2013 Lincoln MKS: Up Close

Mksupclose
The MKS' new grille does the automotive equivalent of wearing a pinstriped shirt: It thins the car out a bit. There's more visual depth up front, taking your focus off the car's bulbous rear flanks. The grille is still a little too intense for me, and most of it is unnecessary.

More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Look close, and half of the upper and lower "inlets" give way to solid pieces behind. I get why Lincoln did it — more openings usually hurt aerodynamics, dinging your highway gas mileage — but form clearly led function, and most of the grille is faux show.

Mkscontrols
The MKS is the latest candidate for MyLincoln Touch, which, like MyFord Touch, has been upgraded this year. It works faster and has more readable fonts, and Lincoln reverted to a physical button for the often-brushed hazard lights. Passengers no longer have to wait for the climate screen to animate the heated seat into the foreground before they can turn it on. Are those cheers from the Snowbelt I hear?

But the details still disappoint. Rapid-tap the temperature key to crank up the heat, and it adds a degree for every couple of taps or so. I still question whether a moving environment with shifting momentum — a speeding car — is the place for touch-sensitive controls. You can still change the temperature on a physical knob if you hit a speed bump, after all.

The Sync voice-activated system seems less magical by the year. Need directions to the nearest Starbucks? Tell your Siri-enabled iPhone, "Hey, I need directions to the nearest Starbucks" because Sync draws a blank.

Mksdoor
Save for some plastics along the center console, materials are good overall, though stuff in any car at an auto show is always subject to change. Ford deserves credit for building high-enough seats: You don't sit too low to the floor in the front or back, nor do you pay for it in headroom. The MKS' trunk remains a mammoth.

The suspension refinements couldn't come soon enough; the outgoing MKS rode choppier than some commuter cars. The improvement in gas mileage should draw more buyers, too. But the MKS has a lot of rungs to climb on the sales ladder if Ford wants parity with the likes of a Buick LaCrosse or Acura TL. We'll see how this one does.

Mkslights

Comments 

sheth

In spite of the hate, the interior is nice and they made needed improvements. Buick Lacrosse? This car is far more expensive in terms of base price. In fact, a base MKS is about the same price as a fully loaded AWD lacrosse. This car is competing with Genesis V8, XTS, RL, M37, E350, etc. As for Siri being better than Sync- what about the 95% of the public that doesnt have an Iphone 4S? Is Sync useless to them as well? Shockingly, not everyone has the latest iphone even if every auto writer does. On Insideline they act like every consumer as the iphone and they only cover how cars interact with the iphone since everyone on their staff uses that ONE brand of phone.

sheth,
I don't understand why you comment so often if you really don't like the content? We welcome the criticism but it does make me wonder...

Sam

I respect the cars.com work on providing as much details as possible. Sheth, its already proven by your other posts that you are a GM fan boy, too bad you dont appreciate Ford's work. I respect ford more than GM, as they did not NEED the bailout from the government. For the record I am a v-dub fan, and have driven passat's all my life.

David, dont worry about people who dont appreciate your work, just ignore them. I suspect some of the people who post all the time don't even have a job and post irrelevant comments just to make you feel bad. Just my 2 cents.

Respect to the cars.com staff, if you dont like their posts then just stop reading them or better yet stay away from this site

sheth

Dave:

The format of the auto show coverage is best here. Easy to navigate and good real world pics. Thats why Ive been following the site during LA show. That doesnt change the fact that the MKS is far more expensive than the Lacrosse. They arent direct competitors, grouping cars appropriately seems to be an issue for you guys. Not sure why. Just because they are both American doesn't mean they are competitors. Whats next, comparing this to an Impala?

Sam:

I this this is a solid effort. Did you read my post? I am impressed with what they did with MKS. That doesnt change the fact that dismissing its technology on the basis that some people have the newest iPhone is ridiculous.

" That doesnt change the fact that dismissing its technology on the basis that some people have the newest iPhone is ridiculous."

I read it more as "My telephone works better than this luxury car, and that shouldn't be."

broq3.5

Dave,
can you guys post more images on the "up close" posts? The Azera is the one "up close" post so far from LA that has has lots of pics like you guys use to do. This car has 4 pics and a super long write up- more like a "review".

Thanks,
Broq

sheth

Brady:

Sorry, but one example of a phrase that is interpreted by a phone better than Sync really doesnt prove much. The point of Siri is that its groundbreaking. Were these complaints noted about any other luxury car at the show? No. Can the systems in Audi, BMW, Lexus, etc. do what Siri does? No. Bottom line is someone who is that pleased with the phone can skip all these fancy voice activated systems offered by automakers. And as noted, not everyone (or even a signficant % of people) have iphone 4S. Perhaps users of that phone should skip the MKS.

broq3.5

Dave,
I just realized that the photo gallery is different from the up close. My bad.

Broq

Broq,
Yes, we decided to do things a bit differently this year. We have a really flexible auto show landing page that is easier to update and point to more things...so we added more things like Photo Gallery posts for EVERY car. We know folks like pictures. Let us know if there's any more feedback on what you'd want from auto show coverage.

Brady,
That's exactly what Kelsey was trying to say.

sheth,
I was kind of kidding but when we produce 60 or so stories over three days we're not going to list every single possible competitor for every single auto show reveal. And one writer will have one competitor in his head, and an editor might have another one. Plus, FWD premium cars...Buick LaCrosse is the biggest one Buick has and the back seat is close to the MKS. I'd pick the Buick and save some money. Shoppers might too.

sheth

DT:

One thing I notice (and this common throughout the industry) is that auto reviewers still cling to the idea that the biggest factor in comparing cars is country of origin (for the brand). Im not asking for a listing of all competitors for every vehicle. Since I know quite a bit about these cars already Im pretty well versed on what cars compete within a class. however, others may find it useful. The Lacrosse and MKS are two large American branded cars, but thats about where their similarities end. The MKS costs $13k more than base Lacrosse- that was my only point. The M37 and likely XTS are much closer to the MKS in terms of price, positioning and standard hp. If I can afford a $45k+ car Im probably OK paying for the MKS- but if thats out of my range than the Lacrosse would be one of my top pics for a large car.

sheth,
Again I get it. You have a point. But why take the time to argue about ONE mention in a 300 word article that is clearly an opinion based piece by the reviewer? That's just what boggles my mind.

sheth

I didnt count the words. What jumped out at me was a)the inference that everyone uses an iphone 4S and thus the telematics in the MKS are obsolete and b)this car is a Lacrosse competitor.

Everything here is an "opinion based piece". I dont get why every opinion related to something not from Europe or Japan is somewhat negative. Whether its styling, handling, interior quality, technology implementation, etc. you guys never seem to be pleased with American cars. They are never up to snuff. It seems like the majority of your auto show critiques center on styling- and anyone who frequents the site knows there arent many American cars that you guys deem finely executed from a styling perspective.

Sheth,
For someone who comments here so much you don't read much of what we write ;)

We're totally fair to the products. If it's a good car it's a good car. We've praised domestics and trashed imports over and over again.

Belly

Sheth,
For someone who comments here so much you don't read much of what we write ;)
- Totally agreed. And no one doubts your authenticity Dave. Not even Shet. When you get paid to do something, you just do it... even if you are terrible at it.

Jacek

I enjoy reading Cars.com site but I do less of it because of the perpetual nuisance posting from the person Sheth. He adds is very negative.

Cars.com staff does great work. Please keep it up!
Jacek

Parrots

@Belly

Is there some sort of underlying meaning in that sentence?

sam

Jacek: Same thoughts, you stole my words.

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