2018 Lincoln MKT

2018 Lincoln MKT Review

The Lincoln MKT is in need of a makeover to keep it competitive against luxury SUVs.
author
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

The 2018 Lincoln MKT has some appeal in its distinctive design, appealing list of features and strong available turbocharged V6 engine. But its dated overall design holds it back from being a truly desirable pick for a luxury crossover.

Not surprisingly, it's the same story with the Ford Flex on which the MKT is based. Both have been on the market for more than seven years without a significant redesign, which might as well be an eternity for the typical passenger vehicle. The luxury-oriented MKT is further hampered by its sloping roofline that reduces cargo space and third-row headroom compared to the boxier Flex.

If you're shopping for a three-row luxury crossover SUV we think you'll be happier with just about any of the MKT's rivals. Even some non-luxury models have surpassed it in terms of features and refinement.



what's new

The 2018 Lincoln MKT trims are renamed Premiere and Reserve, replacing the base MKT and EcoBoost, respectively.

we recommend

If you're looking at the 2018 Lincoln MKT, we suggest checking out the Reserve. It's the only trim level with the turbocharged V6, which we prefer for its quicker and more authoritative acceleration, particularly when hauling extra passengers and towing. In addition to the stronger engine, you also get an adaptive suspension for better handling and standard all-wheel drive. After that, it's just a matter of deciding whether you want the Reserve's optional packages. Since they add most of the MKT's advanced driver safety aids, we'd say get these, too.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Lincoln MKT is a large luxury crossover wagon with three rows of seats. It's offered in two trim levels: Premiere and Reserve. Seven-passenger seating is standard, but optional second-row captain's chairs reduce capacity to six. The MKT Premiere has a 3.7-liter V6 (303 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque), and the MKT Reserve gets a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (365 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque). Both have a six-speed automatic transmission. We like the added power of the Reserve, but either way you'll be getting plenty of standard features.

The Premiere, which is front-wheel-drive only, comes with features such as 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition and entry, remote engine start, a fixed glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a power liftgate and a rearview camera. Inside, you'll find tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats, 60/40-split folding second-row seats with heating (outboard only), 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings and retractable manual second-row sunshades. Technology features include the Sync 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone app integration, and a 10-speaker sound system.

The Reserve trim level is equipped similarly but adds adaptive suspension dampers and standard all-wheel drive.

With the Reserve, you can also add extra optional features. We recommend the optional Elite package, which provides a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, power-folding third-row seats (including a tailgate seating feature), a heated steering wheel, a navigation system and a 14-speaker premium audio system. The optional Technology package (available only in combination with the Elite package) includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, a lane departure warning and intervention system, and an automatic parallel parking assist system.

Stand-alone options for the Reserve 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 panoramic power sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.



Driving

The base MKT's acceleration is underwhelming. We prefer the stronger power and more buttoned-down feel of the MKT Reserve. The turbocharged V6 has plenty of grunt for passing, and the Reserve's exclusive adaptive suspension improves this big wagon's agility without degrading ride quality.

Comfort

The MKT earns high marks for its comfortable ride quality and supportive front seats. Opt for the heated and cooled second-row captain's chairs, and the rear-seat occupants will have it just as good. The third-row seats are another matter entirely, however, and lack sufficient head- and legroom.

Interior

The MKT's interior design does little to inspire or impress. The materials quality is fine, but the all-black dash and dated, commonplace look of the center control layout are far from luxurious.

Utility

The MKT has just 17.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third-row seats. Fold the second- and third-row seats down, and you end up with a more useful 75.9 cubic feet of storage. But either way, the MKT's sloped rear hatch makes it tough to load bulkier items.

Technology

We like the Sync 3 infotainment system that features a large touchscreen and an easy-to-use interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to incorporate many of the apps on your smartphone right into the in-dash display screen.

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.