• Dec 14th 2006 at 10:55AM
  • 33

Its first attempt at a luxury truck failed miserably with the Blackwood, but Lincoln is making a much better effort with the 2007 Lincoln Mark LT. Though outselling its only real competition, the Cadillac Escalade EXT, nearly 2 to 1 this year, the question of "why" still remains. Does Lincoln really need a rebadged F-150? Does it even warrant having a pickup truck in its lineup at all? Regardless of what anyone else thinks, Lincoln obviously believes that's the case, so here we are.

Lincoln Mark LTWhile Ford offers the "King Ranch " version of the F-150, it is targeted at the rancher (or rancher wannabe) who is looking for something a little more luxurious. The Mark LT is clearly aimed at the Polo Club crowd, hoping to wow them with that Lincoln chrome and glitter, while still offering all the utility of a real truck. One thing the Mark LT excels at is grabbing attention, as evidenced by the number of people who stopped us to ask what it was. Living in a rural area where trucks are king, onlookers were very impressed with its looks both inside and out, but enthusiasm waned slightly when they inquired about its price.

Exclusivity doesn't come cheap, and the base price for the 2007 Lincoln Mark LT 4x4 is $42,395 including $900 in destination and delivery charges. One of the truck's selling points is the availability of a traditional 6.5-foot bed -- an option not available on the Escalade EXT costing nearly $14,000 more (base price). The truck we drove included $6,545 worth of options, which elevated the total sticker price to $48,940. You can see a copy of the sticker after the jump for the complete options list, but this truck was almost fully loaded, lacking only the $1,295 rear entertainment system, bed extender and chrome bed rails.

Read complete review with pics after the jump!

Our first impression of the Mark LT was quite good. The black clearcoat paint provides an excellent backdrop for the signature chrome Lincoln grille, which is changed along with the headlights for '07 and unique to the Mark LT. The truck we drove had the Monochrome Appearance and Elite Packages, which adds a body-color grille surround, mirror caps, and bumpers on the outside. Furthering the luxury inside, these packages also add a power rear sliding window, chrome-plated running boards, Class IV trailer towing, power 1-touch open/close moonroof, reverse sensing system, the award winning corporate navigation system with an incredible sounding Audiophile AM/FM CD6 stereo and Sirius satellite radio. Unfortunately, all of the options in the world can't cover up the fact that this is still a dressed-up F-150.

Lincoln Mark LTAlthough better than most pickups, the Mark LT still just doesn't exactly exude luxury in the ride category. We're sure that some of the degradation in comfort comes from the 275/55R20 Pirelli Scorpion tires mounted to the optional 20-inch chrome aluminum wheels costing $1,495. Apparently adding the bling incurs costs that aren't just monetary. One benefit of the wheel/tire combination, though, is very predictable handling; it feels like the truck spent some development time on a road course dialing in the chassis dynamics. During a run through our favorite twisties, the Mark LT exhibited excellent turn-in with very little body roll in relatively high-speed maneuvers -- extremely unexpected in a luxo-truck with a live rear axle. The power rack-and-pinion steering features a 17.2:1 ratio and is very communicative, providing a reassuring experience behind the wheel. Still, it's a body-on-frame pickup truck and feels it every step of the way.

Lincoln Mark LT

Being a real truck under the snazzy threads does have its advantages, however. With the Class IV towing package, it can pull an 8,600 lb. trailer and haul 1,580 lbs. in the bed, which features a liner with the Lincoln logo in the headwall. Although it gives up a full 103 horsepower to the 6.2-liter V8 in the Cadillac, the Linc's 5.4-liter makes a respectable 300 horsepower and 365 lb/ft of torque, yet even with the 3.73 gear isn't built for drag racing. The four-speed automatic transmission is a couple of cogs short of the EXT's six-speed, and the fuel economy appears to suffer because of it. Fortunately, it doesn't require premium fuel, but at an as tested 12.3 mpg (according to the trip computer in the truck) it drank regular unleaded at a rate akin to beer consumption on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. For the record, the EPA rates the Mark LT at 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

Lincoln Mark LTA clear departure from standard F-150 fare can be found when you climb into LT's cab, which is unmistakably Lincoln. The branding folks make sure you don't forget by affixing Lincoln badges to the seatbacks and center armrest while spelling out L-I-N-C-O-L-N in bold chrome letters on the ashtray door. The seats are covered in black leather with contrasting gray piping, but we were very surprised to find manual seat-back adjusters and lumbar controls given the Lincoln's lofty price range. That aside, the seats were comfortable, easily adjustable, and offered greater lateral support than any Ford truck short of the now-defunct SVT F-150 Lightning. Contrast-stitched leather covers the center armrest and instrument cluster hood, and while that's all very nice, the interior materials are still lacking at this price point. This is one area where the Cadillac EXT is superior. The Lincoln's simulated-wood inserts, dashboard and door panel materials are too hard and look/feel too much like cheap plastic yearning for some tactile improvements. The interior quality you find in a $35K Audi is remarkably better than this.

Lincoln Mark LT

After a week behind the wheel, we came away relatively impressed with the overall driving experience provided by the 2007 Lincoln Mark LT. It's arguably pleasing to look at (we think), is comfortable to drive, and reveals a surprisingly sporty side when pushed a bit. The near-$50K price is an issue, but it appears that Ford has done exactly what it set out to do with the Mark LT: give truck buyers a luxury alternative to the everyday pickup truck without resorting to the rather ostentatious and pricey extremes of the Cadillac Escalade EXT.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      - I bet the profit margin on this truck is HUGE -

      I've read that the Mark LT has margins in excess of $10k/truck. Not bad for a dressed-up F-150.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Regarding the Mark LT's head room, and the general misconception that "tall guys need a truck" to fit behind the wheel:

      Among the dozens of vehicles with more head room than the Mark LT (40.1 in) are the Honda Accord (40.4), Nissan Altima (40.8), and Subaru Outback (40.5). All of these also have more front legroom than the Mark LT--three inches more, in the Outback's case.

      Of course, we're all entitled to buy and drive whatever we want. I just tire of the "I'm a big guy, I need a big truck" schtick when trying to rationalize one's truck purchase, as ladder-frame platforms are inherently less space-efficient than unit bodies. In my experience, people buy these because they *want* to feel like a "big guy," not because they're too large for other vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lincoln sucks now. The brand has turned into an poor attempt to chrome up Fords and then charge more. At least the Cadillac is different enough from it's other GMT900 sibling, the Avalanche to justify a price increase. If Cadillac lowered the EXT price, no doubt it would beat this baby like it did with the last model. This truck is a joke. The only reason why it's so cheap is because it's just a higher trim level of the F-150 and has nothing that would make people consider it Luxury that isn't already offered in the F-150 with the exception of a NAV screen and darker colors. OOOOH!!! NAV screen in a truck??? It must be luxury now. I better go pop a nav screen in a Focus and get someone to trade their G35 for it because it's soooo luxurious.
      Stop the rebadging Ford. You're becoming worse then GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This truck has the right idea, but just needs the mechanicals to back it up. A four cam 5.4, also available with an optional blower (Shelby GT500 anyone?), a six speed autobox, and a fully independant rear end from the Navigator. With the right mechanicals this truck would bury the Escy. Come on Ford, give the truck some balls!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Careful with the sales comparisons saying the Lincoln LT outsells the Cadillac EXT by "2 to 1". That's only the case through this year because it was a transitional year, down with production of the old EXT starting late in 2005 and a gradual build-up of production of the new EXT which didn't begin until about May of 2006. Looking at the month of November alone, Lincoln sold 930 LTs and Cadillac sold 830 EXTs and is gaining fast!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Ford F-150 is a fine truck. No doubt about it. Maybe even the best in its class.

      My comments (#4) about Ford badge engineering stand. Ford is a business, and like most businesses, the idea is to make money.

      Making a Lincoln version of the F-150 may have filled a niche and added to the corporate coffers, but it does nothing to enhance Lincoln in the long-term (brand image, residuals, etc).
      • 8 Years Ago
      #5. If Bentley lowered the price of the Continental GT by $100K, I might buy one.

      Why do so many posters here feel they must make disparaging remarks about every topic?

      Let's have a reality check here. This isn't your fantasy baseball league. This is a business, and one that's trying to survive. Lincoln's sales goal for the Mark LT was a modest 10K units a year. They exceeded their goal with this truck in 2006. There's probably $10G profit for Ford/Lincoln in each one of these. Anything that adds to their bottom line right now is a good thing.

      Next, there are considerable discounts on this truck. In the end, the price difference between the Mark LT and the F-150 is not as great as it appears on paper.

      My son has an 06 Mark LT. He is neither old nor rich, but is 6'5" and large all over. This is the first vehicle he's ever owned that he can sit up straight in and has sufficient elbow room and leg room as well.

      Lastly, the wood trim in the Mark LT is genuine ebony.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I test drove an '07 Mark LT, and it's as Borat would say: "Very Nice". The saleman told me when this truck first came out, Ford was leasing them for $200!! a month. Yes, that is two-hundred dollars a month. They wanted to get them out on the street. What a deal!

      Ford may be in a little trouble right now, bu they still build trucks like nobodies business.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If I see even one at Home Depot with sheets of plywood being loaded into the back or towing a horse trailer, then I know it will have been worth it. Eh, who am I kidding, it's a Ford F-150. How much better is the leather interior? Probably not all that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The problem with the Blackwood was that it took way too long to get to the showroom. I saw F150's with Navigator front clips running around 2 years before Ford put the Blackwood out for sale (these were the so-called Lincoln Town Trucks). By the time it was out, it wasn't "new" enough to sell.

      Now as far as the Mark LT - it is too bad that they couldn't have come up with another name. Mark-series have been Roman numerated since the 1950's, but at least the Mark name is in the line-up now.

      I agree, F150 headlamps were an abomination. Now the dash panel should be brought into line also. Maybe some differentiation on body panels would be nice, but truck cabs/beds don't leave a lot of room for this.

      Now that the Explorer Sport Trac is on the newer Explorer chassis, someone out there with the funds to do so should show Ford what a Lincoln "Aviator LT" would look like. Too bad Lincoln killed the Aviator, seems like they sold fairly well and the styling was more detailed and refined that the Navigator of similar vintages (and even more so than the hideous 2007 Navigator).
      • 8 Years Ago
      "18. Well all cars depreciate greatly after leaving the lot, so thats not anything new."

      Not all cars. Most cars.

      Ferraris certainly do not, most of them actually appreciate with time.

      Both Ferraris and Porsches actually hold their values better than even mercedes's and BMWs.
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