2012 Lincoln MKT

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2012 Lincoln MKT Review


KBB Expert Rating: 5.5

There’s no denying that the 2012 Lincoln MKT has an exterior shape that could be called polarizing at best but, once you look past its bulbous back and step inside this 3-row people hauler, it’s all about excellent accommodations that can seat up to seven in supreme comfort. Factor in the availability of all-wheel drive and a twin-turbo engine, and the Lincoln MKT further proves that you can’t always judge a car by its covering. Yet, the MKT faces formidable competition from luxurious rivals such as the new Infiniti JX and the more-established Acura MDX and Audi Q7. While those smaller competitors offer more appealing looks, they can’t match the big MKT’s roominess, especially when it comes to third-row seating.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you regularly transport multiple people and their cargo, and are less concerned about luxury-name cachet or flashy looks, the 2012 Lincoln MKT provides a blissful ride, room galore and can tow up to 4,500 pounds. When equipped with optional all-wheel drive, the Lincoln provides good grip in slippery conditions.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With the MKT’s roominess comes its very big size. At over 17 feet long and more than seven feet wide with the mirrors out, just fitting the Lincoln MKT into a garage can be a challenge, never mind maneuvering into tight parking spots. Also, if more traditional looks and high-end import branding are important to you, look to a German or Japanese luxury brand.

What's New for 2012

For 2012 the all-wheel-drive version of the MKT with the naturally-aspirated V6 engine has been dropped, with front-wheel drive now the sole choice for models with the base engine. All-wheel drive is available only with the optional twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine. Fuel economy for both versions of the 2012 MKT has improved marginally.

Driving the MKT
Driving Impressions

For such a large vehicle, the 2012 Lincoln MKT isn’t as unwieldy as you might think. This is most true when driving in a straight line, and especially when it’s...

... equipped with the powerful EcoBoost V6 engine. That optional power plant gets this large crossover up to speed in a hurry, and the “Intelligent” all-wheel-drive system provides good grip on a variety of road surfaces. Befitting the MKT’s comfortable and quiet interior is an equally plush ride. The Lincoln’s 6-speed automatic transmission is another high point, seamlessly changing up and down through the gears and, via paddle shifters, allowing the driver to do the shifting when desired. Because of the MKT’s girth and poor rearward sightlines, we recommend the blind-spot-monitoring system.

The 2012 MKT’s upscale engine is the same one that powers the high-performance Ford Taurus SHO. With 365 horsepower, it makes the big Lincoln surprisingly quick.

The 2012 MKT features an available refrigerator and third-row seats that can flip and face backward when the liftgate is up to create the ultimate setting for tailgating.

2012 Lincoln MKT Details

The 2012 Lincoln MKT’s interior is something beautiful to behold. Spacious, supple and versatile, it’s available in 6- or 7-passenger configurations. In the former arrangement, the second-row bench seat is replaced by two big, comfortable chairs with optional heating and cooling. The power-foldable third-row seat, meanwhile, offers nearly as much legroom as that of the back seat of a smaller sedan. Up front, drivers are treated to a high seating position. The touch-screen telematics system that acts as a command center for navigation, climate and audio functions is high-tech for sure, but can be challenging to learn and operate. A standard glass roof helps bring the outside in. With both the second- and third-row seats folded, the MKT boasts enormous cargo capacity.


Though the Lincoln shares its chassis with the Ford Flex, the 2012 MKT’s bulbous body couldn’t look more different than its boxy cousin. The MKT is also nearly half a foot longer than the Flex, which itself is not exactly lacking in terms of length. Up front is Lincoln’s split-wing grille, which appears menacing yet distinguished. Muscular bulges protrude from the sides along a high beltline and, in back, the big MKT finishes off with a full-width taillamp that includes the familiar Lincoln logo. For convenience, the MKT’s big liftgate includes power operation that opens or closes it at the touch of a button. The 2012 Lincoln MKT rolls on 19-inch wheels and tires in its front-drive iteration, while EcoBoost models ride on 20-inch wheels and tires as standard.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Lincoln MKT comes well-equipped with features that can cost extra on other vehicles, including a power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers and tri-zone climate control. Standard equipment also includes perforated leather seating, 12-way power heated and cooled front seats, AM/FM/CD/Satellite audio system with 10 speakers, rear-view camera, 8-inch touch-screen display and power-adjustable pedals and steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Lincoln MKT can be upgraded with Active Park Assist, which helps with parallel parking, and a blind-spot-monitoring system. Other options include heated and cooled second-row seats, a THX II-certified Surround Sound audio system, voice-activated navigation, DVD headrest video system, Adaptive Cruise Control and second-row refrigerated console.

Under the Hood

2012 Lincoln MKT models are available with two V6 engine options: A naturally-aspirated 3.7-liter V6 or a smaller but more powerful twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6. Both engines are mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions with manual-shift modes. The base version supplies ample power to move the big and heavy MKT, while the direct-injection EcoBoost engine provides enough gusto to hustle from zero to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. The base engine is now available only with front-wheel drive and the EcoBoost model comes exclusively with all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy for both versions has improved slightly from past models. Both engines can run on 87-octane gasoline, though 91 octane is recommended for the best performance with the twin-turbo EcoBoost model.

3.7-liter V6
303 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?