2010 Lincoln MKT vs. Ford Flex: Suburban Dad
I've been a fan of the Flex ever since it won top honors on our Vacation Blogging trip last summer. My family and I found it roomy, nicely appointed and filled with lots of tech features to make long drives more than bearable. That drove my interest in the Lincoln MKT, and I have to say that, for two cars that share the same platform, they sure look very different from each other.
The Flex resembles nothing as much as a blown-up Mini Cooper, but the MKT is more like the love child of a Mazda CX-9 and a Nissan Quest. The back end of the MKT slopes forward, very much like the new Taurus that also debuted here in Detroit, which makes the MKT much sleeker than the Flex. On the downside, that likely means less cargo space in the back and less headroom in the third row, which wasn't terribly roomy (for adults) in the Flex to begin with.
MKT Third Row
Flex Third Row
Inside, the MKT was remarkably similar to the Flex. The cockpit area
was as roomy as the Flex's, something that won both me and my wife over
in our long drive in the Flex. The seats remain very comfortable, but
the leather seemed even nicer in the MKT, although I had no problems
whatsoever with the Flex's leather package. The second row was equally
roomy, and Lincoln says it offers a two-screen DVD system that can be
used either to show the same movie on two screens or two different
movies on individual screens. Unfortunately, this wasn't on display, so
I can't judge how well it would work. I will tell you, though, that
with three kids I'd opt for the "let's not offer too many choices"
strategy to avoid fights over whose turn it is to control the DVD
My deepest interest in the MKT is one I couldn't satisfy here at the auto show: Ford promises an Ecoboost engine that uses a turbocharger with a six-cylinder engine to improve power without hurting gas mileage. I'm eager to see how peppy that makes the MKT, because the Flex, while not sleepy, was not the most exciting car I drove on our vacation trip.