in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,487 - $17,381
Original MSRP: $34,645 - $36,535
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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2011 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 comfort-tuned highway cruiser competing in a class full of sharp-cornering rear-wheel drive sport sedans. It can easily meet what most buyers need in a daily driver, but will never challenge the sport sedans many other automakers offer at this aggressive price point. Even though the MKZ has a Sport Appearance Package, it does not provide enough oomph to give its rivals a run for their money. Available all-wheel-drive sets it apart from some of the competitors.

  • "It can't hold a candle to the driving experience of the Cadillac CTS." -- Automobile Magazine
  • “Most luxury automakers seem to want to be BMW. Not that there's anything wrong with BMWs… I appreciate sporty luxury cars -- the Infiniti G37 is one of my favorites -- but when I go on vacation, I go to a place where I can relax. Not to a place where some guy punches me in the butt every time I walk over a bump. Am I right? I mean, which would you rather have for your drive to work -- the lounge chair or the butt-punching guy?” -- About.com
  • "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 2011 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 it doesn’t give the MKZ any sporting credentials. Compared to many similarly-priced sedans, it’s on the slower side, though most commuters would have no complaints. A six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode is standard, which reviewers like. According to the EPA, fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway for the FWD MKZ, and 17 /24 for the AWD 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 FWD set up means it will never match its sportier RWD 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. The available AWD improves wet-weather grip but doesn’t make the MKZ a performance car by any means. If you’re interested in the Sport Appearance Package, note that the keyword is “appearance,” as writers note the package doesn’t do much for the MKZ.

  • "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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