By KBB.com Editors
While the 2011 Lincoln MKS is loosely based on the excellent Volvo-derived architecture that underpins the new Ford Taurus, it bears little resemblance to its lesser cousin. The successful delivery of Lincoln's flagship MKS (S for sedan), and its well-received twin-turbo EcoBoost engine should put an end to the rumors and grumblings of Lincoln's demise, as well as put competitors such as Cadillac and Lexus on notice. About the only thing we question is Lincoln's move from names with heritage to MK-this and MK-that, but at least (unlike some) that key third letter helps identify the model.
If you like this new Lincoln's look, especially its heritage-based "double-wing" grille, there's not much to dislike about it. With an agreeable balance of performance, efficiency, room and value, and front- or available all-wheel-drive, it lacks only most rivals' rear-wheel drive and a prestigious import nameplate.
While Lincoln's flagship sedan punches most of the right buttons, competition at this level is tough. Most competitors offer rear-wheel drive, available higher performance and better-respected brand names. If you're willing to pay more for it, a German or Japanese or a domestic Cadillac luxury sedan may suit you better.
For 2011, HD Radio is added to the Lincoln MKS' available voice-activated navigation system.
Driving Impressions The MKS follows through on its good first impression. Power from its 3.7-liter V6 is strong, smooth and responsive, and its cabin is unusually quiet and serene at any reasonable...speed. The MacPherson-strut and lower-control-arm front suspension maximizes travel, while the fully independent rear arrangement isolates noise and harshness without isolating the driver from feeling the road. One unique element is rear shock absorbers mounted vertically at the outboard ends of the suspension arms, near the wheels, to accommodate the available 20-inch wheels while allowing precise suspension tuning. The power rack-and-pinion steering is precise and responsive, the brakes are powerful and secure, and the car feels surprisingly agile for its size.
Voice-Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link
This state-of-the-art system integrates climate control and SIRIUS Satellite Radio into a large, easy-to-use touch-screen display. It also provides up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information, current gas prices, sports scores and movie listings, and it can store, catalog and play more than 150 hours of music.
Jointly developed by Ford and Microsoft and standard on the MKS, this industry exclusive, voice-activated hands-free communications and entertainment system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle.
The 2011 Lincoln MKS cabin marries best-in-class interior and cargo volume to a precision-crafted environment of hand-wrapped, double-stitched premium leather, genuine wood and sculpted aluminum accents. The symmetrical instrument panel, an updated version of the design found in the Lincoln Navigator, MKZ and MKX, is bisected by a strip of sculpted wood, and its upper surface is durable leatherette. The standard leather seats have supportive side bolsters, the leather-wrapped steering wheel is topped by a strip of real wood, the round gauges are ringed in delicate chrome, and a large, integrated information/navigation screen tops the center stack.Exterior
The MKS was the first new production Lincoln with design elements harvested from signature Lincoln cues of the past, styling that is now standard across the brand's lineup. Its most striking exterior feature is a double-wing grille inspired by that of the 1941 Lincoln Continental. A sculpted hood, a fast-raked windshield and a beltline that kicks up slightly over the rear wheels are highlighted by polished stainless steel side window surrounds. Around back, vertical white light strips separate LED tail lamps from the decklid edges, and a horizontal chrome strip along the rear deck is inset with a Lincoln star.
This well-equipped Lincoln packs all expected bells and whistles and some Ford exclusives, including a next-generation "SecuriCode" keypad that unlocks the driver's door, a capless fuel filler system and the SYNC hands-free entertainment and communications system. Also standard are premium AM/FM/six-CD changer 6-speaker audio with SIRIUS Satellite Radio; premium leather seating; leather-wrapped shifter; 12-way power, heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats with power lumbar; heated rear seats with pass-through; power tilt/telescope steering wheel with memory; dual-zone automatic climate control and reverse sensing. Also standard are adaptive headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, forward sensing system, rear-window power sunshade and "Intelligent Access" key fob with push-button start. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac stability control; anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist; Dual-stage front, front side and roof Canopy System airbags.
Most notable among the MKS' many available features are all-wheel drive; 19-inch bright machined or 20-inch polished aluminum wheels; THXII Certified 14-speaker premium surround sound; voice-activated navigation; rear-view camera; adaptive cruise control; dual-panel power moonroof, Active Park Assist and "PowerCode" remote starting. Most of these features are bundled into two Rapid Spec option packages, one with the Navigation Package (navigation, surround sound and rear-view camera) and one that combines the Navigation package with the dual panel moonroof, 19-inch wheels and color-keyed suede seat trim. Also available is the EcoBoost Appearance package that adds unique leather seating and appliques, body colored grille, fog lamp openings and rocker panels and 20-inch chrome wheels.
The 2011 MKS offers a choice of two V6 powerplants. The first is a normally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 that develops 273 horses and 270 pound-feet of torque. Based on Ford's award-winning 3.5-liter V6, it shares the same die-cast aluminum block, lightweight four-valve heads and variable valve timing. To save fuel, its fuel pump shifts to a lower-speed setting when conditions allow and cuts off fuel to the injectors when the driver backs completely out of the throttle in fifth or sixth gear. The second option is a 3.5-liter V6 with two turbochargers bolted on for a big jump in horsepower and torque, but very little sacrifice in fuel economy. Both engines are teamed to the standard SelectShift six-speed automatic that can be manually shifted when desired. The available all-wheel-drive, which can distribute up to 100 percent of torque between the front and rear wheels, is offered only with the normally aspirated V6.
273 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 turbocharged
355 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
By JohnnyB on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great navigation package, AWD"
Cons: "Trunk opening very small. Terrible Brakes!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The car is very comfortable to drive, very elegant, great power, love the AWD and safety features-especially during winter months! The Navigation system, instruments, seating are great. My dealer's service department can't seem to tighten the oil catch cover as it is always coming loose after oil changes. They had to recently order a new retaining pin for it since it came loose and fell off. The things I dislike about this vehicle is that the brakes are too soft and are terrible. For a car of this size, weight, and power, it should have a better braking system. I will be switching out the brakes to a Brembo kit with braded brake lines. The trunk space is large, but can't really take much advantage of it since the actual trunk opening is very small. The interior color changing lighting is an awesome feature, but don't really have a need/use for it. Therefore, it is a pointless feature. I would like the DVD player to actually play DVD's while the car is in drive so that my passengers can enjoy it. There is a device that can be installed to play DVDs, but at a cost of over $400. Overall, great vehicle and I am extremely happy with it. It certainly gets looks from many while driving down the road and at stop lights/signs."
By The King on Thursday, November 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice sound system."
Cons: "don't have all day to cover them..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Way to many things have had to be fixed or replaced with this car. Example, as 70K miles the front wheel bearings had to be replaced. When the car went through a car wash the front passenger door would fill up with water. The water drainage system clogged. Result, front passenger floor became drenched in a heavy rain storm. The car has been garaged all during my ownership. The "plate" covering up the hole for the steering shaft kept breaking. The Lincoln emblem just fell off the front of the car. A subsequent car fax check reveals that the dealer "oh, did we forget the mention that"..."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Ralex on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A comfortable ride and not bad mileage"
Cons: "The trunck entrance is a bit too small."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The car is very comfortable, and drives well. Their could be a little less cabin noise, but it is not a deal breaker. The heated/cooled seats are nice especially with leather. I do find the electronics are not as user friendly as I would like but bearable."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By tag on Friday, September 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "drives great, has get up and go, no mechanical"
Cons: "doesn't hold value too well"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this brand new and have had no issues except the driver's seat mechanics. Runs great and gets good gas mileage. I get 27 mpg around town."
15 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By RCK on Monday, September 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "So far, everything about it!"
Cons: "Have none as of today!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Just purchased a brand new 2013 MKS off the show room floor and absolutely love the vehicle. Traded in a 2002 LSE for this one and the difference is unreal. Granted, it has only a handful of miles, but this car is all anyone could every ask for in a full size, luxury sedan. Have the standard V6 with AWD and all options. Have ran just one tank of gas through her and recording 23.6 MPG on both highway/city driving. It will take me a few months to learn all the features of this car. Sure surprised the heck out of me when I went to adjust the drivers seat while going down the highway and received a butt massage! We checked out every make and model of similar full size vehicles and none could compare with what the MKS provided. Why this car sat on the show room floor for a year still amazes me. I'm just very happy it ended up in my garage."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Dick on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "To many to list. See complete review."
Cons: "Voice recognition"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Love most of the features offered as std eqpmt. Voice recognition gave me fits from day 1. Styling, handling, comfort and attention to details are excellent. Even MPG is good, although not as good as the 2009 MKS I had previousley. So many extras not found on other cars like: Butt massage, lumbar massage, interior lighting (changable colors),pedal adjustments, no gas cap, cooling seats (I live in the desert), remote start, front & back sensors, adaptive headlights, etc..."
10 people out of 18 found this review helpful