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Avg. Price Paid:$20,421 - $21,408
Original MSRP: $34,755 - $36,645
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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2012 Lincoln MKZ Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

A comfortable, spacious interior and plenty of standard features are highlights of the 2012 Lincoln MKZ. However, auto writers say that the MKZ still lacks the performance and refinement of many competitors.

While many upscale midsize cars prioritize athletic power and nimble driving dynamics, the 2012 Lincoln MKZ sets itself apart with a different set of attributes. The MKZ will never match the performance attributes of competitors like the BMW 3-Series or Infiniti G37, but many auto critics say it excels with its comfort-tuned ride and roomy interior. In this respect, the Lincoln is a close match to cars like the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse, but the MKZ also trumps these rivals with a longer list of standard interior features.

The MKZ’s automotive DNA, however, is where it falls short. Although it wears a luxury badge, many reviewers note that the MKZ is too similar to its corporate cousin, the Ford Fusion. While it’s more luxuriously appointed, most of the MKZ’s features are available on the Fusion at a significantly lower price. Critics also call the MKZ’s interior quality into question. Most note that the MKZ’s interior still lacks the quality feel that they expect at this price.

Despite these critiques, the MKZ still hits the sweet spot for certain shoppers. If you’re looking for a comfortable sedan that offers plenty of space and a strong list of standard equipment, the 2012 MKZ might be right for you. However, if you prioritize an engaging driving experience over space and comfort, you should cross the MKZ off your shopping list.

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re drawn to the MKZ’s smooth ride and comfortable interior, be sure to test drive the Lexus ES. The Lexus is a bit pricier, but it also prioritizes comfort over sporting intentions and offers a similar driving experience. However, if you’re looking for a sport sedan, both models will probably fall flat with their dull performance.

The Audi A4 offers a more rewarding driving experience, and is available with front- or all-wheel drive, just like the MKZ. And while reviewers frequently pan the MKZ for its interior quality, they love the materials inside the Audi.

Lincoln MKZ: The Details

The Lincoln MKZ enters the 2012 model year with no changes. Only one well-equipped trim is offered, and buyers can choose between front- or optional all-wheel drive. The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is reviewed separately. See the full list of 2012 Lincoln MKZ specs.

  • "This Lincoln still doesn't match most premium-midsize rivals for overall refinement and driving engagement. As a luxury touring car, though, MKZ makes sense. With judicious option selection, it can also be a good value for the money." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2012 Lincoln MKZ is a competent midsize premium sedan, but it does not represent enough of an improvement over the similar Ford Fusion to justify its Mercedes-like price." -- Edmunds
  • "The MKZ is a very nice car, but it has a hard time standing up to its competition, whether American (Cadillac CTS), Japanese (Lexus ES, Acura TL, Infiniti G37), or German (Mercedes-Benz C-class, BMW 3-series, Audi A4). The entry-level Lincoln stacks up best against the Lexus, which boasts similarly cushy ride and handling characteristics that do nothing to feign sportiness." -- Automobile Magazine

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