Premium large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $10,200 – $31,300*

2009 Lincoln MKS Front

2009 Lincoln MKS Rear

2009 Lincoln MKS Interior

2009 Lincoln MKS Profile

  • Passenger room
  • Ride
  • Cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Small items storage

Lincoln’s latest flagship aimed for a contemporary spin on traditional American luxury, while still focusing on serene comfort instead of invigorating performance. Despite a generous list of standard luxury features and some unique high-tech gadgetry, MKS’s overall refinement trails luxury-class leaders.


Introduced for 2009, Lincoln’s MKS was the new flagship sedan from Ford’s luxury division. This premium full-size four-door sedan shared some of its basic design with the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The double-wing grille was said to be inspired by the classic 1941 Lincoln Continental. Lincoln’s MKS held a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produced 275 horsepower when running on premium-grade gasoline, or 273 hp on regular. A new SelectShift six-speed automatic was the sole transmission, mating with either front-drive or all-wheel drive. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Bridge of Weir leather upholstery was standard, some models were trimmed with ebony wood, and the leather-wrapped MKS steering wheel featured wood trim at the top. Standard heated/cooled, 12-way power driver and front-passenger seats incorporated four-way lumbar adjustment.

Lincoln claimed the largest rear-door openings in its class. The standard capless fuel-filler system allowed owners to fill their fuel tanks without having to remove a gas cap. Also standard was Ford’s Sync, which offered voice control for cell phones and MP3 players. Other available features included a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic updates, front-obstacle detection, a rearview camera, keyless entry and pushbutton starting, 20-inch wheels, and adaptive cruise control. Rivals to the MKS included the Cadillac DTS, Lexus ES 350, and Volvo S80.

Yearly Updates

2010 MKS
A new engine option debuted for 2010. Available for all-wheel-drive MKS models, Ford’s new “EcoBoost” twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 made 355 horsepower. Both engines worked with a six-speed automatic transmission. Newly optional was a system designed to provide hands-free parallel parking-a feature first offered on Lexus’s top LS model.
2011 MKS
The 2011 Lincoln MKS is largely unchanged.
2012 MKS
Newly available on the Lincoln MKS for 2012 was blind-spot alert and cross-traffic alert, but there were no other changes.
2013 MKS
The 2013 MKS received a new look, revised suspension tuning, and additional safety and technology features, but its platform and engine choices were unchanged.
2014 MKS
The rearview camera, formerly available only in an option package, was made standard for the 2014 MKS. Otherwise, only paint colors changed.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All MKS sedans in 2009 had the same powertrain: a 3.7-liter V6 engine that generates 275 horsepower, mating with a six-speed automatic transmission and either front-drive or all-wheel drive. Engine output drops slightly, to 273 hp and 270 pound-feet, when using regular-grade gasoline. Ford made its new EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 available in 2010, generating 355 horsepower. An MKS may have front-drive or all-wheel drive.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/227
Engine HP 273-275
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270-276
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 355
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 350
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

Acceleration depends on engine choice. Base MKS models are adequately peppy from a stop and have decent reserves for highway passing. However, a rather heavy foot on the gas pedal is needed to extract the most from that engine. After a brief delay, the EcoBoost engine provides impressive thrust, with ample reserves for passing. Modest low-end torque from the base engine means the transmission must downshift often to summon extra power, and it’s sometimes tardy to do so. Selecting the transmission’s “SST” sport mode via the gearshift lever holds gears longer and helps the engine feel more spirited. The transmission is markedly better behaved in EcoBoost models.

Fuel economy scores best with the base engine. A front-drive MKS averaged 23.0 mpg in mostly highway use. AWD MKS models have averaged 18.1 to 20.5 mpg in more balanced driving. An EcoBoost MKS averaged just 16.9 mpg. Lincoln recommends premium-grade gasoline, but says the EcoBoost will run fine on regular-though performance is enhanced incrementally with premium.

The MKS ride is supple overall, with fine isolation from most road imperfections. Even so, the suspension seems firm enough to thump over bumps, yet at the same time is softly sprung-which allows moderate float and wallow on some road surfaces. Bumps register more acutely with the available 20-inch wheels.

Handling ranks as competent. Neither athletic nor fun to drive, an MKS is predictable and composed in most driving situations. Little body lean occurs in turns, and the brakes feel smooth and strong. The 20-inch wheels have little effect on handling.

Interior noise levels are slightly disappointing for a premium-class car. Some tire/suspension thumping is heard over pavement expansion strips at highway speeds. Sharper bumps result in noticeable body drumming. The base engine sounds coarse during fast acceleration, but is well-muffled otherwise.

Gauges are easy to see and read. The dash angles away from front-seat occupants, but the control buttons are easy to see and reach. Lincoln’s navigation system absorbs some audio functions, but is simple to program. The navigation unit also includes Sirius Travel Link-a handy feature that delivers real-time traffic information, local gas prices and movie listings, and sports scores through the navigation screen. One test MKS suffered numerous issues related to the Sync interactive control system; it failed to detect connected digital-media players and Bluetooth phone operation, and caused the entire audio system to crash. Rich-looking leather and soft-touch surfaces abound, and most switchgear works with precision. However, the upscale ambiance is compromised by some obvious hard plastic trim pieces.

Most adults will find plenty of headroom and legroom up front, on comfortable and supportive seats. The forward-sloping dashboard gives the front cabin an expansive, airy feel. The standard power tilt/telescopic steering wheel is a comfort plus. Overall visibility is compromised by thick roof pillars. Tall build and seat positioning make entry and exit easy.

Rear-seat headroom is ample, and legroom is good unless front seats are pushed far back. The available rear-seat sunroof, if installed, is a nice touch that doesn’t intrude much on headroom. Heated rear seats are a welcome standard feature.

Trunk space is expansive, but its usefulness is undercut by a short, shallow opening and intrusive sidewalls. Sadly, small-items storage is mediocre. Despite a huge glovebox door, the compartment itself is only average-sized.


Model Tested: 2010 Lincoln MKS w/AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 6

Total: 60


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.9 204.1 75.9 61.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.7 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.7 38.5 41.9 38.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 MKS (Note: Early ’09 had 4-star driver front-impact rating) 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioner discharge temperature may vary due to a faulty evaporator temperature sensor. (2009)
Brake noise
Description: The rear brakes may drag or make noise due to corrosion on the caliper bracket. (2010)
Description: Rear brakes may drag because of corrosion build up between brake pad and bracket. (2011-14)
Fuel odors
Description: Incorrectly installed fuel vapor line can cause various problems including fuel odor, gas tank slow to fill, or hesitation while driving. (2013)
Oil consumption and exhaust smoke
Description: Vehicles equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with aluminum valve covers may have excessive oil consumption and exhaust smoke under normal operating conditions. (2010-14)
Oil leak
Description: Oil can collect in baffle under left-side valve cover, enter PCV system, and eventually get inside the fresh air intake. (2013)
Steering problems
Description: Power steering fluid may leak in very cold (near zero) weather where the low pressure tube joins the pump. (2010)
Transmission leak
Description: Leak in valve body can cause slippage or clutch damage. (2013)
Description: Various noises may come from the front wheels, particularly the outer wheel when turning, requiring the strut bumper and dust boot be lubricated with silicone grease. (2009)
Entertainment problems
Description: There may be excessive background noise on phone calls, poor voice recognition, failed USB port, or USB not working on non-Apple devices or with the SYNC system. Revising the module software and replacing the microphone is required. (2009-10)

Recall History

2011-13 MKS
Description: Certain 2011 thorough 2013 Lincoln MKS vehicles may lose power steering assist because of a sensor fault.
2011-13 MKS
Description: Certain 2011 though 2013 model Lincoln MKS vehicles made between June 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011 may have an interior door handle return spring that can unseat and prevent the door handle from returning to its stowed position.
2012 MKS
Description: Marginally sealed seam in the fuel tank could weaken and rupture in the event of an impact or, in regular driving conditions, develop a leak.
2013 MKS
Description: Certain 2013 Model Lincoln MKS vehicles may develop a crack and fuel leak in the fuel delivery module.
2013 MKS
Description: Certain 2013 model Lincoln MKS vehicles made between November 29, 2012 and December 12, 2012 may have child safety locks on the rear door with switches that can deactivate the feature without notice.
2013-14 MKS
Description: Certain 2013 and 2014 model Lincoln MKS vehicles may have a halfshaft retention clip that was not properly installed. As a result, the halfshaft can become disengaged while driving.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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