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In 2009, Lincoln did the nearly unthinkable by discontinuing its long-running Town Car and replaced it with the more athletic MKS. For the 2013 model year, despite its young age, Lincoln chose to fully revamp the MKS, giving it an upgraded exterior with a new front end that includes a revised grille, fenders and HID headlights, and a new back end that includes a new rear fascia, LED taillights and exhaust tips. Inside the cabin is also revamped with new color schemes, premium materials and an all-new instrument panel.
In the mechanical department, the MKS receives some updates in the form of 30-horsepower increase in the base engine and a 10-horsepower increase in the top-line engine, as well as larger brakes to bring this powerful sedan to a halt. Other changes include the upgraded suspension for added quietness, an enhanced SYNC system, continuously adjusting suspension so optimal comfort and handling, collision warning, Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid.
The 2013 MKS comes in three trim levels: FWD, AWD and EcoBoost AWD. The FWD trim level acts as the base model, but still includes high-level features, like leather, 10-speaker sound system, and more. The AWD model adds in the safety and security of all-wheel drive to the FWD model. The EcoBoost AWD adds in a turbocharged engine to the mix for added performance.
Though there are only minor changes between the trim levels, there are three packages to choose from: Premium Wood Package, Premium Package and Elite Package. The Premium Wood Package adds in luxurious-looking wood trim to the MKS’ interior. The Premium Package adds in Blind Spot Information with Cross Traffic alert, HD Radio, heated steering wheel, power pedals, rear-window power sunshade, rearview camera, 700-watt, THX-certified audio system, and a navigation system. Finally, the Elite Package adds in all of the Premium Package features, multi-contour front seats, Active Park Assist, heated perforated-leather rear seats, Lane Keeping System, and the Premium Wood Package.
As for competition, the Lincoln MKS has plenty. Things start off with the 2013 Infinity M, which comes standard with a 3.7-liter V-6 with 330 horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 10-speaker, 160-watt Bose sound system. Next up is the 2013 Lexus GS 350, which comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 306 horsepower, a six-speed automatic transmission and 17-inch alloy wheels. Lastly, there is the Hyundai Genesis, which comes standard with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 333 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a seven-speaker audio system.
The AWD trim level is a slightly upgraded version of the FWD model, but the variances between the two are rather small and under the skin. The AWD trim level carries very the same 3.7-liter V-6 engine as the FWD model, as well as the six-speed transmission. Where the AWD model distinguishes itself is that it features Lincoln’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive to help keep maximum traction at all times. This all-wheel drive system drops the MKS’s fuel economy to 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Besides the all-wheel-drive system, the remainder of the MKS AWD is the same as the FWD model, inside and outside.
The MKS EcoBoost AWD is the top trim level for the 2013 model year and it not only adds in a more powerful drivetrain, but also other options to make the MKS more sporty and luxurious. Under the hood, the MKS EcoBoost gains the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 365 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. The engine links up to a slightly upgraded transmission that ends in a final drive ratio that is slightly lower than the FWD and AWD versions, allowing it to cruise at lower rpm on at high speeds. This driveline nets the MKS 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. On the outside, the EcoBoost AWD trim level is nearly identical to the FWD and AWD trim levels, only it adds in a set of 20-inch wheels for added sportiness.
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This is how it works:
Huge power output, 420-horsepower M56 model and loaded with features, but high base price
Respectable engine power, good mpg and high-end audio, but high base price and no competition for EcoBoost model
Powerful base engine, eight-speed auto trans and 429-horsepower 5.0 R-Spec model, but tiny standard wheels and no AWD option
Decent base horsepower, aggressive styling and loaded base model, but slightly higher base price and no performance options