2013 Lincoln MKZ Test Drive Popular Mechanics

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Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars

2013 Lincoln MKZ Test

Ford’s neglected luxury hopes its redesigned MKZ luxury will bring buyers Perhaps not the knockout punch needed it to be, the MKZ is a good first

January 22, 2013 3:00 PM Size: A. A. A

On Sale Date . Now

. $36,820-$39,940

Competitors . Lexus ES Lexus ES 300h, Acura TL, XTS, Hyundai Genesis, Avalon, Buick LaCrosse/LaCrosse Audi A6

Powertrains . 2.0-liter Ecoboost, 240 hp, 270 lb-ft; 3.7-liter 300 hp, 277 lb-ft; 2-liter, four-cylinder 188 hp, 129 lb-ft; FWD/AWD

EPA Fuel (city/hwy) . 22/31-33 (I-4), (V-6), 45/45 (hybrid)

New . It’s been a tough for Lincoln. After Ford Mercury in 2010, the company set out to its luxury brand as a player in the market once more. But Mercury, Lincoln suffers one nagging problem: It’s a fancy Ford with a different face. Unable to competitive with other carmakers, Lincoln’s sales plummeted to 85,643 units in down from a company of more than 200,000 in

To right the Lincoln ship, hired Max Wolff to be Lincoln’s design director, created a design studio specifically for and even renamed the brand The Motor Company.

Now we have the 2013 MKZ, the all-new product from the Lincoln. As with the last-gen the newest iteration rides on the global architecture as the 2013 Fusion and has an identical 112.2-inch But that’s where the structural end. The MKZ is 2.4 inches longer, 0.1 taller, and half an inch than the Fusion.

The car is remarkably to the MKZ concept Lincoln first off last year in Detroit, the same silky roofline, an steeply raked split-wing and a decidedly European rear. Yet for all of swooping and sweeping lines, the metal is stretched tight, the car an equally muscular appearance.

also upgraded the MKZ’s with leather, wood and styling that mimics the exterior design cues. The new bridge center console the car’s roofline and houses two drink holders, a rear and two different open-air storage below the arch and under the This extra storage is made possible by ditching a shifter setup for a push-button on the dash, located to the left of the 8-inch LCD screen with Touch. Below the screen is a CD two touch-sensitive chrome bars let you adjust volume and fan speed, and HVAC capacitive controls.

The steering has controls for a Bluetooth-connected adaptive cruise control of the $2250 Technology Package), and digital information screens in the cluster display, which balances futuristic and classic themes.

Underneath, the MKZ comes standard Lincoln Drive Control, a continuously controlled damping that adjusts the movement of the struts and aluminum control up front and the multilink suspension in the every 2 milliseconds. Engine consist of an entry-level 2.0-liter a 3.7-liter Ecoboost, and, interestingly, a no-extra-cost hybrid Both gas-engine options mated to a six-speed automatic while the hybrid gets a

Our test car also had the MKZ’s prominent exterior feature: the retractable glass panoramic a $2995 option. With the of a button, the glass panel up and slides back above the window, exposing three-quarters of the to the sky. To protect passengers the sun, the glass panel is up to 100 SPF, but there’s also a cloth screen for complete

To increase cabin serenity, the MKZ features active noise and a whole heap of sound Just jimmy your into the crease between the and the panoramic roof and you’ll a solid inch of noise-absorbing

Tech Tidbit . The MKZ, the Fusion, has a new driver-assist feature Lane Keeping System. One of the features of this system is it reads lane markings a forward-facing camera and uses the power steering to move the wheel and nudge you back the lane. That, along Adaptive Cruise Control, Warning, and Brake Support, the MKZ to be semi-autonomous you could leave feet off the pedals and hands off the and the car will keep pace the car in front of it while maintaining its between the white lines.

The MKZ can’t quite drive but it makes monotonous long and stressful heavy traffic bearable. Fully autonomous are still at least a decade but we will continue to see this trickle into production

Driving Character . For our test we requested the 3.7-liter, V-6- MKZ, the only engine not on the Fusion. Fully loaded, our car came to a neck-hair-bristling $51,185. behind the wheel, the wood leather, and clean surfaces luxury, but the interior still a certain refinement that you see in an Audi or a BMW at the same price.

Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars

The bolstered seats wrap you tight enough to suggest a bit of and the leather-wrapped wheel soothed our rage as we escaped the clogged of NYC for open pavement.

Navigating mountain roads and straight on our 115-mile drive through County and around Bear State Park, the MKZ’s proved powerful enough, on occasion the transmission took a longer than it should to for more juice. The car’s power-assisted steering is nicely and felt especially honed a series of S turns that us work like a dog darting weave poles. The chassis firm and planted and the Lincoln Control provides plenty of if not a little softness in the turns.

Along with the standard park, reverse, and neutral the MKZ also features a sport that stiffens the suspension, it more responsive and noticeably fun to whip around mountain though the overall driving doesn’t inspire any exclamations of

It’s the setup of the center that truly helps the interior feel modern. the plastic push-button shifting cheap, the sparse center and dash make for a clean And even though it’s a magnet, we had no trouble with the MyLincoln Touch system and it receives unfair grief. Yet it is the interface used in the Fusion, so hard to shake the feeling you’re sitting in a thinly Ford. The touch-sensitive volume and fan proved finicky for precise though the effect impresses they do work.

For volume, we switched to the more straightforward on the steering wheel. The bridge also disappoints, as the open-air require some inconvenient contortions to reach anything. In the we’d prefer a standard setup and center console to the current execution.

On our drive, the new styling drew stares and a few compliments. That said, the feels a tad outdated already. might just be the inevitable of the split-wing grille, which itself to a certain older but Lincoln’s new design language needs some fine-tuning if it is to being associated primarily Baby Boomers.

Favorite Detail . While the styling of the MKZ leaves us conflicted, the styling is a home run. The way the roofline abruptly meets the angular trunk lid makes for an pleasing juxtaposition, and we like the way the LED span the rear of the car, its width. The shape of the exhausts the wider parts of the taillight, is also a nice touch.

Grievance . The center console have made the car more but instead wasted the space. For with a critical eye for design, also an unfortunate issue cars that have the roof: Because the entire slides back and onto the window, there is no place for a shark-fin antenna. The solution is a large and ugly rubber on the left rear of the car. And the panoramic roof is all the way back, it most of the back window and visibility becomes subpar, only 9 to 12 inches of the view perfectly clear.

There is an backup camera system as of a $5330 equipment package, but doesn’t help when driving down a highway.

Bottom Line . With the Lincoln needed a huge hit and up short. Faster, quieter, and with more standard than its Lexus counterparts luxury brand limited by its on parent-company chassis), the MKZ will steal some consumers and younger buyers. But after the few hours in our test car, the of the styling and roof wore off and it hard to think of the MKZ as anything but a loaded Fusion one that roughly $20,000 more.

is a major problem for Lincoln. The MKZ is the of seven new or refreshed models in the next three years, so the has plenty more opportunities to consumers’ perceptions. But at this and in this economy, we’d on the MKZ and option-out a premium sedan

Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars

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