2009 Lincoln MKS AWD

The first thing I noticed when I sat in the Lincoln MKS is the brilliant satellite navigation system interface. The screen is clear, the system reacts quickly to your inputs, and the Sirius Travel Link feature is quite clever. It was nice to check the weather radar on my way to work this morning, and the fuel price listing is kind of cool. I also like how the radio portion of the system displays album art and that the MKS has a better form of SYNC compared with Ford's early systems.

The rest of the MKS is less impressive. The steering offers little feel, and the engine doesn't sound very impressive. Additionally, the interior doesn't feel that well screwed together. There were multiple rattles in our low-mileage test vehicle, and the center console and shifter both feel pretty low rent. It is interesting that Lincoln set up their manual shifting control in what I feel is the correct way - pull back for upshifts and push forward for downshifts - but it's too bad the rest of the vehicle doesn't live up to that sporty setup.

Finally, I find the new Lincoln's keyless-entry system to be slightly weird. As with similar systems on many cars, you only need to have the key in your pocket to start the MKS. But to unlock the car you either need to push the button on the key fob or move your finger over the numerical keypad on the driver's door. Most other cars will allow you either simply to pull on the door handle, whereupon the door will unlock when it detects the key on your person, or to push a little rubber button imbedded in the door handle. The Lincoln lacked these features, and the only way I could find to easily lock the MKS was to also use the key fob. I checked the owner's manual but couldn't find any other slick way to lock the doors. I recall that the early versions of the current-generation Ford Mondeo in Europe had a similar setup (though without the numerical keypad), but the Mondeo now features a more conventional setup.

Marc Noordeloos, Road Test Editor

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