$8,930 - $9,622

2012 Lincoln MKT Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Lincoln MKT was new.


Performance: 8.4

The Lincoln MKT has impressive handling and acceleration for a three-row crossover, test drivers report. They say that the Ecoboost engine is especially potent, although they’re glad that the 20-inch rims that used to be standard on Ecoboost trims are now optional.  That’s because they make the ride more harsh and the SUV less maneuverable.

  • "As large luxury people movers go, the … Lincoln MKT is a pleasure to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "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. All told, we enjoyed driving the MKT on twisty roads better than Lincoln's flagship MKS sedan, which doesn't offer the same midcorner stability and accurate tracking of the MKT." -- MSN
  • "We found the Lincoln MKT particularly comfortable to drive, so much that we didn't want our various journeys to end. It handled well enough for its size, but the big draws were the effort-saving gadgets. Our MKT came equipped with adaptive cruise control, which is still novel enough that we marvel at its capability to match our speed with the car ahead." -- CNET

Acceleration and Power

The MKT's base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 268 horsepower and puts power to the front wheels. Buyers who want all-wheel drive will have to opt for the Ecoboost trim, which adds 87 horsepower and $2,000 to the price tag. The MKT’s Ecoboost engine is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 355 horsepower, and while it doesn’t improve fuel efficiency overall, it comes with only a slight penalty at the pump.

The EPA hasn’t tested the 2012 MKT’s base engine, but in 2011 models, the same engine managed 17/23 mpg city/highway when paired with front-wheel drive. The 2012 MKT Ecoboost with all-wheel drive gets 16/22 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA.

Most test drivers say there's no reason not to opt for the new twin-turbocharged V6 Ecoboost powertrain, which provides surprising power and acceleration. In addition to the increased engine power, Ecoboost models offer a few more standard interior features and unlock more optional ones.

  • "The MKT EcoBoost V6 provides plenty of acceleration at virtually any speed, thanks in part to the six-speed automatic transmission's smooth shifts.” -- Edmunds
  • "The optional EcoBoost V6 is impressive, as it provides a large amount of power for going up inclines and passing on the highway.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Wheel patter is intrusive on rough pavement. The engine is not as refined as those found in some competitors, but it is unobtrusive. Wind noise is minimal.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

Reviewers say the Lincoln MKT handles surprisingly well for a large crossover. Some test drivers found that the optional 20-inch wheels degrade the MKT’s ride, so buyers may want to consider the trade-off between these attractive wheels and ride comfort.

  • " 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
  • "Steering feels reasonably responsive whether assisted by hydraulic or electric power steering, the latter found on the EcoBoost model. The suspension delivers the refined ride quality expected of a luxury vehicle and very respectable handling, although the MKT's size and weight make it anything but sporting.” -- Edmunds
  • "The suspension is firm but well controlled. Large bumps don't upset the MKT's composure but they're always felt. With the EcoBoost's optional 20-inch tires, small pavement imperfections filter through to the cabin. It's not uncomfortable, but it's not as smooth as we would expect a luxury crossover to be.” -- Consumer Guide

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