A new hope.
Luxury automakers must have a strong contender in the entry-level premium segment, and the 2013 MKZ looks like Lincoln’s first real player there. Although the MKZ shares its underpinnings with the 2013 Ford Fusion, it looks very different and packs unique technology such as Lincoln Drive Control, which debuted on the MKS and the MKT earlier this year. Drivers can now select from three distinct modes — Sport, Normal, and Comfort — on most 2013 Lincoln vehicles, and the system will modify steering, suspension, throttle, transmission, and active noise-control systems to fit the desired parameters. We haven’t yet sampled an MKZ with the system, but it made a world of difference for the MKS and the MKT. Huge interior upgrades include real metal and wood trim on the steering wheel, door panels, and edges of the dashboard and an eight-inch screen for the MyLincoln Touch system that has caused us headaches in other vehicles. We aren’t crazy about the split-wing grille that anchors Lincoln’s current design direction, but it looks better on the MKZ than it does elsewhere in the line. At least the new design is ten percent more aerodynamic than the last MKZ’s, and the silhouette is closer to Audi A7 than Town Car.
new for 2013
Lincoln completely overhauled the MKZ for 2013, along with the Ford Fusion it’s based on. A turbo in-line four engine featuring 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque is all-new, and the V-6 engine grows from 3.5 liters to 3.7 and now produces 300 hp. The MKZ Hybrid now uses a smaller engine, which could improve fuel economy. Lincoln’s sophisticated Lincoln drive Control makes its debut.
ABS; front, side, and side curtain air bags; programmable MyKey; active headlights; and traction and stability control are standard. A lane-keep system, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support, blind-spot information with cross-traffic alert, active park assist, and inflatable rear seatbelts are optional.
Styling not for everyone
Base Price Range: $37,000–$40,000 (est.)
DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: MKZ FWD, MKZ AWD, MKZ Hybrid
BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 2.0L I-4/electric hybrid, 188 hp, 129 lb-ft (est.)
2.0L turbo I-4, 240 hp, 270 lb-ft
3.7L V-6, 300 hp, 277 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed automatic, continuously variable
PASSENGER VOLUME: 96.5 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: 15.4 cu ft