in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,105 - $18,105
Original MSRP: $34,645 - $34,645
MPG: 41 City / 36 Hwy
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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

While it certainly isn’t a sport sedan, reviewers are impressed with the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid’s performance.  Acceleration, though not overwhelming, is adequate, and the fuel economy is very impressive. And while you shouldn’t expect the MKZ Hybrid to carve canyons, reviewers say it’s an adept handler that delivers a more rewarding drive than the Lexus HS.

  • "When we recognized the Fusion hybrid as a 10Best winner in 2010, we noted that “you can drive it for fun (a hybrid first) or for mileage -- which is also fun.” This applies verbatim to the MKZ hybrid." -- Car and Driver
  • "Of course, those shopping for a luxury hybrid will be most interested in what's going on under the hood, and to that end, the new Lincoln hybrid is no disappointment." -- Autoblog
  • "But every cloud has its silver lining and the MKZ Hybrid’s shortcomings add up to a comfortable cruiser that will probably be more in-line with its target buyers, even if Lincoln says it is going after a younger demographic. The MKZ Hybrid is quiet, comfortable and fuel efficient ..." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor.  Together, the two make 191 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. Power gets to the wheels through a continuously variable transmission that a few reviewers say is unrefined during hard acceleration. Overall though, reviewers like the powertrain – which can go up to 47 miles per hour on electric power alone.

When it comes to fuel econmy, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid doesn’t disappoint. The EPA estimates that the MKZ Hybrid gets 41 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway – which is better that the Lexus HS.

  • "Sure, it gives up 72 hp to the V-6 model, but the hybrid’s acceleration is more than adequate." -- Car and Driver
  • "While that number doesn’t exactly scream “high performance,” the car has sufficient power" -- Road and Track
  • "Those aren't just admirable figures. They beat the MKZ Hybrid's closest competition, the Lexus HS250h, by a wide margin -- mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. In fact, it would be hard to make a case for the baby Lexus now that Lincoln has stepped into the hybrid ring."-- Popular Mechanics
  • "Right away we noticed that the MKZ Hybrid's transition from electric motor to gas engine was almost imperceptible." -- CNET
  • "The transition between the electric motor to the gas engine wasn’t the silkiest we have ever experienced, but it’s probably imperceptible enough that the average driver won’t notice. Be careful with the throttle and you can get the MKZ Hybrid up to 47 mph on electric-only power." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

While the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid doesn’t handle as well as its sport sedan-minded rivals within the upscale midsize car class, reviewers say it’s not terrible to drive.  More importantly, the vast majority of reviewers agree that it’s a better handler than its main rival, the Lexus HS.

  • "As with the standard MKZ, the hybrid’s road manners are benign. Considering it’s an efficiency-minded car with low-rolling-resistance tires, however, the hybrid offers a surprising amount of feedback through the steering wheel." -- Car and Driver
  • "Off-center steering motions are Lexus-liquidy; the ride's absorbency suggests the sponges in the suspension are from Neiman Marcus; and the brake pedal says this is a luxury car being stopped with virtually no regen-braking sensation." -- Motor Trend
  • "Surprisingly enough, that weight seems to have little impact on handling as well. As Lincolns go, the MKZ has always been a fairly flat-cornering machine, and the hybrid version of the sedan is no different. We wouldn't recommend showing up to your local autocross event with this cruiser, but it's certainly more of an engaging drive than the previously-mentioned HS250h." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "While incredibly comfortable over broken pavement, the MKZ Hybrid doesn't deliver the typical slosh-and-dive indicative of prehistoric American luxury products. Its electronic systems and suspension are all well-matched for a finished product that's very well-rounded." -- Autoblog
  • "We were hoping the MKZ Hybrid would show us its younger side in the twisties given that its platform also underpins the decidedly sport-oriented Mazda6, but its low-roll resistant tires and softly-sprung suspension made sure that wouldn’t be the case. The MKZ Hybrid exhibits noticeable body roll and is far from enjoyable on back roads." -- Left Lane News

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