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2009 Lincoln MKS Review

Smooth Cruiser

A three-quarter front view of a red 2009 Lincoln MKS

In short: A quiet and comfortable full-size sedan.

The Lincoln MKS may show unassuming exterior styling in the face of its bolder luxury segment competitors, but the charms of this full-size American sedan emerge once you step up to the driver's door. Graze the b-pillar with your hand and a keypad illuminates, enabling keyless entry. Once inside, a spacious interior presents amenities like real wood and an available 600-watt, 14-speaker THX sound system; Sirius Travel Link; adaptive cruise control; and, of course, Ford's handy SYNC. Fit and finish is some of the best we've seen in a domestic, and cushy yet supportive seats offer comfort for long hauls.

A view of the engine and interior of a 2009 Lincoln MKS

Shut the door and you'll be enveloped in an eerily silent cabin, thanks to extensive insulation and acoustically laminated glass. It's a strange day when a full-size American sedan doesn't come with an available V8, but the MKS's V6-only setup is forgivable with today's record fuel prices (a higher-output EcoBoost engine will be available next year). Acceleration is strong but not overwhelming, partially due to the combination of the V6 powerplant and the MKS's curb weight of 4,127 lbs. While a bit of torque steer is detectable with the front-drive, the all-wheel drive version exhibits more directional stability. The ride is rather firm when the road gets bumpy, but the tradeoff is controlled handling and stability in the twisties. Brakes are strong and reassuringly effective.

Though the MKS's sheetmetal may not have the cutting-edge shapes we've come to expect from its Japanese and German counterparts, the view from the driver's seat is encouraging. This domestic full-sized sedan drives with authority, is well-appointed with the requisite leather and wood niceties, and offers up a well-designed cocoon for its five occupants. Despite a price that easily hits the mid-$40,000 range, the MKS is a smooth, quiet, and comfortable sedan that will hopefully help put Ford back on the map.

A three-quarter rear view of a red 2009 Lincoln MKS

Read a review of the 2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

Warranty/Service: four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; five-year/60,000-mile safety restraint system warranty; six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty; and five-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty.

Base Price: $37,665 / As tested: $44,180

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 3.7-liter, 24-valve V6
Horsepower: 273 hp @ 6,250 rpm
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Curb weight: 4,127 lbs
Wheelbase: 112.9 in
Length/Width/Height: 204.1/75.9/61.6 in
Turning circle: 39.7 ft

Brakes: disc in front and rear, ABS and brake assist
MacPherson strut and rear-facing L-shaped lower control arm with isolated sub-frame and stabilizer bar in front; independent multi-link suspension coil-over shocks, stamped steel lower control arms and cast upper control arms in rear
AdvanceTrac® traction control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

0-60 mph: 7.9 seconds (est.)
Top Speed: n/a

EPA City: 17 mpg
EPA Highway: 24 mpg

Safety: tire pressure monitoring system; AdvanceTrac® stability control; dual-stage front airbags; child safety locks; Personal Safety System; Safety Canopy System

Likes: a quiet, well-designed cabin that offers respite from the road

Dislikes: styling not distinctive enough to shake up the segment, engine could use more oomph

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Text and photography: Basem Wasef

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