2010 Lincoln MKT
Greyhound needs quick stoppers
By Kim Reynolds

WE LIKE: Gigantic second-row room, power from EcoBoost V-6, design.
WE DON'T LIKE: Questionable brakes, cramped third row.

While Cadillac has been greedily grabbing the headlines as it transforms into something of an American BMW (albeit with a lot more creases), Lincoln has been quietly reinventing itself too-and in a whole different direction. It's big, it's bold, it's chock-full of great historic Lincoln design references, and when equipped with the 355-horsepower twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6, it's fast as heck (quickest entry in our field, in fact). At the same time, it's controversial and polarizing, its historic references are lost on many, and it's utterly too fast and heavy for its brakes.

The facts of the MKT are straightforward: Everything underneath is based on the appealingly boxy Flex with power coming from either the familiar 3.7-liter V-6 producing 268 horses or the all-new, twin-turbo direct-injected EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 that cranks out a blazing 355. Welcome the return of the hot-rod Lincoln. Or should we say the eco-responsibly powerful Lincoln? Power from all EcoBoost versions kisses the road via AWD, while the 3.7 is available with either FWD or AWD. And while there are lots of creature features to admire inside, including an available retracting panoramic roof, self-parking (that's actually useful), and a refrigerated cubby in the rear (cheers), the MKT came in for a cold blast of opinion about its design and dynamics. While I stubbornly liked it, there were, uh, some less hospitable viewpoints.

Lassa: "With the optional EcoBoost engine, it's everything Lincolns were in the '60s and '70s: floaty prairie schooners with big, powerful engines and no brakes." Loh offers: "Lord Vader, your minivan is here," adding, "It goes like a freight train, but stops like one too." Lago opines: "Someone said its nose looks like a baleen whale, and now that's all I see. Second-row legroom is so impressive I'd rather ride passenger than drive this thing. Sorry, Kim."

And ain't that the trouble with democracy? Were this North Korea and I Kim Jong-il, the MKT would now be glowing in the radiance of our 2010 SUV of the Year award. But this being America (thank goodness), and I simply Kim Reynolds, it means Carlos is right: "Sorry, Kim."

2010 Lincoln MKT
Base price range $44,995-$49,995
Price as tested $44,995; $58,370*
Vehicle layout Front engine, FWD/AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.7L/268-hp/267-lb-ft DOHC 24- valve V-6; 3.5L/355-hp/350-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (f/r dist) 4681 lb (55/46%); 5029 lb (54/46%)
Wheelbase 117.9 in
Length x width x height 207.6 x 76.0 x 67.4 in
0-60 mph 7.7; 6.1 sec*
Quarter mile 15.9 sec @ 84.9 mph; 14.6 sec @ 95.3 mph*
Braking, 60-0 mph 134; 130 ft*
Lateral acceleration 0.76; 0.57 g (avg)*
MT Figure Eight 28.7 sec @ 0.57 g; 28.4 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)*
MT observed fuel econ 15.0; 13.5 mpg*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17/23; 16/22 mpg (est)*
CO2 emissions 1.01; 1.06 lb/mile (est)*
*Base FWD; EcoBoost AWD
Engineering ****
Design ***
Interior/Functionality ****
Performance ***
On-road refinement ****
Off-road ability **
Value ***
A polarizing player in need of better brakes.