2015 Lincoln MKZ Review


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2015 Lincoln MKZ Overview

Redesigned for 2013, Lincoln's most affordable midsize sedan is mostly unchanged for 2015—other than debuting a top-shelf Black Label trim offering luxurious retro styles and an expansion of the maker's concierge services. Otherwise the very same MKZ that drivers call the most comfortable, reliable and fuel-efficient luxury option remains just that for 2015, technology quirks and all carrying over without any reported changes.

To date, the present-generation MKZ has but a handful of common complaints. The fact that its infotainment systems are not immediately usable at first blush is chief among those complaints, but for as many drivers that complain, there are just as many who say it is intuitive if you read the manual. Beyond that, nobody seems to mind that the back seat isn't as spacious for 3 as other midsize sedans, and its steady ways are never called pokey—some even dare to say it's fun to drive.

What the MKZ lacks in complaints is more than made up for in praise, however. Offering as much as 22 mpg city/33 highway on regular fuel with its unmodified base engine, the MKZ is uniquely positioned among its rivals on ownership costs, even before considering driver reviews talking about its relative lack of unexpected visits to the service department. Lincoln may not have an established "thing" that it stands for yet, but it's quickly building a reputation as the most blissful luxury brand to own with its entry-level MKZ. Kind of an outside-the-budget-box Toyota.

For all the sensible reasons to own an MKZ, drivers also praise innovations such as the push-button shifter, which opens up the center stack for things like a giant touchscreen to interface with My Lincoln/Ford Touch if voice commands aren't your thing, not to mention affording a more spacious feel to the driver's quarters. It's not as jam-packed with technology and features as its rivals, but all the major conveniences are either standard or available, such as advanced cruise control for stop-and-go traffic, rear sensors, a rear-view camera and just about every other "alert" and "assist" system Ford is so well-known for developing.

The 2015 MKZ is still available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), with either a turbocharged 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated V6 or a hybrid system. All but the Hybrid use a 6-speed automatic transmission. There isn't a single dud in the bunch, but most drivers actually prefer the base turbo for its balance of power and economy.

Rated for 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, that default engine propels the MKZ to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. The V6 is only marginally better at 6.7 seconds, but it goes at least 3 fewer miles on a gallon of gas. An AWD turbo sips at 22 mpg city/31 highway, whereas an AWD V6 chugs away at 18/26 to produce 300 hp and 277 lb-ft/torque.

The Hybrid is available only with FWD and a continuously variable transmission, having the worst zip-to-60 time of them all at around 8.4 seconds, but fuel economy is estimated at 45/45 for its electric-and-gas powertrain good for 188 hp. Some drivers say they have a hard time reaching that estimate in the real world, but it's never worse than 35 mpg, even on the hilliest daily commute.


Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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