Car Review: 2014 Lincoln MKS
© The Flash List | Scott Tilley
© Photos by Sherri Tilley
September 13, 2014
When I drove the 2014 Lincoln MKS for the first time, I felt a sense of calm and relaxation as soon as I closed the door. I really couldn't explain it, but I felt like I was in my own world protected from all the negative influences outside and that my drive home in rush hour traffic would be a little more bearable.
The MKS became Lincoln's flagship sedan in 2012 when Lincoln discontinued making the Town Car, so the MKS has had some pretty big shoes to fill which it has done quite nicely. The Town Car name first appeared in 1922 on a custom-built Lincoln for Henry Ford, reappeared in 1959 as a limo option, showed up in the 60's as the Town Car option package, and then finally presented itself in 1981 when The Town Car became a separate line.
The MKS is true to the Town Car roots and is now the longest domestic production sedan at 204.1" in overall length. When you take the extra length and couple it with the MKS' continuously controlled damping (CCD) system which monitors the suspension motion, the body movement, the steering, and braking every 2 milliseconds, it's hard to imagine that you could ever have a bad ride. You could probably cut a diamond in the back seat.
The power plant in the MKS comes a couple of different ways: the 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 creates 304-hp, and the twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 creates 365-hp and 350lb–ft of torque. Just imagine your father's Town Car with the Mustang tuning package. You would have begged him Saturday night to cruise in it. The MKS finished second in its class (beating 90% of the European cars makers) in a Pike's Peak challenge where all the top automakers went head to head to see who could climb the summit the fastest. The second place finish put to rest the complaints about the MKS being too soft of a handling car compared to the other luxury car makers.
With all the technological advances and options on the MKS, the strength of the car is still without a doubt the interior. The MKS has an abundance of headroom and legroom for both front and back passengers. As for comfort and styling, the front passengers also get a 12-way adjustable seat upholstered in high-end Bridge of Weir leather imported from Scotland. The interiors also feature natural woods that display the exact same grain pattern and no 2 MKS' has the same wood grain. There is not only dual heating and cooling air systems that have been around for decades, but now heated and cooled front seats with three temperature settings assuring you arrive at your destination perfectly fresh. The MKS also has the ability to warm your steering wheel as well.
While I had the car, I was able to make a trip out to East Texas to visit a friend. Travelling on a few Farm to Market roads, I was able to really try out the MKS' electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, the curve control system which is part of the AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control system and the lane keeping system. As I set out that day, my goal was to take full advantage of all the different situations I would encounter and push the MKS as safely as possible on the FM roads. During a couple of high-speed sweeping corner maneuvers, the car apparently thought I might've approached a bit excessively; so it made a few minor breaking adjustments. In the almost hairpin-like corners, the steering seemed to glide through effortlessly. On a few stretches of long straight road, I would intentionally veer toward the center line to see if the lane keeping system would keep me honest; and it did by gently vibrating the wheel until I would move back into my proper position in the lane. All of the systems handled the different challenges I put it through safely without too much intrusion into the driving experience.
When I started to head home, it was starting to get dark outside which allowed me to test the MKS' adaptive HID headlamps. I would be backtracking the same route at considerably slower speeds, but I could really test the headlamps to see if they really do track with the steering wheel in corners enough to make a significant difference in the night vision. As I came into my first corner, I was able to see really well; but then I wondered whether I was just hoping it to be better and therefore merely creating the expected illusion in my mind. So I entered the next curve with a determination that I was not going to have any preconceived expectation. And as I exited the curve, I could tell it was very evident that the lighting was significantly better with the adaptive HID headlamps in that curve.
As I was getting ready to return the MKS, I thought about my experience with car. How could (or would) it be used in someone's daily life? I could see this car as a daily driver that gets you and your family around safely whether it is to dinner, hockey practice or the store. I could also see it being used successfully from a business perspective or for entertaining clients. For the price point this car comes in at, I feel because of its versatility it is a very good buy.