Shoppers looking for a reasonably priced and efficient entry-level luxury model would do well to consider the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. This Lincoln has an attractive exterior, although the interior simply doesn’t match what most competitors offer.

Best Value

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a small luxury sedan with room for five. Lincoln offers the MKZ Hybrid in Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims.

The 2018 MKZ Hybrid comes with a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. This model is front-wheel-drive only. Power is routed to the front wheels by means of a continuously variable transmission. Choose the top-trim Black Label with the available retractable roof and the Tech package and this sedan easily tops $50,000.

We chose the Hybrid Reserve model, which builds on the many standard features below it and adds leather-trimmed seats, power front seats with lumbar support, heated and cooled front seats, ambient lighting, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. You’ll also find a 14-speaker Revel audio system and a voice-activated navigation system with HD Radio. Here's how we'd build ours:

  • Model: 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve
  • Engine: 2.0-liter inline-four, electric motor
  • Output: 188 hp / 129 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 41 City / 38 Hwy
  • Options: MKZ Technology Package ($2,495, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, windshield wiper de-icer, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, forward collision warning, forward sensing system, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist), Single Panel Moonroof ($1,200), MKZ Climate Package ($595, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats), Power Rear Sunshade ($295)
  • Base Price: $41,095 (including a $925 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $45,680

Performance

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

If you’re looking for outstanding performance in the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, those expectations need to be lowered immediately. Under full throttle, this sedan delivers 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The MKZ Hybrid offers steady acceleration and a comfortable ride. Its electric power steering is sufficiently weighted, while its handling offers nothing special.

That said, this hybrid does what it has to do. This sedan is engineered to maximize fuel economy. It delivers an outstanding EPA-estimated 41 miles per gallon city, 38 mpg highway, and 40 combined.

Style

If you confuse the MKZ with the large Continental, then that’s a good thing. Last year, Lincoln updated the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid to align closer to their flagship sedan. The look carries over well to the junior member, offering further separation from the otherwise similar Ford Fusion. The sliding glass roof is an interesting feature, but we don’t believe many people would be willing to plunk down $3,000 for one. That said, a traditional single-panel moonroof is worth considering.

Inside, the cabin is quiet and plush. We can’t put it in the same category as models such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Cadillac ATS. Those vehicles and others like them offer greater sophistication befitting a luxury model. Most MKZ Hybrid models utilize matte plastic, although the Black Label brings in glossy wood. Still, we’re disappointed that the cabin doesn’t have the wow factor of the Continental or Lincoln Navigator SUV.

The Best and Worst Things

The MKZ Hybrid offers tremendous value, chiefly for its no-cost upgrade. This means a corresponding MKZ trim level costs the same as the MKZ Hybrid, something no other manufacturer offers. On the other hand, opting for the hybrid means going with an underpowered sedan. Clearly, you’ll choose the hybrid if fuel efficiency is a priority to you.

Right For? Wrong For?


Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

If fuel efficiency and environmental awareness chart your reasons to purchase a new car, the MKZ Hybrid should be on your list. You may not be ready to move over to an electric car, as a hybrid offers the security you need to get you where you’re going. On the other hand, if making compromises in performance doesn’t sit right with you, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

Outside of Lexus, there aren’t many luxury hybrid sedan models. The 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid soldiers on and does so without a price premium. As long as the trade off in power doesn’t cancel out huge gains in fuel efficiency, this handsome hybrid might be everything you need.