2017 Lincoln MKT vs Ford Explorer

At first glance, choosing between the 2017 Lincoln MKT and the Ford Explorer - both of which deliver capacious interior space and rugged towing capabilities - might seem tough. However, upon closer inspection, a number of important differences begin to emerge. Check out our buying guide to learn more.

2017 Lincoln MKT vs Ford Explorer


The Lincoln nameplate is synonymous with luxury - and for good reason. In addition to plush seating for six or seven passengers, the 2017 Lincoln MKT comes with upscale features to make every ride a sublime experience, including leather upholstery and heated and ventilated power front seats.

Should you decide on the 2017 Ford Explorer, you'll have to go out of your way to equip it with items like leather upholstery and heated seats - which also means you'll have to pay extra. The Explorer is really designed less to deliver a luxury experience and more for family-friendly utility, making the MKT the clear choice if you crave both an upscale and family-centric ride.

When you want to put safety first, the 2017 Lincoln MKT is your go-to SUV. In crash tests, it earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top score of "Good." With the automatic parallel-parking assist system, this model does the tricky work of parallel parking for you. The lane departure warning system doesn't merely let you know if you've accidentally drifted outside the lane - it can actively intervene on your behalf to help you avoid a collision.

The Explorer isn't as fancy as the MKT, but it strives to keep you protected. Like the MKT, it supplies a standard rearview camera, which makes it much easier to avoid hitting any objects - like discarded bicycles - that might be low to the ground and outside your line of vision. Both vehicles are also equipped with innovative airbags - like side curtain airbags and a front-passenger knee airbag - to maximize passenger protection in any kind of crash, be it front, side, or rear.


If you've got up to 5,000 pounds to tow, the 2017 Ford Explorer wins the day. Not only does it supply strong utility, but the Explorer also feels strong and composed, even when you've got a boat trailer attached. Hitch your favorite toys to the Explorer and head out into the great outdoors whenever you please.

In comparison, the MKT tows up to 4,500 pounds. That's not too shabby, and most boat or Jet Ski owners will find these capabilities more than satisfactory. Like the Explorer, the MKT excels at towing, so your ride to the boat ramp feels smooth and secure.


The MKT has something the Explorer doesn't: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration capabilities. With this excellent new feature, you can access smartphone apps directly on the MKT's central touchscreen. That means that calling home or sending voice-to-text messages is more streamlined than ever. Audiophiles will also love the 14-speaker premium audio system, which plays your favorite tunes with next-level sound quality.

Like the MKT, the Explorer features the Sync 3 system, which treats you to a responsive touchscreen and nifty voice controls. Together, these features make it easy to access the infotainment features you want with minimal distraction. However, unlike with the MKT, Explorer shoppers have to pay extra for the Sync 3 system. You can also upgrade to the Explorer's 12-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio, but somehow it's not the same as the MKT's premium 14-speaker setup.

Learn More about the Lincoln MKT

2017 Lincoln MKT vs Ford Explorer

After taking a closer look at these two models, we think you'll agree that the 2017 Lincoln MKT is an incredible pick for upscale comfort, modern safety, and cutting-edge tech features. Luxury and safety combines with performance and comfort to offer an SUV that goes the extra mile for you.