In either case, the MKT comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, including a SelectShift full-manual mode and steering-wheel paddle-shifters. The all-wheel-drive system sends power only to the front wheels during most driving, yet in as little as 16 milliseconds it can send power as needed to the rear wheels.
A standout handling feature of the MKT is Continuously Controlled Damping, a system that employs computer controls and a special damper design to adjust damper force in as little as 11 milliseconds -- for a change in surface, or for a more substantial upheaval like a pothole or railroad tracks. The system also provides more confident handling, firming up when needed and helping moderate body roll.
That system functions hand-in-hand with Lincoln Drive Control, a system that lets the driver choose -- through Normal, Comfort or Sport modes -- the way in which the steering responds, how sensitive the throttle response is, ride firmness and other aspects. In addition, the steering ratio has been quickened, both to make the MKT feel more nimble and match the benefits of the system.
The MKT maintains its car-based underpinnings, giving it a drive that is more sedan than SUV. With three rows of seating -- in 6- or 7-passenger configurations -- the MKT provides top-notch accommodations for those in the front two rows, as well as a third row that's great for kids. Second-row heated-and-cooled seats are available, and a long Panoramic Vista Roof brightens the interior for all. Plus, thanks to long rear doors, it's relatively easy to get back to the third row.
SYNC3 is a screen-based interface that can be controlled through touch, voice or steering-wheel toggles. Its centerpiece is a huge 8-inch display top and center on the dash, which provides a go-to operating center for entertainment, navigation and climate control. The standard audio system is a 210-watt, 8-speaker unit but the optional upgrade is a 700-watt, 14-speaker THX II system. This system adds a USB port, DVD player capability and HD Radio. With the navigation system equipped, SiriusXM Traffic services add live-traffic information.
The MKT comes with a vast list of standard features. Power-adjustable pedals, power front seats, HID headlamps, LED taillights, rain-sensor wipers, fog lamps, remote start, tri-zone climate control, a universal garage-door opener and SecuriCode entry are all included. Options are limited to a Technology Package with more of those active-safety extras such as adaptive cruise control and active park assist. A trailer-towing package is available as is a panoramic Vista roof. The rear seats can be optioned up with heated-and-cooled second-row seats as well as a rear DVD entertainment system and even a second-row refrigerator console. Second-row inflatable seatbelts are also available.