- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

The 2006 Lincoln Mark LT pickup gives new meaning to the word “truck.” This beauty is designed to carry tons of sophisticated luxury with elegance, style and class.

Nevertheless, the Mark LT is a genuine truck, capable of doing all the hauling one expects of a work horse, while conveying a high level of style and sophistication. I felt like wiping my shoes clean before climbing into the driver’s seat.

This 4x4 is capable of doing all the things the ordinary pickups do because it is built on the solid foundation of the Ford F-150. I’m told it has a fully boxed frame, thick window glass, liquid-filled engine hydromounts and inset doors with double-layer seals to help reduce the unwanted road, tire, wind and engine noise. This makes the interior sound level very quiet — similar to other Lincoln products. The truck makes a great “room” for listening to the AM/FM six-disc CD with MP3 audiophile sound system, including a subwoofer and speed-compensated volume.

The interior reflects its heritage with real ebony wood accenting the center console containing both the sound system and climate controls.

Duplicate controls are on the steering wheel. The soft leather seating surfaces are accented with piping and the interior is upscale throughout. It even includes theater-dimming interior lighting.

The Mark LT pickup has four full-size doors and seats five persons comfortably with plenty of head, shoulder and legroom. The front seats are power-operated and heated.

I found the ride quality to be plush, yet controlled. Because of the strong, boxed-hydroformed frame, the handling is very similar to that of an upscale sedan, even on rough surface roads.

Steering is crisp and precise, and in spite of its size, the Mark LT is very easy to maneuver.

At times, I almost forgot that I was driving a pickup.

Yet, when I got out, behind me was a cargo box 5 feet 6 inches in length.

The Lincoln engineers said the shocks are positioned to maximize their ability to properly manage body lean, particularly during lane changes.

This feature becomes obvious when making a sharp turn, as I felt very secure because of the manner in which the truck held the road.

The base price four-wheel drive is $42,700.

The test truck had a load of optional equipment, bringing the total to $47,200.

The options included such features as electronic auto temperature control, audiophile six-disc CD changer, power moon roof, power sliding rear window, platform running boards and trailer-towing package, bed extender and a reverse sensing system.

Under the hood is a 5.4-liter three-valve Triton V-8 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 365 foot-pounds of torque and is connected to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

This power uses an electronic throttle control designed to provide instant response and consistent transmission shifts at various altitudes and various load capacities.

It has an 8,900-pound towing capacity and a payload of 1,620 pounds.

Obviously, the Mark LT is not just a show horse; it’s a work horse, too.

The exterior is very stylish with a massive chrome grille, sparkling headlamps, smooth lines down the body side and exceptionally large side-view mirrors.

All this sits on attractive 18-inch aluminum wheels.

As for safety, this pickup has all the latest equipment, including LATCH for child safety seats.

It also has a Securlock passive anti-theft system. Although it’s a bit pricey for a pickup truck, all things considered, the Mark LT is much more than just a truck.

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