2015 Lincoln MKS Review
2015 Lincoln MKS Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Spacious interior
- plentiful standard features
- good power and fuel economy from the turbocharged V6.
- Too similar to the Ford Taurus
- electronics interface can be frustrating to use
- cabin feels confining despite its spacious dimensions.
If you option the 2015 Lincoln MKS with the Elite package, you get a six-year subscription to Sirius/XM traffic data and Travel Link services versus a mere six-month subscription last year. All MKS sedans also have a slightly restyled trunk lid to facilitate easier operation of its release button. Otherwise, the MKS is unchanged.
The 2015 Lincoln MKS covers all the luxury-sedan basics and costs less than many competitors, but there are better choices out there for a large, premium-brand sedan.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Lincoln MKS 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$169/mo for MKS Base
Avg. Large Car
Plenty of luxury-brand models share major components with the mainstream cars their parent company also produce. The art comes in making sure the more expensive car looks, feels and performs better than its workaday corporate counterpart. Lincoln has tried to distance the 2015 Lincoln MKS from the mechanically similar Ford Taurus. And in many ways, the MKS does feel like a more premium product. Ultimately, though, Lincoln's large sedan has a tough time standing out in a field that's crowded with some truly excellent cars.
Make no mistake, the 2015 MKS has its competitive aspects. It's available with a strong optional V6 engine, and it features a very slick-looking touchscreen electronics interface (although it can be frustrating to use at times). And if space is what you need, this Lincoln has a satisfyingly large backseat. On the other hand, there's no disguising the MKS's dated styling, or the fact that most of its competitors now outpace its once cutting-edge list of tech features.
Few could quibble with the serene manner in which the 2015 Lincoln MKS undertakes a long interstate cruise, but detail-oriented shoppers will notice that its ride quality isn't as plush or refined as that of most other sedans in this price range. Similarly, its handling around turns isn't especially sure-footed, and although that might not be a deal breaker for you, there's no denying that most competitors have better balance in everyday driving situations. Like many premium-brand sedans, the MKS offers all-wheel drive as an option, potentially making it more desirable for buyers in northern states and giving it an advantage over a rival such as the Lexus ES 350.
Competitors to the 2015 Lincoln MKS run the gamut. Lincoln's big sedan is, of course, substantially less expensive than European imports like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, although a heavily optioned MKS with the 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 can run into the neighborhood of these sedans, all of which are more refined though not necessarily more luxurious unless fitted with pricey options. The 2015 MKS compares more directly with entry-level luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX and RLX, Cadillac XTS, Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis and the aforementioned ES 350. Within this group, the 2015 Lincoln MKS could be a good value, but you'll find most of these competitors better to drive, better equipped and more daringly styled.
Performance & mpg
The FWD and AWD models use the same engine and transmission combo: 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 22 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway). The MKS AWD drops to 21 mpg combined (18 city /26 highway).
The EcoBoost model also is all-wheel drive but is powered by a different, more powerful V6: a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter that develops 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, a Lincoln MKS EcoBoost dashed from zero to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway).
The 2015 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.
Options include adaptive cruise control combined with a frontal collision warning with brake support (it primes the brake system to reduce braking distances in a potential panic stop) along with blind-spot and rear 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 for overall frontal-impact protection and five stars for 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, but a "Poor" rating in the IIHS small-overlap frontal crash test.
Although 305 hp sounds like a lot, the 2015 Lincoln MKS's standard 3.7-liter V6 needs most of its reserves to accelerate this large sedan, mainly because the MKS is a heavy car: Even the front-wheel-drive MKS weighs more than 2 tons. The engine is plenty smooth, though, and its performance should please most. The move to the MKS EcoBoost's 365-hp V6 engine (and more importantly, its substantial boost to 350 lb-ft of torque) is an empowering upgrade but comes with a commensurate hike in price. Those who want the foul-weather security of all-wheel drive without the significant extra cost of the EcoBoost model can choose the MKS AWD.
The substantial weight of the MKS gives a distinct impression of solidity and imperviousness to crosswinds during highway travel. There's also a noticeable lack of wind and road noise, making the 2015 MKS a hushed and cozy place to while away interstate trips. On the other hand, ride quality isn't polished as in similarly priced large sedans, nor does the MKS feel especially adept on roads with tight turns.
There's an inviting and agreeable ambience to the 2015 Lincoln MKS's interior, thanks to a wealth of generally high-quality materials and a simple and restrained design that takes pains not to overload the eyes with excessive lines, shapes, buttons and switches. The dashboard ahead of the front passenger is an uncluttered expanse of soft, padded material intersected with a single strip of wood-and-metal trim, setting a calm, minimalist tone for the entire cabin.
All that minimalism doesn't necessarily contribute to an improved driver experience, though. The primary reason the dashboard's center stack is so pleasingly uncluttered is due to the MyLincoln Touch touchscreen interface and touch-sensitive, "field-effect" slider controls that displace the typical knobs and switches for the entertainment and climate control systems. The new-age controls might reduce button count, but as in other Ford and Lincoln vehicles that use variations of this setup, the touchscreen-based controls can be slow to respond, the graphics can be difficult to see while on the move and the entire system can be frustrating to learn and ultimately enjoy. The field-effect touch controls certainly look starship-grade, but they're hard to use with any precision and do little to improve overall functionality.
Otherwise, the strength of the 2015 MKS cabin is its abundance of headroom and legroom. Yet even with the sedan's generous passenger volume of almost 106 cubic feet, front seat occupants can get a strangely pinched feeling, as the thickness of the roof pillars, width of the center console and high glass level conspire to make the space seem smaller than it is. There are no such issues in the rear seat, where the comfortably high-mounted seat imparts a more natural seating position, yet still leaves an abundance of headroom. The large rear doors make it easy to enter and exit the rear seat. The trunk of the 2015 Lincoln MKS is massive, its maximum cargo space of 19.2 cubic feet able to swallow multiple full-size suitcases or golf clubs for four.
2015 Lincoln MKS models
The FWD and AWD models come with standard 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, rear parking sensors, adaptive xenon headlamps, automatic high beams, foglights, 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, Lincoln's Sync voice control, the MyLincoln Touch touchscreen electronics interface, a mobile WiFi hotspot, 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 more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, standard all-wheel drive (optional on other versions) and 20-inch wheels.
There are several optional packages. The Elite package (Equipment Group 101A/201A) 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, Sirius/XM Travel Link services and a premium wood accent package. With the Elite package equipped, you can then add the Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel and heated rear seats) and the Technology package, which features adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning system, lane-keeping assist and an automated parallel-parking system.
The only major stand-alone options are 20-inch wheels (for FWD and AWD) and a dual-panel sunroof.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Lincoln's return to the luxury car market!
R MacD, 12/18/2016
2013 Lincoln MKS 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
Sound, reliable luxury vehicle. Loaded with features and safety components. Good MPG for large, 4,000 lb. luxury car. Drove Lincoln Mark 6's, 7's & 8's all thru the 80's & 90's, then went with two BMW 7 Series for 15 years...I'm back with the new line of Lincoln MKS & Continental series. Why pay $90,000+ when you can get all the comfort features for half the price. Maybe not quit as … quiet or positive road handling, but I'm very pleased with comfort and drivability. The maintenance cost after warranty are exceptionally expensive for BMW/Mercedes models with Lincoln truly much more reasonable.
4 out of 5 stars
I traded my Mercedes C350 Coupe, 4MATIC, for MKS
Richard Bell, 10/25/2015
2014 Lincoln MKS 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
The MKS is a fine automobile. There is absolutely no comparison between the Mercedes Benz and the Lincoln MKS. The Lincoln MKS wins hands down. The MKS has real leather, not "leatherette" vinyl on the seats as in all C Class Mercedes Benz. In the MKS, you can actually feel the road, not so in the Mercedes. The Mercedes is quicker 0-60, but the MKS is heads and shoulders above the … Mercedes in every other category. To me, the ride comfort is far superior to the Mercedes Benz C Class. The electronics are much more intelligently layed out, and the menu's are logical. The Mercedes navigation "Becker Map Pilot" is the German equivalent of a bad joke. The Lincoln's premium sound system is just as good as the Harmon Kardon in the Mercedes. Trunk room in the MKS is fantastic, and the Mercedes trunk room is horrible. The Lincoln is a few thousand less that the Mercedes, and a much better buy, for the money, the ride, and comfort. Well, I have now owned this vehicle for over a year, and everything I said above is still true. I probably shouldn't say this, but this Lincoln MKS easily exceeds 100 mph. Yes, the Mercedes did too, but the MKS is certainly as stable at speed as the Mercedes was. The other day, I loaded 30 pieces of St. Augustine SOD in the trunk, the pieces are about 30" x 18", and the guy said they would never fit in the trunk ....until I open it...they fit just fine. I still like this car, it is comfortable on trips, and nimble enough to drive comfortably in heavy traffic. If Lincoln hadn't discontinued the MKS model, they would have sold several million if they only produced it in a convertible model. I am rapidly approaching two years of ownership and near 30,000 miles on the odometer and this MKS has not skipped a beat. Everything is holding up well, and no visits required for maintenance. Wash and wax, change the oil at regular intervals, and the car still looks great. The new Lincoln's look good, but I'm not ready to trade yet. My vehicle is now 6 model years old, coming up on 36,000 miles, and not one problem experienced with this vehicle. What absolutely blows my mind is that it only has a trade-in value around $10,000.00 bucks. Who is it that gave this car a bad rap? It's as good, if not better than the Mercedes's it replaced.
3 out of 5 stars
Better than it is given credit for...
Z Jenkins, 10/24/2015
2014 Lincoln MKS 4dr Sedan AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
I have a 2014 MKS 3.7 AWD and it is able vehicle that really isn't given the credit it deserves. I will admit that I use the car for business and it works well with clients as far as comfort, but also as far as not being so fancy that it is offensive. I have read numerous reviews about its similarities to the Ford Taurus and while there are similarities (size, weight, overall platform), … the minute you get into the driver's seat you will notice that they do not feel THAT similar after all. In terms of the MKS, it has shown itself to be a surprising comfortable and agreeable vehicle after numerous daily commutes and several 4+ hour long car rides with four good size adults. The ride is smooth and quiet, but I will tell you that over choppy pavement the ride could use some additional dampening. The handling of the vehicle is fine, but there is some body roll, although not a huge amount and you generally walk away with a good feeling about the vehicle. I have been your typical import car snob in the past, but I have to give credit where it is due. The MKS is not likely to convert the sport sedan set or those who must have a 'prestige' brand in the driveway, but if you want a good car that is full of noticeably useful features and will leave you feeling comforted, the MKS is worth a look. If Lincoln continues to build on what they have here they will re-establish themselves firmly. The vehicle is not perfect, but it has been trouble free, with good power and good overall comfort. It could use a little leg room everywhere and some hipper styling, but I am perfectly happy with it and I find myself surprised that I am even driving a vehicle like this before I have even hit 40. I'll probably go back to something sportier the next time around, but I do like this car. If Lincoln is smart, they will keep all of this vehicle's finer qualities and package it in a body to grab people in the 35 and older set. If you have read this review, you should also know that I've since traded the MKS in for a 2016 XTS-a vehicle which smoother, quieter, roomier and more stylish. On first blush, the Lincoln seems okay, but after 125,000 miles the confining interior got to me and so did the slightly odd styling. I thought I liked the car, but after living with the Caddy for the last 24 months I find it difficult to remember liking the Lincoln as much as I seemed to before. Test drive them both before purchasing.
5 out of 5 stars
Will be tough to give up when lease is up
2015 Lincoln MKS 4dr Sedan AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
My MKS is a 3 year leased vehicle and I have a little less than a year left on the lease. This is the first car I've ever had that has just about every option available, including massaging seats, but I don't use half of the things. I am truly interested in trying out a Continental, so I guess it will depend on the deal they are will to work, as my residual at the end of the lease is … highly reasonable. I am really torn about what I'm going to do. The brakes are very touchy on this car, and every once in a while there is a bogging when I hit the gas. I am a fast driver, not a typical MKS driver, so I do put the pedal down. My other car is a Mustang GT, and that car flies. I really do love this car a lot, but after 36 years in the military, and pretty much kept cars for 200,000+ miles, I feel I've reached a point where I want to spoil myself a bit. Did I mention that I love this car? Because I do.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2015 Lincoln MKS, so we've included reviews for other years of the MKS since its last redesign.
2015 MKS Highlights
|Combined MPG||22 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$169/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.3%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestPoor
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood