Virtually every item in your grocery store has a "Best If Used By" date on it. Of course we all realize that, despite those suggestions, it's not like any given product is going to suddenly go bad when that day rolls around. Well, much the same can be said for cars such as the 2017 Lincoln MKT.
To wit, this full-size luxury crossover's main flaw is simply that it's a bit past its expiration date. You see, both the MKT and the boxier Ford Flex on which it's based haven't seen a serious update for the better part of a decade, and the two are starting to show their age around the edges.
It's the little things you notice, details that aren't quite up to par with those of the latest luxury models. Interiors are comfortable and have a quality feel, but they just don't look as posh as more recently redesigned models. The all-black trim on the dash is a good example of a material that looks past its prime.
The MKT, which is offered in six- or seven-passenger seating configurations, has some practical issues as well. While leg- and headroom in the first two rows of seats is generous, the lack of both make the third row a place for preteens only. Besides cutting into headroom, that sloping rear roofline also limits cargo-carrying capacity somewhat, especially compared to the more accommodating boxy rear end of the Ford Flex.
What's under the hood is another potential issue. The stock 3.7-liter V6 provides just middling performance, which leads us to strongly recommend stepping up to the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that comes standard with all-wheel drive. It delivers more kick in everyday driving and improved cargo-carrying and towing capability. To our way of thinking, the EPA fuel economy estimates — 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway) for the base engine versus 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway) with the EcoBoost — are close enough to make the more powerful engine worth the extra cost.
Among the MKT's strongest draws is its level of standard equipment, a long list that includes such desirable features as 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear outboard seats, keyless entry and ignition, and the Sync 3 system with an 8-inch touchscreen and advanced Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. The EcoBoost model is also eligible for a couple of worthwhile options, including the Elite package, which adds safety (blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert) and convenience items (a heated steering wheel, power-folding third-row seats, a navigation system and a upgraded 14-speaker audio system). When your MKT is so equipped, you can also order the Technology package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning and intervention, and automatic parallel-parking assist.
All that said, we feel the 2017 Lincoln MKT has reached an age where you'd be well advised to compare it carefully against fresher luxury crossover products before making up your mind. Let Edmunds help you find the right luxury crossover for your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.