KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/16/2012
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2013
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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.