in 2010 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $14,484 - $15,219
Original MSRP: $34,225 - $36,115
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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2010 Lincoln MKZ Performance

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

The Lincoln MKZ is a front-wheel-drive, comfort-tuned highway cruiser competing in a class full of sharp-cornering rear-wheel-drive sport sedans. It would easily meet what most buyers need in a daily driver, but will never challenge the sport sedans many other automakers offer at this price point. Available all-wheel-drive sets it apart from many competitors.

  • "It can't hold a candle to the driving experience of the Cadillac CTS." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "If you're seeking more sport from an MKZ, consider the Sport Appearance Package that bundles sport suspension tuning with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Lincoln MKZ is offered with only one engine, a 3.5-liter Duratec V6 engine making 263 horsepower. It offers more than enough power for most everyday situations, but doesn’t give the MKZ any sporting pretensions. Compared to many similarly-priced sedans, it’s a bit slow, though most commuters would have no complaints. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. New for 2010, it includes a manual shift mode, which reviewers like. According to the EPA, fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway for the front-wheel-drive MKZ, and 17 /24 for the all-wheel-drive model.

  • "It's not as silky, unworldly quiet as the Lexus V-6, but it's pretty good." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "In performance testing, we "hustled" an AWD MKZ from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, which is subpar for this class." -- Edmunds
  • “We were happy with the addition of SelectShift, which is now standard on the six-speed automatic…The MKZ has one of the best versions he has had the pleasure of using." -- Autoblog
  • “Ample power for most any situation." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The MKZ’s front-wheel-drive architecture means it will never match the sharp-cornering exploits of some of its rear-wheel-drive rivals, but it isn’t tuned for that. It’s a comfortable cruiser to rival the Lexus ES or Buick LaCrosse. Reviewers say it performs that role well, with a smooth ride that isolates the driver from the road. Available all-wheel-drive improves wet-weather grip but doesn’t make the MKZ a performance car. A sport model is available, which offers stiffer suspension, but no added power.

  • "Fairly accurate steering and moderate body lean. AWD quells most torque steer and furnishes secure all-weather traction. The brakes get the job done but are nothing special." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Ride quality is smooth and refined, yet the MKZ acquits itself reasonably well through tight corners, thanks to responsive steering and decent body control." -- Edmunds
  • “The non-sport is Lexus-smooth, yet still feels good in the curves. The sport version, which has firmer suspension settings and lower-profile tires, feels noticeably tighter." -- About.com
  • “The low steering effort felt appropriate at low speeds and while cruising on the freeway, but it was devoid of any feedback while driving with the least bit of enthusiasm." -- Autoblog
  • “There's still no disguising the fact that the MKZ is a warmed-over version of the Zephyr, which was itself a warmed-over version of a Mazda 6 chassis. These are not exactly the bones of a pedigreed entry-luxury sedan." -- Automobile Magazine

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