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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Auto review: MKZ gives Lincoln fresh start on road to relevance Read more here: http

Remember when Lincoln rode the luxury lanes side-by-side with Cadillac?

Some of you younger folk may not remember the memorable 1956 Continental Mark II, and the '59 Mark IV. That one gave birth to the luxurious Town Car, which later would become its own nameplate for 30 years. Converted often into a stretch limo, it became the ride of executives - and even chief executives. Think White House.

Well, Lincoln is going to great lengths to remind us of those glory days. The Ford-owned carmaker even displayed some of the golden oldies at the Los Angeles auto show last November. Lincoln is hoping what once was can be again.

And it all starts with the 2013 MKZ, the first of four models designed to restore the Lincoln name and reputation. If this is Lincoln's renaissance, it's not a bad start.

Oh, the MKZ has been around awhile, but this year it's 5 inches longer, and wider, too. It's the first car to be born of Lincoln's own design studio and displays a split-wing grille and an LED taillight that runs across the tail. Creases on the hood and a sweeping roofline round out a distinctive look.

"Pretty sharp car; what is it?" asked one guy as I emerged from it at a gym.

"That's the new MKZ - and Lincoln's future," I said, briefly explaining the game plan.

Now, let's be frank. The MKZ shares much of its roots with the Ford Fusion, also redesigned and re-engineered for 2013. But don't be too quick to think the MKZ is just a rebadge of the Fusion.

Yes, you get the same turbocharged 4-cylinder and hybrid powerplants as the Fusion, but you can also get a 300-horsepower V-6 with the MKZ.

And, rather than a shifter on the center console, a row of buttons high on the center stack offers gear selection - reminiscent of the Ramblers and Plymouths and Dodges of the late '50s and early '60s. Dodge called it "the magic touch" when it first came out in 1956.

Footnote: I had a buddy with a '63 Plymouth Valiant that had push-button drive, and he was amazing as he popped those buttons back and forth to wriggle into a parking spot.

But that's not necessary with the MKZ's optional parallel-parking feature: With hands off the wheel, it will get you into the spot. Well, sort of. It takes some practice but I did get it to work.

The rest of the center console is thoroughly modern - smooth and flat, featuring touch controls rather than buttons or dials.

Another plus with MKZ over the Fusion is Lincoln Drive Control, with which electromagnetic dampers give drivers a choice of Normal, Comfort or Sport modes. And they actually work, offering a real difference in drive feel, unlike some.

The base engine, as aforementioned, is the same one as the Fusion, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that gets 240 horses and 270 pound-feet of torque. But opt for the 3.7-liter V-6 and you have, essentially, the same 300-hp engine as in the Mustang. That one zips to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.

Both engines are linked to a 6-speed automatic tranny with paddle shifters for those who want to take control of their rpm. All-wheel-drive is optional for more traction than the standard front-wheel setup.

Buzzing around town and on the highway manages a combined EPA-rated 26 mpg. Go for the AWD and it's only 1 mpg less. With the V-6 and FWD, mileage drops to 19 mph city, 28 highway for a combined figure of 22.

But the good news for the mpg-conscious: The MKZ, like the Fusion, comes in a hybrid version. And it delivers more miles per gallon than any other luxury hybrid in the nation - 45 mpg combined. I didn't fill the tank all week, which rarely happens on a test week.

Also, Lincoln is the only brand to offer the hybrid model at the same price as the conventional engine. That's an exceptional deal.

If you're worried about being shortchanged on premium goodies because you bought the hybrid, think again. The standard hybrid gets the MyLincoln Touch with 8-inch screen, leather seats, LED headlamps, and Lincoln Drive Control.

The ride is smooth and composed. There's good feedback in the steering, and it handles the bumps and dips along construction-afflicted interstates.

Handling is decent, perhaps better than ever for Lincoln. But the MKZ is not as nimble as the lighter and smaller sporty numbers from Germany.

The interior is elegant. Roominess is decent, though taller folks may find it a tad tight, especially in the rear where the roofline slopes back.

Trunk space is about average for the class at 15.4 cubic feet. But the hybrid, as is typical, chops off more than 4 cubic feet of that because of the battery pack.

All the expected safety features are here, including ABS, stability and traction control, front-side, front-knee and side-curtain air bags. Taking center stage, though, is the Technology package, which offers blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and collision warning with brake assist.

Trims? Only two, the standard MKZ and the hybrid. But there are option groups, like the Select package which adds rear-view camera and rear parking assist and wood trim on the steering wheel. Or the Reserve package, with navigation, blind-spot detection and power trunk lid. The Preferred package adds 19-inch wheels and 14-speaker sound system,

Among stand-alone options is a panoramic glass roof with integrated sunroof.

Having bid a sad farewell to the flagship Town Car two years ago, it is exciting to see a resurgence of the Lincoln. Time will tell if Lincoln can run with the big luxury boys again. But, if the MKZ is any indication of the new direction, I like its odds.

2013 LINCOLN MKZ:

-Base price: $35,925

-As tested, including destination charge: $49,800

Read more here: Auto review: MKZ gives Lincoln fresh start on road to relevance | Business | NewsObserver.com
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 05:37 PM
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Some of you younger folk may not remember the memorable 1956 Continental Mark II, and the '59 Mark IV. That one gave birth to the luxurious Town Car, which later would become its own nameplate for 30 years. Converted often into a stretch limo, it became the ride of executives - and even chief executives. Think White House.
I remember the Lincoln town car, It was pretty much the car that took lincoln off its feet. I just remember them as limousines. It has been a while, sad to say but the newer generation would never know how much Lincoln went though and now the MKZ will be one of its praised vehicles.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 05:40 PM
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Interesting the MKZ will be sharing the same engines as the ford mustangs. I never knew that. WOw that explains a lot now. I always thought everything on the MKZ was based on the Ford Fusion.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Telepathy View Post
Interesting the MKZ will be sharing the same engines as the ford mustangs. I never knew that. WOw that explains a lot now. I always thought everything on the MKZ was based on the Ford Fusion.
It only makes sense. Even tho the Ford Fusion is related to the MKZ, the MKZ probably carries a good amount more weight and in a luxury car you need a nice torquie motor, so what better than a big 3.7 V6 engine!

As you'll see in the dyno graph below at 2440RPM it already makes 176 ft-lb of torque, perfect for a luxury sedan.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:01 PM
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That is a nice amount of torque for any vehicle but in the MKZ its more than enough to haul around with a full load of passengers.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:02 PM
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we'll the MKZ isn't a light vehicle to begin with. I mean it isn't the heaviest but however it does need a bit of power. The 3.7L V6 sounds like a good fit for the MKZ. It sounds nice through out the whole band too.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lincolnftw View Post
It only makes sense. Even tho the Ford Fusion is related to the MKZ, the MKZ probably carries a good amount more weight and in a luxury car you need a nice torquie motor, so what better than a big 3.7 V6 engine!

As you'll see in the dyno graph below at 2440RPM it already makes 176 ft-lb of torque, perfect for a luxury sedan.

So I am guessing that this dyno chart is from just putting in a different air intake or filter. Looks like the engine reacts nicely to minor modifications too. That is a good amount of power if it true just from a mod like that.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Telepathy View Post
Interesting the MKZ will be sharing the same engines as the ford mustangs. I never knew that. WOw that explains a lot now. I always thought everything on the MKZ was based on the Ford Fusion.
Well every single manufacturer does somewhat use the same engine through different lines. It's not surprising when you have a nice reliable engine that makes good power its bound to get used somewhere else too. This is usually a sign that they have a great motor.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:08 PM
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Yeah I see what you mean. I noticed this with infiniti especially where they used that same engine in the G35 throughout the rest of their cars. And that was an award winning engine too. How was the reliability of the last MKZ engine?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 01:31 PM
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I can't convey enough how disappointed I am after 4 months with the 2013 MKZ Hybrid. Horrible overall mpg of 36, constantly in shop to fix a myriad of interior problems. HORRIBLE quality. Still love the exterior style and sexiness, but kicking myself in the butt for buying it over the LEXUS ES.
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