On most birthday weeks, I expect a little family get together, some candles, and a great night out with my boyfriend. But this year, Lebanon Ford gave us the chance to drive a brand new Lincoln MKT for a whole week was quite the unexpected present. This extra-long gleaming white SUV/crossover was fully equipped with the glitzy extras and conveniences that decrease the driver’s responsibility to virtually nothing: show up, make a few turns, wear a seatbelt, and try not to have too much fun on an average drive to work. Discovering the sometimes unnecessary, but oh-so-appreciated extra functions throughout the week was amusing at least, and technologically amazing the rest of the time.
Get your art on: Summer Fair 2010
Every summer the eclectic artists from around the country are invited to Coney Island’s summer fair in Cincinnati, competing for prestigious booth space for everything from metal work to blown glass designs. This year, the Lincoln MKT made the journey to the crowded parking lot of thousands of summer fair fans, ready to take in the creativity and the 95 degree day. The driving was complicated by the Brad Paisley concert happening at the same time at Riverbend, so a good hour was spent in the parking lot, just waiting to get in.
The Lincoln MKT’s air conditioning limits were tested at this point, among other features. It’s hard to decide between the massive sunroof and powerful air conditioning system, complete with cooled seats (although I have to admit, if you’ll excuse the phrase, that it kind of feels like you wet yourself when your whole seat drops ten degrees). The sunroof won out most of the week, because it’s hard to resist opening it and feeling like you are driving a convertible.
The festival was brimming with new artistic ideas and creations, but the best booth always goes, in my opinion to Shano, the hunk (says my mother) of a jewelry designer from Boulder Colorado. While we resisted buying a Brazilian graphite ring or watermelon quartz bracelet for the measly $200 price tag, we ended up back in the Lincoln after an hour guzzling frozen lemonades, basking in the air condition.
The GPS proved its advanced abilities on the ride home—and I don’t just mean demanding right turns and “merge to the lefts” through beeps and a lovely female monotone voice. This GPS knew where the traffic was heavy (everywhere), and posted three alerts along the route. Avoiding traffic no longer involved waiting for a radio station to alert you to accidents. Apparently the entire city decided to take, and sit on, I-71 at the same time. What the GPS couldn’t tell that the radio could is that the highway was closed due to a spilled truck of peanut butter. 44,000 jars. Really?
Backseat driving—from my own vehicle
I love, love, love and appreciate all of the technology these more advanced vehicles have to offer, but the Lincoln MKT crossed the line, a few times. If you are nearing another vehicle in the front, and the vehicle thinks you can’t stop in time and you are going to wreck, it takes matters into its’ own hands—er—wheels. All of a sudden, a flashing, screeching, red light comes across the driver’s windshield. Pay attention! It’s clearly yelling at me. Watch the road!
I’ll admit, one of the three times this happened during the week, I really did need the reminder. A car had stopped suddenly in front of me, and what was I doing? Setting a destination on the GPS, which is supposed to be entirely hands free and voice activated—but you still have to see the screen to know what it’s asking you. So, the red bleeper went off, I slammed on the brakes, everything was fine. However, the other two times scared the heck out of me when I was otherwise entirely in control of the vehicle. For example, a car slows in front of you to turn into a gas station, and it goes off. Is it really trying to tell me I am riding that car too close? Thanks, backseat driver, now back off.
This is one of the longest vehicles I have driven, but I didn’t really feel like it when it was happening. I’d get out, look back, and think, I was hauling all that around? It seems as light as the Edge, but is significantly bigger. And people can appreciate it—an elderly neighbor, Harry, stopped me literally in the middle of the road one day to come appreciate the car. After a look around it, I told him the price and he laughed like I said $100 and said, “Honey, worth every penny.” I would agree, if I had that many pennies.
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