By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.3
The 2014 Lincoln MKT's exterior styling may be considered controversial, but if you're willing to look beneath the sheet metal you'll find a highly accommodating, elegant people-mover. Underneath that bulbous exterior is a luxurious 3-row cocoon that seats six or seven in supreme comfort. Dig even deeper and you'll find a choice of two well-regarded V6 engines and available all-wheel drive. Safety features and creature comforts abound in the Lincoln MKT, as they do in rivals such as the Audi Q7, Infiniti JX and Buick Enclave. Those competitors have much more mainstream looks, but can't quite match the luxurious rear-seat accommodations offered in the MKT.
If you want to carry several people and their stuff in a big vehicle whose badge flies under the radar and whose styling doesn't, the 2014 Lincoln MKT deserves a look.
If you can't overcome the MKT's exterior styling or $46,000-plus price, the Buick Enclave offers similar roominess, while it and the Infiniti JX can be had for thousands less. The MKT's size, meanwhile, makes it challenging to maneuver and park in tight spots.
KBB Expert Ratings
After tweaks to the 2013 model that included a redesigned grille and fascia, the only changes in store for 2014 Lincoln MKT models are new exterior colors and some rearranging of package options.
Driving Impressions For such a large vehicle, the 2014 MKT is quite responsive. This is especially true when equipped with the powerful EcoBoost V6. The 365-horsepower turbocharged engine gets the MKT up...... to speed at a surprising pace, and once there, cruises at a relaxed pace. "Relaxed" is also the operative word for the MKT's ride in general. When equipped with all-wheel drive and Lincoln Drive Control – both standard on EcoBoost models – the former provides good grip while the latter enables drivers to adjust the MKT's handling and throttle response between Sport, Comfort and Normal modes. Lincoln's 6-speed automatic transmission is another bright spot. It seamlessly ticks through gears, and manual control is at your fingertips thanks to standard paddle shifters. Tight maneuvering is another matter for the MKT. Its girth and length are no friends to tight garages or parking spaces. The rearview camera and available blind-spot monitoring help contend with the MKT's poor rearward visibility.
ECOBOOST V6 ENGINE
With 365 horsepower, this up-level engine makes the big Lincoln SUV surprisingly quick. For a cost of less than $2,000 –which – includes all-wheel drive – it's also logical from a monetary standpoint.
With features such as an optional refrigerator between the 2nd-row seats, and 3rd-row seats that flip and face backward when the liftgate is raised, the MKT's interior is posh and practical.
The MKT's interior shines even compared with other premium 3-row SUVs. Spacious, luxurious and versatile, it's available in 6- or 7-passenger configurations. In 6-passenger form, two big captain's chairs replace a 3-person bench in the second row. For ultimate coddling, the twin seats can be had with heating and cooling functions. The power-foldable 3rd-row seats, meanwhile, are roomy enough for adults. In front, the comfortable driver and passenger seats afford a commanding view. A touch-screen telematics system controls navigation, climate and audio functions, and its formerly complicated operation has been improved. Cargo space is commendable, and can be further expanded by folding the rear seats.Exterior
Though this Lincoln SUV shares its chassis with the Ford Flex, the 2014 MKT's bulbous body couldn't look more different from its boxy Ford cousin. The MKT's best exterior attributes are up front, where a massive and stately split-wing grille announces its arrival. The MKT's sides are defined by muscular bulges and a high beltline that rises further – and impedes interior visibility – aft the rear doors. In back, the MKT's big rear end seems to stretch far beyond its 19- or 20-inch wheels. We enjoyed the convenience of the MKT's power-operated tailgate. On top is a glass roof that drinks in plenty of light.
Right out of the gate, the 2014 Lincoln MKT comes loaded with goods. Included are leather seating in the first and second rows, tri-zone climate control, heated and cooled driver and front-passenger seats, heated 2nd-row seats, a rearview camera, and a power tailgate. With a power-operated tilt/telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals, it's easy for drivers to find a good fit. Audio entertainment is provided by a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/aux system controlled via the touch-based Sync system and 8-inch screen. EcoBoost models net the higher-powered engine, all-wheel drive, and the Lincoln Drive Control adjustable dynamics system. The 2014 MKT also includes roadside assistance for 5 years/60,000 miles.
The 2014 Lincoln MKT can become even more luxurious and comfortable with options like a heated steering wheel, refrigerated console, navigation, THX II audio, a dual-screen DVD rear-seat entertainment system, 2nd-row bucket seats, and power-folding 3rd-row. Drivers who dread the thought of parallel parking this big vehicle but expect to find themselves doing so on a regular basis would be advised to check out Active Park Assist, which performs the bulk of this task for you. Safety and driving-oriented options include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot monitoring system, and inflatable seat belts in the second row.
The two 2014 Lincoln MKT models are distinguished by the choice of V6 engines: A naturally aspirated 3.7-liter powers the base MKT, while the MKT EcoBoost uses a smaller but more powerful twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode. With some 300-horsepower, the base V6 supplies ample power to move the big and heavy SUV, while the EcoBoost engine's 365 horsepower can hustle the MKT from zero to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. Driveline choices are also model-dependent: The base version is front-wheel drive, while the EcoBoost model is all-wheel drive. Both engines can run on 87-octane gasoline, though Lincoln recommends 91-octane for best performance with the EcoBoost model. EcoBoost versions can be equipped to tow up to 4,500 pounds.
303 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
The 2014 Lincoln MKT has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting a little over $46,000. EcoBoost models with the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive start at around $48,000. A fully loaded MKT can top $60,000. The MKT's prices start higher than those of the Buick Enclave, Infiniti JX and Acura MDX, and slightly lower than those of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the MKT. In the long-term, we expect the MKT's resale value to be lower than that of its competitors.