"I'm sorry sir, but we don't carry the Grand Marquis anymore. The new Taurus however is completely redesigned and you'll find it an acceptable replacement."
I would never own a panther based Ford, but it was a guilty pleasure of mine to drive whenever I rented a car. I was really disappointed that they got rid of them.
"Actually, we have a Lincoln MKT, it's a bit bigger but you'll love it none the less."
Holy crap she was right.
I didn't think that way at the time though, I reluctantly took the keys and trudged through the lot to the SUVs and found my piano black MKT. The first thing that grabbed me was that the styling was actually very pleasing to the eyes in the flesh. It reminded me of the Panamera, I thought it was extremely ugly and then I saw one, sat in it, drove it and eventually bought one for my dad. This evoked the same feelings and that was a good thing.
I popped the trunk, and herein lies my one gripe with the styling, the slanted tailgate. Not that its extremely ugly or anything, but it is such a steep angle that it cuts a lot of space. The trunk is really big despite it, but if it was a bit more angled like the flex I bet you could fit 6 full size suitcases back there.
So I grumbled as I put my bags in and walked to the front seat. Once I sat down though, I forgot all about that. I've sat in everything from the Hindustan Ambassador to a Rolls Royce Phantom and this was the first car to absolutely steal my breath. It isn't the best interior in the world, its damn good but obviously many 6 figure cars outclass it, but it was so much better than the comparable German SUV offerings that I was astonished.
The seats are supple, and have plenty of support. The buttons are soft to the touch and most are touch based. The dash is a pleasing mix of chrome accents and soft LEDs and is adaptable to give the right information at the right time. SYNC is probably the best navigation module on the market right now. I've long been a defendant of the BMW iDrive system but I see the light now, this just makes sense. The premium sound was loud, crisp and aurally pleasing. Oh, did I mention it was loud?
I don't really care about gas mileage, if I did I wouldn't own two older German V8 super saloons,but the MKT gets 20+ mpg and that's more than enough for me. The Ecoboost engine though is fantastic. It's weird to think that just ten years ago 365 hp was considered an obscene amount of power, because driving this car makes me wonder how I got about without it. I thought the X5 with the V8 was quick, but on the highway or in the city this just feels so much more limber.
Anyways, I took the rental MKT to my parents place during my little northeast business trip and showed it to my mother. She has an aging (07) X5 and loved the fact that the MKT had everything the X5 did, and didn't have the huge ride height that most SUVs do. And that got me thinking, why do we need that ground clearance? I will be absolutely upfront, this car probably will never go off road and the X5 it replaced (yes, i bought this for my mom) never went off road either. It's just as good in the snow with the "super sedan" ride height and it makes loading and unloading everything so much easier. It vindicates my decision to own an Audi wagon because people think I'm weird for owning one until they start using a wagon themselves.
I took her with me for a trip to Lee and on the way we were talking about getting her a new car and I casually asked her about this one. My mom and I are similar in not caring about badges so long as the product is good, so she agreed but wanted to see the Ford (Flex) version first. She didn't like the retro look of the Flex so a few days later we were picking out a brand new MKT and two months on she tells me almost everyday how much she loves it. She had nothing but complaints for the BMW, and I realized it was because we told her the X5 was the right car for her instead of letting her tell us what she wanted. Now she has exactly what she wants, and its something different which is always a good thing. Oh, and it has a tobacco brown interior so that's something too.
I know people don't buy Lincolns much anymore, I wouldn't have thought to either. But if people just gave them a chance, they'd see just how nice they are. The styling is polarizing yes, but it's just different enough and just bold enough to get my approval. And after all, isn't being different what being a Jalop all about?