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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2009 Lincoln MKS

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Introduced for 2009, the MKS is Lincoln's newest luxury sedan. This full-size four-door incorporates many new technologies, such as the Sync multimedia integration system, radar-based cruise control, Sirius Travel Link and a THX entertainment system.

Lincoln hasn't always kept up with the competition in the luxury sedan segment. As rivals evolved with more avant-garde styling, better handing and the latest technology, Lincoln lagged behind, struggling to break free of its antiquated image. Earlier in this decade, the brand introduced its midsize LS sedan to much fanfare, but sales numbers fell short of expectations. More recently, Lincoln rolled out the entry-level MKZ sedan, but in our eyes, this model doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from its mundane Ford Fusion sibling. Now, Ford's premium division is trying again with the 2009 Lincoln MKS.

The MKS is the company's new full-size flagship. It's based on Ford's D3 platform, the same one used on the previous-generation Volvo S80 and the current-generation Ford Taurus. Given this pedigree, you're pretty much guaranteed a roomy interior, secure handling and good safety scores. The base MKS is a front-wheel-drive sedan, but an all-wheel-drive option is available. For now, the MKS comes with just one engine: a 273-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. Next year, Lincoln promises a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that should produce about 340 hp.

The 2009 Lincoln MKS has some things going for it, including a bevy of standard features, a comfortable ride, competent driving dynamics, increased interior quality over Lincolns past and massive amounts of rear legroom and trunk space. If these traits appeal to you, Lincon's newest sedan is worth a look. But for the money, there are plenty of other choices to consider, including the Cadillac DTS, Lexus ES 350 and Volvo S80. The MKS also sits price-wise near the new rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis, and those looking for a similar front-wheel-drive package at a lower price may find the Toyota Avalon more to their liking. In other words, the 2009 MKS -- with a price tag of around $45,000 when well equipped -- is up against some stiff competition.