Lincoln's large crossover, the MKT, gets a number of updates for 2013. Besides the visual alterations, which include a reshaped grille and redesigned dashboard, the three-row crossover gets a more powerful base V-6, optional adaptive suspension and other hardware upgrades. More dramatic changes lay inside, where the MKT gets Lincoln's latest touch-screen controls.
Related to the Flex from parent company Ford, the MKT offers three rows of seats and an available twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6. Competitors include the Buick Enclave, Acura MDX and Audi Q7.
The MKT's grille plunges less but carries more vertical slats in a "calmer, more restrained way," Lincoln says. The trademark belt line kink and broad tail remain; both were elements that made onlookers love or revile the car.
Measuring well beyond 200 inches from bumper to bumper, the MKT is more than a foot longer than the MDX and a few inches longer than the Enclave and Q7.
A redesigned dashboard headlines the cabin changes, with a new steering wheel and Lincoln's MyLincoln Touch center controls. Related to Ford's MyFord Touch, MyLincoln Touch replaces traditional buttons and dials with touch-sensitive areas; a large center screen runs multimedia and navigation. Ford says the system has been revised with faster processing and easier graphics from earlier versions of MyFord and MyLincoln Touch. The MKT's gauges sport twin LCDs flanking a center speedometer. Configurable via steering-wheel directional buttons, they can show everything from audio and navigation menus to a simulated tachometer.
Power front seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and leather upholstery are standard. The three-row interior seats six or seven, depending if you get second-row captain's chairs or a three-position bench.
Under the Hood
Front-drive MKTs boast a 3.7-liter V-6 with 300 horsepower, up from last year's 268-hp V-6. The all-wheel-drive MKT has a twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 that puts out 355 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines get a six-speed automatic transmission. New for 2013, the EcoBoost MKT gets an adaptive suspension, which drivers can adjust to three separate modes.
Six airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. Lane departure and blind spot warning systems are optional, so are inflatable second-row seat belts, which — like in the Ford Explorer — spread impact forces across an occupant's body. Ford says the belts can reduce collision pressure on the chest and neck.