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2014 Lincoln MKZ Overview
Need a little pampering from your midsize commuter car? Check out Lincoln’s 2014 MKZ entry-level luxury sedan. This well-wrought 4-door seats 5 occupants, offers 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, flaunts plenty of standard and optional equipment, and can be delivered with available V6 power and optional all-wheel drive (AWD).
After a comprehensive redesign in 2013, the latest MKZ iteration enters the 2014 model year essentially unchanged. Available in Base and Hybrid iterations, this high-end family car packs those state-of-the-art amenities Lincoln owners have come to expect, though many of those in the know find the MKZ still lacking in refinement and power compared with, for instance, Lexus’ ES350 and 300h, Audi’s legendary A4 or Beemer’s hyped-up 3 Series offerings. Nevertheless, for the money, the MKZ is a solid choice for anyone looking to drive an American icon.
In any case, once again, delivered power for the Base MKZ is a 231-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine. Mated with a well-wrought 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and push-button shifting, this elegant sedan puts out 270 lb-ft of torque, while variable valve timing (VVT) allows a fairly impressive 22 mpg city/33 highway in the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) configuration. The available AWD-equipped Base MKZ packing the I4 boasts 22/31 and again flaunts normal cruising in FWD bolstered by the capability to switch torque instantly from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip on snow-covered roadways.
For a little more giddy-up, the Base MKZ can be loaded with a 3.7-liter V6 powerplant that again comes under the management of the 6-speed shiftable automatic for 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Mileage, however, drops to 19/28 in FWD V6-equipped editions and 18/26 in the available AWD-packing version.
Should fuel economy and greener pastures be a passion, the 2014 MKZ Hybrid sports a 2.0-liter normally aspirated I4 in combination with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to put out a total of 188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from this peppy hybrid is noted by reviewers to be surprisingly hefty, while regenerative braking helps recharge the battery pack as the hybrid drivetrain retains the ability to cruise for short distances on electric power alone. Oh, and be advised that the MKZ Hybrid is offered only in FWD configuration.
Standard features for both versions of this heady luxury 4-door include standard 18-inch alloy wheels aboard the handsome profile, while premium leather upholstery, wood and alloy interior accents, heated power-adjustable front seats and cargo-enhancing split-folding rear seatbacks adorn the well-wrought cabin. Of course full power accessories, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, return in the 2014 MKZ, as do cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and Sync/MyLincolnTouch directions and communications services with an 8-inch color touchscreen display.
Further bolstering convenience and comfort aspects of the MKZ's drive are a standard universal remote garage door opener, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and Bluetooth hands-free communications. Entertainment, meantime, is presented by a single-CD player with 11 speakers, satellite radio, a video monitor, memory-card slot and USB port.
The MKZ Hybrid again mirrors the Base in standard goodies, but adds Ford’s SmartGuage with EcoGuide dashboard-mounted hybrid performance and efficiency monitoring system.
Options-wise, this high-end sedan can be delivered with an optional navigation suite, a heated power-tilting steering wheel and either a power moonroof or a retractable panoramic glass roof. Again, most of these options are available in package form, while others can also be ordered as individual extras. Also available in package garb or as standalone equipment are a 14-speaker THX II premium audio system, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, heated rear seats, and upsized and upgraded wheels.
Finally, noteworthy standard safety equipment in the 2014 MKZ Base and Hybrid trims include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Turn-signal-integrated mirrors remain standard again for this year, as do dusk-sensing adaptive headlights, Sync/MyLincoln Touch emergency assistance and communications, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. Rain-sensing wipers, meanwhile, can be delivered as a safety option, as can inflatable rear seatbelts.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.