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2012 Lincoln MKS : Road & Travel Magazine's 2012 Luxury Car Buyer's Guide

2012 Lincoln MKS Road Test Review

by Martha Hindes

2012 Luxury Car Buyer's Guide - Top 10 Picks

Audi A6

Infiniti M

BMW 5 Series

Jaguar XF

Chrysler 300

Hyundai Equus

On the luxury car playing field where the big boys jostle, one of the key factors is drive. Many of the acknowledged heavyweights bring rear or all-wheel-drive in their equipment bags. That's because of the inherent sportier character of a rear-drive auto compared with its front-drive counterpart. By contrast, the 2012 Lincoln MKS full size luxury sedan is based on a front-drive architecure, a difference that has added comfort, available room, good mileage and better control in some cases. But for some, it lacked a longed-for gusto until recently.

Fast forward to 2012 and the MKS in your local showroom is likely to have a technology called EcoBoost. That's a dual turbocharging technology from Lincoln parent Ford Motor Company, designed to give the MKS's 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant the power capability of a V-8 engine. The EcoBoost squeezes energy from an internal combustion engine while protecting the environment at the same time. And of course the "boost" in the name implies it ability to spur more driving oomph from the vehicle it's on while earning a healthy 17 city/25 highway mileage rating that can trounce most rear-drive numbers. And the inclusion of that technology turns this from an essentially comfort biased sedan to a frisky one with improved driving manners.

While EcoBoost continues into the 2012 model year, there are a few newbie’s added to Lincoln's top model. Among 2012 changes is the availability of BLIS, a Blind Spot Information System. That joins the MKS as an add-on in the Navigation and Ultimate packages. The system can "see" a vehicle in the next lane that otherwise might fall within a driver's blind spot zone, and flashes a "don't go there" warning light on the side view mirror.

Cross traffic warning is another newly available technology on the MKS for 2012. It uses the same BLIS sensors but is designed to prevent parking lot fodder by checking for unseen cross traffic as the car backs out of a parking slot. The sensor can detect a vehicle 45 feet away and sound a warning, post a message center alert and activate a warning from the mirror on that side.

Three new color choices wrap up changes for the 2012 models: Crystal Champagne Metallic, Cinnamon Metallic and Dark Blue Pearl Metallic. And for 2012, the high tech EcoBoost continues to improve performance.

The MKS has won solid kudos for its handsome styling, comfort ride, and forward thinking technology that has helped spur the transition to tech driving with such communication advances as MyLincolnTouch and SYNC, developed for parent company Ford by Microsoft. Cabin room is more spacious than in many competitive vehicles. Many of the up-market features on the MKS are standard. And fuel economy rates well.

Pricing around $40 K can jump with EcoBoost and all-wheel-drive technology, raising the total closer to the $50K level with both. Navigation, a $3,500 addition, contains a voice activated navigation system capability and seems well worth the price from a safety as well as convenience perspective.

Some observes will admit that at times jaded auto critics, who often take international driving trips on auto company dimes, have long seemed biased toward the Audis, the BMWs, the Mercedes-Benz imports of the world. Those nameplates have achieved a stellar perception that, while deserved, has at times tended to overlook the nuts and bolts comparisons that will prove a vehicle's worth. We think anyone looking for a top luxury auto shouldn't miss a chance to check out the 2012 Lincoln during their shopping trip.

Visit the Lincoln website, click here.