2018 Lincoln MKT -In Depth Review

Looks can deceive but such is not the case with 2018 Lincoln MKT as it looks bland and you will definitely not buy it for its looks. Its antiquated overall design holds it back from being a top luxury crossover, and, we know the reason. The MKT shares its chassis and engine with the Ford Flex. Both these SUVs have been in the market for more than seven years but there has been no significant change in their design.

Forget the appearance part and the MKT impresses with seating for seven, plenty of cargo space and a smooth ride making it a great passenger hauler. Lincoln has offered two trims and two powerful V-6 engines to choose from. The base Premium is mated to a 3.7-liter V-6 while the Reserve gets a more powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

The Lincoln has its share of flaws as well. It gets poor mileage, outdated interior and maneuvering this large mass is also a difficulty in tight places. So, if you are in the market shopping for a three-row luxury SUV then you would even be happier with any of MKTs rivals. Prices for this Lincoln luxury start at $43,530 for the base and $49,025 for the top trim Reserve.

What we like

  • Spacious first and second row
  • Comfortable seats
  • A Powerful Turbocharged V-6 engine provides strong acceleration

What we don’t like

  • Fuel guzzler
  • Bland styling
  • Average cargo space
  • Tight rear headroom
  • Many safety features are optional

What’s New with 2018 Lincoln MKT

There have been no major changes in the 2018 Lincoln MKT mechanically. However, the trims have been renamed Premiere and Reserve replaces the base MKT and EcoBoost.

2018 Lincoln MKT Trim Level and Features

The 2018 Lincoln MKT is a full-size luxury SUV with three-row seating. There is not much to choose from as Lincoln has offered only two trim options. The base Premier does not have much to offer beyond some standard features. You get many of the high-end features only in the Reserve trim which is priced $5,500 above the base. The MKT can accommodate seven but optional second-row captains chairs reduce the capacity to six.

Both the trims come with separate engine options. The base Premier trim gets 3.7-liter V-6 while the Reserve trim gets a turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on both the trims.

Trims Premier Reserve
MSRP $43,530 $49,025
Features 3.7L Ti-VCT Engine


Leather Seating, First- & Second-rows

Remote Start System

3.5L Twin-Turbocharged V6 Engine

MKT Elite Equipment Group

Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (AWD)

Adaptive Suspension

Confused? We will help you find the best trim

There are only two trims to choose between and we already know that the base Premier trim has not much to offer. That leaves us with only one option the Reserve trim, however a fully loaded Reserve will cost you $13,000 extra over Premier. But if you are looking at the Lincoln MKT this is the trim to go as it offers a zesty turbocharged V-6 which accelerates quickly while hauling passengers or towing. It also comes with adaptive suspension and standard all-wheel drive. This leaves us with the Reserve’s optional packages as they add most of the MKT’s advanced driver safety aid and it is up to you whether you want them equipped or not. We would say get these too.

2018 Lincoln MKT Power and Performance

The base MKT is mated to a 303-horsepower V-6 engine which has ample power for daily commute and to satisfy most drivers. You get more power out of the Reserve trim as it comes with a turbocharged 365-horsepower V-6. It accelerates quick and you will feel the power difference when you hit the pedal. Mileage is subpar when compared to rivals and there is noticeable body roll around turns.

Engine and Transmission

In the two engine options you get a 3.7-liter V-6 engine which is standard on the base trim. It churns out 303- horsepower and 278-pound-feet of torque and comes mated to front-wheel drive only. A 3.5-liter V-6 engine standard on Reserve trim gets you 365-horsepower and 350-pound-feet of torque and comes with all-wheel drive. Both the engines use a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly despite being a couple of gears down as compared to rivals.

2018 Lincoln MKT
2018 Lincoln MKT | Engine
Models Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX (Standard) Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
MSRP $43,530 $44,200 $43,270 $46,900
Engine 3.7-liter Ti-VCT

24-valve V6 engine

3.5L 24V SOHC i-VTEC V6 engine 3.5L V6 DOHC 24V VVT engine 2.0L DOHC inline 4


Transmission 6-speed automatic 9-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Power 303 hp 290 hp 295 hp 250 hp
Torque 279 lb-ft. 267 lb-ft. 267 lb-ft. 258 lb-ft.


The 2018 Lincoln MKT rides well and the turbocharges V-6 engine furnishes impressive acceleration. This engine impresses you even during strenuous task like climbing hills or merging into traffic on the highway. The MKT makes a sprint to 60mph in 7.6 seconds which is good considering its size and what rivals make. It is also the fastest when it comes to covering a quarter mile as it takes only 14.5 seconds to cover the distance.

Models Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
0-60 MPH 6.3 sec 6.2 sec 6.8 sec 6.4 sec
Quarter mile 14.5 sec @ 97 mph 14.7 sec @ 94.6 mph 15.1 sec @ 92.7 mph 15.5 sec @ 86.1 mph
Engine 3.7L 3.5L 3.5L 2.0L

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

9.2 8.0 7.7 7.0

Braking and Handling

The base 2018 Lincoln MKT comes standard with front-wheel drive and delivers a cushioned ride but it is not suitable for winding roads and there is noticeable body roll around turns. The MKT Reserve however with all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension hugs the road well and also minimizes the body roll while cornering. There are three driving modes-Sport, Comfort and Normal but there is not much difference between them. Brakes are strong and there is not much nose dive while hard braking.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Brake Front(in) 13.9 12.6 13.3 13.2
Brake Rear(in) 13.6 13.0 12.9 12.1
Curb weight(lbs) 4702 4001 4222 4394
60-0 MPH (ft.) N/A 121 123 124

Fuel Economy

The 2018 Lincoln MKT is a fuel guzzler as compared to rivals. The base 3.7-liter V-6 engine returns 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. The turbocharged V-6 engine brings these number further down as it checks in with 15/21/17 mpg. Both the MKTs run on regular unleaded gasoline.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
MPG (city) 16 19 20 22
MPG (highway) 24 27 27 29
MPG (combined) 19 22 23 25

Towing Capacity

The 2018 Lincoln MKT might not come to your mind as a towing vehicle but it does have a good towing capacity. When properly equipped it can haul up to 4,500-pounds which is enough to pull a small boat or jet skis. These numbers are impressive as compared to rivals like Acura MDX or even the Volvo XC90.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Weight (lbs) 4500 3500 3500 4000
Engine 3.7L 3.5L 3.5L 2.0L

2018 Lincoln MKT Exterior

The MKT is definitely not the best-looking SUV available in the market in fact it looks ugly. You are definitely not going to buy this SUV for its looks as there are better options available n the market. The 2018 Lincoln MKT shares its chassis and engines with the Ford Flex, a boxy crossover that has aged over decades. Both the SUVs share some exterior cues while the long nose and lumpy body of the MKT do it no favor and only makes it look bland. The MKT is definitely in urgent need of a makeover.

2018 Lincoln MKT |
2018 Lincoln MKT | Exterior

Dimension and Weight

Lincoln MKT is not only the longest it is also the heaviest in the class with a curb weight of 4702-pounds, therefore making it tough to maneuver in a tight spot. It even beats the likes of GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition in terms of length. MKTs ground clearance is good as compared to the Acura MDX and Lexus RX 350 however the Volvo gets 1.4-inch extra.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Curb weight(lbs) 4702 4001 4222 4394
Length(in) 207.6 196.2 192.5 194.9
Width(in) 76.0 77.8 74.6 79.1
Height(in) 67.4 67.4 67.7 69.9
Ground clearance(in) 8.0 5.6 8.2 9.4
Wheelbase(in) 117.9 111 109.8 117.5
Track width(in) F/R 65.4/65.3 66.3/66.3 64.4/64 65.7/65.8


The 2018 Lincoln MKT comes with two-wheel options. A 19-inch painted aluminum wheel is standard on both the trims. However, the Reserve trim can be equipped with the optional 20-inch polished aluminum wheel for $1,350. Smaller the wheel size smoother the ride, so go with the 19-inch wheel instead of the 20-inch which would only escalate the price.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Size F/R (in.) 19*8/19*8 18*8/18*8 18*8/18*8 18*8/18*8
Quality Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminium
Wheel type Alloy Alloy Alloy Alloy

2018 Lincoln MKT Interior

The 2018 Lincoln MKT justifies its luxury badging with a plush and comfortable cabin. However, the interior feels a bit antiquated as the MKT has not been re-designed since it debuted eight years ago. Seats are comfortable but the third row is cramped and best suited for kids. Cargo space is average for the class and the SYNC 3 infotainment system is easy to use.

“The MKT’s interior design does little to inspire or impress. The materials quality is fine, but the all-black dash and dated, commonplace look of the center control layout are far from luxurious.” Edmunds

Interior Seating and Comfort

2018 Lincoln MKT | Interior
2018 Lincoln MKT | Interior

The MKT seats seven in the base configuration, which consists a second-row bench seat. Second-row heated and ventilated captain’s chair is available, but they drop the seating capacity to six. The front seats have plenty of leg room and space and the same can be said about the second-row as well. Available captain’s chair in the second-row also adds to the comfort. The third-row is not as roomy as the first two but it can easily accommodate kids and smaller adults. Seating features include:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Power adjustable front seats
  • Ventilated front seats (Optional)
  • Heated steering wheel (Optional)
Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Passenger capacity 7 7 5 7
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 142.3 132.7 121.36 103.8
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)



40.1/58.6/41.3 38.1/61.1/41.4 39.4/57.8/44.1 38.9/57.7/40.9
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)



39/58.1/41.8 38.3/59.1/38.5 39.1/57.6/38 38.5/56.5/37
Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg)



33.5/49.1/33 35.6/54.7/28.1 N/A 36.3/46.9/31.9


The SYNC 3 infotainment system with a large touchscreen is easy to use and well within reach of the driver. The screen feels responsive while smartphone integration like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is available. Infotainment features include:

  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Satellite radio
  • Two USB ports
  • Voice recognition
  • Rear-seat entertainment (Optional)
  • Navigation (Optional)
  • 14-speaker audio system (Optional)
2018 Lincoln MKT | Seating
2018 Lincoln MKT | Seating

“Lincoln’s MKT for 2017 may be stylistically awkward on the outside, but its interior is to die for. Handsome seats and door panels complement an easy-to-operate dash and control layout.” Kelley Blue Book

Cargo Space

Considering its size, the 2018 Lincoln MKT should have had more cargo capacity than what it offers. Its 207.6-inches of length is more than that of GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition and they offer far better cargo capacity than the MKT. Regardless, the MKT gets you 17.9 cubic-feet of cargo space with all seats up, 39.6 cubic feet with the third-row folded and 75.9 cubic feet with second and third row folded. A power liftgate is standard, and a power folding third-row is available.

Model Lincoln MKT (Premier) Acura MDX Standard Lexus RX 350 Volvo XC90 Momentum (T5 FWD)
Behind 3nd Row(ft.cube) 17.9 14.9 18.4 15.8
With 3nd  row folded (ft.cube) 39.6 38.4 18.4 41.8
With All  Seats folded (ft.cube) 75.9 68.4 56.3 85.7


Safety and Reliability

The IIHS has banged a few MKTs into the wall and found good results. However, it received a marginal rating for the headlight and latch. The NHSTA, meanwhile, has not crash tested the MKT completely. In terms of reliability Lincoln has covered the MKT with a 3-year/ 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

NHSTA Rating

Overall rating N/A
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating N/A
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver N/A
Overall Side Crash Rating Passenger N/A
Side Barrier Rating N/A
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat N/A
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat N/A
Rollover Rating 4 star
Side Barrier Rating Driver N/A
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger N/A
Combined Side Rating Front Seat N/A
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat N/A

IIHS Rating


Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

Crash avoidance and mitigation

Frontal crash prevention Basic
Headlights Marginal
LATCH Marginal


Safety features

Lincoln has equipped all the MKTs with six airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes and a rearview camera. There is an optional package available that includes:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Assisted Pre-collision braking
  • Lane keep assist
Advanced Air Bag System (AABS)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Daytime Running Lamps
10 airbags
Passenger Sensing System
Rear Vision Camera
3-point rear outboard safety belts
LATCH System
Rear child security door locks

2018 Lincoln MKT Competition Check

2018 Lincoln MKT Vs Acura MDX

The Acura MDX and the Lincoln MKT both features a V-6 engine but the MDX accelerates better and is also more fuel efficient. The Acura also offers a smooth ride and feels agiler while cornering. Inside, the MDX doesn’t match the material quality of the MKT but Acura’s cabin feels more modern. There are many driver’s assistance features that come standard in the Acura MDX, yet the pricing of both these SUVs are similar. The Acura however loses a point as it does not have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which comes standard in the MKT.

2018 Lincoln MKT Vs Lexus RX 350

The Lexus RX 350 boasts a stylish interior and rich material quality. It also has a long list of standard features including active safety techs that are optional or absent in the MKT. Both the SUVs have powerful engines; however, Lexus offers better mileage and stable handling. There is some area where the MKT scores ahead of the RX. It comes with seating for seven and offers more cargo space than the Lexus. Regardless, the RX 350 is an excellent SUV and it even has a lower starting price.

2018 Lincoln MKT Vs Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 has an underpowered engine and stiff ride as compared to the Lincoln MKT. The cabin and material quality are at par in both the SUVs, however, the MKT boasts a roomier interior with more legroom in all the three rows. The Volvo score when it comes to cargo capacity and mileage. For a better value stick with the XC90 as it also offers an impressive list of safety features that come standard unlike the MKT. The Volvo is priced $3,300 above the Lincoln but it justifies its value.

2018 Lincoln MKT Final Verdict

The 2018 Lincoln is a good SUV, but it fails to match the rivals on more than one aspect. Many class rivals offer better mileage, performance and a nicer interior on the similar price tag. It has also not been redesigned in nearly a decade and the design both outside as well as inside looks antiquated. However, we have also got some better things also to say about the Lincoln MKT. It provides plenty of cargo space and smooth ride along with spacious first and second-row. The infotainment system is also easy-to-use. The MKT is definitely worth a buy but there are better players in the market.

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