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2009 Lincoln MKS Base 4dr Sedan FWD

2009 Lincoln MKS
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Large
17 mpg city / 24 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

November 4, 2009 by Mike Bumbeck, DriverSide Contributor

2009 Lincoln MKS 1
2009 Lincoln MKS

DriverSide Overview
The 2009 Lincoln MKS is a new American luxury flagship that carries with it a combination of tradition and modernity. Design and style culled in part from the regal 1941 Continental and later slab-sided presidential versions of the sixties makes no apology for not looking like a European executive coach. A completely redesigned suspension leaves the wallowing ride of traditional American luxo-barges well and truly forgotten in the past where it belongs. Independent suspension on all four wheels is designed to meld the disparate worlds of luxurious ride and performance handling in the same motoring galaxy.

The Lincoln MKS also represents a departure from the traditional American formula of V-8 luxury powertrains by way of shedding two cylinders. Forced induction will soon be added to this new V-6 formula to bring eight-cylinder performance to the Lincoln lineup by way of twin turbochargers. The evolution of American luxury car technology also carries through the interfaces required to better grapple with the data driven world we live in. Along with a level of interior refinement expected in a luxury car, this production version descendant of the Lincoln MKR concept car rolls with more technology and voice activated gadgetry than the CES show in Las Vegas.

What's to Like
Plush leather, and lots of it. A dual sunroof adds a light and airy feel to the well-appointed cabin. Reasonably punchy V-6 with optional AWD makes for entertaining stab-and-steer driving. Talking with a car can be fun, and SYNC plays well with all manner of communication and entertainment devices. Quiet interior provides sonic isolation in which to enjoy the THX sound system. Premium gasoline not required to hit rated 273 horsepower.

What's Not to Like
Headrest angled steeply forward to meet federal safety standards provides a sore neck at no extra charge. Chromed plastic that carries the sweeping genuine wood horizontal dash line onto the doors looks like chromed plastic. Optional 20-inch wheels might be stylish, but the low profile tires fight the luxurious ride over highway expansion joints and chuckholes. Added mass of the larger wheels adds unsprung weight, taxing the otherwise well-sorted suspension.

The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

With a special key fob in pocket the Lincoln MKS unlocks the doors by driver proximity. Plush leather invites entry. A pull on the door brings the sound of silence. Pushing the start button kicks the 273 horsepower V-6 to life. Out on the road the fully independent suspension telegraphs little to the cabin on the highway speed straights, yet still maintains a reasonably firm measure of control and feedback on winding roads.

The Lincoln MKS isolates the driver and passenger well enough to allow time getting familiar with the onboard technology while navigating quite possibly worst metropolitan traffic in America in Washington DC. The big Lincoln absorbed the sweeping curves of Virginia country roads with confidence. Road hazards in the form of a slow moving tortoise and a very stationary large tree blocking the entire road due to severe storm conditions were handily avoided.
Engine and Drivetrain
The new 3.7-liter V-6 engine was developed from the 3.5-liter versions already in the Lincoln MKX and MKZ. Slightly larger cylinders bump up displacement. Variable valve timing in concert with a six-speed automatic transmission delivers punchy torque from a standing start full throttle hit. Smooth efficiency comes with a lighter foot. Optional AWD channels it all to the tarmac. Capless fuel filler keeps gasoline off hands and paint along with minimizing evaporation.

Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
The Lincoln MKS is choc-a-block with space age technology. Audiophiles and CES attendees alike will note that the Lincoln MKS is the first car ever to feature THX II Certified 5.1 Surround Sound Audio. Put the transmission in park and slide Star Wars into the DVD player. While the 8-inch touch screen is no Cinerama Dome, the sound system reproduces the evil yet ultimately futile rasping of Darth Vader with startling accuracy. Gigs of music loaded into the hard drive sound pretty great as well. Adaptive cruise control uses radar to maintain distance from cars ahead. Keyless entry lies invisible in the B-pillar until activated by touch.
Key Technology Evaluation
Voice activated SYNC technology is standard on all Lincolns for hands free cell phone and music device action. The next-generation navigation system with Sirius Travel Link features live weather feeds, current gas station prices, real time traffic info, even movie and sports event info. Over 3,500 points of interest have been programmed into the navigation system. Finding a Waffle House or White Castle on the way to the Opera has never been easier. Adaptive headlamps and automatic hi-low beams use sensing technology originally developed by NASA, presumably for the astronauts.

Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Even though a full size luxury vehicle may not seem high on the list of green vehicles, the naturally aspirated Lincoln MKS V-6 is a solid platform for the coming Eco-Boost equipped models, which will kick out 340 Horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque with twin turbochargers and six cylinders in the 2009 calendar year. The current 2009 Lincoln MKS meets US Federal Tier 2 Bin 5 and California ULEV-II emissions standards.

A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details

Bridge of Weir leather from Scotland is the softest leather ever used in any Lincoln. Rear seats are actually comfortable. The flat face gauges and multi-function touch screen are all on the same plane, making the interior features of the MKS available to passenger as well as driver. The dual sunroof is twice as good as one.
Tuxedo Black finish of the test model appeared as rich and dark as midnight in Death Valley from afar, yet glinted with metallic sunburst at closer distance. Slab sided styling reminiscent of '60s Lincoln Continentals is offset by modern sweeping lines and chamfers that work well with the over the wheel arch kickups.

Market Segment and Pricing
Lincoln is targeting the 2009 Lincoln MKS at the Generation X buyer that would rather not be seen driving European or Asian sourced luxury car, yet still requires maximum technology on demand. There is no cause for alarm with the customer who's picked up a new Lincoln every few years since the 1976 Bill Blass edition Continental. Lincoln wants to retain traditional buyers and simultaneously win new converts. The Lincoln MKS starts in the $37,000 range.
What We Think
A great deal of effort clearly went into the design and production of the Lincoln MKS, which marks a point in the transition of a brand as it carries tradition into the future by using technology. The sedan leaves behind the leisure suit and gold chain image by way of measurable improvements in physical and digital systems. The Lincoln MKS is a modern alternative for the full size luxury car customer seeking American style and innovation. While the naturally aspirated V-6 and six-speed automatic serve the current car well, the Eco-Boost twin-turbo V-6 coupled with AWD will clearly propel this luxury machine onto an entirely different level.

Other Resources

2009 Lincoln MKS AWD, Lounging In Suburbia [2009 Lincoln Mks] – Looks like reader James Kenney is in a prime location for catching first glimpses of new Ford products. After bringing us a look at that first picture of the 45th Anniversary Ford Mustang, the most over-the-top OMG-amazing-drop-dead-sexy Mustang var Source:

First Drive: 2009 Lincoln MKS – Lincoln is up against it. The brand has languished for decades as marketing chiefs and design heads have kept a revolving door spinning at redline. The four-pointed star that once stood for one of the premium American luxury car nameplates had been d Source:

Smart call: Is the time right for Lincoln's blend of luxury and economy in the MKS?: – Back in 2005, when Lincoln's brain trust chose front- and all-wheel drive and V6 power for the company's next-generation flagship luxury sedan, that decision seemed shortsighted in the face of a market turning toward big rear-drive V8s running... Source:

DRIVES: 2009 Lincoln MKS AWD: Smart call: Is the time right for Lincoln's blend of luxury and econom – Back in 2005, when Lincoln's brain trust chose front- and all-wheel drive and V6 power for the company's next-generation flagship luxury sedan, that decision seemed shortsighted in the face of a market turning toward big rear-drive V8s running... Source:

Motive First Drive: 2009 Lincoln MKS – With the once-great Premier Automotive Group gone the way of ancient Rome, Ford knows its Lincoln brand needs to get a lot more serious. It also needs younger buyers from the generation known as X, or it will never fully emerge from the realm of "exit-lev Source:

Ask It: 2009 Lincoln MKS – Picking up where we left off with our Ask It series, is the all-new luxury sedan from Lincoln, the MKS. Early impressions of the sleek Lincoln have the whole of the NextAutos staff loving the car’s looks, especially the well done interior, pretty u Source:

Lincoln Forums – The Lincoln Owners and Enthusiasts Homepage . Source:

Photos: 2009 Lincoln MKS preview – Click to see more images Lincoln and THX representatives brought a new MKS by our offices to give us a demonstration of the technology. This car not only features a hard drive-based navigation system, but it also offers Sirius Travel Link, which int Source:

2009 Lincoln MKS – 2009 Lincoln MKSLincoln's latest chapter.A lot has been said, including in these pages, about the styling of Lincoln's new MKS sedan. Naturally, much of the commentary has focused on which particular aesthetic features the MKS did - a big, double-win Source:

DRIVERS LOG: 2009 Lincoln MKS AWD: – SENIOR EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: After leaving one Lincoln (an MKX) at the airport, it was a pleasure to return from a two-week family trip to find the MKS in the AutoWeek parking spot--until I tried to put suitcases in the trunk. Source:

2009 Lincoln MKS AWD – 2009 Lincoln MKS AWDWhile there's little here for enthusiasts to admire, loyal Lincoln customers will probably be attracted to this fresh-faced four-door.The first thing I noticed when I sat in the Lincoln MKS is the brilliant satellite navigation sy Source:

Quick Test: 2009 Lincoln MKS AWD – Fans of Traditional, Smooth-Riding American Luxury, Your Ship Has (Finally) Come InWhat: Lincoln's all-new, all-wheel-drive flagship sedan. Photo Gallery: 2009 Lincoln MKS AWD - Quick Test of the Lincoln MKS luxury sedan - Motor Trend Source:

Test drive: 2009 Lincoln MKS – If I had to pick the two most significant new luxury cars for 2009, I'd choose the Hyundai Genesis and the Lincoln MKS. We talked about the Genesis last week... Source:

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