2010 Lincoln MKT

2010 Lincoln MKT

Episode 2918
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The new management at Ford has pledged to rebuild Lincoln to its former glory as a top-flight luxury brand.  Given how far down Lincoln’s status has fallen, that will be no small feat.  But, Lincoln is making progress.  On the heels of the well received MKS sedan comes this MKT, their first full size crossover utility.  So, let’s see if the MKT is indeed another step in the right direction.

The three-row 2010 Lincoln MKT takes its showroom place one slot above the midsize, two-row MKX crossover. First seen as a concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the MKT is a decidedly luxurious people-mover that still targets common family concerns. But, being an upscale CUV, it also boasts a lot of technology.

Sharing a platform with the capable Ford Flex, the MKT is the first ground-up vehicle using Lincoln’s latest design language. Still, at first glance, the MKT takes on a lumbering and overstated appearance, with its overdone reincarnation of the classic Lincoln Zephyr grille. Adaptive HID headlights are standard. The look is much improved in profile with far more flow and show than the boxy Flex. Well-sculpted body surfaces and large 19 or 20-inch wheels give the MKT a truly premium image. Likewise, the brawny rear end with roof spoiler, jewel-like taillights, and dual chrome exhausts.

Securicode keyless entry opens a modern and inviting cabin that seats six or seven. Handsome wood trim and upscale amenities abound. Gauges and controls are smart, sophisticated, but more intuitive than import rivals. Deeply padded, leather-trimmed 12-way power front seating includes heating, cooling, and driver’s side memory. Optional is adaptive cruise with collision warning, and Active Park Assist. Rather than radar, it uses ultrasonic sensors to allow hands-free parallel parking. It’s the easiest to use self-park system yet.

Atop the broad center stack is an eight-inch touch screen that displays audio and tri-zone climate controls, as well as standard back-up camera image. The optional nav system has real time traffic, weather, and local gasoline pricing. A 10-speaker hard drive audio system is standard, as is voice-prompted Ford SYNC with new 911 Assist.

Like Flex, the second row has limo-like legroom. Standard is a three-passenger split bench, with a pair of fold-and-tumble heated and cooled bucket seats optional. They allow for an available rear console-mounted refrigerator. The two-person, split-third row bench is tight for adults, but is ideal for children. Raise the standard power liftgate for plenty of cargo room: 39.6 cubic feet behind the second row, and 75.9 cubic feet with all seats down.

Raise the MKT’s hood for a choice of two engines. Standard is Ford’s familiar 3.7-liter V6, with 268 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Our MKT housed Ford’s new 3.5-liter Ecoboost twin-turbo direct-injected V6. It yields a V8-like 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. A front-drive six-speed automatic with manual mode is standard. EcoBoost adds all-wheel drive.

Even with V8 power, Ecoboost also claims V6 fuel economy. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16 city/22 highway. Unfortunately, our test loop of 18.7 miles per gallon of regular is the best we could do. Our MKT’s Energy Impact Score is a pretty high at 19 barrels of oil consumed per year, with a Carbon Footprint that measures 10.2 annual tons of C02. The EcoBoost really showed its stuff at the track: 0 to 60 in only 6.1 seconds—that’s three seconds faster than a Buick Enclave—and the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 97 miles per hour.

We were further blown away by the MKT’s ability to handle its two-and-a-half-ton weight in corners.  Armed with electronic stability, traction, and roll control, it doesn’t feel nearly so massive in the midst of a slalom exercise.  Yes, there is still some body roll, but it’s less than most vehicles this size. Stopping power comes from four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist. Halts averaged a reasonable 130 feet from 60 to 0. On everyday roads, the MKT provides the comfort and quiet necessary for carting the family around town or away on long road trips.

MKT prices range from $44,995 in front-wheel drive, to $49,995 for all-wheel drive EcoBoost. The 2010 Lincoln MKT is indeed another step in the right direction in restoring the luster of this fabled American luxury brand. The MKT may be Lincoln’s first full-size crossover, but it delivers like a veteran.


  • Engine: 3.5-Liter Ecoboost Twin-turbo Direct-injected V6
  • Horsepower: 355
  • Torque: 350 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 6.1 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7 Seconds @ 97 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 130 Feet
  • EPA: 16 MPG City/ 22 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 18.7 MPG
  • Energy Impact: 19.0 Barrels Oil/Yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 10.2 Tons/Yr
2023 Mazda3

2023 Mazda3

Still The Same Mazda3, Just A Bit Better

Episode 4304
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the fourth-gen Mazda3 arrived for 2019, it grew a little more stylish, a lot more upscale; and loads more practical too, adding all-wheel drive into the mix for the first time. How does it get better than that? Well, for ’23 the 3 adds an engine update that promises to deliver more power and better efficiency. Time to speak truth to this power.

The Mazda3 has always been a great compact car, big on both fun and value, and has earned numerous MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards over the years. This current-gen has been on the road for 4-years now, and it gets even better for 2023.

Starting with the powertrain, the base 2.0-liter I4 has been eliminated leaving just 2 versions of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo and non-turbo. Base versions get a 5-horsepower bump to 191-horsepower, along with updates for its cylinder deactivation system. The 2.5 Turbo fits standard all-wheel drive and outputs the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque as last year; provided you use Premium gas. Max ratings drop to 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. with Regular.

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A 6-speed manual transmission remains available in front-wheel drive 3s, but AWDs come exclusively with a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic. We found it well-sorted and seemingly always on the same page as us whether we were shuffling through back roads or sitting in traffic. There is a softer overall feel compared to Mazda3s of old, which you’ll appreciate when encountering harsh pavement, but it still feels plenty agile when called upon.

That softer feel certainly carries over inside, where it has gotten much quieter, and quite nicely finished, consistent with Mazda’s Audi-like premium intentions. All 3s get an 8.8-inch center display, and all of the fingerprints on our test car’s screen signifies most people assume it’s a touchscreen. It’s not, however, as inputs are made with a rotary controller on the console. It’s not the most intuitive system, but once you’re past the learning curve, it’s tolerable.

The rear seat room doesn’t have the roomy feel of the Subaru Impreza, but space is certainly more than adequate compared to the rest of the compact set. Rear cargo space for this hatchback rates a good 20.1 cubic-ft. with trunk space in the sedan coming in at 13.2 cubic-ft. So yes, the Mazda3 remains available in both sedan and hatchback, but we still prefer the 5-door hatch both for its practicality and for its sporty looks. Top Turbo Premium Plus gets gloss black aero treatments including a roof spoiler and front air dam.

At the test track, power from the 2.5-turbo felt more than adequate off the line, using all-wheel-drive grip to bite into the pavement and get up and go to 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. There was virtually no turbo lag, and the engine felt nicely refined with its power delivery. Transmission operation was equally as smooth and kept the power flowing quite effectively throughout the ¼-mile, which ended in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. We really appreciate a well-tuned 6-speed in this world of overactive 8 and 10 speed automatics.

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While there was definitely some understeer to manage in our handling course, the 3 turned in quickly and provided real, sporting feedback through our cone course. I-Activ AWD features G-Vectoring Control Plus, which uses both engine torque vectoring as well as selective braking to minimize body roll, and preserve the lively feel we’ve come to expect from Mazda. In panic braking runs, the pedal was soft, but that kept ABS pulsing to a minimum; and the results were great, as we averaged a very short 106-feet from 60, with minimal nose dive and stable, straight stops.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for an all-wheel drive Turbo are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; we averaged a good 28.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Obviously by eliminating the previous base engine, prices have taken a jump for ’23, but so has everything else. Still they remain more than reasonable. The base S now starts at $26,855, with the top Turbo Premium Plus at $37,815, with many options in between. And sedan prices are even more sensible, starting at $23,715.

Like most brands, Mazda seems to be going all-in on SUVs; as the 3 is the last family sedan and hatchback in their lineup. And it would be a real shame if that were to change. As the 2023 Mazda3, the hatchback in particular, is just about the perfect car, offering utility vehicles levels of practicality along with better than average luxury, plus handling performance that few crossovers can match. So, long live the Mazda3!


As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 227 | 250
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 106 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.4 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft. | 320 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
  • EPA: 23-City / 31-Highway / 26-Combined