Monday, January 25, 2010

The Lincoln MKT Got Me Props From The Guy In The Parking Lot And Could Get You Some Nifty Things, Too

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Lincoln.

I drive a five-year-old minivan and let’s face it — no one ever stops me to ask about my car. And even if they did, instead of telling them about my mpg or how it goes from zero to sixty in fifteen minutes, I’m more likely to show them the collection of petrified french fries and year-old juice boxes laying in the back seat. That’s when the person who had inquired about my car would say, “I only stopped you because you ran over my foot.”

But all that changed when I got a Lincoln MKT to test drive.

I got admiring stares from people at stop lights and a curious glance from a TV star who lives across the street. I even had a guy in the Starbucks parking lot ask me about the size of the engine, and while I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about I was able to impress him with the fact that my fancy car had a refrigerated compartment! Possibly for beer! He gave me a thumbs up, but I could tell it didn’t go over too well with his wife. Until I told her about the feature that parallel parks your car for you. Then her eyes went all dreamy and she fainted.

A little digression here to tell you a story. I’ve never had a desire to buy an SUV (note MKT is not an SUV) — I’m even sort of anti-SUV for their gas-guzzling properties But I’ve always said that one day, and my friends and family roll their eyes when I say this, I’m going to buy myself a huge, blinged-out Lincoln Navigator, probably the most SUV of all SUVs that should assault my sensibilities on every level but doesn’t. I can’t tell you exactly why, but something about it is appealing to me and I picture myself hauling down the street cheerily waving at strangers and frightening small animals.

That said, I had never had the same attraction to the Lincoln MKT; it didn’t seem like it would be practical for me, a mom with two kids, kids who hide food under the floor mats and always have friends who need rides.

So when BlogHer asked me to test-drive it for a week I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when it showed up in my driveway I have to say I almost put my Navigator dreams on hold (notice I said ‘almost.’) It has a powerful look and feel to it while not being overbearing, and their description of it as a ‘luxury crossover utility vehicle’ seems to be right-on; while it has many features that would make it a good fit for someone like me with a family, it’s got a much more sexy, luxurious feel to it. A baby stroller covered with rubies comes to mind. Maybe that’s the secret to the Lincoln brand — practical, yet sexy and powerful, something that would get someone like me to want a humongous Navigator. How do they do it? I’m thinking mind-altering lasers but I’m no scientist.

Here’s the rundown on what I liked and didn’t like. (Keep in mind that I’m not a car-person, so some of my terms may not be technically correct. For instance, I just recently learned that the ‘round controller thingy’ is actually called a steering wheel.)


• Well lots, but first and foremost is the ride. Although to be fair I am driving a five-year-old minivan so perhaps I was just grateful not to feel like I was going to dislodge a kidney with every bump. But my husband was even impressed with the smooth, heavy ride (in the back seat as well) and he drives a luxury car that may or may not rhyme with ‘howdy.’

• Above-mentioned refrigerated compartment. I have nothing more to say about this other than, “Yippee.”

• I loved being able to start the engine with the push-button, keyless start -- the access key just needs to be somewhere in the car. (Also, the key can be programmed to limit the top speed of whoever is driving the car. Would come in handy when my oldest starts driving in three years -- wonder if that key can be programmed to taser creepy boyfriends.)

• The rear-view camera provides an amazingly clear, color view when the car is in reverse — I was surprised at what a wide area it covered, and how bright the picture was even on my street which is menacingly, horror-movie dark. My van alerts me with an audio tone, but I liked being able to see a clear view of what was behind me. A must for driving anywhere kids, bicycles, pets and zombies might be around.

• Active Park Assist. I have to admit I didn’t get to see all that this feature was capable of, but I like knowing it’s there. Great for someone like me who hates parallel parking unless there is half a city block in which to maneuver into.

• The MKT has a third row of seats, which is essential. Where else would I put my kids’ freeloading friends? On the roof? I also liked that these seats had easy access; the second-row seats folded forward effortlessly. I was in a car recently where it was so much trouble to get to the third row that we ended up just leaving the extra passengers behind. (Sorry, mom.)

Didn’t Like So Much:

• BLIS©(Blind Spot Information System) When changing lanes, these sensors alert you when another car is approaching on either side. I appreciate its function, but I found it distracting to look for the sensor light and didn’t like my attention being diverted from what was up ahead. Although, this may be one of those things that annoy you at first and then become indispensable once you get used to them, like underwire bras.

• The mount for the rear view mirror is huge. I’m sure there’s a reason for this, but I found it slightly obstructed my view and seemed unusually prominent. (Insert inappropriate joke here.)

• In the end, the thing I didn’t like most about the Lincoln MKT was that it wasn’t mine. I was sad to see it go (as were my husband and kids) and it was hard to get back into my minivan after all that pampered luxury. But those old french fries and juice boxes aren’t going to drive themselves around, so off I went.

And here are those nifty things I mentioned. I have a $500 Visa gift card to give away! Just answer the question, “What is your favorite technology feature in your car?” Leave your answer in the comments section before 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 24 and I'll use to pick a winner.

Also, enter to win Lincoln’s Night on the Town Sweepstakes where you could win a night of pampering with the Lincoln MKT (valued at $1500.) You and a guest could win:

* A chance to drive a 2010 Lincoln MKT for the evening
* Local spa package for two
* Dinner for two at a local restaurant
* One night stay at a local hotel

Click here to check out what other bloggers had to say about the Lincoln MKT.

Please see the Official Rules here.

Entries for this giveaway are now closed.

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