owing to fuel mileage, uses a V-6. However, the EcoBoost model I captained for a week was twin turbocharged and more than adequate. The available power was very well suited for getting the big machine around in traffic or the open highway. The suspension is nearly phenomenal, smoothly gliding across bumps in the road with ease while not detracting from the handling thanks to something Lincoln calls adaptive suspension. Another big plus is the ride height; the MKS rides taller than most cars, in part perhaps due to the 20 inch wheels that come standard on the EcoBoost. It towers somewhere between others in its class and an SUV. You can get the view of the road you do from an SUV without feeling like you’re driving a box with wheels attached.
When in traffic the available blind spot indicators along with the collision avoidance system will keep you out of trouble in most situations. If needed though the EcoBoost engine can easily rocket you out of trouble.
The problem becomes when you try and compare the MKS to say an Audi, a Lexus or a Mercedes. It may very well pale in comparison, but it shouldn’t. The MKS should stand on its own. Trying to say it’s like any of those others is unfair; because it’s not an Audi, Lexus or Mercedes. This is understated luxury, it’s not flashy, you won’t be looking down your nose shouting ‘look at me I’m driving one of those fancy German cars, I’m better than you.’ At $10,000 less than those stuffy models, your bank account will be much happier as well.
The Lincoln has aged, but it has done so quite well. They should be listed in a class by themselves, because in the end they are a class alone. They shouldn’t be judged by another car’s merits. The MKS can allow you to captain your own high end well appointed luxury yacht. If you have to get from point A to point B, why not do it in style?
As for me, after a week with the MKS I long to have one in my driveway permanently; and I long to have my own harem again.
MSRP (EcoBoost): 50,755
Price as tested $54,460
EPA-estimated 17 city / 25 highway / 20 combined
EPA as tested: 24.3 (10% City 90% highway)
Engine (as tested) EcoBoost, 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque
Drive Type (as tested) All Wheel Drive (Standard – EcoBoost)
Transmissions 6-Speed SelectShift™ Automatic Transmission with Paddle Activation
Wheelbase [in] 112.9
Length [in] 205.6
Height [in] 61.6
Width – Excluding Mirrors [in] 74.9
Width – Including Mirrors [in] 85.5
Width – Mirrors Folded [in] 79.4
Front Track [in] 64.9
Rear Track [in] 65.1
Estimated Base Curb Weight (lbs.) 3.7L TiVCT FWD/3.5L GTDI EcoBoost 4216/4480
Warranty: Bumper to Bumper: 4 years / 50,000 miles Powertrain: 6 years / 70,000 miles Safety Restraint System: 5 years / 60,000 miles Corrosion (Perforation only): 5 years / Unlimited miles Roadside Assistance Program: 6 years / 70,000 miles
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