First Drive 2013 Lincoln MKZ Club Lexus Forums

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Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

First Drive: 2013 MKZ

2013 Lincoln MKZ

Rebranding Reinvention Is Requisite


– pardon us, the Lincoln Motor – assures us that Ford is to its success. The awkwardness of the statement feels vaguely like mother telling you that she and supports you regardless of what else thinks) was hard to when we recently spent a few with the all-new second-generation Lincoln MKZ.

Launched this year at the 2012 New Auto Show, the MKZ is a midsize sedan that shares with the Ford Fusion all-new for 2013). The sedan’s competitors, according to Lincoln, the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and ES Series sedans – each an accomplished player.

But Lincoln opportunity in the segment. They that today’s customers, values shaped by the recession, are to new brands and experiences. Shoppers are unique products and experiences a more intimate dealer to substantiate the additional cost of a vehicle.

With Ford supporting its back, Lincoln is its future on product design, and an improved ownership experience.

The Lincoln MKZ is a real looker, when compared to its bland (launched as the Lincoln Zephyr for the model year, but renamed the MKZ a refresh for 2007). The new sedan is – almost futuristic – with styling that includes a roofline, taillamps that across the rear faзade, a new of Lincoln’s split wing and fresh LED illumination. Overall, the is clean and memorable.

Even the grille (our word, not which saw us raising our eyebrows on Lincoln models, integrates well here.

Even though they mechanicals, the similarities between the MKZ and are mostly hidden from The wheelbase is the same (112.1 but the Lincoln is 2.4 inches longer inches). 1 inch taller inches) and half an inch (73.4 inches, excluding than its relative.

Interestingly it is longer than the A6, 5 Series, CTS and ES as

The interior is also noteworthy. has ditched its characterless past and with a sweeping cockpit by a flowing instrument panel a standard touchscreen display. the primary instrument cluster its analog speedometer and tachometer, the shifter and mechanical parking have been replaced flush buttons and switches to increased storage.

The look is in appearance, pleasing to the eye and clean.

the new Lincoln are three different and two drivelines.

Standard gasoline are fitted with the automaker’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, at 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque on 87 The all-aluminum engine is mated to a 6F-35 automatic transmission. The powerful engine is a naturally 3.7-liter six-cylinder developing 300 and 277 pound-feet of torque (also on unleaded), mated to Ford’s 6F-50 six-speed automatic

In the Sunshine Belt, most MKZ will be front-wheel-drive, but all-wheel is a wise option for those in challenging climates.

As it has in the past, the is also offering an MKZ Hybrid. its hood is a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle rated at 141 horsepower, supplemented by a electric traction motor a lithium ion battery for storage system power is 188 horsepower). A variable transmission is standard on the eco-friendly model.

Underpinning the new Lincoln is a standard Controlled Damping (CCD) system with MacPherson and aluminum control arms up and a multi-link configuration in the rear, the steering is electric power (EPAS). There are standard disc brakes (single-piston calipers) at all four corners beneath 18-inch aluminum wrapped in 245/45R18 tires alloys are optional). The curb of the standard model (FWD is 3,719 pounds, with the V6 (AWD 3.7) coming in at pounds.

Two tons is about for the segment when fitted AWD.

In terms of fuel the MKZ 2.0 FWD earns 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, and the MKZ 3.7 is at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway (the MKZ is rated at 45 mpg, in both the and highway cycle). Those are significantly better than its but the six-cylinder consumes more than its competition.

In lieu of a launch, where journalists are brought to a manufacturer-sponsored event for presentations, product demonstrations and driving routes, Lincoln cut to the and lent us a range-topping MKZ 3.7 AWD for a couple While it was nice to drive the sedan on our own turf, we missed the data dump and torrent of information as it is excellent insight.

our Ruby Red over Charcoal MKZ attractive enough to speak for In its premium form, it wore a base price (the MKZ 2.0 FWD at $35,925 and the MKZ 3.7 FWD starts at $37,155). In to standard full power LED headlamps, remote start and Noise Control (ANC), to its bottom line was the Preferred Group 103A (19-inch heated steering wheel, THX Audio, premium floor heated rear seats, bundled with a massive glass moonroof for $6,530, the package (adaptive cruise active park assist, keeping system, auto beams, etc. ) for $2,250, trim package (alloy on the doors, instrument panel and a steering wheel) for $195 and inflatable seatbelts for another

The grand total, including $875 destination charge, was

It’s best to take a few to familiarize oneself with the MKZ firing it up, as its ergonomics and infotainment are not only unique, but worthy of a look.

The standard infotainment includes MyLincoln Touch luxury brand’s version of Touch), a full-featured package of and entertainment with voice-operated Bluetooth streaming and a cloud-based of SYNC services. Voice aside, the primary user is the console-mounted eight-inch touchscreen climate control and vehicle may also be configured through the – and information can be displayed simultaneously in In use, Bluetooth phone was easy and intuitive, but we still touchscreen displays finicky, as generally deliver slower when compared to traditional

Plus, and this seems to be an complaint, the MKZ’s matte was covered in fingerprints after a use, and its angle (facing into the ambient light a hood) only made the marks more visible.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

below the center display is a CD followed by a touch-sensitive chrome bar, secondary left and climate control inputs, a chrome fan speed bar and additional controls. All are flush and back-lit, they are invisible until The innovative switchgear was easy to but round ***** still more intuitive and ergonomic they don’t require the taking eyes off the road to them).

The MyKey ignition is keyless its start/stop switch at the top left of the center console (it’s in the place on the Buick Verano). The transmission buttons (PRNDS) are vertically below it in a very configuration. After a quick operating the transmission through its panel became very intuitive and easy.

Lincoln Control, best explained as customized powertrain and vehicle is also standard on every In a nutshell, it allows the operator to EPAS, CCD and ANC to their personal for easy access while Once set (a process that about a minute), a simple of the transmission’s D or S mode button reverts all three to their

Again, we found it worked well and switching between and Sport was no more than a button’s push away.

The passengers will find the MKZ comfortable. Even though the seats (controls located on the sides of the lower cushion) are not bolstered, they held well during driving and every bit as supportive after the mile as they did on the first. seat passengers won’t be nearly as much, as the midsize MKZ is far roomy aft of those front Some adults felt it was cramped – definitely not spacious Honda Accord and Volkswagen are both nearly three shorter in overall length but back seats are cavernous in

The trunk is average in capacity, but its mouth isn’t very

Those familiar with lineup will recognize the V6 as the same engine stuffed in the of the Mustang and F-150 pickup. It a decent job moving the two-plus-ton MKZ off the with authority, but we found the automatic was caught off guard than once when we for immediate power. Like cars these days, the is chasing fuel economy so it a bit of coaxing to drop it into gears to induce thrust.

There are paddles on the steering (downshift on the left, and upshift on the but we never felt the urge to use

Handling was significantly better expected. Much of the credit to our test vehicle’s 40-series Pilot Super Sport The maximum performance summer – a Lincoln first – worked with the MKZ’s active to keep the four-door stuck to the even in semi-aggressive cornering. We the Lincoln Drive Control’s mode the best of the three (Sport, Normal and Comfort) as the two settings were comparatively and sluggish.

And yes, there is a difference between each.

The seemed strong for a street but steering feel was numb and feedback. The overall driving was pleasant, yet the MKZ lacked the engagement common to the segment’s best sedans (we didn’t look for to jump behind the wheel).

has gone to extreme lengths to the interior of its new MKZ was as serene as a monastery’s room. In addition to active cancelling (think of it as Bose headsets for the whole cabin), is acoustic insulation in every and cranny and oversize engine to limit the noise, vibration and levels in the cabin. The engineering hard work paid as the sedan is impressively quiet at with only a subtle of wind noise from the

Yet the serene confines seemed to against the new sedan, as it encouraged us to the reinvented Lincoln Motor and weigh the MKZ against its established – keeping in mind that owners will judge the not the quality or ownership experience, on a drive.

Our conclusion, after the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and ES into consideration, is that the MKZ falls short. While we many things to like styling and cabin isolation are at the top of our there are significant compromises row comfort, small trunk, gripes and a thirsty V6 to name a keeping it off our most-wanted list. though it may be the most stylish we’ve ever driven, it is far extraordinary.

Lincoln doesn’t anyone to think of its newest as a redesigned Ford Fusion boosted luxury appointments and a price premium, but the reality hard to ignore. A sinking in our stomachs tells us this MKZ is not distinct enough to buoy the brand. In fact, the whole left us wondering. what the underappreciated rear-wheel-drive Lincoln LS matured into today had it celebrating its 13th year of

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

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