$11,465 - $12,066

2011 Lincoln MKT Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Lincoln MKT was new.


Performance: 8.5

The 2011 Lincoln MKT surprises test drivers with its spirited, sedan-like performance. Not only is it fun to drive, but the EcoBoost V6 engine makes it extremely quick too, which is all the more impressive considering the MKT weighs nearly 5,000 pounds.

  • "Instrumented testing and real-world impressions will have to wait until our next rendezvous with the big Lincoln (it's a half-foot longer than the Flex), but on Ford's undulating ride-and-handling course and five-mile banked oval, the MKT exhibited reassuring composure and had more than enough grunt to outrun the V-8-powered Audi Q7 on hand for comparison." -- Car and Driver
  • "Most unexpected from the MKT is its precise steering and confident handling. Its smooth ride is firmly plush, yet without the head toss and general upper body workout so common in taller crossovers and SUVs." -- MSN
  • "As large luxury people movers go, the 2011 Lincoln MKT is a pleasure to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "The EcoBoost makes the MKT feel light and lively. Still, it's a traditionally cushy Lincoln. When pushed, the electric power steering feels too light, and needs corrections on crowned or bumpy roads." -- Motor Trend
  • "We found the Lincoln MKT particularly comfortable to drive, so much that we didn't want our various journeys to end." -- CNET

Acceleration and Power

The MKT's base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 268 horsepower -- but most test drivers say there's no reason not to opt for the new twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost powertrain, which makes 355 horsepower. The engine is unique because it boasts the power of a V8 while achieving the fuel economy of a V6. It adds about $3,000 onto the MKT’s base price, but every reviewer says it’s well worth it. In addition to more power, Ecoboost models have more standard interior features.

According to the EPA, the FWD base model achieves 17/23 mpg city/highway, while the AWD model with the EcoBoost engine achieves 16/22 mpg. These ratings are quite good for the MKT’s class, especially considering the EcoBoost’s staggering horsepower rating.

  • "All the torque from the EcoBoost engine makes passing maneuvers at highway speeds a snap." -- Car and Driver
  • "We'd advise buyers to reach for the EcoBoost version for anything more than around-town shuttling." -- MSN
  • "The EcoBoost MKT is strong at any speed, aided by an alert transmission."--Consumer Guide
  • "There is no turbo lag. None. Zilch. Zero. Nada. The EcoBoost's two turbos are truly tiny and they apparently spool up quicker than any driver's perception of speed." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The EcoBoost's fat and flat torque curve gives the Lincoln a response that is almost diesel-like, albeit without the attendant soundtrack. A light squeeze on the go pedal results in a seamless sweep of the speedometer needle clockwise around the dial, even without a kick-down of the transmission. Simply put, it's just a rush of acceleration." -- Autoblog
  • "This thing is a rocketship. The MKT launches hard off the line and you're bumping up against the 120 MPH speed limiter before you can say ‘EcoBooooooooooost!' It's been a long wait to get behind the wheel of an EcoBoosted car and the MKT was a strange pick for first ride, but man, this engine is a gem." -- Jalopnik

Handling and Braking

The MKT doesn't drive like a big, heavy SUV, which is a huge plus for reviewers. In fact, most are quite impressed with its nimble handling. However, a few reviewers say it can't compare to German competitors like the Audi Q7.

  • "You can manhandle the MKT hard into a corner, and the combination of well-tuned mechanical bits and seamless stability control intervention allow it to just track through at speeds that are surprisingly high for a CUV." -- Autoblog
  • "We hit the twisty stuff at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds and, by golly, the MKT actually handles. Well even. Drop it into manual mode, pop it in third and it drives like it isn't a huge crossover. Even plowing it through rough roads and heaves the car is well behaved." -- Jalopnik
  • "As a post-modern prairie schooner, the MKT's chassis isn't quite up to the task of meeting the engine's potential." -- Motor Trend
  • “The steering feels reasonably responsive whether you get the hydraulic version found in the base car or the EcoBoost's electric power steering. The suspension delivers the refined ride quality you'd expect from a luxury vehicle and very respectable handling. However, the MKT's substantial size and weight make the driving experience somewhat less than sporty." -- Edmunds

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