The 2016 Lincoln MKT is a solid option for consumers shopping for a six- or seven-passenger luxury crossover or wagon, but its unusual shape puts the squeeze on third-row passenger space.
The new Sync 3 infotainment system replaces the previous MyLincoln Touch interface. Otherwise, the 2016 Lincoln MKT is unchanged.Read more
Generous standard features and high-tech options; powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged V6 option; quiet interior.
There are plenty of options for families looking for a three-row luxury crossover SUV. Lincoln's offering is the 2016 MKT. It's essentially a range-topping variant of the Ford Flex, upon which it is based. Mainly, buying an MKT gets you unique bodywork and more standard features. Even the most basic MKT comes loaded with features like a panoramic glass roof, adaptive xenon headlights and front seats that are heated and ventilated. In addition to its long list of features, the MKT has high-quality cabin materials that include real wood accents and supple leather. It's also a very quiet cabin thanks to double-paned front windows and heavy insulation. Couple all that with a comfort-oriented suspension that does a good job of soaking up road irregularities and the MKT feels like a true luxury vehicle.
Even though the MKT provides a good value and a coddling ride for passengers, there are a few areas where it lags behind the competition. Third-row space is one such area, which is surprising given that the MKT is more than a foot longer than the Acura MDX. Due to the downward-sloping roof, headroom in the third row is tight, especially compared to the second row. The cargo area is also less useful, as the stylized hatch profile cuts back on your ability to haul bulky items, especially compared to the boxy Flex.
There are several players in the three-row luxury SUV class that are more versatile options. The 2016 Acura MDX leads the pack, with ample interior storage areas, extremely comfortable seats and a superb all-wheel-drive system. The Infiniti QX60 is another strong contender that offers a similar level of performance and features. For maximum interior space, the 2016 Buick Enclave is a better choice, while the new 2016 Volvo XC90 is a stunning three-row SUV that commands a slightly higher price. The MKT isn't our first pick here, but it might be worth considering if you want to drive something that doesn't look like every other SUV on the block.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2016 Lincoln MKT is a large luxury crossover/wagon with three rows of seating. It's offered in two trim levels: MKT and MKT with EcoBoost. Seven-passenger seating is standard, but optional second-row captain's chairs reduce capacity to six. Note that the base MKT is front-wheel drive only, while the MKT EcoBoost is all-wheel drive only.
Standard equipment on the base MKT includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high beams, foglights, automatic wipers, LED taillights, heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition and entry, remote engine start, a panoramic glass roof, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and a power liftgate.
Inside you'll find ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats (with power lumbar), heated and ventilated front seats, 60/40-split folding heated second-row seats (outboard only), 50/50-split folding third-row seats, power-adjustable pedals, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, driver memory settings, tri-zone automatic climate control, retractable manual second-row sunshades, a 110-volt power outlet and a cargo net.
Electronic features include the Sync 3 infotainment system, MyKey parental controls, an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack. The only option on the base MKT is a set of inflatable seatbelts (with integrated airbags) for the second-row seats.
The MKT EcoBoost model adds a more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension dampers with three driver-selectable modes. From there, you can add the optional Elite package, which provides a power-folding/tumble feature for the third row of seats (including a tailgate seating feature), a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system with voice-control capability and a 14-speaker premium audio system with HD radio. The Elite package also incorporates a six-year subscription to Sirius/XM's traffic data and Travel Link services.
The optional Technology package (available only in combination with the Elite package) includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, a lane-departure warning/prevention system and an automatic parallel-parking assist system.
Stand-alone options for the EcoBoost 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 power panoramic glass roof, a rear DVD entertainment system (with dual 7-inch screens embedded in the back of the front headrests) and metallic interior trim.
Powertrains and Performance
The standard 2016 Lincoln MKT is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that develops 303 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The MKT EcoBoost has a more powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. In Edmunds instrumented testing, an MKT EcoBoost made the sprint from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.2 seconds.
The 2016 Lincoln MKT comes standard with rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags covering all three rows. Parents will also appreciate the standard MyKey feature, which can be used to set vehicle speed and audio volume limits for teen drivers. Seatbelts with integrated airbags are available for the second-row seats for both MKT trim levels. Sync also offers emergency crash notification that automatically dials 911 in the event of an airbag deployment.
Safety features that are available only on the EcoBoost model include a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a lane departure warning system with intervention and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.
In a simulated panic stop during Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive MKT stopped from 60 mph in an acceptable distance of 122 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
You'll notice high-quality materials as soon as you step into the 2016 Lincoln MKT. The leather is richly grained, and the wood trim on the dashboard and doors looks rich because it's the real thing. In front of the driver is Lincoln's clear and brilliant gauge cluster, which features a central speedometer flanked by configurable screens that allow you to choose multiple information modes and displays. It's all efficiently presented and premium in appearance, even if the setup doesn't provide the exhaustive detail that the systems in some rivals deliver.
Upscale vibes are reinforced if you go for the optional captain's chair layout in the MKT's second row. You'll reduce total seating capacity from seven to six, but the captain's chairs are elegant and comfortable, and the center console running full length from the front seats imparts the impression that second-row occupants will be treated to the same comforts as those in the front. This console incorporates controls for both the rear air-conditioner and the heated and ventilated seats.
The standard Sync 3 system, which replaces the generally unloved MyLincoln Touch, utilizes a smartphone-like interface that includes pinch-to-zoom and swiping motions for navigating the menus. We've yet to fully test it, but early indications are that it's a lot easier to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are also expected to be part of Sync 3.
Cargo capacity for the 2016 Lincoln MKT is 17.9 cubic feet with all seats raised, and the maximum available is 75.9 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded. These are respectable figures, though the MKT's sloped roof line makes it difficult to fit taller items. Occupants in the second row enjoy generous head- and legroom, but those measures become acutely pinched in the MKT's third row, which has more than 5 fewer inches of headroom than the second row.
Of the two available trim levels, the 2016 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost would be our choice, as its powerful turbocharged V6 engine shrugs off the big crossover's considerable weight and provides brisk performance. You'll sacrifice some fuel efficiency, but to us, the trade-off is worth it in light of the engine's extra power. The non-turbo 3.7-liter V6 in the base MKT provides adequate acceleration in most situations, though, and should satisfy most shoppers.
Likewise, you don't need the adaptive suspension of the EcoBoost model to enjoy a comfortable ride around town or during interstate cruising. The base MKT's suspension is pleasantly controlled, although this big crossover will lean considerably if you're turning sharply or at higher speeds. Either way, you'll enjoy a hushed ride, as the MKT adeptly isolates wind and road noise from the interior. The only place the MKT feels out of place is in tight parking lots because of its considerable length.