Spending is estimated to advance another 7.1% in 2018 and will expand to $1.7 trillion total by 2022.
My first time
After arriving at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and grabbing my luggage, I waited outside for my pick-up, which came courtesy of Windy City Limousine. Last year, Windy City sent me a Ford Fusion L Hybrid built by Royale. It was my first time riding in that vehicle as well, and I was impressed by the style, interior amenities and smoothness of the ride. (Read my blog post about the Hybrid Fusion L here.)
This year, Windy City sent me a brand new 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car. Being an editor for LCT has allowed me access to new vehicle photos and the chance to sit inside display models at the various industry trade shows and events. But this was my first time actually riding in one. Last month, LCT editor Martin Romjue experienced his first ride in an MKT Town Car, and after hearing all about it, I wanted to try it out for myself.
Style with ease?
The most common reason I hear when operators explain their resistance to the MKT is: it looks like a strange station wagon, and they worry that clients won't want to step into it. Holding these prejudices in mind, I actually experienced the reverse when it pulled up; it looked so unlike the sedans I am used to that I actually found it appealing. I think a lot of it had to do with its unique design. Sure, it didn’t have the sleek profile of a sedan, but it didn’t repulse me. It was like seeing a cutting-edge vehicle from a sci-fi flick, and that got me eager to get in.
For whatever reason, at that particular moment, all I could think was: This car looks pretty cool.
I think a lot of it had to do with the redesigned grill, which eased some of the bulkiness and added a bit of elegance to the front end, which is usually what a client will see when it pulls up. The overall shape of the car still looks sort of like a crossover, and the hatchback isn’t exactly svelte, but I think the front end design has enough curb appeal to get clients in the car.
Designed for the client
After getting settled inside the comfortable and spacious backseat, all thoughts of the exterior dissolved as I focused on finding the power outlets so I could charge my smartphone, which was on the verge of death and required recharging so I could check my email, text messages, voicemail, and social media accounts on the ride to my hotel.
To my delight, the MKT Town Car offered me the option to charge my phone in via USB cord, 110V charger, or cigarette-lighter car charger, which was a convenience and a half.
The last thing a business traveler wants to experience is the relief of realizing he can charge his phone followed immediately by the agony of discovering that he hasn't got the right adapter to plug in. The MKT covers all the bases so that passengers don't have to.
As far as the ride itself: the MKT Town Car does not disappoint. The elevated seats, which reclined when I needed them to, were comfortable, supportive and allowed me to not only stretch my legs, but see an elevated view of the road and the sights around. And at no point did I feel like I was riding in an SUV. The ride was smoother than butter.
The MKT Town Car is designed specifically for the type of passenger who wants to be productive, connected, and comfortable during the ride. There's no question that clients who get inside the vehicle will appreciate all that's offered. But the big question is — will they get in?
My reaction to the exterior styling may not reflect the status quo and in fact surprised me, considering I've tested the Chrysler 300 and Cadillac XTS in recent months and liked the design of both sedans. The MKT isn’t trying to win a beauty pageant — it’s just doing enough to make it to the next round where its real talent can shine, and that’s in the interior experience of the client.
In the last month I rode in two ultra-premium luxury sedans — the Mercedes S550 when I visited my sister in New Jersey (courtesy of Europe Limousine) and the BMW 740 Li when I left Chicago (courtesy of Metropolitan Limousine, which will be featured in next week's blog) — and they were both great rides with a couple of the coolest chauffeur's I've ever met.
The MKT Town Car will keep intriguing me. Not only because of its eclectic design, but because my phone often is about ready to die and the charger I have won’t work in my car.
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor
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