For anyone seeking quiet luxury, the Lincoln MKZ is a midsize sedan that places comfort and relaxation ahead of any sporting pretenses. Striking design, inside and out, aims to attract buyers who prefer to stand apart from the German-sedan crowd, providing more of a modern take on American luxury. The MKZ is available with a heap of technology, much of it aimed at making driving easier and perhaps impressing passengers.
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2017 Lincoln MKZ Overview
What's New for 2017
Substantially freshened for the 2017 model year, the MKZ gets a new grille that eliminates the previous “split wing” theme. It also helps establish Lincoln’s next design generation. Adaptive LED headlights are available. Inside is a new “floating” center console, joined by a pushbutton gear selector. New switches and dials have replaced the prior sliders to control ventilation and audio. A newly available 3-liter V6 engine develops up to 400 horsepower.
Choosing Your Lincoln MKZ
The MKZ comes with a choice of two gasoline engines (the MKZ Hybrid is covered in a separate overview). Standard is again a 2-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. For 2017, the newly optional twin-turbo 3-liter V6 generates 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, when installed in an MKZ with all-wheel drive. With standard front-wheel drive, V6 output drops to 350 horsepower. Both engines mate with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive costs nearly $1,900 extra with either engine.
Lincoln offers the MKZ in three trim levels, and with a Black Label equipment group.
Considering the new V6 makes sense, because that's the MKZ's main advantage over the Ford Fusion on which it's based. Upgrading from the four-cylinder engine to the new V6 adds $4,000 to the price of an all-wheel-drive model, or $2,750 to the front-drive sedan. Mid-level Select trim delivers most of the features expected in this price class, whereas a loaded Reserve or Black Label can get expensive. If you like open-roofed driving, you may as well go all the way with that spectacular panoramic glass roof option.
2017 Lincoln MKZ Review
Lincoln's midsize sedan might not carry the prestige of an Audi or BMW due to its Ford Fusion underpinnings, but the MKZ gives buyers plenty of features and upscale style for the price of a luxury compact. Perhaps its most compelling attribute is a newly available turbocharged V6 that lays down 400 horsepower.
Pricing and Equipment
The MKZ starts out in Premiere trim for $36,095 (prices include $925 destination charge). Standard features include:
- Leatherette seats with driver memory and heat in front
- An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 11-speaker audio
- A rearview camera and rear parking sensors
- An adaptive suspension system
- 18-inch aluminum wheels
The mid-level Select ($37,845) gets leather seats, wood interior trim, rear-seat charging ports, and power-folding side mirrors. The optional Select Plus Package adds navigation and blind spot monitoring for $1,255. Those items come standard on the $40,595 Reserve model, which also has ventilated front seats, a power trunk lid, and 19-inch wheels. The top trim Black Label offers an upgraded leather interior in three distinctive design themes and special owner privileges like pickup and drop-off for service work. Black Label models start at $48,755.
The Select and above are available with a Technology Package ($2,395) that adds active safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and collision mitigation with pedestrian detection. Buyers can add a single-panel sunroof for $1,200, or a retractable glass roof for $2,995.
The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter is EPA-rated at 24 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving in front-drive models. Models equipped with the optional all-wheel drive system ($1,890) are rated at 23 mpg combined.
A turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is available on the Select and above for $2,750. The V6 delivers 350 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Horsepower increases to 400 with all-wheel drive, a $3,140 option. Fuel efficiency comes in at 21 mpg combined, or 20 mpg with all-wheel drive. Both MKZ engines use a six-speed automatic transmission with a push-button selector mounted to the right of the steering wheel.
Models equipped with the V6 and all-wheel drive can get a Driver's Package ($3,395) with a sport-tuned suspension, performance tires, and multicontour seats.
- The optional V6 makes the MKZ the fastest Lincoln ever built. The 400-hp version gets the sedan from zero to 60 mph in around five seconds.
- The MKZ rides very smoothly, even when road conditions are less than ideal. The standard adaptive suspension does an admirable job of absorbing bumps and craters.
- Although it's more about comfort than performance, the MKZ feels relatively sporty on the road. Its alert handling kept us engaged, if not entertained.
- With the base 2.0-liter, the MKZ performs more like a family sedan than a luxury car. Acceleration is near the bottom of this segment.
- The optional Driver's Package sounds great on paper, but delivers a major blow to ride quality. Unless you live somewhere with roads covered in silk, consider this option carefully.
- No matter how it's equipped, the MKZ does no better than average in efficiency.
- The MKZ's new-for-2017 Sync 3 touchscreen interface is intuitive, quick to respond, and complemented by useful physical buttons.
- The MKZ offers more rear seat room and a larger trunk than similarly priced luxury sedans, making it a good fit for family duty.
- Black Label models are trimmed to the teeth in rich leather and exotic wood.
- Some interior pieces have a downmarket feel, especially the hard plastic gear shift buttons. The entire center stack, meanwhile, is just hard, unfriendly plastic.
- The leatherette seats and gray plastic trim used in the base model don't look or feel like they belong in a luxury car.
- The sloping roof limits rear head room for taller passengers.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
With a few upgrades, the Lincoln MKZ makes for a perfectly acceptable midsize luxury sedan without crossing the $40,000 threshold.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
When equipped with the standard engine, the Lincoln MKZ has little to offer buyers who want a blend of performance and luxury.
The Bottom Line
The Lincoln MKZ seems right for buyers who measure luxury in traditional terms like style, comfort, and convenience.