I Drove a Lincoln MKT, and I Liked It.



This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Lincoln.

Check out the BlogHer.com special offers page to check out other blogger reviews and to enter for a chance to win a night on the town from Lincoln! Official Rules are here.

Also! Check the bottom of this review for your chance to win a $500 Visa Gift card!

I'll start at the end: I was sorry to see this car go.

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That alone should tell you plenty, but there's more to this story than that.

When I fell pregnant with our third child, my husband and I started looking for a bigger car. We wanted something that could handle three kids in car seats and visiting grandparents, plus play dates, strollers, and oh yeah, groceries. We really, really wanted to avoid a minivan, so we looked at crossovers galore -- but we always felt cramped and there were always features missing. And then it hit us: We didn't like any of the crossovers because deep down we really wanted a minivan.

Gulp. I mean, that didn't sound like us...but there was nothing out there that met our needs. So that must mean that we needed a minivan, right?

Full disclosure: In all our driving of crossover vehicles, we never once considered going into a Lincoln dealership. But here we are, still needing a bigger car, not quite ready to buy a van. So when BlogHer asked if I'd like to test drive a Lincoln crossover I very quickly agreed. What did I have to lose?

The Lincoln MKT has many fabulous aspects to it, and some not so great things about it. I can summarize it for you like this: Love the interior, hate the exterior.

Let's get the dislikes out of the way:

  • The Lincoln grille: It's a love-it or hate-it thing, and unfortunately I'm in the hater camp. It's too aggressive for my taste, and I'm dismayed that so many car makers are headed in this big-grilled direction. Car designers? Please stop it with the big grilles.



  • The third row: It's cramped. It seats two. It's hard to get to. I'm 5'7" and my head was hitting the ceiling. However! My five year old and two year old fit just fine. Related peeve: The second row doesn't move forward to give more room to the third when needed. I wish I had tried out a model with captain's chairs, but since I didn't I can only tell you what it was like in a model with a bench on the second row.



  • The car's exterior seems unnecessarily long -- I feel that space is wasted to make the car look pointy and long. I'd rather have had that space on the inside of the car.



  • The rear window: You cannot see from the rear window. I mean this, there is close to zero visibility. No, really. Look:


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So, what did I like about the MKT?

A lot, it turns out. Like I said earlier, this is a luxury car, as evidenced by the myriad little details that make driving this car a pleasure. To wit:

  • This car is quiet. So very quiet. It was such a treat to enjoy the delicious silence -- there was no engine noise, no road noise, nothing. Driving this car was actually relaxing. Well done.



  • The interior is full of nice details. First of all, it's beautiful:


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Nice, no?

There are also ridiculous little luxuries, like heated and cooled seats:

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A little light under the side mirror to light the ground for you when you get in and out of the car at night:

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There are also removable foot rests, headlights that turn on automatically when needed (incredibly nice when you enter a dark parking garage!), built in window shades for the second row...it's a lot of little things that add up nicely.

  • The back-up camera: While the rear window is pretty much useless, the car makes up for it with a fantastic back-up camera. Not only does it show you what's directly behind you, it also shows you what's coming from the sides of the car AND it makes backing up and parking pretty much idiot proof with handy trajectory predictors. Here I am trying to park on my first day with the car, when I simply wasn't familiar with its dimensions. As you can see, I was about to park on the sidewalk, which the guides made painfully obvious before i even took my foot off the brake:


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So with a flick of the wheel, a frustrating parking job became easy:

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I also loved the blind spot alarms -- they never went off on the open road, but they came in handy when parking in tight spots, which when you live in Boston is everywhere. The car I tested didn't have active park assist, but that would have been the icing on the cake.

  • The second row is ROOMY. It fits three car seats without any problems:


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Here's a gratuitous shot of my son, trying and failing to kick the back of the seat in front of him. (Airplane manufacturers, take note!)

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  • Push Button Start: So, in this car you don't insert the key into the ignition. Weird, huh? Instead you press a button, and the car starts with a sequence of happy beeps as it adjusts your seats to your preferred position. This keyless start was frankly disturbing at first, but after a week of using it on the MKT I'm annoyed at having to actually use a key to start my normal car. You just press a button! You can't beat that.



  • The trunk: It's roomy and deep, like in a minivan. It has a power liftgate. I'm sorry if this isn't interesting to you, but I have kids and that means that I have stuff. This car can handle it, even with the third row seats up. Here's the trunk, holding $200 worth of groceries (which admittedly isn't much these days, but there you are):


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Not bad. Now, fold down the third row and you can haul pretty much anything. I stuck a child's bike in there to give you a better idea of just how much room you have:

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You can also fold down the second row for even more room, but I'd keep that information to myself if I were you. You don't want everyone calling you when they need help moving, now do you?

The Lincoln MKT is powerful, fun, quiet (did I mention quiet?), and turns on a dime - I felt very confident driving it. That's why I miss it. It's a bit roomier than other crossovers - and a lot more luxurious. If you need a minivan or a minivan alternative, chances are you spend a lot of time in your car. This car makes you feel pampered while you sit around waiting for the kids. I must say, the MKT made running errands fun. I miss it!

Now!

Would you like to win a $500 Gift Card of your very own? Of course you do!


Leave a comment on this post, telling me what car you drive right now (or maybe you take the train?) and I'll use random.org to select a winner.

Contest runs from 3/15/2010 to 3/31/2010

I'll need a valid email address to contact you if you're a winner -- so be sure to use a real email address when you leave your comment.

Good luck!

Check out the BlogHer.com special offers page to check out other blogger reviews and to enter for a chance to win a night on the town from Lincoln! Official Rules are here.