By KBB.com Editors
Ford's luxury Lincoln brand has been on a recent roll with its MKX (X for crossover) and MKZ (formerly Zephyr) mid-size sedan. Derived from Ford's less-expensive Edge and Fusion, both have received positive reviews and have sold surprisingly well. Now comes this all-new flagship MKS (S for sedan). While it's loosely based on the excellent Volvo-derived architecture that underpins Ford's Taurus (formerly Five Hundred) and Taurus X (formerly Freestyle), it bears no resemblance to those distant relatives. We question 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 new 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, Japanese or a domestic Cadillac luxury sedan may suit you better.
This new top-of-the-line sedan should go far toward propagating Lincoln's recent brand renaissance. Powered by a new 3.7-liter V6 through a new six-speed automatic transmission, Ford says it offers the largest selection of comfort and convenience technology features in its class.
Driving Impressions The 2009 Lincoln 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 all 2009 and most 2008 Lincoln vehicles, 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 2009 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 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.
MKS is the first new production Lincoln with design elements harvested from signature Lincoln cues of the past. 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 taillamps 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 new capless fuel filler system and the SYNC hands-free entertainment and communications system. Also standard: a 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 front 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. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac with stability control; anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist; Dual-stage front, front side and roof Safety 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; THX II Certified 14-speaker premium surround sound; voice-activated navigation; rear-view camera; adaptive cruise control; dual-panel power moonroof and "PowerCode" remote starting. Option packages include a Navigation Package (navigation, surround sound and rear-view camera); a Technology Package (adaptive headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, forward sensing system, rear-window power sunshade and "Intelligent Access" key with push-button start); and an Ultimate Package that combines both of those with the moonroof; special seating trim and 19-inch premium painted wheels.
The 2009 Lincoln MKS is powered by a new Lincoln-exclusive 3.7-liter V6 that develops 275-horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque on (recommended but not required) premium fuel, or 273-horsepower and 270 pound-feet on less-expensive regular. 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 standard SelectShift six-speed automatic can be manually shifted when desired, and the available all-wheel-drive can distribute up to 100 percent of torque between the front and rear wheels.
275 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
276 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
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
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