Audio and video entertainment are becoming more and more central to the way we use our cars, and as such features gain importance, the race to build the best stereo or DVD system becomes just as important as fuel efficiency, horsepower and handling to many buyers. Lincoln's inclusion of a THX II Certified 5.1 Surround sound speaker system in the 2009 MKS is an escalation of that competition that one must hear to believe.
The unbranded THX audio system was one of the highlights of our review of the MKS
. Its ability to bring out depth and richness from a simple stereo signal is impressive, but it's the DVD audio capability that really lets the system shine. With a full 5.1 channels of audio piped through the 600W, 16-speaker system, it's more of an experience than a stereo.
That may sound like high praise, but hearing sound quality normally reserved for well-outfitted dens and home theaters in a modestly priced luxury car is impressive, and Lincoln is justifiably proud. So is THX car audio team member Todd Rockwell, who said, "For the price point, the THX II Certified 5.1 system on the Lincoln MKS is one of the best on the market in terms of quality, capabilities and value."
Though unbranded, the THX-certified system provides an experience comparable to many more expensive name brandsEnlarge Photo
The 5.1 system design features THX Slot Speaker technology in the dashboard, which allows the sound to issue from a very small aperture yet create a wide 'sound image' throughout the cabin.
In addition to the strong sound quality, the system includes a hard drive jukebox, allowing customers to store up to 2,400 of their favorite music tracks, all of which can be accessed hands-free using Ford's voice-activated navigation system.
Other carmakers, including Aston Martin
and Mercedes-Benz's AMG
, have taken the alternate route of associating with established car audio brands, such as Bang & Olufsen or Naim. Ford's decision to secure a sound standard rather than a brand name could be part of the reason it is able to provide such strong performance for a more affordable price.
Review: 2009 Lincoln MKS AWD