2016 Lincoln MKS Review

The 2016 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.




what's new

The 2016 Lincoln MKS returns with no significant changes.

vehicle overview

With an all-new replacement waiting in the wings, the 2016 Lincoln MKS enters its final year unchanged. And in the hyper-competitive and ever-evolving world of big luxury sedans, that doesn't leave the Lincoln flagship in a very strong position.

Of course, that isn't to say that this dressed-up version of the Ford Taurus doesn't have its upsides. A turbocharged V6 engine with 365 hp and standard all-wheel drive is optional. The standard V6 uses front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional there, too. There's also an aesthetically pleasing — if somewhat tricky to use — touch-sensitive electronics interface, a roomy backseat and a huge trunk.

On a long road trip, the MKS's quiet passenger cabin is a relaxing place to roll away the miles. That said, the ride quality isn't quite as refined as its competitors. Likewise, several rivals feel more solid and well-planted on a winding stretch of road.

As we alluded to earlier, the MKS has no shortage of desirable competitors. European models like the 2016 Audi A6, the 2016 BMW 5 Series and the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class are more expensive and more refined. For a more apples-to-apples comparison, we suggest having a look at comparably priced models like the 2016 Acura RLX, 2016 Cadillac CTS, 2016 Chrysler 300, 2016 Hyundai Genesis and 2016 Lexus ES 350 sedans. Each has their own strengths, but they tend to make the MKS look and feel dated in terms of overall performance and features.




trim levels & features

The 2016 Lincoln MKS sedan comes in two trim levels: MKS and MKS EcoBoost.

The base MKS model comes with standard 19-inch alloy wheels, driver-adjustable suspension dampers, rear parking sensors, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high beams, foglights, remote start, keyless entry and ignition, exterior keypad entry and heated mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming.

Inside, you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, 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 and a rearview camera. Additional features include 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 base models) and 20-inch wheels.

There are several options packages starting with the Elite package (Equipment Group 101A/201A), which includes blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, front multicontour seats with a massage feature, power-adjustable pedals, a power rear sunshade, wood interior accents, a navigation system and a premium 16-speaker surround-sound audio system with HD radio and Sirius/XM Travel Link services. Models equipped with the Elite package can also 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 the base MKS) and a dual-panel sunroof.



performance & mpg

The 2016 Lincoln MKS base model gets a 3.7-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. This engine generates 305 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for front-wheel-drive models is 22 mpg in combined driving (19 city/28 highway). That number drops to 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) with all-wheel-drive.

The EcoBoost model is only offered with all-wheel drive and is propelled by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter that develops 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg in combined driving (17 city/25 highway). In Edmunds testing, a Lincoln MKS EcoBoost dashed from zero to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds.

safety

The 2016 Lincoln MKS comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, 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.

Safety-related 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 latest IIHS small-overlap frontal crash test.

driving

The 2016 Lincoln MKS drives like the big luxury car it is. It's quiet and composed at highway speeds, but it doesn't have the solid feel of its competitors. Much the same can be said for the car's handling, which inspires confidence everywhere but tight, twisty back roads.

The standard 3.7-liter V6 engine feels smooth and capable, though it needs every one of its 305 horses to move this heavy car. Even so, we think this base engine should serve most buyers well. For those who feel the need for maximum thrust, the optional turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 all-wheel-drive EcoBoost model should fill the bill quite nicely. Buyers simply looking for all-weather peace of mind without the EcoBoost's steep price tag would do well to consider the base engine with all-wheel drive.

interior

The 2016 Lincoln MKS has a classy passenger cabin done up in high-quality materials that accentuate the sleek design. There's optional wood and metal trim, while the standard setup has a notable lack of the buttons and knobs found on so many luxury models.

This simplified look is achieved with a variety of touch-sensitive switches. The downside is that the sliders used for audio and climate controls and the center-mounted touchscreen interface can be both difficult to see while driving and slow to respond to inputs.

Be that as it may, the MKS interior's best feature is its roominess. There's plenty of headroom and legroom all around, though the thick roof pillars, wide center console and small glass area make the front seats seem less spacious than they are. The rear seat is mounted high enough to allow adult occupants to achieve a natural sitting position, while large rear doors make for easy entry and exit. This size benefit continues out back, with a huge 19.2-cubic-foot trunk that's big enough to accommodate the luggage of a car full of individuals who don't understand the meaning of the phrase "packing light."

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.