Ford Fusion vs. Lincoln MKZ

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 17, 2017

Although the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ might look different inside and out, these midsize sedans are built on the same platform and share most features and running gear. Ford Motor Company updated both for 2017, and in some respects, the two cars are now even more alike.

The Fusion is a high achiever in its own right, and can be optioned into near-luxury territory. Does that make the MKZ redundant, or is it really worth the extra money?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Fusion & MKZ »

What the Fusion Gets Right

The Fusion covers a lot of market territory with its numerous trim levels and engine choices. The value-oriented S and SE comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 175 horsepower. For enhanced efficiency, the SE is available with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that achieves 27 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The upscale Titanium and Platinum trims use a 2-liter turbo good for 245 horsepower, which owners can pair with all-wheel drive. The Sport model carries a turbocharged, 2.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive.

The Platinum, which is new this year, comes closest to the MKZ in terms of luxury, boasting a diamond-stitched leather interior and nearly every available option. In fact, the top Fusion gives you more standard comfort and technology features than the MKZ's bottom two trim levels.

What the MKZ Gets Right

The Fusion's optional 2-liter turbo serves as the base engine for the MKZ. For true luxury-caliber performance, you can order up a turbocharged 3-liter V6 that puts out 350 horsepower, or a whopping 400 when paired with all-wheel drive. Also exclusive to the MKZ are available massaging front seats, wood interior trim, and a retractable glass roof.

The MKZ looks the part of a luxury car thanks to its handsome chrome mesh grille and premium wheel designs. You can see echoes of the Fusion in the roofline, but to most folks the MKZ will look like a totally different, more expensive car.

Why Pay More for the MKZ?

The 400-horsepower V6 is the most compelling reason to step up to the MKZ. The classier styling may also sway some buyers, and to a lesser extent, the nifty glass roof. If none of that is really important to you, there's probably a Fusion out there with your name on it.

Our Verdict: Ford Fusion

There's not enough extra substance baked into the MKZ to make us recommend it over the more affordable Fusion.

Take a closer look at the Ford Fusion »

Take a closer look at the Lincoln MKZ »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.