2009 Lincoln MKS

Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6 auto trans

Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6 auto trans

2009 lincoln mks Reviews and News

0808 01 Pl+2009 Lincoln MKS+front Three Quarter View
0808 01 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+front Three Quarter View
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-wing grille centered by the Lincoln badge - and did not - a windshield that sweeps, headerless, up over the front seats - inherit from Lincoln's gorgeous 2007 MKR four-door concept car. But what definitely didn't make the transition from the auto-show floor to the showroom floor is something you cannot see: the MKR's rear-wheel-drive chassis. Instead, the MKS is built on the front-wheel-drive foundation of the Ford Taurus (née Five Hundred), which itself is derived from the Volvo S80.
So, with the MKS, Lincoln is thumbing its nose at the luxury-car tide that has moved inexorably toward rear-wheel drive. Determined to make the most of the family-sedan platform they were given, Lincoln engineers fashioned an entirely new, control-arm rear suspension, partly to accommodate optional twenty-inch wheels. They also attached both front and rear suspensions to fully isolated subframes. And, of course, they specified an optional all-wheel-drive system, a feature that no midprice luxury sedan can do without these days.
0808 02 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+interior View
The MKS is good, but hardly groundbreaking, to drive. On a ribbon of blacktop that undulated through Virginia horse country, the MKS exhibited decent body control and bump suppression, precise if not overly communicative steering, and smooth shifting from the six-speed automatic, which can be operated manually via the gearshift lever. The brakes work fine, but the pedal goes soft when you really stomp on it during hard driving. The cabin is whisper-quiet, and our test vehicle with twenty-inch wheels rode well, although it became slightly unsettled over freeway expansion joints. Eighteen- and nineteen-inch footwear also is available.
0808 03 Z+lincoln MKR+2007 Detroit Show Car
Lincoln bored out Ford's corporate 3.5-liter V-6 to 3.7 liters for MKS duty, and the resulting 275 hp (with premium fuel; power drops to 273 hp if you choose lower octane) was enough, but just enough, to propel our 4276-pound, all-wheel-drive test car. Fuel economy for the AWD MKS is rated at 16/23 mpg; we averaged about 18 mpg over the course of a day's driving on freeways and two-lane. For now, the 3.7-liter is the only powertrain option, but Lincoln is developing a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged version of the 3.5-liter V-6 that should produce about 340 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque. The division wisely will pair this promising new powertrain only with all-wheel drive in the MKS. Unfortunately, it won't be available until spring 2009.
Here and accounted for now, though, are the MKS's plentiful creature comforts. The roomy cabin is handsomely appointed with nice leather (from the same Scottish supplier that did the 1956 Continental Mark II, no less), fit and finish are commendable, and dual moonroofs are optional. The available touch-screen navigation system is top-notch, the Sync phone/audio interface is standard, and the optional 600-watt, THX II Certified 5.1 surround-sound stereo will rock your world.
Over the past decade, as Cadillac has gone from strength to strength, the Lincoln brand has wavered, to put it kindly. Lincoln's struggle to redefine itself is hardly over, but the MKS is a promising addition to the brand. A pleasant enough car now, it ought to come into its own next year with the twin-turbo V-6. After all, Lincoln promises that it will offer the performance of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a V-6, and there's a lot to be said for that.
0806 08 Pl+2009 Lincoln MKS+front Three Quarter View
0806 08 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+front Three Quarter View
The 2009 MKS is Lincoln's new flagship, a car that Ford hopes will help put its luxury division back on the map after years of losing ground to Cadillac and both Asian and European luxury brands. It effectively slots between the MKZ sedan (which was briefly known as the Zephyr) and the ancient Town Car, and it is the first production realization of Lincoln's new design direction. That design direction was first seen at the Detroit auto show in January 2007 with the Lincoln MKR concept car. While the MKR was nominally based on the Ford Mustang's rear-wheel-drive platform, though, the production MKS is offered either with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The MKS is on sale this summer, and Lincoln sees the Cadillac STS, the Acura RL, and the Lexus GS as its natural competitors.
0806 06 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+standard HID Headlamps
The 2009 Lincoln MKS's double-wing grille is a derivation of the one from the Lincoln MKR concept and was inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental. Flanked here by standard HID headlamps, the grille is something you will definitely see in future Lincolns. Ford's design chief, Peter Horbury, says that the space between the two wings is the perfect spot to showcase the Lincoln badge without having it compete with a grille behind it. The delicate horizontal bands below the grille are good-looking and well-proportioned, but they are flanked by large, odd-looking cavities at the bottom corners of the car that contain the foglights. From the side, the MKS is most notable for its strong, chamfered shoulder line and its stainless steel window surround, which widens into a dramatic flourish as it meets the C-pillar. Not coincidentally, we imagine, that C-pillar treatment also invokes the famous C-pillar kink in BMW sedans. Thankfully, the space on the front fenders aft of the wheels is adorned simply and effectively with the Lincoln badge rather than the already-clichéd vents that we see elsewhere so often.
0806 09 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+rear Three Quarter View
The rear of the car is elegant and spare but quite bland. It's here, though, that you most notice the strips of stainless steel that run from the A-pillars, over the car's roof, and down to the trunk lid. They are a nice touch. The LED taillights are accented by a vertical white light strip that contains the turn signal indicators, which look pretty cool when they're illuminated.
Depending on trim level and options, the MKS is shod either with standard eighteen-inch wheels or optional nineteen- or even twenty-inch wheels. Strangely, the twenty-inch wheels are the least attractive, as they look cheap and tinny.
0806 05 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+high Resolution Navigation Screen
Lincoln boasts that the MKS is comprehensively and luxuriously equipped. Every modern telematics feature is either standard or optional, including a state-of-the-art navigation system with traffic reports supplied by Sirius Satellite Radio. Remember the push-button-entry feature that debuted years ago on Lincolns? It returns here, but now instead of cheesy buttons that protrude from the sheetmetal, there are heat-sensitive, backlit numerals integrated into the B-pillar, and they become visible only after you run your hand over them.
The instrument panel is trimmed in a wide swath either of ebony, olive ash, or genuine aluminum. In a nod to Lincoln's heritage, the leather is supplied by Bridge of Weir, the same Scottish company that supplied hides for the Continental Mark II way back when. Lincoln says it is the "softest leather ever used in a Lincoln." It's nice, and it does have a slightly richer hand feel than much of the plasticized leather you see these days, but it doesn't have much of that pleasing leather smell that you get in more expensive cars. Both heated and cooled front seats are available, as are heated rear seats. Interior panel tolerances are good, and the plastics are good quality. The secondary switches for radio and climate are a little on the cheap side, though, with a vast array of little black rectangular buttons that look more like they belong in a Ford than in a Lincoln. The primary gauges are nicely lit, but they are pretty ho-hum, too. Optional dual moonroofs flood the cabin with light. The center armrest is split into two sections that move individually with the driver's right elbow and the front passenger's left elbow, which is convenient.
0806 01 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+drivers Seat
The optional, 600-watt, sixteen-speaker THX II 5.1 surround sound stereo is absolutely superb, and the interface for controlling it through the high-resolution navigation screen is top-notch. Ford's Sync system, which allows you to control an iPod or any other MP3 music player and a Bluetooth cell phone through voice activation, is standard. The Sirius Travel Link system can also provide nearby gas-station prices, movie listings, sports scores, and other real-time information through the navigation screen, which is the virtual command center of the vehicle.
Total passenger volume is a substantial 105.9 cubic feet, and the trunk is rated at 18.4 cubic feet.
0806 02 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+interior View
The standard engine is a 3.7-liter derivation of the 3.5-liter V-6 that is widely used across the Ford and Lincoln lineups. For now, at least, the 3.7-liter is exclusive to the MKS, where it makes 273 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque on regular fuel. If you run on premium fuel, you can eke out a couple more horsepower and a bit more torque, but it hardly seems worth it. Those thirsty for V-8-style power will have to wait until next spring, when the MKS will be the first recipient of Ford's new, twin-turbo, direct-injection, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which Lincoln promises will deliver the "performance of a V-8 with the fuel efficiency of a V-6." With 340 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque but an estimated 23 mpg on the freeway, it will be the first offering under Ford's new "EcoBoost" powertrain program. Adaptive cruise control is optional.
The MKS platform is a derivation of the one that underpins the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans, which itself came from the Volvo S80. A lot of work has been done to it to deliver a more premium ride-and-handling experience and also to accommodate the additional power as well as the larger wheels and tires. Stability control is standard. Lincoln engineers benchmarked the Lexus GS chassis as they developed an all-new rear suspension for the MKS. The front suspension is also modified from Ford/Mercury duty.
On the Road
0806 03 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+interior View
You start the 2009 Lincoln MKS with a push button (naturally; no upscale car uses a simple key anymore), and the 3.7-liter V-6 springs to life with a pleasing rasp. Pull the gearshift lever into Drive, and you're off: there are no shifter paddles or other newfangled gearchanging devices here, but MKS owners can make the best of the 3.7-liter V-6 and its six-speed automatic transmission by sliding the gearshift lever to the right, thus engaging the SelectShift mode which allows you to push forward to downshift and pull back to upshift. Thus engaged, the 3.7-liter V-6 eagerly races to its redline and provides strong acceleration and linear power, even if it's not particularly scintillating. In manual mode, the gearshift lever bangs against its stops as you push it back and forth, which sounds and feels a little cheap, but you quickly learn not to move it through its full range of motion. The V-6 is certainly a good engine, but the MKS doesn't even have as much power as, say, the new Nissan Maxima, let alone the V-6 version of the new Hyundai Genesis. Premium cars require premium powertrains, so the EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 cannot come soon enough.
0806 04 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+front And Rear Seats
The MKS delivers a firm, well-controlled ride that will be somewhat of a surprise for Lincoln owners who are accustomed to the pillow ride of the Town Car and the last-generation Continental. Steering effort is not too high for traditional buyers, though, and the steering is precise if not overly communicative. When presented with an open stretch of twisty road, you can choose the SelectShift mode and have a reasonably entertaining romp, but there's no hiding the MKS's substantial curb weight of 4127 pounds in front-wheel-drive form; all-wheel drive adds about 150 pounds. The brake pedal is too mushy when you're really stomping on it, although it's fine in normal usage. And although ride comfort as a whole is quite good, the twenty-inch wheels on our test car could not effectively squelch freeway expansion joints. We imagine most people will be better served by the nineteen-inch wheel-and-tire package.
The cabin is well-insulated from road noise, and the seats are comfortable and supportive. However, the headrest of the driver's seat is pitched forward a bit too far, and this takes some getting used to. One presumes that it was done in an effort to provide head and neck support in case of a collision, but there must be a better solution. The rear seats are fairly roomy, also, and the sightlines from the front seats are good.
Pricing and Fuel Economy
0806 07 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+easy Fuel Capless Gas Tank Fill Spout
In front-wheel-drive form, the MKS is rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway. Our all-wheel-drive test car was rated at 16/23 mpg but returned only 18.2 mpg during our 170-mile test drive loop, which admittedly was a combination of two-lane roads, city streets, and freeways, including stop-and-go rush-hour traffic driving into Washington, D.C. The MKS starts at about $38,000, and our fully loaded all-wheel-drive test model was priced at $46,070, including destination.
0806 10 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS+profile View
The MKS falls short of being a class leader, but it is a solid effort on Lincoln's part and offers plenty to attract those who are looking for a roomy, comfortable, luxurious, and very well-equipped sedan with classic yet modern styling. Unfortunately, it does not offer the road presence or stance that the MKR concept, let alone all of the stillborn Lincoln concepts from earlier this decade, promised. Ford is clearly getting its Lincoln house in order, and the MKS is an indicator of even better things to come. But in creating a flagship from its corporate front-wheel-drive components set, Lincoln is fighting the tide of the luxury-car world, which has moved to rear-wheel-drive-based platforms. Although the Acura RL is hardly a runaway success, Lincoln would be wise to follow Acura and give the MKS standard all-wheel drive, as front-wheel drive just does not send the right message anymore in the luxury-sedan realm.
0809 06 Pl+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+front Three Quarter View
0809 03 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+satellite Navigation Screen
0809 07 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+side View
0809 09 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+side View
0809 10 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+front Three Quarter View
0809 04 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+easy Fuel Fill Spout
0809 02 Z+2009 Lincoln MKS AWD+interior View
2009 Lincoln MKS AWD

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2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS
Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
17 MPG City | 24 MPG Hwy
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23 MPG City | 36 MPG Hwy
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Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
18 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
2009 Saab 9-3
Comfort FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
19 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
2009 Volvo S60
2.5T FWD 4-Dr Sedan I5
19 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS
Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS
Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2009 Lincoln MKS Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.7L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
17 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
24 MPG
273 hp @ 6250rpm
270 ft lb of torque @ 4250rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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