Lincoln& s MKZ Does the Electric Slide Product Reviews Wired com

25 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Lincoln& s MKZ Does the Electric Slide Product Reviews Wired com отключены
Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars

Lincoln s MKZ Does the Electric Slide

The last thing anyone thinks of when they see a big honkin Lincoln is efficiency. But Lincoln s taking hybrids uptown with a gas-electric sedan that offers a surprising mix of fuel economy and luxury.

You might look at a car like the 2011 Lincoln MKZ and think, A hybrid? Really? But Lincoln s bean counters say half of luxury car buyers would consider a hybrid, and they expect the segment to grow 400 percent in the next two years. That s too big a pie for Lincoln not to grab a slice.

Rather than start from scratch building a car to counter the Lexus HS 250h. Lincoln cribbed from the excellent Ford Fusion Hybrid. The MKZ Hybrid uses its little brother’s drivetrain and is equally thrifty. The EPA says it s good for 41 mpg around town and 36 on the highway.

Those are impressive numbers for a full-size sedan that weighs 3,752 pounds, and they comfortably top the Lexus.

Power comes from a 2.5-liter four-banger and a 26-kilowatt electric motor. Together, they make 191 horsepower and 136 pound feet of torque. That isn t a lot in a car this big, so acceleration isn t stellar.

But then full-sized American sedans aren t known for hustle. Still, the MKZ Hybrid has no trouble keeping up with traffic.

We raved about the smoothness of the Fusion Hybrid, which exhibits none of the shudder or lag you often experience as a hybrid makes the transition from electric power to gas. It s equally seamless here, as is the continuously variable transmission. The MKZ Hybrid is smoother than 20-year-old Scotch.

Electricity is stored in a 1.4 kilowatt-hour nickel metal hydride battery behind the rear seat. You can tool around on electricity alone up to 47 mph if you go easy on the pedal. (The Lexus HS 250h tops out at 25 mph.) It requires a deft touch, but you ll get the hang of it. Once you do you ll love it.

The engine kicks in after a mile or so to top off the charge.

The regenerative brakes which capture 94 percent of the energy that would be lost as heat during braking have none of the squishiness you often find in hybrids. Out on the road, the MKZ Hybrid handles like you d expect a big front-wheel drive sedan to handle. It s soft, but not mushy, and you won t be carving any corners. Not that it matters.

No one buys a car like this for sportiness. It s all about comfort, and Lincoln delivers.

Standard features includes 10-way adjustable leather seats that are heated and cooled something we liked a lot more than expected. They re comfortable and supportive, and you could make a long road trip in this car. The THX-certified 5.1 surround sound system with 14 speakers put Hound Dog Taylor right there in the car with us, further adding to car s long-haul, or grueling commute, appeal.

Of course there s Sync with its stellar connectivity and hands-free infotainment. But we re not wild about the Traffic, Directions and Information feature. Although it offers turn-by-turn directions, traffic conditions and other info, it only works through a Bluetooth connected phone. No phone, no navi.

Lincoln MKZ Electric Cars

We ve made this complaint before, but Ford says a phone-based system is cheaper and more convenient than an embedded navigation system.

Our favorite feature is the SmartGauge dashboard display taken from the Fusion Hybrid. The LCD display turns hypermiling into a game. The speedometer is flanked by displays showing everything from how much gas you ve used to how much energy you re generating while braking.

A vine on the right grows leaves and flowers as your efficiency climbs. It s a remarkably engaging way of teaching you how driving style effects fuel economy.

For all the slick tech, the MKZ does have a downside. Aside from the snazzy seats and impressive stereo, there isn t a lot to differentiate the MKZ s interior from the Fusion s. The styling isn t very inspired, and there is a lot of plastic.

The real wood veneer helps, but you d expect a car making a play for the luxury segment to be a more upscale than the MKZ.

Still, it s hard to fault Lincoln when you look at the price: The MKZ Hybrid starts at $35,180. That s exactly what you’d pay for a comparably equipped MKZ with a V-6 (although at the time of this writing, Lincoln was offering $1,000 cash back on the V-6 model). That s remarkable, because every other hybrid on the planet carries a premium of at least a couple grand over its conventional counterpart.

More remarkable, that money buys you a (relatively) affordable, (relatively) luxurious and very fuel efficient car. Lexus should be very, very nervous.

See Also:

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

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