$29,225 - $33,179

2017 Lincoln MKT Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Lincoln MKT was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.5

The primary focus of the 2017 Lincoln MKT is providing a silky smooth ride, which pairs well with a highway commute or a long trip. However, the MKT's heft quickly becomes apparent, with its hard-to-park size and considerable body lean when taking turns in a hurry. Power from the base engine is OK, but the twin-turbo V6 delivers vigorous acceleration.

  • "Although the 2015 Lincoln MKT is a large, three-row crossover (capable of seating six or seven, depending on how you equip it), its performance is pretty impressive, too." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "With the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, the 2015 Lincoln MKT may surprise you with its get-up-and-go. Once at speed, the big 3-row SUV cruises quietly at a relaxed pace, especially when equipped with the available adaptive cruise control." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • The driving dynamics don't stand up to a BMW, but they're on par with a Lexus." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the base MKT is a 3.7-liter V6 engine, which produces 303 horsepower. Its acceleration is adequate for daily driving, but a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (only available in the all-wheel-drive MKT 3.5 GTDI trim) delivers 365 horsepower, which is what you'll need for quick passing, merging, and hill climbing. Both engines use a responsive six-speed automatic transmission, which also comes with paddle shifters for executing manual gear changes.

Regardless of which engine you choose, fuel economy is a sore subject for the MKT. The base engine returns 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while the upgraded engine gets 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway.

  • "Lincoln's excellent 6-speed automatic transmission delivers quick shifts when asked and can be manually controlled via a set of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… its powerful turbocharged V6 engine shrugs off the big crossover's considerable weight and provides brisk performance. You'll sacrifice some fuel efficiency, but to us, the trade-off is worth it in light of the engine's extra power. The non-turbo 3.7-liter V6 in the base MKT provides adequate acceleration in most situations, though, and should satisfy most shoppers." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • Although the 3.7-liter V6 doesn't strain to move the MKT, it doesn't exactly inspire, either. The EcoBoost V6 with its 365 hp is the right engine for this vehicle …" -- Autotrader (2014)

Handling and Braking

The base MKT feels most at home when it's cruising on the highway, thanks to its supple ride. Steering is properly weighted, but the base MKT leans significantly in turns, so it's not the best choice for spirited driving.

If you'd like a better balance between ride and handling, opt for the MKT 3.5 GTDI, which comes with all-wheel drive and an adaptive suspension that makes automatic adjustments in real time based on road conditions and the way you're driving. With it, the ride becomes tauter, but handling ability improves. It offers three driving modes, but you probably won't notice much variance between them. When it comes time to stop, you can have confidence in the MKT's able brakes. However, once the ride is over, the MKT's sheer mass will make parking in tight spots a real chore.

  • On the open road, the MKT cruises effortlessly, returning a very comfortable ride, good feedback from the nicely weighted steering and strong brakes. Base trims display a good degree of lean in the curves, but the … MKT with all-wheel drive (AWD) includes Lincoln Drive Control, which firms things up considerably. LDC features settings for Sport, Comfort and Normal throttle modes, but we were hard-pressed to feel that much of a difference among them." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Likewise, you don't need the adaptive suspension … to enjoy a comfortable ridearound town or during interstate cruising. The base MKT's suspension is pleasantly controlled, although this big crossover will lean considerably if you're turning sharply or at higher speeds. … The only place the MKT feels out of place is in tight parking lots because of its considerable length." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Lincoln Drive Control refines the driving experience with a more balanced ride and handling equation, intuitively responding to driver inputs and road surface variables …" -- Autotrader (2014)

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