By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.8
Although it shares the same platform with the new Taurus, Lincoln's MKS for 2013 is taking aim squarely at the best luxury cars on the market. Lincoln plans to tackle the competition by offering more advanced suspension, engine and electronic features, as well as styling that moves the MKS out of the realm of boring and overly cautious design. The Lincoln MKS is one of the few luxury makes in this price range that offers not only a choice of two V6 engines, but also front-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) platforms. The MKS is endowed with a number of driver-assist features, including Lane Keeping Alert and Aid, which first alerts the driver when drifting into another lane and takes corrective action if the driver does not respond.
If you're seeking traditional luxury-car size and comfort, but in a modern state-of-the-art package that will even impress your kids, the 2013 Lincoln MKS may very well be it. Whether it's the MyLincoln Touch and SYNC infotainment suite or the sophisticated continually adaptive suspension, the MKS is definitely high-tech.
While its driving characteristics should prove more than sufficient for most people, hard-core driving enthusiasts probably won't take to the MKS's front-drive platform, softer suspension and lack of an available manual transmission.
The 2013 Lincoln MKS gets a major overhaul, with new styling both in and out, a more powerful 3.7-liter V6 engine and a host of new electronic driver aids. These include Lincoln Drive Control, which changes the way the car drives and handles depending on transmission setting, and a continuously controlled damping system that constantly adapts to varying road conditions.
Driving Impressions Even with the base 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 304 horsepower, the 2013 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 365 horsepower planted firmly to the ground via the car's standard AWD. The MKS's new adaptive suspension vastly improves its cornering and emergency response reflexes without significantly disturbing the car's reputation for delivering a smooth and quiet ride. The steering feels more precise as well and on the stopping side, the new larger 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 2013 Lincoln 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 a bit more sophisticated than most, bordering on overly complicated. Most functions can be controlled via steering-wheel control pads with information displayed on two LCD screens next to the analog speedometer (part of the MyLincoln Touch system) or through the large LCD view screen that displays audio, navigation and Bluetooth functions. Standard heated and cooling seats are a nice touch, as is the expensive and ever so soft Bridge of Weir leather seating surfaces.
For 2013, Lincoln has given the MKS a much more expressive exterior. The design is most noticeable up front where a prominent winged grille with vertical louver-like slats fills most of the car's front-end acreage. Adaptive HID headlights and a new hood with more contours round out the major changes. 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.
A 2013 Lincoln MKS comes with the SYNC connectivity and communication system, the SecuriCode keyless entry keypad (some folks love it), adaptive HID headlights, 12-way power front seats, leather seating surfaces (with front-seat heating and cooling) and heated outboard rear seats, automatic high beams and automatic climate control. For a taste of sportiness, push-button start and 19-inch cast aluminum wheels also come standard. On the safety front, blind-spot monitors and Lincoln's Forward and Reverse Sensing system are also standard.
Among the upgrades you can make to the 2013 Lincoln MKS are: Active Park Assist, AWD, a navigation system with rearview camera, 20-inch wheels, an HD Radio, remote-start system, power rear sunshade, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, multi-contour massaging front seats, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist and Alert, THX II Certified Audio with 16 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer, and a dual-panel moonroof.
The 2013 MKS offers a choice of two V6 engines. The base version is a 3.7-liter good for 304 horsepower and 279 lb-ft of torque. Models with the 3.7-liter V6 come in FWD or AWD. The second option, for EcoBoost models, is a 3.5-liter V6 with two turbochargers. This powerplant makes a robust 365 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 AWD system has nearly the same fuel-economy ratings as the less powerful 3.7-liter engine that is in a front-drive MKS. Both engines can run on regular unleaded gasoline and are teamed to a SelectShift 6-speed automatic that can be manually shifted.
304 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
279 lb-ft of torque @ 4,050 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (FWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
A base 2013 MKS with the standard V6 engine and FWD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $43,500, including destination and before incentives. Adding AWD pushes the price to roughly $45,700. A top-of-the-line EcoBoost model with a turbocharged V6 and standard AWD starts just shy of $51,000. At these prices, Lincoln's 2013 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.
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."
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"
1 person out of 4 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."
2 people out of 5 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...."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By gwr on Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliability, fun to drive, great performance."
Cons: "Cup holders a little smallish."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this MKS in 2010 with 19K approximate miles on it. I've replaced the tires once, te rear brakes once and nothing else except a plastic gear that moves the air deflectors in the AC (total cost including labor-$60.00). That's it. The interior still looks almost new. The exterior is nearly perfect. The black metallic they call "tuxedo black" doesn't fade or chip. the only repair I've done to the body is when a tree limb put a hole in the deck lid during a violent T-storm. I could not be more pleased with this automobile."
12 people out of 13 found this review helpful