Thanks to the optional sunroof and the more rakish d-pillar versus the Flex, the MKT's third-row seat is best left to the kids or those under about five-and-a-half feet tall. First and second rows are extremely roomy and comfortable.

Still, while Lincoln may try to pass off its MKT as a kind of rolling boardroom, it's really a family-size luxury wagon, the logical successor to the not-quite-logical Navigator (which remains in production, for now). As a post-modern prairie schooner, the MKT's chassis isn't quite up to the task of meeting the engine's potential. The EcoBoost version comes with stiffer front and rear springs versus the Duratec version, although the 32mm front and 22mm rear anti-roll bars are the same.

The EcoBoost makes the MKT feel light and lively. Still, it's a traditionally cushy Lincoln. When pushed, the electric power steering feels too light, and needs corrections on crowned or bumpy roads. You'll also find the MKT's bump stops on crusty roads, although the damping rebound is excellent and keeps everything in proper control.

Lincoln benchmarked the Q7, of course, and the Acura MDX, plus the Mercedes-Benz R-Class for the MKT. That's the kind of crossover it is; somewhere between the Q7 and the R-Class, with an optional engine that will make you king of the big family vacation, able to cross the Continental Divide in a single bound and without a thirsty V-8.

2010 Lincoln MKT
Base Price$44,995-$49,995
Vehicle layoutFront-engine, FWD/AWD, 6- or 7-passenger SUV
Engines 3.7L/270-hp/267-lb-ft DOHC V-6; 3.5-liter/355-hp/350-lb-ft DOHC twin-turbo V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight 4700-4900 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase117.9 in.
Length x width x height 207.6 x 76.0 x 67.4 in
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17-24 mpg (mfr. est, EcoBoost)
CO2 emissions 0.98 (est)
On sale Late Summer 2009