Lincoln is the new Buick. As Buick reinvents itself with sporty new cars like the Regal GS, Lincoln is saddled with stodgy sedans that feel as large as SUVs. Meanwhile, Cadillac has (re)established itself as the premier American brand with the CTS and given the hint that it will continue that streak with the XTS once it comes to market. Since Mercury is the most neglected brand on the market this side of Saab (as of this writing, Saab is still technically alive), I'd expect Lincoln to have more compelling products.
I'm not of the opinion that Lincoln needs a sport sedan to captivate buyers, but a luxury sedan like the MKS could still have brakes that aren't mushy, better sight lines, and go on a serious diet without giving up the luxury amenities. The Mercedes-Benz S-class is a much larger car than the MKS, but it feels smaller behind the wheel. If luxury is the ultimate goal, the trunk opening needs to be addressed. I found the trunk opening to be an awkward size and height for loading groceries. I don't think loading luggage for a trip would be very easy if four people were aboard.
What Ford really needs to do is abandon this dated platform that's basically a gussied up Ford Five Hundred. I know it's not cheap to start from scratch, but the amount of time and energy required to transform these underpinnings into a worthwhile platform simply isn't worth it. Capitalize on the predicted success of the Fusion and the Fiesta and build a large car worth aspiring to.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor