2006 Lincoln Zephyr Overview


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2006 Lincoln Zephyr Overview

The revival of the Zephyr name, appearing seventy years ago in the Lincoln line-up, marks a similar attempt to give Lincoln a broader appeal than the narrow, high-end luxury class.

The new Zephyr originates in the Mazda 6 platform - the basis for the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. That basic platform offers a more Euro handling orientation than your father's Lincoln. Tweaking the suspension to deal with the extra weight of a luxury car resulted in excellent road manners with very little leaning and floating. Several reviewers even had the opportunity to drive it on a racecourse at higher than normal highway speeds. They were pleasantly surprised at the Zephyr's composure.

The Zephyr comes with a six-speed automatic transmission - not a frequent feature in this class - that assists both economy and acceleration. EPA figures are 20/28 mpg and testers got 22 mpg overall. While the 0-60 dash came in at 7.3, slightly faster than the lighter Fusion, but slower than most of its in class brethren. Reviewers faulted the 221-hp, 3.0 Duratec V6 for being noisy at the high end and technologically out dated.

The interior received unanimous praise for its perforated leather seating, real wood trim, and overall appointments. Front passengers are treated to a 10-way-power-adjustable, heated front seats (optional: cooling), and effective electroluminescent lighting for easy day or night instrument visibility. All reviewers praised the optional 600-watt THX sound system for its very high-quality surround sound.

The Zephyr's architecture includes a safety-cage structure that protects the occupants in the event of a crash. Coupled with standard dual-stage front airbags, front side and full-length side-curtain airbags, ABS, and traction control the Zephyr received five stars for front-seat side impacts and four stars in frontal, rollover, and rear-seat side impact tests.

Zephyr, like its historic namesake, represents a new direction for Lincoln as an entry-level, Euro influenced luxury sedan.


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