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Did the New Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT Change Enough?

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More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The Flex isn’t as popular in other markets, and neither is the Lincoln MKT. Both sell in meager amounts next to mainstream crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and even Ford’s own Explorer. Can some refreshes to these two vehicles skyrocket them onto families’ radars?

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Lincoln’s MKT, the Flex’s sleeker and slightly more sophisticated sister, gets many of the same updates (a refreshed grille, power-folding seats, inflatable seat belts and more), but it’s wrapped in the luxury of Lincoln’s upscale branding and fit and finish.

Attention to noise dampening was a new focus in the 2013 MKT. Lincoln added more noise absorbers and barriers throughout the vehicle, and it redesigned the side mirrors to be quieter as well. This is something I know I’d appreciate while driving. It seems that with every passing year I’m more sensitive to noisy cars. I feel like my parents. “Turn that radio down now, would ya?! Ah, when I was your age … blah, blah, blah.”

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The Flex and MKT still have the same family-friendly features and expansive interior, which are unique in this class, as in previous model years. That makes me wonder why these crossovers aren’t more popular. When was the last time you saw one in your kid’s carpool lane? I hope the Flex’s and MKT’s polarizing looks aren’t keeping parents from adding them to their short list for the next family hauler to park in the driveway.

Photo of Kristin Varela
Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

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