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2011 Lincoln MKZ Trims

AWD

Avg. Price: $20,871

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ AWD features all the techno-gizmos and luxury appointments of its Base sibling, with full-time all-wheel drive added. Ensuring this added functionality is a viscous, center-mounted, limited-slip differential that tames slick roads and makes light of muddy ones.

Mirroring its Base kinsman, the 2011 MKZ AWD packs a standard 3.5-liter, variable-valve-timed V6 engine that combines with a six-speed auto-manual transmission for 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. The EPA estimates 17/24 mpg with the AWD system.

Base

Avg. Price: $20,346

Despite appearances, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Base is not a decked-out Ford Fusion. This plush, front-wheel-drive (FWD) five-passenger entry-level luxury sedan is loaded with such standard amenities as leather upholstery, heated, power-adjustable front seats, SYNC voice-command technology, power accessories, including heated outside mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, universal remote garage door opener, wood, alloy, and leather accents, memory for driver's settings, a 6-CD changer with nine speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth technology, and a USB connection. Options, meanwhile, include a power moonroof, THX II Certified audio with 14 speakers and 600 watts of power, touch-screen DVD navigation, a Sport Suspension Package, and the ambiance-enhancing Executive Package.

Safety equipment for the MKZ Base includes four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, rear parking sensors, remote anti-theft alarm, front fog/driving lights, and, of course, the well-regarded MyKey programmable speed and audio limitation system for when the kids take the car for the evening.

Powering the 2011 MKZ Base is a 263-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that combines with a standard six-speed auto-manual transmission to put down 249 lb-ft of torque. This combo gets a respectable 18/27 mpg with help from the V6’s variable valve timing.

Hybrid

Avg. Price: $23,020

Blending luxury, eco-friendliness, and fuel economy, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid takes on the Euro-luxury sedans. Though boasting the identical passenger-pampering ride and creature comforts, not to mention the same techno-gadgetry, as its gasoline-powered sibling, the Hybrid cuts luggage space to 11.8 cubic feet due to its large electric motor battery compartment. Additionally, split-folding rear seatbacks are unavailable for the same reason. Ford’s well-regarded SmartGauge system is also included as part of the dashboard display.

A 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine is combined with a 30-kilowatt electric motor to put out 191 hp and 135 lb-ft of torque in the 2011 MKZ Hybrid. This power is under the management of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), ensuring a flawless transition between gasoline and electric power. Regenerative braking helps the I4 repower the nickel-metal hydride battery, while variable valve timing, auto-engine stop/start, and deceleration fuel shutoff results in an EPA-estimated 41/36 mpg.