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>> When the MKS came out, it was a pricey, new Lincoln flagship that had some explaining to do under the hood. That was then; this is now. With an EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, Ford's current cabin and tech deftness, and all-wheel drive, we have something that needs little explaining. Let's check the tech.
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The MKS is a cousin of the new Taurus. It's on Ford's D3 platform. Our car wears an appropriate tuxedo black over a cashmere bridge of weir leather, as use to upholster Aston-Martins, the late Concorde, and seats in the House of Parliament. But get used to gnashing your teeth when people think you're driving a lower-cost MKZ. The front ends are just too similar.
Now, inside, be aware, our car is fully loaded up. We've got just about every option in here, including the navigation system, which interestingly enough is not standard on this car. It's a relatively high-priced car, but it can be had without the nav head unit. I bet it's pretty rare, but you can do it if you want. And of course, the American car companies are pretty good about ordering exactly what you want. That said, we got the good stuff, and this is one of our favorite navigations systems. Maybe not the most elegantly rendered, but pretty close. I'm not knocking it by any stretch. And behind that is interestingly, Ford says, a DVD and hard drive based system. So I'm not really sure what's powering that map data. They say DVD, and they say hard drive. Meh, it doesn't matter as long as it works well. There are two THX audio systems for this car. I mean, not at the same time, but if you get the stock stripped MKS, you still have THX 2 certified audio. It just isn't surround sound. It has 10 speakers, and it's non-surround. If you get the better trim level on this car in terms of technology, you're going to have THX 2 5.1 surround, 16 speakers, and 600 watts. And I believe that's 10 different amplification channels. So if you can do it, and if you're buying a car like this, I think you should get the better unit because this is truly one of the great in-car listening experiences I have ever encountered. And of course, when you get the navigation rig, you will have Sirius Travel Link. Sirius comes with a six month subscription, then you've got to start paying for it on your own, but this will bring you a lot of interesting travel-related information like traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, and sports info, the classics. Your other media choices include a DVD player. That's what this single slot is. Remember, the single slot because we've got a hard drive, so they expect you're going to move things to the drive, at least music because you can rip, or you can watch a DVD when you're parked here. No rear-seat entertainment option for this car, which I find a little interesting. Other media choices, of course, include, aside from the optical disk, the jukebox. That's the hard drive, 10-gigabytes of space available in there. And according to its own estimations, that'll hold somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 tracks. That's about right. This is not stock. Rearview camera, again, kind of an odd one for a vehicle like this. The beeping? That is stock. The rear-bumper sensors are what you get base, but that rearview camera does require you go to a more elaborate package. Also optioned in as part of a package on this vehicle, but available a la carte, I believe, I this dual-pane power moonroof. You get these two power shades over the top, and as usual, the one in the front moves, tilts, or retracts. The one in the back is a fixed panel, but it sure opens up the cabin a lot. We also have another interesting option on this vehicle. It's a parking assist technology. Separate from the optional review camera, separate from the standard rear-bumper sensors, it will actually let you, by pushing this button right here, get guided into a parking spot as you glide up next to it. Let's check it out.
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So here's how it works. You're driving along your traditional inner city, urine-soaked alley. You press the button. It says "active park is searching." It defaults to the right, but you can use the signal to say search to the left. At one point, it'll say space found. Pull forward. You go a little bit further forward. Then it says stop. Now, remove hands, put it in reverse. All you do now is moderate the brake pedal and let the vehicle creep itself back into the space. You wish you could park this well. It's using all of its various sensor technologies and the electric power assisted steering. That's a key part of this. Dial itself right in, get the right distance from the curb and from the cars, and then it eventually says pull forward to get it exactly where you want it in terms of nose and butt. And that's it.
Now, of course, the exciting part about our MKS is that the EcoBoost powertrain. Big, big difference. 3.5-liter V6 with way more power and torque than the 3.7-liter V6 that isn't direct injected. Plus, there are two turbos here, one for each of the banks of the cylinders. Now, you can tell it's a direct-injected motor. Just listen. That clatter is direct injection's signature. Notice how much sound deadening they have to lump all over this engine, like over that pressure regulator there, and this engine cover is just heavy with sound-deadening stuff to kill that noise. It works, but it's one of the signatures that make a DI sound like a DI. The good news is direct injection is so incredibly efficient. This engine cranks out 355 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque out of a motor that gets 17/25 MPG, and again, is a mere 3.5 liters. It really delivers on that V8 performance out of a V6 premise.
Under way, this car delivers power without over thinking, a rare trait in cars these days. The ride is very silky, approaching the feel the superb Audi A5. And the MKZ stays planted in a way that befits its image. But reviewers that judged this car on the track pretty much missed the point. This isn't a track car. It achieves a higher calling of effortless energy with smooth cosseting and some of the better cabin tech in the business. It all adds up to something more like Jaguar's traditional grace, space, and pace than anything you describe in zero to sixty, quarter miles, or G forces.
Okay, let's price our 2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost all-wheel drive. Now, by the way, EcoBoost and all-wheel drive always go together on this car. $49,500.00 for the vehicle, but if you really want to go CNET style, you got to do this package of nav plus ultimate packages together. That's the navigation system, hard drive, THX 2 surround audio, dual pane moonroof, fancy seating, and rearview camera and a few other niceties, $3,500.00. I'll take two. A la carte, you've got the active cruise control, adaptive cruise, $1,300.00. And the steal of the century is that parking system for $535.00. Of course, you're gonna get that.
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