The 2018 Lincoln MKT does have some appeal for its unique design, extensive list of features and powerful turbocharged V6 engine. But its outdated overall design holds it back to be a truly desirable choice for a luxury crossover.
Not surprisingly, the same thing for Ford Flex where the MKT is based. Both have been on the market for more than seven years without redesign, which may also be immortality for typical passenger vehicles. The MKT luxury-oriented is further impeded by its sloping roofline that reduces third-row headroom and cargo space compared to the Flex boxier designs.
If you planning to shop for a three-row luxury crossover SUV, we think you will like almost all the MKT competitors. Even some non-luxury models have outperformed it in terms of improvements and features.
The 2018 Lincoln MKT trims are renamed to Premiere and Reserve, replacing the base MKT and EcoBoost.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Lincoln MKT is a three-row, large luxury crossover wagon offered in two trim levels: Premiere and Reserve. Seven-passenger is standard, but the optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to six.
Standard equipment for the MKT Premiere includes 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, adaptive xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a fixed glass sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, remote engine start, a rearview camera and a power liftgate. Inside, you’ll get tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, leather upholstery, 60/40-split folding second-row seats with heating, retractable manual second-row sunshades and 50/50-split folding third-row seats. Technology features include an 8-inch touchscreen, the Sync 3 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 10-speaker sound system.
The Reserve trim is similarly equipped but also adds all-wheel-drive system and adaptive suspension dampers.
There are several optional features for the MKT Reserve. The optional Elite package adds a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, power-folding third-row seats (including a tailgate seating feature), a navigation system and a 14-speaker premium audio system. The optional Technology package (available only in combination with the Elite package) adds adaptive cruise control, an automatic parallel parking assist system, a lane departure warning and intervention system, a forward collision warning system.
Stand-alone options for the Reserve trim include 20-inch wheels, a panoramic power sunroof, heated and ventilated sliding second-row captain’s chairs, a rear-seat entertainment system and a second-row refrigerator console.
The 2018 Lincoln MKT Premiere is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 303 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Power sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimated fuel economy is poor at 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway).
The 2018 Lincoln MKT Reserve gets a more powerful turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine good for 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. In performance testing, the MKT Reserve accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which is a quick time for the class. EPA fuel economy rating stands at 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway).
You will find high-quality materials as soon as you go inside the 2018 Lincoln MKT. The leather is richly grained, and the wood trim on the doors and dashboards feels luxurious since it’s original. In front of the driver’s seat is Lincoln clear and smart gauge cluster, which features a central speedometer flanked by configurable screens that allow you to select various information modes and display. Everything is presented efficiently and luxuriously in appearance, although the setup does not provide the exhaustive details as the competitor’s system.
The MKT upscale feel is stronger if you pick the optional captain chair in the second row. Total seating capacity is reduced from seven to six, but the captain’s chair is comfortable and elegant, and the center console running full length from the front seat giving the impression that the second-row passenger will be treated with the same comfort as those in the front. This console combines controls for rear air conditioning, heated and ventilated seats.
The standard Sync 3 system uses a smartphone-like interface that includes pinch-to-zoom and swiping gestures to navigate menus. This system is much easier to use and features with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
At the back, the 2018 Lincoln MKT provides 17.9 feet of cargo capacity, which expands to 75.9 cubic feet with the second and third-row seats folded. This is a respectable number, although the MKT sloping roofline makes it difficult to load taller items. The second-row passenger will enjoy generous headroom and legroom, but it becomes pinched for the third-row, which has more than 5 fewer inches than the headroom than the second row.
Release Date and Price
Official pricing for the MKT Premiere trims starting at $44,455 (include $925 destination charge). The Reserve trim starts at $49,950.