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Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

First Drive: 2011 MKZ Hybrid

First Drive: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

On the whole, manufacturers just can’t to figure out what to do with drivetrains. Sure, there’s vague notion of improved economy, but for every fuel-sipping HS250h, there’s a 455-horsepower, BMW ActiveHybrid 750i to balance the Part of the problem is that economy and luxury traditionally as well together as 50 Cent and KC and the Band.

High-end autos are with power, weight and large enough to comfortably a middle-class family, while miserly counterparts tend to be contraptions with the driving of low-rent washing machines.

But doesn’t mean there automakers trying to meld the One of the big buzz phrases making its way automotive circles right now is The Car. That is, a vehicle of being all things to all people the miracle of technology. Lincoln it’s come up with such a creation in the 2011 MKZ – a sedan that bests the economy of the competition by a wide and provides all of the luxury amenities demand.

The question is, have pulled it off?

Lincoln’s have done a smart job the MKZ Hybrid so that the average would have a hard telling it shares more a few bones with the electrified Fusion. Like its non-Atkinson brother, the MKZ Hybrid wears different sheetmetal from the forward. More subtle a hood with fewer details and, of course, baleen grille on the front are additions that do well to the MKZ from its more common Likewise, splashes of chrome the lower fascia, mirrors and sills also help to the two.

We’re not crazy about the stuff, especially when it to the perpetually-smudged door handles, but is a Lincoln, after all – chrome is a in these parts.

The rear of the MKZ holds up its end of the bargain when it to separating itself from the Broad, horizontal taillights the trapezoidal pieces of the Blue and lend the car a more stately The tall Lincoln crosshair does seem a little by the vehicle’s rear-view camera but that only comes to if, like us, you’ve spent than a minute or two with eyeballs locked on an MKZ in front of you in traffic.

Unfortunately, we’d be if we said that the Lincoln’s was anything short of disappointing, when it comes to the instrument and center stack. While our tester was clad in an Executive that swapped the vast of cheap-feeling black plastic for veneer culled from forests, the base trim up surfaces that are far below we’ve come to expect most Ford vehicles, let the company’s luxury wing.

Without the wood overlay, the squared-off center stack is attractive nor fitted with or entertainment controls that worthy of its MSRP. The same be said for the door panels – a shame considering that the LCD touchscreen mounted mid-dash is gorgeous. Likewise, the dual-LCD cluster with its large speedometer carries the kind of design we’d love to see in the cabin.

Unfortunately, it’s not there.

But where the dash short, the standard leather surfaces absolutely shine. The are from some far-flung of Scotland where the tanners use a chromium-free curing process – that’s important when selling a car that’s supposed to be its part to save the planet. The thrones breathe well, are infinitely power adjustable and heated and cooled.

Even they’re standard equipment.

The good news is that the instrument panel may not be the most piece of interior design come across, it is well During our brief stint the wheel, we couldn’t come up anything to complain about The steering-wheel mounted controls for and entertainment are easy enough to and the buttons on the center stack, cheap, are a cinch to navigate.

the MKZ Hybrid is a case of function form.

Of course, those for a luxury hybrid will be interested in what’s going on the hood, and to that end, the new hybrid is no disappointment. The MKZ makes use of the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder found in the Fusion Hybrid, with a combined 191 horsepower and 135 of torque. The mill is mated to a CVT that handles putting to the front wheels without on an abundance of buzzing rpm. and the EPA claim the combo is good for 41 per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, we’re here to tell you if you leave the car idling for two hours for a shoot, those figures fall off precipitously.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

Just sayin’.

Before our lenses on the 2011 MKZ Hybrid, we saw 38.6 mpg in mixed driving – impressive for a car with a total of 99 feet of passenger room and the of lugging around a nickel-metal battery. In an age when most are struggling to crest the 40 mpg barrier, a luxury cruiser that the mark is something worthy of But for us, the best part isn’t the that it could conceivably its owner 2,000 gallons of over 150,000 miles, the fact that it drives like a normal vehicle.

is no waiting for acceleration or awkward between gasoline and electric Like the Fusion Hybrid, the MKZ can whisk you along on all-electric at speeds up to 47 mph. Were it not for a of engine idle at start up, we have a hard time the difference between this MKZ and its counterpart.

In short, buyers don’t have to make a when it comes to opting for fuel economy. For the first in history, you really can have all of the and trunk space of a mid-size bruiser and the fuel economy of a in the same package.

Despite having just 200 horsepower on tap, the MKZ Hybrid is a driver. We never found it out of while jousting with traffic or accelerating for a pass, and on of the spirited tarmac outside of it proved to be a surprisingly well platform. While incredibly over broken pavement, the MKZ doesn’t deliver the typical indicative of prehistoric American products.

Its electronic systems and are all well-matched for a finished product very well-rounded.

Surprisingly Lincoln has sought to make the MKZ a value story on top of being the fuel-efficient car in its class. At a starting of $35,180 (including destination), the MKZ will set you back just as as its V6 counterpart. Given this we start to understand some of the the company took in the cabin, if we don’t approve of them.

We just as soon see the MSRP by a thousand dollars if it came the kind of world-class interior we Ford is capable of. If you don’t us, have a close look at the Blue Oval is up to in the 2011

Fortunately, Lincoln says we should hold onto our According to the automaker, it’s a deluge of new and updated models to be out in short order, and we’re those plans include a of the MKZ cabin.

Even with its less-than-inspired the MKZ Hybrid has no problem besting its competitor, the Lexus HS250h, in way. With more and power, a quieter cabin, a MSRP and significantly better economy, it’s simply a vehicle. Lincoln may not have wedded the two worlds of luxury and economy with the 2011 MKZ just yet, but it has started a path that will result in a luxury hybrid doesn’t ask its owner to make any

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

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