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#22

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $35,190 - $37,080
Invoice: $33,431 - $35,226
MPG: 22 City / 31 Hwy
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Lincoln MKZ Performance

Most reviewers agree that the 2014 Lincoln MKZ isn’t very exciting to drive, but they think it has a fairly comfortable ride. They say both gas-only models provide decent acceleration, though some recommend the turbocharged four-cylinder model, which they say provides a better balance of power and fuel economy. The MKZ Hybrid achieves good fuel economy for a hybrid luxury car, and critics say it is refined and delivers adequate acceleration.

  • "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
  • "Whatever one might think about the MKZ's styling and interior furnishings, the extra investment doesn't pay any dividends in performance." -- Car and Driver
  • "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 2014 Lincoln MKZ comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 240 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. A 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine is optional. The EPA reports that the 2014 MKZ with the turbocharged four-cylinder gets 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of most upscale midsize cars. The V6 model achieves 19/28 mpg city/highway.

If you’re looking for even better fuel economy, the 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 45/45 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car and quite good for a hybrid luxury car. The MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to make 141 horsepower. The hybrid powertrain is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Several reviewers mention that they prefer the base turbocharged four-cylinder model over the V6 because its acceleration is decent and it gets much better fuel economy. However, critics think that the V6 provides strong acceleration. One automotive journalist also says the V6 has a pleasant exhaust note, while several criticize the turbo four for sounding raspy and unrefined. Most test drivers agree that the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Not as many reviewers have tested the MKZ Hybrid, but those who have say that it provides decent performance and very good fuel economy.

  • "We haven't been particularly impressed with the V6's acceleration and fuel economy. The base turbo four-cylinder is a respectable performer, though, while the Hybrid delivers an estimated 45 mpg in combined driving." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "And the six-speed is creamy in full-auto mode." -- Car and Driver
  • "This 2.0-liter turbo is powerful enough for a car of the MKZ's cut, and reasonably exhilarating if you actually hold gears and exercise the manual-shift paddles on the steering wheel. But it gets buzzy up near its 6500-rpm redline, even with the high-tech digital sound processing." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The V-6 always pulls strongly, and there's a throaty roar from the twin exhaust outlets." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Handling and Braking

The Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid have standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional on gas-only models. The MKZ and MKZ Hybrid come standard with the Lincoln Drive Control (LDC) system, which can alter suspension and steering characteristics and has Normal, Comfort and Sport settings. Several reviewers say that the MKZ handles fairly well in tight turns, though they stress that it can’t match its German sport sedan rivals. Many test drivers agree that ride quality and handling depend on the LDC setting, with Comfort yielding a slightly floaty, but well-isolated ride and Sport providing a ride that is a firm but well-controlled. One critic thinks that the Normal LDC setting yields a very unpleasant ride that is both sloppy and unrefined. Steering feel changes with the LDC setting, and automotive journalists generally agree that it is slightly numb but accurate. They write that the gas model’s brakes are decent for the class, while the hybrid model’s regenerative brakes are a bit touchier. Still, that’s a common complaint about regenerative braking systems in hybrid cars.

  • "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
  • "Braking performance-70 to 0 mph in 168 feet-is adequate for a mid-size car wearing all-season tires. …" -- Car and Driver
  • "When LDC is set to Comfort mode, the car soaks up road irregularities and the light-effort steering is still communicative. When LDC is set to Sport, the car is appropriately taut in its ride and response without being harsh, although the heavy effort level in the steering feels unnatural to us. The Normal mode between these two extremes actually combines the worst of both, delivering a floaty ride even as the suspension crashes over road imperfections." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "The brakes seemed strong for a street car, but steering feel was numb and missing feedback." -- Autoblog (2013)
  • "The hybrid model's regenerative braking takes some getting used to, though, and inching forward or backward into a parking stall takes a delicate touch on the brake pedal." -- Edmunds (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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