President Lincoln once said “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.” I won’t be surprised if this quote is posted all over the Ford – Lincoln headquarters as Ford has never given up on Lincoln and instead has breathed new life into the brand. This evolution is illuminated in the passion expressed in each of their models and shines through in the details, quality and vision.
The Lincoln models were once slightly modified clones of existing Fords, but this is clearly no longer the reality. The Lincolns of today have their own personality, styling and sexiness. They are both amazing to drive and to ogle.
The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is a pure example of how Lincoln has infused elegant design, technology and performance into one package. The 2014 MKZ represents the reinvented Lincoln in both style and substance: stunning design wrapped around intuitive, purposeful technology. The first vehicle from the dedicated Lincoln Design Studio, is the new MKZ, which sold in record numbers after arriving in dealerships earlier this year.
The MKZ is classified as a “mid-size” vehicle and is available in two trim variations: Base and Hybrid. “Base” does not mean “basic,” but instead simply “non-hybrid.” The MKZ comes standard in front-wheel drive and can be ordered with an optional AWD system. The Hybrid is only available in FWD.
The base version comes standard with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque and yields 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. If you require a few more horses under the hood, you can purchase the MKZ with a 3.7-liter V6 motor that generates 300 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque and earns mpg ratings of 19 city and 28 highway. Both engines are mated to a version of Lincoln’s electronic 6-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift Automatic™ and paddle shift activation.
The Hybrid model is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor. Together they deliver 38 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The transmission is an Electronic Continuously Variable Powersplit.
The Lincoln MKZ was completely overhauled for the 2013 model year, and it now embodies the future of Lincoln’s design language. The MKZ has beautifully flowing lines from front to back. Lincoln toned down the massive wing grille to produce a more subtle and elegant appearance. The grille wings draw upwards blending into the headlamps. The rear window slopes right into the trunk lid which swoops up into the spoiler. From the rear quarter panels to the large rectangle dual export ports, the entire rear portion of the XKZ is masculine and sporty.
The interior felt upscale with futuristic touches including touch bars to increase or decrease the radio volume or raise or lower the fan speed. Who needs a shift? The MXZ eliminated the normal center console transmission shifter replacing it with buttons on the dash starting with a start/stop ignition button. This freed up space in the center console for more storage and cup holders. Speaking of the center console, it has a “Volvo-like” floating design creating two additional places for storage underneath the console.
MyLincoln Touch has voice controls that take the reins over secondary controls, with buttons on the steering wheel offering redundant ways to command the system. The touchscreen allows you to page through everything from radio, phone, and climate control to navigation and more. Of course, to keep your hands on the wheel, you can always use the SYNC system; Ford’s Bluetooth-based system that allows users to command the XKZ to make, change or request operations including the ability to set a radio station or set an address for the navigation system.
The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is equipped with the Lincoln Drive Control (LDC), which is an automatic system that delivers an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling, as it intuitively responds to driver commands and the road. The LDC coordinates the performance of the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and Active Noise Control (ANC) systems.
• Touch bars for radio volume and fan speeds (optional)
• Shifter buttons
• Retractable panoramic roof (optional)
Safety on the 2014 Lincoln MKZ includes the following standard safety features: antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, driver and front passenger airbags and knee airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, crash sensing system, Post-Crash Alert system. Optional safety items include: rear view camera, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert; all-wheel drive.
In Summary – The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is a hot seller for Lincoln and once you see it and take it for a ride; it’s not hard to understand why. It has sophisticated styling, smart high-tech features, respectable handling and three good engine choices that earn top mpg. The interior is comfortable and well-crafted. I would also recommend stopping by a participating Lincoln dealership and asking about their Date Night promotion. You’ll receive a Lincoln for a 48-hour time period as well as a $100 gift card.
I want to give a special thanks to Sara Schleske, Marketing Manager, at Livermore Ford Lincoln, for her assistance with our test drive and setting up our Date Night test drive.
2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Base price: $35,925 as driven: $45,645 (including destination & optional
Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 188 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 129 @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: FWD Drive
Turning circle: 38.0 feet
Cargo space: 11.1 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3,828pounds
Fuel capacity: 13.5 gallons
EPA mileage: City 38/Hwy 37
Wheel Base: 112.2 inches
Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles powertrain limited
Also consider: Acura TL, Buick LaCrosse, Lexus ES 300h, Infiniti Q50 Hybrid