2010 Lincoln MKTEnlarge Photo
Pebble Beach, Calif.--It's rare when the Lodge at Pebble Beach makes a mistake. Possibly, the linen count on the sheets in the presidential suite really is 499 threads per square inch, instead of 500? Maybe the Asiatic lilies sent to your room were placed there a few hours before absolute peak bloom?
Or maybe they just misplaced the keys to your less ambitious crossover (the pert little Kia Soul), and forced you to go begging for more of that 2010 Lincoln MKT you drove the day before--just to get back to the budget hotel you lined up for Concours weekend?
Hey, I tried to lower my carbon footprint, at least. And in a few hours of shuttling back and forth from the Monterey Peninsula to San Jose, I learned more about the new MKT than most press drives would reveal. That's because the MKT isn't a vehicle you'd appreciate most from a three-hour drive on winding roads. It's a big boulevard cruiser--a station wagon minus the cultural baggage--and it requires some daily due diligence before you can grapple with its immense proportions, its peaky sticker price and its place in a world of true luxury brands offering less for more.
It's a big people mover--a minivan minus the sliding side doors--but the MKT looks nothing like today's other crossovers, particularly its own cousin, the Ford Flex. The Flex is all right angles and edges, a square peg in a square hole. The MKT shares the Flex's architecture, seating layout, powertrains and safety cage, but has a more curvilinear appeal. The grille has wings, the shoulders have some kinky ideas about hooking up with the car's D-pillar, and the rear end cants forward and wears taillights and chrome trim like stock tickers. It's detailed like Lincolns of the past: think of those big Continentals of the mid-1960s and their broad hockey-stick bands of chrome. The cabin's even better in its execution, with a wood- or metallic-trimmed dash that echoes the front end smartly. LED white lighting and a sharp LCD screen draw attention, though a few rows of small black buttons do little for style or functionality.