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2006 Lincoln Mark LT reviews

April 9, 2006 10:29 PM EST | Lincoln , Trucks/Pickups | Email to Friend | Comments (0)

View large imageThe Lincoln Mark LT is essentially a dressed-up Ford F-150. It's fine for those who want a truck with a different look. Otherwise, go with the F-150 King Ranch and save some cash.

Pros
Looks upscale, roomy interior, smooth power delivery and ride quality.

Cons
Too similar to a comparably equipped Ford F-150, missing important luxury and safety features, V8 lacks low-end grunt.

What's New for 2006
The Mark LT is a new luxury truck from Lincoln. It's based on the Ford F-150 but adds small, mostly cosmetic, upgrades like a chrome Lincoln grille, rear taillight reflectors and Lincoln badging.

Introduction:
The Lincoln Mark LT is actually Lincoln's second attempt at building a luxury pickup. Despite a few unique and interesting features, the 2002 Lincoln Blackwood was panned for being a strange combination of overpriced and impractical. Moreover, many of us felt the Blackwood's cabin did not live up to its luxurious nameplate. For the 2006 model year, Lincoln is trying again with the more practical and stylish Mark LT. Like the Blackwood, the Mark LT is essentially a Ford F-150 but with some unique exterior styling cues. The Mark LT's interior is clean and contemporary-looking thanks mostly the redesigned F-150 that gives it such a great starting point. Power comes from the same 300-hp, 5.4-liter V8 that's available in the F-150, and that means the Lincoln is just as capable in terms of hauling and towing. The Mark LT offers a smooth ride and can be ordered with such options as a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system, a premium audio system, power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors and a power moonroof. Unfortunately, features such as power-folding side mirrors, satellite radio, a navigation system and an emergency communications system are not available. We feel that as a competitor to luxury trucks like Cadillac's Escalade EXT, the Mark LT falls short in terms of features, comfort and options. However, Lincoln's new luxury model does deliver in one crucial area: price. A base Lincoln Mark LT is significantly less expensive than the cheapest Escalade. Those shoppers wanting something a bit different from a commonplace F-150 should come away from the Lincoln dealership satisfied.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The Lincoln Mark LT is available only as a crew-cab pickup with a 5.5-foot bed. Based on the Ford F-150, it differs mainly in its cosmetic upgrades. There is only one trim level available. Standard features include leather seating, wood trim, heated front seats, keyless entry and a premium audio system with an in-dash, MP3-compatible CD changer. Options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a power-operated rear window, power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, chromed 18-inch wheels, chromed bed-rail caps and running boards. The Mark LT also benefits from Lincoln's longer basic warranty, 4 years and 50,000 miles, compared to the F-150's basic 3-year/36,000-mile program.

Powertrains and Performance:
All Mark LTs come with a 5.4-liter, 300-hp V8. That engine has 24 valves and features variable valve timing. It makes 365 lb-ft of torque at 3,750 rpm. Two- and four-wheel-drive variants are available, and all Lincoln Mark LT pickups have a four speed automatic transmission. The Mark LT gets from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 17.3 seconds. Properly equipped, a two-wheel-drive Mark LT can tow 8,900 pounds.

Safety:
Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. There are also turn indicators housed in the exterior mirrors and three-point seatbelts for all seating positions. Unfortunately, you can't get side airbags or stability control. Crash tests have not been performed on the Lincoln Mark LT, but its F-150 sibling earned perfect marks in government tests and "Best Pick" status from the IIHS.

Interior Design and Special Features:
The Mark LT's roomy interior seats five. Although luxurious, it is not substantially different than an F-150 King Ranch. The seats are comfortable and come with contrasting colored piping similar to the style of the Land Rover Range Rover. The gauges are chrome-trimmed and incorporate the Lincoln logo. To lend an upscale look to the cabin, Lincoln designers dressed up the dash with faux wood trim and leather. The leather trim on the dash, steering wheel and shifter is especially nice as the exposed stitching adds an extra element of luxury.

Driving Impressions:
On the road, Lincoln's pickup feels almost exactly like an F-150, which is a good thing. The 5.4-liter V8 lacks the low-end grunt of competitors' V8s but almost makes up for that deficiency with its smooth, quiet power delivery. Suspension tuning is softer than the F-150's, resulting in a smooth and comfortable highway ride. Handling is not as nimble as the Ford's, however. Brake pedal feel is only so-so, but the Mark LT stops short for a 5,600-pound vehicle.

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