2013 Lincoln MKZ is also available as a hybrid.
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 í59 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 ó and even chief executives. Think White House.
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 Lincolnís
renaissance, itís not a bad start.
Oh, the MKZ
has been around awhile, but this year itís 5 inches longer, and
wider, too. Itís the first car to be born of Lincolnís 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.
sharp car; what is it?" asked one guy as I emerged from it at a
the new MKZ ó and Lincolnís future," I said, briefly
explaining the game plan.
be frank. The MKZ shares much of its roots with the Ford Fusion,
also redesigned and re-engineered for 2013. But donít 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.
than a shifter on the center console, a row of buttons high on the
center stack offers gear selection ó reminiscent of the Ramblers
and Plymouths and Dodges of the late í50s and early í60s. Dodge
called it "the magic touch" when it first came out in
had a buddy with a í63 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.
not necessary with the MKZís 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 ó smooth and flat,
featuring touch controls rather than buttons or dials.
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.
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.
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.
town and on the highway manages a combined EPA-rated 26 mpg. Go for
the AWD and itís 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 ó 45 mpg combined. I didnít fill the
tank all week, which rarely happens on a test week.
is the only brand to offer the hybrid model at the same price as the
conventional engine. Thatís an exceptional deal.
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. Thereís good feedback in the steering, and it
handles the bumps and dips along construction-afflicted interstates.
decent, perhaps better than ever for Lincoln. But the MKZ is not as
nimble as the lighter and smaller sporty numbers from Germany.
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
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.
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,
stand-alone options is a panoramic glass roof with integrated
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.
including destination charge: $49,800