2011 L.A. Auto Show: What We Know

2012 Honda CR-V ConceptFall should mean only one thing to attentive auto enthusiasts: a new auto show season is upon us.

With the 2011 L.A. Auto Show less than a month away, we have a pretty good understanding of what to expect, though there still looks to be a few surprises. Like in previous years, the show will be a heavy mix of luxury car debuts intertwined with some fuel efficient, green options.

There will be at least 21 all-new releases at the show, and 25 vehicles that will make their North American debuts (about the same as last year). This fresh new clutch of vehicles will be shown to the media, and subsequently to you on KickingTires, Nov. 16 and 17.

The everyday car shopper should keep tabs on the redesigned Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Azera, all of which will debut at the show.

By Colin Bird | October 24, 2011 | Comments (5)

2012 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost Price Drops $3,000

Lincoln MKT In a move to gain exposure for a well-reviewed but little-noticed vehicle, Lincoln has dropped the price of its top-tier vehicle, the EcoBoost MKT crossover, by $3,000 to $46,295, excluding $875 for destination. That’s the same price as the standard V-6-powered all-wheel-drive MKT from the 2011 model year. The EcoBoost includes a 355-horsepower, twin-turbo V-6 engine and all-wheel drive standard.

The 2012 MKT EcoBoost comes with leather seats, panoramic glass roof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, dual-zone climate control, Sync, DVD entertainment system, power-adjustable foot pedals, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power tailgate, parking sensors and rear sunshades.

Navigation and a surround-sound stereo system are part of a $4,000 Elite Package, while a rear entertainment system with dual screens is an additional $1,995.

The base MKT with front-wheel drive and 268-hp V-6 engine still starts at $44,300.

Lincoln also released details on the rest of its 2012 lineup. However, there are no other significant price adjustments.

By David Thomas | July 7, 2011 | Comments (9)

Incentives on Defunct Mercury Brand Tick Upward

2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Retail production of Mercury vehicles ceased nearly a month ago, and now Ford is getting down to the business of ridding itself of any leftover inventory for the defunct brand. The remaining Mercury dealerships are on a deadline to move the metal before the end of 2010 when their Mercury franchise agreements will be terminated.

To flush out the remaining inventory, Ford has increased retail incentives for the Mercury brand drastically for November. Until this month, the 2010 and 2011 Milan, Milan Hybrid and Mariner all offered $2,000 cash on the hood, which was the same as its Ford counterparts. Now all three have up to $3,500 on the hood, nearly 60% more money back than what’s offered on the identical Ford Fusion and Escape. The 2010 and 2011 Grand Marquis now get upward of $5,500 cash back.

The aggressive incentives are supposed to help Ford expedite the shutdown of Mercury by the Dec. 31 deadline, according to Automotive News. Ford spokesman George Pipas told Automotive News that there are fewer than 10,000 Mercurys left in the inventory, which amounts to a 35-day supply. Currently there are nearly 4,000 Mercurys on sale on Cars.com. Below you’ll find the remaining deals on all Mercury and Lincoln inventory. Most of these incentives are good until Dec. 31.

By Colin Bird | November 10, 2010 | Comments (2)

Lincoln Replaces Town Car Limousine with MKT

Lincolnmkt

We received word today that Lincoln will get a pair of new livery vehicles added to its fleet starting in 2012. Both cars will be based off the Lincoln MKT and will replace the soon-to-be defunct Lincoln Town Car, which recently got a model year extension for 2011, according to Ford Fleet.

The Lincoln MKT will be offered in a livery and a limousine model, according to Ford. The livery vehicle won’t have a third row. Instead, a redesigned second row will be stretched and repositioned for more legroom. There are no photos, but we imagine this MKT will be set up like the Concept, which had only two rows of seating, on the inside.

By Colin Bird | October 4, 2010 | Comments (5)

Cars.com Reviews the 2011 Lincoln MKT

2011 Lincoln MKT
Now in its second model year, the 2011 Lincoln MKT is still pretty much as good as it gets in the eyes of Cars.com senior editor David Thomas. Despite a somewhat compromised driving position for taller drivers, a third-row seat that’s usable only for children and an interior that doesn’t quite match its Acura or Buick competitors, David still sees how some, including himself, could love the MKT’s eccentricities. Continue reading to see if the MKT’s unconventional nature will work for you.

2011 Lincoln MKT Review

2011|Lincoln|MKT

By Colin Bird | September 1, 2010 | Comments (4)

Cars.comparison: 2010 Acura MDX, 2010 Buick Enclave, 2010 Lincoln MKT

Luxcross_500
Skyrocketing fuel prices a few years back created a stigma around driving large luxury SUVs. In response, automakers launched a fleet of car-based family haulers to fulfill the demand for improved fuel economy but still maintain the overall size, ride height and comfort levels that SUVs owners have grown accustomed to. In our latest Cars.comparison, we test three seven-passenger luxury crossovers. Check out and see which model is the best at hauling a large family in style. 

Cars.comparison: Large Luxury Crossovers

2010|Buick|Enclave

2010|Lincoln|MKT

2010|Acura|MDX

By Colin Bird | August 4, 2010 | Comments (0)

Large SUV Sales Surge Faster Than Small Cars

Toyota Sequoia
Plug-in electric hybrids and electric cars have taken up much of the digital airwaves over the past few weeks (or years, depending on your perspective), but it may surprise you to find out that “passé” full-size SUVs are increasing in popularity once again. 

So far this year, full-size SUV sales have increased 19%, beating overall industry growth of 17%. The full-size SUV category is composed of large body-on-frame SUVs, like the GMC Yukon, and large crossovers, such as the Lincoln MKT and Chevrolet Traverse. 

By Colin Bird | July 30, 2010 | Comments (16)

Lincoln Rolls Out Free Maintenance Incentive

Lincolnmkt

While many luxury automakers offer free maintenance as a rule, Lincoln is rolling out a short-term incentive through Sept. 7 on all new Lincolns for free maintenance.
 
The program covers scheduled maintenance — including oil changes, tire rotation, inspections and wear-and-tear items like windshield wipers and brake linings — for three years or 45,000 miles. Ford is trying to shine a spotlight on Lincoln as it phases out Mercury this year.
 
The free maintenance program begins today and applies to all new 2010 and 2011 models.

By David Thomas | June 18, 2010 | Comments (4)

Nine More Cars, SUVs Earn Top Safety Pick Status

Tucson500

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added a new test for roof strength to its Top Safety Pick award requirements, so it takes more time to test every new car. As the institute continues to test new vehicles, new Top Safety Picks are named.
 
Today, IIHS announced nine new picks all from the 2010 model year, including some brands’ top sellers.

Ford did well with the Fusion sedan and its twins, the Lincoln MKZ and soon-to-be-put-to-pasture Mercury Milan, getting the nod. The large three-row crossover Ford Flex and its Lincoln MKT twin also earned the award.

The Audi A4 sedan and Q5 SUV joined the company’s smaller A3 as award winners. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is the fourth VW, and the Hyundai Tucson became the third Hyundai to get the Top Safety Pick nod.

For those keeping score, Ford now has seven vehicles that have earned the award. Toyota and Lexus have six, Subaru and Chrysler five, GM and Volvo four, Kia three, Honda two, Mercedes-Benz two and Nissan one.

By David Thomas | June 9, 2010 | Comments (0)

Ford Announces Three More Turbo Engines

2011FordEdge

Ford has rolled out only one of its EcoBoost turbo engines — a 3.5-liter V-6 found in the Taurus, Flex and Lincoln MKS  and MKT — but the company says it is going all-in on the technology and will add three more globally by the end of 2010.

In the U.S., we’ll see a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the upcoming Ford Explorer — as we learned in January — and the 2011 Ford Edge, which goes on sale this summer, although the EcoBoost might not be available at launch. There was no mention of the Lincoln MKX getting the same engine.

A 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine will also find its way into rear-wheel-drive-equipped F-150s.

European shoppers will get to pick a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the C-Max small van.

All three engines promise power and performance akin to larger engines while returning mileage of smaller ones. However, the current EcoBoost applications carry a higher price tag than base models, like engine upgrades of old. Except now, you’re not upgrading to a V-6 or a V-8, you’re upgrading to a turbocharged four or six.

By David Thomas | April 12, 2010 | Comments (8)

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