KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 4/23/2012
The 2012 Lincoln MKS shares a platform with the Ford Taurus, but in addition to having more upscale looks and features, it is slightly longer and taller. That extra size on the outside translates to even more room for driver and passengers on the inside of Lincoln's full-size luxury flagship sedan. Two V6 engine options are available in the Lincoln MKS, including a powerful turbocharged version, and the car can be had with all-wheel-drive for better performance and traction. Unlike many luxury competitors in this segment, the MKS in standard form is front-wheel drive. That puts it at a disadvantage on the performance front versus rear-wheel-drive rivals, but with a plush ride and plenty of high-end amenities, the Lincoln deserves consideration for those who value comfort over sports-car handling.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're seeking a big, comfortable, traditional-looking sedan that can seat five, gets decent fuel economy and starts in the $40,000 range, the MKS deserves a spot on your shopping list.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If driving thrills and handling dynamics are priorities, you'll probably want to look at competitors such as the BMW 5 Series, Acura TL, Audi A6, Infiniti M37 or Cadillac CTS. And despite its heritage, the Lincoln badge may not have the appeal of German and Japanese luxury brands.
What's Significant About This Car?
The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) is now optional on the Lincoln MKS. The system acts as a digital eye, detecting when vehicles move into the Lincoln's blind spots and alerting the driver via a light on the side mirrors. The system also helps prevent rearward collisions with its cross-traffic alert that detects vehicles approaching from behind when the MKS is backing up. When a potential collision is detected, audible and visual warnings alert the driver.
Even with the base 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 274 horsepower, the 2012 Lincoln MKS feels strong. The sedan's 6-speed automatic transmission is a smooth shifter and outside noise is hushed thanks to an emphasis on sound-deadening in the cabin. Step up to the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 in the EcoBoost model, and the MKS feels downright quick, its 355 horsepower planted firmly to the ground via the car's standard all-wheel-drive. On the stopping side, the MKS brakes are powerful and secure. Overall, the Lincoln feels fairly agile for a car of its size, even in spite of its comfort-crafted personality.
Active Park Assist
Does the thought of parallel parking strike fear in your heart? This optional system can help. With aid from ultrasonic sensors, Active Park Assist measures an available parking space and then does the bulk of the work to park the car.
When outside temperatures are extreme, there's nothing like getting warmed or cooled from the bottom up. The MKS comes standard with heating and cooling supplied by the front seats, while rear passengers get treated to heated seats, also standard equipment.
Compared with other cars in this luxury segment, the layout and controls of the MKS are simpler and easier to use for the uninitiated. Instead of using a rotary dial to navigate myriad functions, the MKS has straightforward buttons for climate control, audio and the like that are easy to identify and adjust. The design doesn't exactly shout luxury, but it's cleaner and more pragmatic than most others out there. The Lincoln does boast a large screen that can be used with a navigation system and the standard SYNC communication system. The cabin itself features plenty of leather, wood and metal to create a prestigious feel, and offers commendable room for passengers and cargo alike.
When the MKS debuted for the 2009 model year, it resurrected Lincoln cues from the past that have found their way onto other cars within the brand. Most notable is the double-wing grille inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental. As the car's smooth lines flow rearward, its shape is more modest and not as visually striking. Twin tailpipes do help give the big sedan a notion of power. EcoBoost versions receive 19-inch wheels and can further distinguish themselves with an appearance package that includes 20-inch wheels and darkened grille and headlights.
Notable Standard Equipment
2012 Lincoln MKS models come with the SYNC connectivity and communication system, the SecuriCode keyless entry keypad (some folks love it), power rear-window sunshade, leather seats (with front-seat heating and cooling) and heated outboard rear seats, plus a THX II Certified Audio System with AM/FM/Satellite radio, 6-disc CD player and 10 speakers. For a taste of sportiness, push-button start and 18-inch cast aluminum wheels also come standard.
Notable Optional Equipment
Among the upgrades you can make to a Lincoln MKS are: Active Park Assist, a navigation system with rear-view camera, 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, an HD Radio, blind-spot warning system, remote start system, adaptive cruise control, and a dual-panel moonroof.
Under the Hood
The 2012 MKS offers a choice of two V6 engines. The base version is a 3.7-liter good for 274 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Models with the 3.7-liter V6 come in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The second option, for EcoBoost models, is a 3.5-liter V6 with two turbochargers. This powerplant makes a robust 355 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, and puts power to all four wheels. Proving that you can have your cake and eat it, too, the turbocharged EcoBoost engine that's mated to an all-wheel drive system actually has the same fuel-economy ratings as the less powerful 3.7-liter engine that is in a front-wheel-drive MKS. Both engines can run on regular unleaded gasoline and are teamed to a SelectShift 6-speed automatic that can be manually shifted.
274 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (front-wheel drive), 16/23 mpg (all-wheel drive)
3.5-liter turbocharged V6
355 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
A base 2012 MKS with the standard V6 engine and front-wheel-drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $42,000, including destination and before incentives. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price to roughly $44,000. A top-of-the-line EcoBoost model with a turbocharged V6 and standard all-wheel drive starts around $49,000. At these prices, the MKS sedan is priced in line with the Cadillac CTS, higher than the Hyundai Genesis sedan and Acura TL, and lower than the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Infiniti M37. The Lincoln offers a lot of features for the money, but its 5-year residual value is lower than its German and Japanese competitors.