Chrome sets Mark LT truck off as a Lincoln

August 05, 2005|by TIM SPELL/Motor Matters

Lincoln's 2006 Mark LT is the James Bond of pickups. It's poised and impeccably dressed, but when time comes for handling the rough stuff, it's up for the task.

Unlike Lincoln's Blackwood from a few years back, which looked slick but was lacking in utility, the Mark LT is a bona fide full-size pickup with a usable 5.5-foot bed. Making life easy for the truck's designers, the vehicle's foundation was conveniently borrowed from Ford's popular F-150 pickup.

While the family resemblance is there, using signature Lincoln touches, designers did a good job in differentiating the four-door Mark LT from its SuperCrew siblings. The upscale Mark LT is base priced at $39,200 for the 2WD model and $42,700 with 4WD.

View the Mark LT from any direction and it's clear the truck is something special - and that it's a Lincoln. Chrome is a key ingredient in delivering this message.


Most telling of its heritage is the imposing chrome waterfall grille with a Lincoln star logo standing tall at its center. Elegance also is conveyed with a chrome band wrapping the body's lower portion.

Gleams of chrome are found on the side mirrors, door handles, bed rails (optional), exhaust tip and tailgate handle.

The Lincoln-appeal meter also is pushed higher by taillamps that wrap to the tailgate. Opening the tailgate, which is tall to fit the heightened bed sides, is a notably convenient procedure. Equipped with special assists, the big tailgate can be lowered and raised with little effort.

Those following behind the Mark LT clearly are informed it's a Lincoln. Flanking the star emblem is "LINCOLN" to the left and "MARK LT" to the right. Badging on the front fenders also identifies the pickup as a Mark LT.

Elegant 18-inch, seven-spoke aluminum or eight-spoke chrome-plated aluminum wheels like those found on the Navigator sport-utility punctuate Lincoln-ness with center hubs embossed with the company's logo and name.

True to Lincoln tradition, these wheels are driven by a potent V-8 engine. This 5.4-liter Triton V-8 - mated with a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission - moves the 5,370-pounder with 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,750 rpm.

Low-end torque makes this city-slicker pickup at home on the farm, ranch or lake, providing a workhorse towing capacity of 8,900 pounds and payload capacity of 1,620 pounds.

The Mark LT's 30-gallon tank can be filled with 87-octane gas. Estimated fuel economy is 14 miles per gallon city, 18 mpg, highway. Cocooned within a well-insulated cab, passengers don't hear much engine or road noise. Helping keep noise, vibration and harshness at a level expected of a luxury vehicle are an engine mounted to liquid-filled mounts, a rigid fully boxed frame, thick side windows, and inset doors with double-layer seals. Thanks to excellent seats and a compliant suspension, featuring rear shocks mounted outside the frame rails, the ride is superb.

Of course, this top-line pickup gets standard leather-clad seats, front and rear, with "French-style" pleating. The two-tone interior is available in two different color schemes - Black with Dove Gray, and Pebble with Light Parchment. Seats, as well as the leather-covered center console lid, are trimmed in contrasting piping and embossed with Lincoln emblems. The two-tone steering wheel and elongated shifter grip also feature leather wrapping.

The dashboard is styled with a sophisticated combination of leather, chrome and, at the center, genuine ebony wood. For those passengers who somehow have missed the point that they're cruising aboard a premium pickup, "LINCOLN" is lettered in chrome at the bottom of the wood inlay.

Tim Spell is the writer for the Houston Chronicle Cars & Trucks section.

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2005

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