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USED WHEELS: 2010+ Lincoln MKT, luxury you'd expect, versatility you may not

The 2010 Lincoln MKT.
The 2010 Lincoln MKT. - Justin Pritchard

Model: 2010+ Lincoln MKT

Vehicle type: Crossover

History/description: The Lincoln MKT arrived for model year 2010 with seven seats and a unique and much-debated look.

This big crossover was geared toward a luxury-minded buyer after three seating rows with room galore, strong overall value and many modern luxury and tech features.

The lengthy MKT boasts adult-friendly seating at each row and comfortable ride quality characteristic of a long-wheelbase vehicle. Features included a THX stereo, window blinds, a built-in mini-fridge, a dual-pane moonroof, navigation, Bluetooth, climate-controlled seats, and more.

Look for all-wheel drive and standard V6 power from either a naturally-aspirated unit with about 270 horsepower, or a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which bumped power output into the mid-300s.

What owners like: Owner likes include good build quality, plenty of space, great feature content and lots of power from the EcoBoost engine. This machine appears to be an expert long-haul highway cruiser that does double duty as a rolling social lounge.

What owners dislike: Common gripes include poor rearward visibility, not-for-everyone looks and heavy-at-times fuel consumption.

The test drive: The transmission should gear up and down smoothly at light, moderate and full throttle, with minimal detectable ‘shock’ through the vehicle driveline.

If the transmission seems rough or clumsy, a software update to the transmission’s computer brain, and/or a transmission fluid change, are common fixes.

If issues are noted, have a mechanic assess the MKT’s transmission, as rough shifting can also be caused by pricier internal problems with the transmission’s components.

A mechanic should also inspect the MKT’s power take-off unit (PTU) for a not-uncommon fluid leak. Plenty of owners have reported this leak from the AWD system’s heart, usually at lower miles. The most likely culprit is a leaky seal, or overfilling of the PTU fluid during servicing. Running this expensive piece of drivetrain hardware while low on fluid can cause expensive damage, so be sure to have it inspected.

Serious issues related to the MKT’s 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine are reported sporadically, and in your writer’s opinion, with insufficient frequency to cause much alarm.

Still, with some reports including bad variable cam timing system sensors and solenoids causing problems, shoppers are advised to have the engine computer scanned for any stored trouble codes, to ensure no check engine lights are illuminated, and to confirm a smooth, steady idle is present.

Note that a check engine light won’t necessarily illuminate for every engine issue, and that a computer scan is the best defence against potentially-hidden issues with the powertrain.

Of course, a model treated to regular oil and coolant changes is likely to last longer and be more reliable than one that hasn’t.

If you’ll opt for a model with the 3.7-litre non-turbo engine, a professional check of the water pump and cooling system is advised.

If any leaks, or signs of issues with the water-pump are detected, be sure to get a repair quote and call it into your pricing negotiations. In other applications, water pump replacement on this engine can be very pricey.

Triple-check that the roof panels on the optional panoramic sunroof open and close as outlined in the owner’s manual and inspect interior foot-well carpeting and the ceiling fabric for signs of moisture or mold that may indicate a leak.

If one is present the likely culprit is plugged drain tubes which can typically be cleaned via a blast of compressed air or a piece of weed whacker wire.

Confirm proper operation of the memory and climate-controlled seat functions, the power liftgate, the climate control system in each seating row, any rear-seat entertainment provisions installed.

If the SYNC communication system in the MKT you’re considering is lagging or freezing up, a hard reset or software update may fix the issues. If not, a (pricey) new head-unit may be required.

A professional check of all suspension components and wheel bearings should be completed as well.

This is even more important if shoppers hear any unwelcome banging or clunking sounds on a test-drive.

The verdict: For maximum peace of mind have the used MKT you’re considering treated to a pre-purchase inspection of all major mechanical and electronic components at a Ford/Lincoln service centre before you buy.

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