By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 5.1
If you can get past the bulbous shape, huge grille and asymmetrical window of the 2016 Lincoln MKT and sit inside, you might find yourself enjoying it. This big luxury-crossover SUV offers a comfortable, quiet and luxurious interior. The MKT can seat up to seven passengers in its three rows, all in surprising comfort. You can choose between two V6 engines, including a powerful twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, and available all-wheel drive. There are plenty of high-tech safety and technology features, and on that front it holds its own against the likes of the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Buick Enclave. Except in looks, but if you're okay with that exterior styling, the MKT deserves a look.
The 2016 Lincoln MKT is a solid luxury value, offering lots of room and features for seven people and their stuff. And you have to admit that the styling stands out.
Pretty much everything the MKT competes against looks better, be it the Buick Enclave, Acura MDX or Infiniti QX60. Beyond looks, the MKT's size makes it challenging to maneuver and park in tight spots.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2016 Lincoln MKT is virtually unchanged from last year.
The 2016 Lincoln MKT is a lot of luxury-crossover SUV, but the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is a lot of engine. It has no problem getting this big vehicle moving...
... quickly. Once on the highway, the MKT cruises at a relaxed pace, especially when equipped with the available adaptive cruise control. "Relaxed” describes a lot about the MKT's driving style, and with all-wheel drive and Lincoln Drive Control -- both standard on EcoBoost models -- you have sure-footed grip regardless of the road conditions, coupled with Sport, Comfort and Normal throttle modes. The 6-speed automatic transmission offers seamless shifting, or manual control thanks to standard paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Yet none of this makes it easier to maneuver the bulky MKT in a tight garage or parking spot, and although the rearview camera and parking sensors help, an around-view camera, like on the Infiniti QX60, would be even better.
ECOBOOST V6 ENGINE
The 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 available for the Lincoln MKT is a real gem. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, which costs less than $2,000, and with a minimal fuel-economy penalty, it's nearly impossible to argue against getting it.
We keep mentioning the difference between the interior and exterior styling, but it's true: The interior is as comfortable and pleasant as the exterior is awkward. Clever touches include an available refrigerator you can put between the 2nd-row seats, and 3rd-row seats that can flip and face backward for tailgating.
The 2016 Lincoln MKT offers a spacious and comfortable interior that's right in line with other large 3-row luxury SUVs. Front- and middle-row passengers get plenty of room, and there's enough room in the third row for smaller adults. Two comfortable captain's chairs replace the 2nd-row bench in 6-passenger models, and they can be heated and cooled, and even outfitted with a refrigerator between them. The large glass gives the driver and front passenger a commanding view, with a touch-screen infotainment system controlling navigation, climate and audio functions. Folding the 2nd- and 3rd-row seatbacks quickly expands the already generous cargo space.
It's surprising to know that the big, bulbous Lincoln MKT shares its structure with the sleek-but-boxy Ford Flex. In its own way this Lincoln SUV is just as eye-catching, although we'll leave it up to you whether it's pleasing or punishing to the eyes. Distinctive features include the massive grille, which splits into two wings and blends into the headlights, and the odd kink-then-droop of the side window line. The hunched-over rear hatch is somewhat gracelessly bisected by the long, wide taillight display. We do like the panoramic sunroof, and the power hatch is also convenient.
Order even a base-model 2016 Lincoln MKT and you get leather upholstery on the first and second rows, 3-zone climate control, heated and cooled driver and front-passenger seats, heated 2nd-row seats, a rearview camera and a power tailgate. There's also a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, which combines with power-adjustable pedals to let drivers find a comfortable driving position. The standard audio system offers 10 speakers and AM/FM/CD/aux inputs, all controlled via the touch-based Sync system and 8-inch screen. EcoBoost models get standard all-wheel drive and Lincoln Drive Control adjustable chassis dynamics, plus other standard equipment.
The 2016 MKT can be loaded up with all manner of luxury trim, such as a heated steering wheel, navigation system, THX II audio, and a dual-screen DVD rear-seat entertainment system. Also available are 2nd-row bucket seats and a refrigerator to go between them, and a power-folding third row. One particularly cool tech feature is Lincoln's Active Park Assist, which performs the bulk of parallel parking for the driver. Safety options include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot monitoring system and inflatable seatbelts in the second row.
Standard on the 2016 MKT SUV is a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6, powering either the front or all four wheels (FWD, AWD). Its 303 horsepower is adequate for accelerating this heavy SUV, and although it has enough in reserve for passing, it's not particularly exciting. A better choice is the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. With 365 horsepower, 350 lb-ft of torque, and standard AWD, this is the perfect choice for the luxury-equals-power crowd. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode, and although both engines can run on 87-octane gasoline, 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: 16/24 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
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: 15/21 mpg
A base-model front-wheel-drive 2016 Lincoln MKT carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) tag of a little over $44,000, including destination charges. The extra power of the EcoBoost engine -- and you should spring for it -- will have you paying a bit more than $46,000, but it comes standard with the added safety of all-wheel drive. If you pile on the options you'll top out in the $60,000 range once you're done loading up an MKT EcoBoost. That's between such luxury SUV models as the Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX on the lower end, and the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 on the high end. 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.