The contemporary iteration of the midsize sedan credited with reinventing the Lincoln brand -- the MKZ -- embodies stunning design attributes housing innovative and purposeful technologies. Easily one of the nicest looking cars in the midsize entry luxury category, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ's grille and headlight treatment are based upon that of the all-new Continental.
The MKZ has the Sync 3 technology interface and revised interior controls for the radio and climate systems. This is a welcomed change, as the previous infotainment system's amalgamation of look-alike buttons could be frustrating for users, which looked cool enough but was cumbersome to use.
Performance fans will appreciate the all-wheel drive MKZ's 400-horsepower turbocharged V-6 engine. The base turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 245-horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Slotted between those two is a 350-horsepower V-6, producing 400 lb-ft of torque and employing front-wheel drive.
Meanwhile, power for MKZ Hybrid comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. A continuously variable automatic transmission routes motive force to the front wheels. Total system output is 188 horsepower. According to the EPA, you can expect 40 mpg overall (41 city/38 highway). We saw an even over our week of testing on a variety of roads and freeways.
While MKZ is the entry-level sedan for the brand, we're still talking about a Lincoln here, so even the base model MKZ comes packed with desirable features. These include 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension system, smart xenon headlights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, LED taillights, keyless entry and push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, 10-way-adjustable front seats with heating, memory settings for driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat with ski pass-through, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The MKZ's standard technology suite is comprised of a rearview camera, voice controls, Lincoln's Sync 3 infotainment interface, an 8-inch touchscreen display, Sync smartphone app integration, and an 11-speaker audio system supporting a CD player, satellite radio, a pair of USB ports and an audio input jack.
If you go with the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid you'll get all of the same features-at the same price. That means, for example, opting for the MKZ Hybrid Select model adds an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, power-folding outside mirrors, leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, a power-adjustable steering wheel, tasteful interior ambient accent lighting, a 110-volt power outlet and a pair of rear-seat USB charging ports -- just as you would get if you chose a MKZ Select with one of the conventional gasoline engines.
All of these features are housed within one of the nicest interior treatments you'll find anywhere. In fact, Lincoln enjoys the reputation of having the most attractive passenger compartments of any American manufacturer. More than just good-looking however, the accommodations are exceptionally comfortable. You'll find the seats capable of transporting you fidget free over long distances. Rear seat legroom is admirable too. A wonderful highway car, the MKZ rides quietly, comfortably and smoothly in the best American tradition.
What's more, competent handling is also part of the equation. When roads twist and turn, the MKZ happily plays along. No, you won't slay BMW's 3 Series on back roads, but the MKZ responds nicely to a competent hand.
If you're shopping in this price range, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ has a lot of positives to take in. One of the most extraordinary is that you can choose between conventional and hybrid powertrains, without paying a premium for the electrified version of the car. Pricing for the 2018 Lincoln MKZ starts at $35,170.
Copyright © 2017 Motor Matters
|Base price||$35,170 (as tested: $36,095)|
|Curb weight||4,191 lbs.|
|Engine type||Twin-turbocharged V-6|
|Epa mileage rating||17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||18 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||400 at 5500 rpm|
|Overall length||193.9 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||400 at 2750 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger AWD midsize sedan|
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