2012 MKZ New Car Test Drive
The Lincoln MKZ gets a new hybrid-powered version for 2011, joining a lineup of midsize luxury sedans that was thoroughly updated for 2010.
We found the Lincoln MKZ quite pleasant, with a spacious, understated interior, and a well-balanced combination of ride comfort and easy handling. The MKZ seats five, it offers ample leg and hip room front and rear for four, and boasts a large trunk. The Lincoln MKZ comes standard with front-wheel drive and a V6. A sports suspension package and all-wheel drive are available for sportier handling and all-weather capability.
The new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a four-cylinder gas-electric model that trades some straight-line performance for an exceptional EPA-estimated 41 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway. The Hybrid is priced identically to the V6 model and comes with all the same standard equipment. We found the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid easy to drive and operate. It's smooth, sophisticated and refined. The Hybrid employs a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. (You do not plug it in.)
We found the Lincoln MKZ stable and calm through the corners. The all-wheel-drive sports model has a driving performance envelope that overlaps that of sporty cars. The standard V6 revs to 6750 rpm and we found engine and transmission responsive when called upon. The MKZ is more of a luxury car than a sporty car, but it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is reasonably quick.
New for 2011 is MyKey, a programmable key that allows you to limit speed and audio volume, useful when loaning the car to your son or daughter. MyKey encourages seat belt use, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph. Also new for 2011 are side mirrors that incorporate a convex section to reduce blind spots.
The Lincoln MKZ looks similar to the MKS flagship luxury sedan. The MKZ offers many of the features and capabilities as the top-of-the-line Lincoln sedan, but in a more compact and affordable package.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ ($34,330) is available with a 3.5-liter V6 with 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($36,220). Also available is the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid model ($34,330) equipped with front-wheel drive and a hybrid gas-electric powertrain that uses a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor.
Lincoln MKZ comes standard with dual-zone electronic climate control with cabin air filter; perforated leather seating surfaces; heated/cooled 10-way power front passenger seats for driver and front passenger seat with memory; 60/40 split bench rear seat with adjustable head restraints and center armrest; leather wrapped shift knob; tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with genuine wood accents; Lincoln Premium AM/FM/6CD/MP3 sound system with nine speakers, input jack, SIRIUS satellite radio with 6 months pre-paid; fog lamps; eight cupholders; power door locks; overhead console with map light and sunglasses holder; floor mats; two 12-volt power points; power windows; cruise control; delayed accessory power shut-off; EasyFuel capless refueling; message center; SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system; universal garage door opener.
Options include THX II with 5.1 Surround Sound AM/FM/CD6 ($995); moonroof ($1200); remote start ($345); and chromed 17-inch wheels ($750). Package 101A ($2,595) adds a voice-activated navigation system with HD radio, single CD/DVD/MP3 player, internal hard drive for map, 10GB Music Jukebox, Sirius Traffic and Travel Link, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, and rear-view camera. Package 102A ($5,695) combines everything in Package 101A with the moonroof, chromed wheels, THX sound, adaptive HID headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and ambient lighting. The Executive Package ($495) adds upgraded leather and real wood on the instrument panel. Also available is a Sport Appearance package with sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels, which is priced differently with ($795) or without ($1,295) Package 102A. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
Safety features include dual front air bags, front and rear side impact air bags, and front and rear side curtain airbags; AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control (ESC); SOS post-crash alert; Traction Control; Tire Pressure Monitoring System; Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS); Child Safety Locks (rear) LATCH car-seat belt system; Reverse Sensing System: and the new MyKey system. Optional safety features include all-wheel drive, rearview camera, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.