Full 2014 Lincoln MKS Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014 the Lincoln MKS sees a number of minor changes, including a bit more power for the base V6 and a shuffling of standard and optional features.
Long known as a purveyor of large, comfy cars that simulate the experience of being in your living room, Lincoln is trying to reinvent both its image and its vehicle lineup in an effort to attract a more youthful clientele. At the upper end of this revitalized lineup, you'll find the 2014 Lincoln MKS. Boasting an available 365-horsepower turbocharged V6, dramatic styling and a spacious, leather-lined cabin loaded with the latest high-tech features, the MKS appears to check all the boxes for a large luxury sedan.
Alas, there are a few rough edges. Most problematic is that the MKS just isn't different enough from its corporate sibling, the Ford Taurus. Particularly inside the cabin, you never really escape the feeling that you're just driving a more expensive Ford with the same frustrating electronics interface that's slow to respond and prone to freezing up. And while the Lincoln is quick when equipped with the available turbocharged EcoBoost V6, it's a large, heavy car and you feel all of those pounds as you go down the road. The MKS is serviceable as a highway cruiser, but it's definitely not a sport sedan.
In addition, the 2014 Lincoln MKS competes with some heavy hitters. Given the lofty starting price on the EcoBoost version, you might conceivably shop this Lincoln against higher-end midsize luxury sedans like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, all of which are vastly more refined but significantly more expensive when similarly equipped. More likely, you'll be comparing the MKS with similarly priced cars like Cadillac's CTS and XTS, the Chrysler 300 and the Hyundai Genesis. All of these sedans have fresher, less derivative designs, but the XTS, in particular, stands out, as it offers interior room on par with that of the MKS and is quite a bit more enjoyable to drive.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Lincoln MKS sedan comes in three trim levels: FWD, AWD and EcoBoost.
The FWD and AWD models come with standard 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, rear parking sensors, adaptive xenon headlamps, automatic high beams, foglamps, remote start, keyless ignition/entry, exterior keypad entry and heated mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming.
Inside you'll find leather upholstery, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats with driver memory settings and four-way lumbar adjustment, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Sync voice control, the MyLincoln Touch electronics interface, mobile WiFi, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.
The MKS EcoBoost is similarly equipped but comes with a turbocharged engine, standard all-wheel drive and 20-inch wheels.
There are several optional packages. The Cold Weather package includes a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The Technology package features adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation system, lane-keeping assist and automated parallel-parking assist. The Elite package includes blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, front multicontour seats with a massage feature, power-adjustable pedals, a power rear sunshade, a premium 16-speaker surround-sound audio system (with HD radio), a navigation system and a premium wood accent package.
The only major stand-alone options are 20-inch wheels (for FWD and AWD) and a dual-panel sunroof.
Powertrains and Performance
The FWD (front-wheel-drive) and AWD (all-wheel-drive) models use the same powertrain: a 3.7-liter V6 matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine generates 305 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/28 highway mpg and 22 mpg combined. With AWD, those numbers drop to 18/26/21.
The all-wheel-drive EcoBoost model is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, an MKS EcoBoost sprinted to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Fuel economy is estimated at 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
The 2014 Lincoln MKS comes standard with stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Also standard is a MyKey feature that allows owners to set certain driving parameters for teen drivers. Sync also offers an emergency crash notification service that automatically dials 911 in the event of an airbag deployment.
Adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support (it primes the brake system to reduce braking distances for an ensuing panic stop) is available as an option, as are blind-spot/cross-traffic warning systems and lane-keeping assist.
In government crash tests, the MKS earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five out of five stars being given for overall front-impact protection and overall side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the MKS earned a top rating of "Good" for its safety in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2014 MKS features an attractive cabin with sweeping lines and a subtle ambient lighting system that adds to the luxury vibe. Materials quality and fit and finish are generally very good, although several items such as the turn signals are shared with lesser Fords. It's a small detail, but one that makes cars from Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz feel more special.
The standard MyLincoln Touch interface consists of three display screens and the ability to input commands for various audio, phone and navigation functions via voice, touch controls or buttons on the steering wheel. It's a smart idea in theory, and it provides some nice customization possibilities. Unfortunately, there's a learning curve involved and the system is slow to react to touch inputs and prone to glitches that cause it to freeze up and reboot unexpectedly. Furthermore, the touch-sensitive sliders that replace the traditional volume and fan speed knobs may look futuristic, but they're fussy to use.
A large sedan, the 2014 MKS offers plenty of interior and cargo space, with generous head- and legroom. However, the front seat area feels oddly confining despite the voluminous scale due to the car's rising beltline, thick roof pillars and tall center console. Rear passenger comfort is commendable, though, as the high-mounted seat provides especially good thigh support. The trunk is one of the largest you'll find, with a capacity of 19.2 cubic feet.
The 2014 Lincoln MKS feels like the big, solid car it is when driven down the freeway. The steering is responsive and well weighted and provides a welcome sense of control. However, the MKS lacks the ride quality refinement of most similarly priced luxury sedans. In terms of engines, the base 3.7-liter V6 is sufficient for moving the big and heavy MKS. The EcoBoost V6 is very spirited, providing the swift and effortless acceleration you'd expect from a V8.