The 2018 Lincoln MKT midsize SUV has two powertrain configurations, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The base setup is a 3.7-liter V6 with 303 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque that sends power to the front wheels. The more powerful setup is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque that sends power to all four wheels. Having opted for the turbocharged engine, there was sufficient oomph to haul even a fully loaded vehicle. From a standstill, it launched to 60 mph in a little over six seconds. The transmission did not miss a beat and worked seamlessly with the power plant. The all-wheel-drive model handled with good poise in twisted roads. Body roll was still noticeable, but it was kept under control. The steering was accurate, which helped in tracking through the corner. It also felt appropriately weighted and road feedback was not lacking. The brakes performed strongly, with no noticeable loss in repeated simulated scenarios. The stopping force was linear and there was no excessive shakiness especially under heavy braking. The pedal was firm enough that made the bite from brakes manageable.
The Premier trim comes standard with xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, a power liftgate, automatic climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, driver seat memory settings, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a CD player and an infotainment system with a 8-inch touchscreen and a ten-speaker sound system. The Reserve trim has the same features but comes with all-wheel drive and package options are now available. The Elite package includes power-folding rear seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation, a 14-speaker THX-certified sound system and several advanced safety and driver aids. The Technology package includes more advanced safety and driver aids. Standalone options for the Reserve trim include heated and ventilated second-row seats, a second-row refrigerator console, a power sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.
The 2018 MKT model was tested by the IIHS and it was rated “Good” in four tests for crashworthiness but was only rated “Basic” in front crash prevention. The headlights were only rated as “Marginal” for crash avoidance and mitigation. Advanced safety and driver aids that come standard in the base trim include rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. More features are added through package options and they include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure and intervention and automated parallel parking assist.
The 2018 MKT has a length of 207.6 inches, a width of 76 inches, a height of 67.4 inches and a wheelbase of 117.9 inches. The overall design is understated and its features are not exaggerated. The wheel wells and rear bumpers are squared off, giving it an angular look. The front fascia is dominated by horizontal chrome lines and the swept-back headlights impart a little aggressiveness. The Premier trim starts with 19-inch wheels but only the Reserve trim has the option for 20-inch wheels. The sunroof is standard for both trims but only the Reserve trim has the option for a power sunroof.
The doors opened wide and the low door sills did not feel much of a stretch when getting inside the cabin. Being on the larger side of SUVs, the doors were too wide for cramped parking spaces. The headroom and legroom for the first two rows were generous, but the limited space of the third row is better suited for children. Seven people can be seated onboard by the three rows of seats. The seats remained comfortable even in long road trips and the additional functions only added to the experience. The leather upholstery did not feel stiff to sit on and was of high quality. The suspension made up for a superb ride in what it lacks in sportiness. Bumps and cracks on the pavement were absorbed well to minimize harshness to the ride. External noise, except for the roar of the engine, was hardly audible and contributed to the relaxed ambiance inside.
There is 17.9 cu-ft of space behind the third row, and folding them down opens up 39.6 cu-ft of space. When the second and third row of seats are folded down, 75.9 cu-ft of space is available for cargo.