FIRST IMPRESSIONS: This isn’t the same old Lincoln that my grandmother used to drive. It looks sleeker and less boat-like than the old-school Town Cars that were always lined up outside the club when it came time for the biddies to play bridge. The new MKS is definitely targeted at a younger crowd than its predecessors.
BOTTOM LINE: Upon further inspection, though, spiffy 20-inch wheels and a chrome grill couldn’t shake my feeling that this Lincoln was better suited for someone with a serious Geritol habit. The car feels delicate, which is not something typically found in American luxury cars. For example, plastic panels in the dashboard threatened to pop off at the slightest touch. Though the model I drove only had a few thousand miles on it, the cheap plastic and scuffed side panels looked like they wouldn’t make it through another 10,000 miles. The cab was spacious, and the sunroof that spanned the front and rear seats made it seem even larger. But the engine was sluggish and the option to use the six-speed shifter was somewhat pointless. This car isn’t for someone who rips through gears; it’s for someone who likes afternoon naps. And, if this is Lincoln’s last great attempt at being relevant to a new generation of car buyers, the company is going to need a bailout.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: I’d never buy this car for myself, but it might just be the perfect gift for a CEO’s mother. Although, for $47,000, you could buy a brand new Cadillac CTS or used BMW M5; either would be a better bet than the MKS.