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2017 Lincoln MKZ Overview
Apparently, Lincoln has heard the same complaint a little too often, from both reviewers and consumers alike: that its vehicles aren't much more than upscale and overpriced Fords. So in an effort to differentiate itself from its parent company, Lincoln has given the 2017 MKZ a mid-cycle refresh that may or may not achieve the intended result. Though the new MKZ includes a number of exterior and interior styling tweaks, a optional new powerplant with torque vectoring, and a new ultra-premium audio system, many reviewers think that what’s really needed is a complete overhaul of the Lincoln lineup.
Be that as it may, the 2017 MKZ, a 5-seat high-end midsize sedan, comes in four trims: the base Premier, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. A hybrid version of each trim is also available. Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard, all-wheel drive (AWD) optional, but keep in mind the hybrid is only available with FWD.
Decidedly passenger-friendly, the upcoming year’s MKZ offers 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space in the regular version, while the hybrid, with its bulky rear-mounted battery pack, offers 11.1 cubic feet.
Look for the 2017 MKZ to sport a new dark-finish grille design, a sleeker hood, and upgraded adaptive LED headlights. Inside, expect new carbon-fiber accents and an overdue redesigned center stack, with knobs and buttons replacing those old, ill-advised sliding selectors for climate control and audio. The 2017 MKZ can also be equipped with an optional 20-speaker Revel Ultima premium stereo system, and new multi-contour front seats. A pair of additional MKZ Black Label themes, Chalet and Vineyard, are new for 2017, joining the current Indulgence, Oasis, Modern Heritage, and Center Stage selections.
Standard power on the 2017 MKZ comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant that’s managed by a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 245 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque (5 more hp than the current version). Mileage figures for the standard I4 are expected to be similar to the current 22 mpg city/33 highway/26 combined in FWD versions and 22/31/25 with AWD.
AWD trims also offer an optional 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged mill that Lincoln claims will put out 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, mated to the 6-speed shiftable automatic. Mileage figures are currently unavailable for the upgraded engine, but be advised that it will require premium unleaded gas.
The 2017 MKZ Hybrid will keep its 2.0-liter I4 gasoline powerplant, in combination with a 70-kilowatt electric motor, putting out a total of 188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) returns standard, as does a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery, regenerative braking, and a driver-selectable Eco Select mode for even greater fuel efficiency. Look for mileage on the hybrid to remain a healthy 41/39/40.
All MKZ drivetrains are slated to sport Lincoln Drive Control, which boasts 3 driver-selectable modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport, each designed to adjust suspension damping, steering effort, and noise control to suit different driving moods. Steering effort is expected to be further eased by the addition of brand new torque-vectoring control.
Standard equipment on all trims is anticipated to include 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, adaptive suspension dampers, and keyless entry and ignition. Leatherette upholstery also remains standard, as do heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. The upgraded interior accents and enhanced gauge cluster should complement such features as memory for driver settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Technology, meanwhile, is expected to include standard Bluetooth-integrated Sync hands-free infotainment, with MyLincoln Touch telematics and mobile apps, displayed on an 8-inch LCD touchscreen. There is also a standard single CD/MP3 player with 11 speakers, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio input.
Options for the 2017 MKZ include the Select package, with extra profile accents, an auto-dimming driver’s-side mirror, leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and HD Radio. The Reserve package adds 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, GPS navigation, blind-spot alerts with rear cross-traffic warnings, a heated steering wheel, massaging front seats, and heated rear seats. And the available MKZ Black Label series offers personalized shopping assistance, premium leather upholstery, designer interior wood trim, and a selection of exclusive exterior colors.
Standalone options, meanwhile, are expected to include a power sunroof, portable rear-seat DVD entertainment, and the new Revel Ultima audio setup.
Safety-wise, look for the 2017 MKZ to sport all of today’s mandated safety equipment, including turn-signal-integrated mirrors, Sync emergency alerts and communications, programmable MyKey speed and audio controls, a post-collision safety system, and a remote antitheft alarm. New safety options include upgraded adaptive cruise control with a full-stop feature and forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and front-collision braking.
Look for the 2017 MKZ to be challenged by the Acura TLX, Lexus ES 350 and 300h (hybrid) duo, Volvo S60, Audi A4, and BMW 3 Series when it goes on sale in the summer of 2016.
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.
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