2015 Lincoln MKT Review
Pros & Cons
- Generous standard features and high-tech options
- powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged V6 option
- quiet interior.
- Tight third-row headroom
- below-average cargo capacity
- MyLincoln Touch electronics interface can be frustrating to use.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2015 Lincoln MKT is a solid option for consumers shopping for a six- or seven-passenger luxury crossover, but its unusual shape puts the squeeze on rear-seat headroom and cargo space.
If you're shopping for a 2015 Lincoln MKT, it's probably because you want something a little different and you've taken a shine to the Lincoln's distinctive style. And love it or hate it, the MKT's dramatic roof line helps it stand out in the large sea of luxury crossovers with three rows of seating.
Once you're inside the MKT, you'll find that the big Lincoln's cabin materials and overall build quality are on par with the majority of its luxury-brand rivals. This is also a well-insulated vehicle, and the intense quiet contributes to a plush, cosseting passenger environment on long highway journeys. Factor in its high level of standard technology, comfort and convenience features such as automated parallel parking and heated/ventilated second-row seats and full suite of advanced safety systems, and the MKT delivers on its luxury promise.
Although the 2015 Lincoln MKT is a large, three-row crossover (capable of seating six or seven, depending on how you equip it), its performance is pretty impressive, too. The more elite EcoBoost model features adaptive shock absorbers that help tailor the ride quality to your wishes, but even the less advanced suspension on the standard model makes the MKT feel planted and in control. Acceleration is also quite brisk on the EcoBoost model, which comes with a 365-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine, but again, most buyers will be content with the base MKT's 303-hp 3.7-liter V6, even when the vehicle is fully loaded with passengers.
Getting passengers into the back of the Lincoln MKT might be a problem, however, as the crossover's sweeping roof line and sloping rear hatch drastically cut into third-row headroom and likewise affects the maximum amount of cargo the MKT can swallow. In addition, the cabin's luxury quotient is somewhat sullied by the still-imperfect operation of the touchscreen-based MyLincoln Touch electronics interface. Although MyLincoln Touch has benefited from software improvements and fine-tuning over the years (plus, many of its operations can be engaged via voice commands), many rivals in this price range have better-designed, better functioning systems.
And there lies some of the trouble: You'll discover the 2015 Lincoln MKT is up against stiff competition. Other triple-row luxury crossovers, such as the 2015 Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Buick Enclave and Infiniti QX60, offer similar or better performance and less finicky electronic control interfaces. More important, all of these vehicles are more spacious inside. The Acura MDX is the best overall pick in this group for families wanting a mix of performance, premium features and outright practicality, while the Audi and Infiniti offer more cutting-edge power options in the form of diesel and hybrid variants. You could also consider the Ford Flex, which is basically the same vehicle as the MKT, albeit with very different styling (and consequently, more passenger room) and a lower price tag. If you're drawn to the Lincoln's styling, though, and don't think you'll be using the third-row seat very often, the 2015 MKT deserves a look, particularly if a quiet, comfy cabin and a great deal of standard content are your chief priorities.
2015 Lincoln MKT models
The 2015 Lincoln MKT is a large luxury crossover with three rows of seating. It's offered in two trim levels: MKT and MKT with EcoBoost. Seven-passenger seating is standard, but optional second-row captain's chairs reduce capacity to six. Note that the base MKT is front-wheel drive only, while the MKT EcoBoost is all-wheel drive only.
Standard equipment on the base MKT includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high beams, keyless ignition/entry, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, 60/40-split-folding heated second-row seats (outboard only), 50/50-split-folding third-row seats, power-adjustable pedals, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, tri-zone automatic climate control, retractable manual second-row sunshades and a 110-volt power outlet. Electronic features include the Sync voice command system, the MyLincoln Touch touchscreen electronic interface, a mobile WiFi hotspot, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. The only option on the base MKT is a set of inflatable seatbelts (with integrated airbags) for the second-row seats.
The MKT EcoBoost model adds a more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension shock absorbers with three driver-selectable modes. From there, you can add the optional Elite package (Equipment Group 201A), which provides a power-folding/tumble feature for the third row of seats (including a tailgate seating feature), a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system with voice-control capability and a 14-speaker premium audio system. The Elite package also incorporates a six-year subscription to Sirius/XM's traffic data and Travel Link services.
The optional Technology package (available only in combination with the Elite package) includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with brake support, a lane-keeping alert/assist system and an automatic parallel-parking assist system.
Stand-alone options for the EcoBoost model include 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated sliding second-row captain's chairs (reducing capacity from seven to six passengers), a second-row refrigerator console (between the captain's chairs), a power panoramic glass roof, a rear DVD entertainment system (with dual 7-inch screens embedded in the back of the front headrests) and metallic interior trim.
Performance & mpg
Standard MKT models have a 3.7-liter V6 engine that develops 303 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway).
The Lincoln MKT EcoBoost has a more powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. Fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway).
The 2015 Lincoln MKT comes standard with rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags covering all three rows. Parents will also appreciate the standard MyKey feature, which restricts wheelspin, vehicle speed and audio volume for teen drivers. Seatbelts with integrated airbags are available for second-row seats for both MKT trim levels. Sync also offers emergency crash notification that automatically dials 911 in the event of an airbag deployment.
Safety features that are available only on the EcoBoost model include a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts, a lane departure warning system with lane-keeping assist and a frontal collision warning system with brake support. This system flashes a warning on the windshield when sensors detect slower-moving traffic ahead and then pre-charges the brake system to reduce braking distances for a potential panic stop.
In a simulated panic stop during Edmunds testing, the MKT stopped from 60 mph in an acceptable distance of 127 feet.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the MKT earned a top rating of "Good" for its performance in moderate-overlap frontal offset crashes, side-impact crashes and roof-strength testing.
Of the two available trim levels, the 2015 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost would be our choice, as its powerful turbocharged V6 engine shrugs off the big crossover's considerable weight and provides brisk performance. You'll sacrifice some fuel efficiency, but to us, the trade-off is worth it in light of the engine's extra power. The non-turbo 3.7-liter V6 in the base MKT provides adequate acceleration in most situations, though, and should satisfy most shoppers.
Likewise, you don't need the adaptive suspension of the 2015 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost model to enjoy a comforting ride around town or during interstate cruising. The base MKT's suspension is pleasantly controlled, although this big crossover will lean considerably if you're turning sharply or at higher speeds. Either way, you'll enjoy a hushed ride, as the MKT adeptly isolates wind and road noise from the interior. Bear in mind, however, that the Lincoln MKT is more than 17 feet long, and you'll need to exercise caution when parking in tight places.
You'll notice high-quality materials as soon as you step into the 2015 Lincoln MKT. The leather is richly grained, and the wood trim on the dashboard and doors looks rich and real because it's the real thing. In front of the driver is Lincoln's clear and brilliant gauge cluster, which features a single central dial for speed flanked by configurable screens that allow you to choose multiple information modes and displays. It's all efficiently presented and premium in appearance, even if the setup doesn't provide the exhaustive detail that the systems in some rivals deliver.
Upscale vibes are reinforced if you go for the optional captain's chair layout in the MKT's second row. You'll reduce total seating capacity from seven to six, but the captain's chairs are elegant and comfortable, and the center console running full length from the front seats imparts the impression that second-row occupants will be treated to the same comforts as those in the front. This console incorporates controls for both the rear air-conditioner and the heated/ventilated seats.
The standard MyLincoln Touch system enables control of various audio, phone and navigation functions controls in three ways: via the central touchscreen, through voice commands and with basic control buttons on the steering wheel. You'll potentially enjoy the configuration possibilities, but the system requires a thorough familiarization process to derive its utmost benefits. More bothersome are the touchscreen's slow responses to touch inputs. We've also found that its on-screen icons are generally too small to locate and press while the vehicle is moving. Your favored option may end up being a combination of the buttons on the steering wheel for basic functions, like adjusting the volume and changing radio stations, combined with the voice recognition capability for other functions. Although MyLincoln Touch has its challenges, its voice controls offer a reasonably accurate and efficient means of making adjustments in the cabin.
Cargo capacity for the 2015 Lincoln MKT is 17.9 cubic feet with all seats raised, and the maximum available is not quite 76 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded. Not only is this an unimpressive cargo capacity figure for this class, but the Lincoln's dropped roof line makes it difficult to fit taller items. Occupants in the second row enjoy generous head- and legroom, but those measures become acutely pinched in the MKT's third row, which has over 5 fewer inches of headroom than the second row.