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#17

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $35,190 - $47,495
Invoice: $33,431 - $44,645
MPG: 22 City / 33 Hwy
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Lincoln MKZ Performance

The 2015 Lincoln MKZ offers fairly agile handling and a comfortable ride, but critics say it doesn’t come close to matching the overall driving dynamics of competitors like the BMW 3-Series and Cadillac ATS.

  • "This Lincoln can handle corners more athletically than you might imagine. But it's no sport sedan, and is outclassed by cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, or other similarly priced sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, the 2014 MKZ isn't much of an enthusiast's car, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's more in the ‘comfortable ride and easy to live with’ category." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The overall driving experience was pleasant, yet the MKZ lacked the engagement quotient common to the segment's best sport sedans (we didn't look for excuses to jump behind the wheel)." -- Autoblog (2013)
  • "While down on power, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is generally as pleasant to drive as the gasoline-only MKZs. It rides smoothly, and acceleration is adequate for daily use around town." -- Edmunds (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Lincoln MKZ comes standard with a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. A 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine is optional. According to the EPA, the base 2015 MKZ gets 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low compared with the fuel economy of other four-cylinder upscale midsize cars. The V6 model gets 18/27, which is also slightly low compared with the fuel economy of similarly powered rivals.

The MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make 188 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 41/39 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car and quite good for a hybrid luxury car as well.

Test drivers say the MKZ’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine has plenty of power, though some still recommend the V6-powered MKZ because of its quicker acceleration. While most don’t consider the hybrid model quick, they say it offers adequate acceleration and remarkable fuel economy.

  • "Although the V6 offers more power, we've found the turbocharged four-cylinder is plenty capable as well." -- Edmunds
  • "The 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly good at motivating this heavy sedan, but the optional 3.7-liter V6 is still a better choice. The hybrid isn't particularly quick, but Lincoln's fuel economy claims are no joke, as it's easy to keep it in the 40 mpg range." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "And for those who think the MKZ Hybrid is a slouch, it's not. The Hybrid feels both confident and capable, yielding an impressive 45 mpg." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The V-6 always pulls strongly, and there's a throaty roar from the twin exhaust outlets." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid come standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on non-hybrid models. Both the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid come standard with Lincoln Drive Control, which can alter suspension and steering characteristics with Normal, Comfort and Sport settings. Reviewers note that the MKZ has a comfortable ride and sufficient braking power, and they say its adjustable suspension and responsive steering help it handle with a fair amount of agility. However, they add that its overall cornering ability is still no match for its German rivals’.

  • "The standard adjustable suspension and quick electrically assisted steering make the MKZ feel more alert than any other Lincoln in recent memory. The MKZ isn't quite as sporty or agile as some of its German rivals, but most consumers will find it competent and enjoyable in this regard." -- Edmunds
  • "Helping the MKZ to ride and handle like a premium car despite its mainstream roots is Lincoln's three-mode Drive Control technology, which comes standard and custom tailors the MKZ's continuously controlled damping suspension and electric power steering." -- Left Lane News
  • "Get the MKZ into tight turns and it will stick to the intended path. Just don't expect overly thrilling performance or dynamics close to that of its German rivals." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "Braking performance-70 to 0 mph in 168 feet-is adequate for a mid-size car wearing all-season tires. …" -- Car and Driver (2014)
Review Last Updated: 11/21/14

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