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Since its founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has become the go-to source for shoppers. From new refrigerators to bottles of wine, Blue-ray players to homeowner’s insurance, if it’s on the market it’s likely the non-profit organization has scientifically tested it. Of course the consumer watchdog is probably most famous for its vehicle reliability ratings.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
This week’s subject for AutoGuide’s Five-Point Inspection is the Lincoln MKT. It comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6, but our tester came equipped with Ford’s EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, which is EPA rated at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The base price is $45,285, while a fully loaded version can reach up to $50,780.
Read on to find out what is good and bad about the Lincoln MKT.
Lincoln’s full-size crossover just got plenty of upgrades for 2013 including Continually Controlled Damping, Lincoln Drive Control, more standard horsepower along with a 1-mpg highway improvement, new interior styling, a new MyLincoln Touch system, upgraded exterior design and new safety and convenience features.
In its mission to make a full-size crossover ride smoothly and handle well, Lincoln integrated Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) in its new 2013 MKT. CCD is available on MKT models with the optional 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. The adjustable suspension enables the MKT to offer a more confident driving experience regardless of road conditions. By utilizing 46 inputs to feed data to a control unit, the CCD module then calculates the optimal damping force every 2 milliseconds – that’s 500 times per second. On average, large damper force adjustments can occur in just 11 milliseconds.
The 2013 MKT also features three distinct driving modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort, are of which are easy selected using MKT’s new Lincoln Drive Control and shift lever.
Two engines will be offered in the 2013 MKT, a 3.7L V6 FWD with 300-hp and 275 lb-ft of torque or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 AWD with 355-hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The 3.7L V6 reports 17/25-mpg while the EcoBoost is a comparable 16/22-mpg. Both are mated to six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmissions with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, though each motor has different transmissions.
The new styling on the 2013 MKT highlights Lincoln’s progressive design with a new front grille, bumper and wheels. The 2013 Lincoln MKT is expected to arrive dealers this spring.
GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKT
Lincoln is brewing up some more interest for its upcoming LA Auto Show debuts. Recently we were teased with a single photo showcasing the new design of the 2013 MKS and MKT, and now the Ford luxury brand has released a couple more. This time it’s clearly showcasing the new MKS sedan’s LED taillights and a new dashboard featuring FoCoMo’s configurable instrument panel LCD screens.
It’s still not a whole lot to go off of, but clearly Ford is taking a page out of its own marketing book to hopefully generate more interest for their newly redesigned MKS and MKT. Let’s just hope when the full unveil happens, we’re not disappointed.
GALLERY: 2013 MKS, MKT Design Teasers
It’s not much to go off of, but we’re used to teasers before any major auto show. This year, Lincoln will be showing off its new styling direction that promises to be “forward-looking and more elegantly crafted” than before and it appears that they have a new MKS and MKT set to debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Not much is known about the new 2013 MKS and MKT, but rumors are that the refreshed vehicles will sport new running gear in order to separate them from their respective Ford counterparts. It’s safe to assume that Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology will be present along with suspension and performance enhancements.
Stay tuned as AutoGuide will be present when Lincoln (hopefully) unveils the new MKS and MKT to the public at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Cadillac is hoping to use an unconventional marketing strategy to lure buyers to its upcoming XTS sedan, with plans to market it to limo services as a livery vehicle or “black car”.
While the livery car market is a small niche segment, it naturally attracts a fair number of high-end clients who use the vehicles as executive transport. In New York City, livery cars are ubiquitous among the affluent set, who ride in the back of Town Cars and Suburbans rather than their own vehicle.
Cadillac is hoping to get the XTS into the hands of livery car operators, since the Lincoln Town Car, the king of the livery car segment, has ended, and Lincoln’s replacement, based on the MKT, has been a sales flop. The XTS models sold to livery operators will be identical to the consumer version in terms of content, though livery drivers will be able to have the wheelbase stretched by approved coachbuilders.
From there, Cadillac is hoping that buyers of import brands will come away impressed with the Cadillac, and this will ostensibly translate into conquest sales for the brand.
[Source: Automotive News]
Drum roll please! Making its way onto the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award is the redesigned 2011 Lincoln MKX. This designation only applies 2011 MKX’s built after February 2011.
The 2011 MKX is in good company – it joins the Lincoln MKS flagship sedan, MKT three-row premium utility and MKZ luxury sedan. To earn the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick, vehicles must have a earn a “good” rating offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact crash tests and roof strength evaluations, and they must also come with standard electronic stability control. Adding to their safety, all Lincoln models feature a number of safety technologies such as advanced radar warning systems. The 2011 MKX features a solid unibody construction, which provides an energy-absorbing structure to help protect occupants, as well as bumper-to-bumper flow-through side rails, structural design and A-pillars, all of which are designed to better manage crash energy.
“New Lincoln models feature some of the most innovative safety technologies, and we are delighted that all are now rated ‘Top Safety Picks’ by the IIHS,” said Scott Tobin, director, Lincoln Product Development. “Prestige and safety go hand in hand, and this is proof that Lincoln offers safety as another compelling reason to buy.”
While Audi is famous for their quattro all-wheel drive system, Lincoln is the only domestic luxury car brand to offer every single product with an AWD option, and buyers are leaning strongly towards having all 4 wheels powered on many of their products.
Lincoln reports that 72 percent of MKT buyers and 62 percent of MKX buyers opt for AWD, which makes sense on a crossover-like vehicle. Meanwhile, 46 percent of MKS customers and 25 percent of MKZ shoppers check the all-wheel drive box. Even the Navigator, which is based on a truck platform, can be had in rear-drive only, with 62 percent of buyers choosing AWD.
We suspect that many of the AWD buyers are situated in the snowbelt states, since the extra money – anywhere between $1,850 to $6,890 – might cause buyers in warm regions to re-think the AWD alternative, even though certain models with Ecoboost engines come bundled with AWD.
After a long period of neglect by parent company Ford, Lincoln is expected to launch three new products within the upcoming years to complement their current lineup, with a small crossover, compact car and a version of the Ford Explorer joining the ranks.
The new small Lincoln, tentatively known as the MKC, will be based off the Ford Focus platform, and be motivated by a 1.6L Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine, and is said to be inspired by 2009′s Lincoln Concept C (pictured above), which used the same powertrain. Don’t expect such outlandish styling, although the hatchback style is certainly a possibility.
The rumored MKD crossover will supposedly be based on the new Ford Escape, and since that car was previewed by the Ford Vertek concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, we’re also optimistic that the sub-MKX size crossover will be a winner, especially in the all important fuel economy stakes. The MKD has been confirmed as a future product, however Ford has not trademarked the name, leading to speculation that it could wear a totally different moniker.
The final rumor, which has the longest odds of all, is the return of the Lincoln Aviator, a slow-selling SUV based on the Ford Explorer. Ford’s new Explorer appears to be pretty well received, and there are rumors that the Aviator could be revived as a 7-passenger SUV that would serve as an alternative to the MKT. On the other hand, there is little to substantiate these rumors and so far this should be considered merely conjecture.
[Source: Ford Inside News]
With the New York Times erecting a “pay wall” around their online section, many web enthusiasts are crying foul at the venerable paper’s decision to abandon the online modus operandi of making information free.
But 200,000 of the Times’ best customers will be eligible for free access (worth about $150) thanks to Lincoln, which is sponsoring the program as part of its corporate communications strategy.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time with our media partners looking for ideas,” Connie Fontaine, manager of U.S. Lincoln marketing communications, told Advertising Age. “Our brand is one that has a lot of great news and a lot to say but isn’t always heard. The Times did bring us this idea and we thought it was really relevant to the brand for a lot of reasons. The type of reader we’ll be able to engage through this program is a thought leader.”
Lincoln feels that the people interested in the online section of the Times are the same kind of customers who would be interested in a new Lincoln – as opposed to the old guard print crowd who may err towards a Town Car, specifically a chauffeured black example. As for the Times, well, 200,000 digital subscribers is a drop in the bucket considering their readership numbers, and with any luck, the program will be mutually beneficial for both parties.
[Source: Advertising Age]
The Lincoln Town Car is legendary for its ubiquity as a “black car”, a private limo for the well-to-do in New York City and other swanky locales. But with the Panther Platform vehicles (like the Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis) set to be killed off very shortly, Lincoln has been scrambling for an alternative.
The new MKT Town Car is a very different machine than the Town Car its replacing. The big sedan was a rear-drive, body-on-frame vehicle that was beloved for its robust nature, cheap repair costs and the ability to go for untold miles without needing anything more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the MKT is based on a front-drive chassis (though all-wheel-drive is available) and uses a modern V6 engine.
Operators will likely be skeptical that the MKT can handle the rigors of endless commuter duty through the pot-hole ridden pavement of Manhattan, so Lincoln has beefed up the chassis, brakes and other components to handle this task – and to provide a re-enforcements should clients wish to stretch the MKT by 10 feet, a capability built in to the Town Car from the factory. Wi-fi capability, a SYNC system and special rear seat pockets are maps and newspapers are further concessions made for the livery car market.
The rear seats have been moved back by 1.5 inches to allow for more leg room with reclining rear seats and controls for the front passenger chair, should back seat riders desire more leg room. With 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the MKT also boasts more room for material objects than the Town Car, even if the old-money cachet of the outgoing vehicle isn’t quite the same.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Gallery: Lincoln MKT Town Car
With 200 of Lincoln‘s 1200 dealers staring down a possible termination of their franchise, an upcoming dealer meeting will provide little comfort to retailers of Ford’s luxury brand, as the Blue Oval will not share upcoming product details with Lincoln’s sales force.
Even though Ford is aggressively targeting Lincoln dealers with a demand for a $2 million showroom renovation program, the company hasn’t given much information on the 7 products expected to debut over the next few years that are supposed to reinvigorate the Lincoln brand.
For the best part of, well, a long time really, the most popular vehicle in North America for limo service has been Lincoln‘s Panther platform Town Car. But now, with the demise of both it and the evergreen Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln’s sizeable number of livery fleet customers need an alternative. The brand believes that a specialized version of the slow selling MKT crossover should fit the bill.
To make the MKT more adaptable for livery use, it will feature revised seating with the third row removed and the second row adjusted to emulate the livery Town Car’s rear legroom, plus standard WiFi and info entertainment system. A second variant will be built off a heavy-duty chassis, capable of being lengthened up to an additional 120-inches and aimed straight at stretched limousine operators.
Both livery MKT models will offer all-wheel drive and should be available beginning sometime in 2012. Whether they’ll have durability to match the Town Car remains to be seen, but at least Ford isn’t choosing to abandon this very profitable market segment.
With relatively poor sales the Ford Edge and its hideously-styled Lincoln-MKT derivative may be phased out in 2013 after just one generation. While a response to the lack of success for each model, Ford has a larger plan for its two remaining brands, aiming to create a larger gap between Ford and Lincoln.
With the introduction of the new 2011 Explorer, the Ford crossover lineup now has too many products and the Flex is the most likely to get the axe. We won’t be the first to suggest that a Lincoln-branded version of the Explorer could be on its way. This plan is also expected to include a redesign of the MKX in 2014 that will see it move away from the Edge.
Interestingly, while the larger Ford plan will see Ford and Lincoln move apart from each other, Ford is planning a compact front drive car or crossover for Lincoln. This could be a new model based on the upcoming Focus – especially as the elimination of the Mercury brand will also put an end to plans to bring a Focus-based Mercury to market. As for the possible crossover, we’d expected this to be a Lincoln-branded version of the upcoming Escape-replacement – which will fall more in line with the European Ford Kuga. A Lincoln compact crossover would also be a perfect competitor to the rumored Buick compact crossover that’s either going to be based on the Chevy Cruze or Chevy Aveo architecture.
[Source: AutoNews via Autoblog]
Ford announced today that five of their vehicles have been selected as Top Safety Picks By The IIHS, boosting their total to 11 vehicles. The 2010 Ford Flex and Fusion, Lincoln MKZ and MKT and the Mercury Milan all scored the highest possible ratings in the IIHS’s front, side and rear impact tests as well as their roof strength test. The ratings mean that Ford now leads the industry in Top Safety Picks as well as government five-star crash ratings.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 makes as much power as the 2005-2009 V8 version did, proving that six-cylinder technology is no longer for the runts of the Mustang litter. Add a couple turbochargers and direct-injection, and you get Ford’s wonderful EcoBoost motor, which has all the power you could ever want from a big V8, while getting better fuel economy.
Ford customers seem to agree, and an internal study shows that buyers are very satisfied with the performance of the EcoBoost engine. While the survey was probably not the most scientific, real-world experience with a Taurus SHO was enough to prove that the technology is sound, and the rumored four-cylinder Ecoboost should be a treat.
Press Release After The Jump
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.