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 Mack on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, classy,good price"
Cons: "A bigger trunk opening ;) Women love to shop!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The only knock I have on this vehicle is the trunk opening, it has a very large trunk, but the opening is not very tall. Performance has been outstanding, I would highly recommend this car to anyone who has to be on the road a lot. Very comfortable, even my Clients love it!When you need the get up and go, it's waiting for you! The only regret...not having the navigation, it's a must ;)"
By tyrochump on Sunday, March 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great to drive, good mileage, low maintenance, goo"
Cons: "poor cup holder placement and size."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This automobile had 19k miles on it when I bought it used in 2010. I have had no mechanical problems of any sort. the way I drive, living in a rural area, driving long distances several times a week, I average 23 mpg overall. I have had to replace the rear brake pads once. I have yet to replace the front. I am able with the AWD to transit mud in places (In the country) where the neighbors FWD car and RWD had to be towed. The handling with the computer-assisted suspension is better than any car I have ever owned, including a couple of "sporty" cars. Powering around curves, I easily leave behind anything short of true sports cars on the curvy country roads upon which I drive. I cannot imagine a better car for the 39k that I paid for it."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By MOJAVE on Sunday, January 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Bought car with 44000 miles. Ultimate package and loaded. This car is a great ride and quiet. The sound system (thx) is really hard to beat. Seats are very comfortable, I recommend heated and cooled seats.Styling is great. This car is the AWD version and the fuel mileage could be better. Our mileage is low so the money spent on fuel is really not an issue (less than 10000 a year)."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By dave on Tuesday, January 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "not a reliable car and service is very bad"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"i leased 2012 MKS a year and a half ago got stuck on the highway 3 times when the car stall on me and put my life in danger the car was so many times by the dealer at the beginning they couldn't find the problem after they change parts and i got stuck again than i have computer problems and Bluetooth issues that they cannot solve up to this day i went with all this up to the top management of ford which they assign me a special person from the company to help me but this guy promise to call and not calling no follow up before this car i had Lexus for many years what a different in reliability and service shame on them cannot wait to end up the lease"
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By black on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,400overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Great pick-up and Handles Well. Because of the Sport design the only problem is the low profile and Spoilers. Have to be real careful among Curbs."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Lincoln-Fan on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,002overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been hands down the best car I've owned for the money!!! The Mks is like my co-pilot that can respond to anything From navigation to defensive driving.. I love love love my car And when people ask me what I drive. Lol I tell them Very slowly.... A 2011 lincoln M-K-S...."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful