2009 Lincoln MKS AWD

I agree with my colleagues almost completely. The new MKS is a very nice car, but it's just not what the Lincoln flagship needs to be. Cadillac (not to mention Jaguar, Lexus, Audi, et al.) sells some pretty fantastic products these days, and the MKS is weak by comparison. Primary examples in my mind are the MKS's surprisingly distracting levels of wind/road noise and its too-harsh nineteen-inch-wheeled ride.

On the plus side, I was impressed at how well disguised this car is from its Taurus/Sable kin. When you park the MKS next to a new Taurus, its roofline, greenhouse, and overall lines are distinct enough to trick most observers into believing that these cars are completely different. Our design editor Robert Cumberford may strike me down for saying this, but I actually like the MKS's taillights, which remind me of the Maserati Quattroporte's. I think the MKS looks better in person than in photos, too, although our car's black paint probably helps this. The infotainment system, as others have noted, is awesome, as is the stereo. The touchscreen seemed too far away to me, though (and I have long arms). Adjustable pedals (not present on this car) would be a must.

Still, in this class, I'd buy a Chrysler 300C - which offers a much sportier driving experience - and spend the money I'd save on premium fuel. I might, however, recommend the Lincoln over the Chrysler to a person who was more concerned with interior features, quality of materials, and overall comfort. But that person isn't me. Moreover, the Lincoln isn't confidence inspiring at high speeds, and even this all-wheel-drive model produces a bit of torque steer. As others have noted, I have high hopes that the upcoming EcoBoost will make a much stronger case for the MKS, but what Lincoln really needs is a proper flagship in the vein of the Jaguar XF.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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