By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 6.5
While the 2016 Lincoln MKS looks the part of a luxury sedan, with clean lines, an impressive grille and plenty of high-tech gadgets filling the interior, it never quite caught on with buyers. That's something Lincoln hopes the 2017 Continental will do, but for now, the MKS is the Lincoln sedan flagship. The MKS isn't quite up to the standard set by Audi and BMW, but if you're shopping against cars like the Acura RLX, Chrysler 300, Cadillac XTS and Hyundai Genesis, it's worth a look. There are two available V6 engines to choose from, including the excellent EcoBoost V6, which comes coupled with all-wheel drive. Add cool electronic interfaces such as touch-sensitive climate controls, and the MKS is luxury done Lincoln style.
The 2016 Lincoln MKS offers all the big luxury-sedan comfort, quiet, features and convenience you could want. If you're more concerned with a comfortable ride, and less concerned about impressing your neighbors with an expensive badge, it's worth a look.
Even with the turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive, the Lincoln MKS is a luxury car first. Sports-sedan shoppers should pass up this luxury car, and brand-conscious types will likely be uncomfortable with the Lincoln's resemblance to the equally big -- and nearly as luxurious -- cousin, the Ford Taurus.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2016 Lincoln MKS is in its last year of production, to be replaced next year with the all-new 2017 Lincoln Continental. So there's no surprise that the MKS is virtually unchanged from last year.
With 304 horsepower from the standard 3.7-liter V6 engine, the 2016 Lincoln MKS delivers smooth power through a 6-speed automatic transmission, having no problem pulling this big 4-door with authority...
... while still managing decent fuel economy. It's quiet and comfortable, as you'd expect of this big sedan. But if you want more zip from your big Lincoln, step up to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and its additional 61 horsepower. With nearly V8 levels of acceleration, the EcoBoost gives this big sedan a real kick in the pants, and has no problem getting it to the ground thanks to standard all-wheel drive. If you want the best cornering and emergency response, but still want a comfortable ride, be sure to opt for the adaptive suspension system. Nobody will mistake this big Lincoln for a sports sedan, but its precise steering and firm brakes make it more fun than a Lexus ES.
ACTIVE PARK ASSIST
The MKS is a big car, and if the thought of parallel parking such a large vehicle gives you performance anxiety, then you'll want the Active Park Assist system. It uses the parking sensors to measure an available parking space, then does the bulk of the work to park the car.
STANDARD CLIMATE-CONTROLLED SEATS
If you live where temperatures swing to the extremes, you're going to love the 2016 Lincoln MKS and its standard heated and cooled front seats. Rear passengers get heated seats, also standard.
The touch-sensitive controls on the dash of the 2016 Lincoln MKS are a mixed bag, with their uncluttered appearance coming at the expense of being fiddly to use. Once you climb the learning curve, it's easy to adjust your climate settings, find your favorite radio stations, and get comfortable. Primary controls for the audio system, plus cruise control, are on the steering wheel, and the LCD screens on either side of the speedometer help keep your focus on the road ahead. The front seats come standard with heating and cooling, and are covered in luxurious Bridge of Weir leather.
A big luxury sedan needs a big luxury grille, and they don't get much bigger than that on the 2016 Lincoln MKS. It's a daring design statement on a car that's otherwise noteworthy for its tame but attractive design. The MKS looks a lot like the Ford Taurus in profile though, despite design details like the HID headlights, contoured hood, and the lip on the trunklid. Still, the twin tailpipes help give the MKS a feeling of power, and we're fond of the 19-inch wheels on EcoBoost versions, and the blackout appearance package that includes 20-inch wheels and darkened grille and headlights.
You get a lot of standard equipment with the 2016 Lincoln MKS, as you'd expect from a premium sedan, such as the Sync connectivity and communication system, adaptive HID headlights, 12-way-power front seats, leather seating surfaces with front-seat heating and cooling, automatic high beams and automatic climate control. There's even the SecuriCode keyless-entry keypad, which Lincoln swears its customers love. For a taste of sportiness, push-button start and 19-inch cast aluminum wheels also come standard. On the safety front, blind-spot monitors, rearview camera and Lincoln’s Forward and Reverse Sensing system are also standard.
Primary among the many options for the 2016 Lincoln MKS is the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, along with its standard all-wheel drive. Beyond that there's Active Park Assist, a navigation system, heated rear seats, 20-inch wheels, and HD Radio. Also available is a remote-start system, a power rear sunshade, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, multi-contour massaging front seats, THX II Certified Audio with 16 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer, and a dual-panel moonroof. Advanced driver-assist technology is also available in the form of adaptive cruise control, and Lane Keep Assist and Alert.
The standard Lincoln MKS engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that puts out 304 horsepower and 279 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels (FWD), or if you like, to all four wheels (AWD). If you think your luxury sedan should move out a little faster, you'll want to upgrade to the EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 which sends its 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Despite its increased power output, the EcoBoost has about the same fuel economy as the AWD 3.7-liter engine, making it a bit of a no-brainer if you’re looking to upgrade to all-wheel drive anyhow. Both engines can run on regular unleaded gasoline, and both are teamed to a SelectShift 6-speed automatic with manual-shift control.
304 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
279 lb-ft of torque @ 4,050 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg (FWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (EcoBoost)
365 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
The base 2016 Lincoln MKS Premiere model, with the 3.7-liter V6 engine and FWD, has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $40,000, including the $925 destination charge. The MKS Elite is about $43,000, and AWD adds about $2,000. However, that's about the same price as the $46,700 EcoBoost Premiere, which comes with most of the non-turbo Elite's equipment. A loaded MKS EcoBoost will come in a little north of $50,000. That's less than the Cadillac XTS and Acura RLX, but more than the Chrysler 300C and Hyundai Genesis. Because this is the last year for the MKS, there will likely be good deals on this car to make room for the 2017 Lincoln Continental. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their MKS, but remember that the MKS doesn't hold its value like its German and Japanese competitors.