Test Drive Reviews 

2013 Lincoln MKZ Test Drive

Have you ever wondered how Lincoln Motor Company was founded? The story involves a man named Henry Leland, a former manager of Cadillac and his son Wilfred Leland. Together, the two formed a company back in 1917 and named it after Henry’s hero Abraham Lincoln whom he voted for in 1864.

Originally, Lincoln made its money from putting together aircraft engines using cylinders that were supplied by Ford Motor Company, in order to fulfill World War 1 orders from the government. It wasn’t until after the war that Lincoln retooled its factories to start making luxury automobiles. Eventually, Ford walked in and purchased the company in 1922.

2014 Lincoln MKZ - 04Lincoln operated as a somewhat separate company from Ford through the early 1940s and over the years the two became more and more integrated – so much so that in order to keep cost down, every Lincoln shared a Ford platform along with parts and components. Over the years, Lincoln eventually lost its luxury panache due to economies of scale and eventually became known as a glorified Ford vehicle.

Well, the higher-ups at Ford are now trying to change that and are trying to set the Lincoln brand apart from the Ford brand. The first step in moving Lincoln further away from Ford was a dedicated Lincoln Design Studio in Dearborn, Mich., the brand’s first new fully dedicated design center in 40 years. The very first car coming out of the new Lincoln Design Studio is the 2013 Lincoln MKZ – a different take at a car that was always the same as the Ford Fusion.

“The new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance,” said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “It is proof of our commitment to deliver a new breed of Lincolns for a new generation of Lincoln clients – motor cars that are distinctive, elegant, full of technology and a delight to own.”

Style:Sedans.
Seating Capacity:5-passengers.
Base Price:$35,925
Engine: 2.0 liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost making 240-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque
Transmission:6-speed automatic.
0 to 60 mph:7.1 seconds.
Top Speed:125 mph
Curb Weight:3,874 lbs.
Fuel-economy (city/highway):22/31 mpg.

Exterior

Is the Lincoln MKZ still based on the Ford Fusion? Of course it is! However, Lincoln’s Design Studio has done an outstanding job in setting it apart from the 2013 Ford Fusion . The 2013 MKZ now features a sweeping roofline that pins it up against some sleek looking foor-door-coupe style models.

In keeping some of Lincoln’s heritage, designers say that some design cues, like the split-wing grille , were inspired by older cars like the 1938 Lincoln Zephyr.

The model features some sleek design touches including carefully crafted headlamps that turn in sync with the steering and a full-width LED taillamp in the back.

In my opinion the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is definitely the best looking Lincoln in years and definitely grabs some attention away from its closest competitors.

Interior

Step inside and you can tell that Lincoln designers actually put a lot of effort in setting the interior of the MKZ apart from the Fusion. You’ll notice a full blend of rich materials, finer details, and premium grade leather. Instead of a standard gear box there are individual buttons for Push Button Start, Park, Neutral, Reverse, and forward gears in two modes, Drive and Sport.

Head over to the center-dash and you’ll notice there are not buttons at all. Everything has been flushed into the dash and is touch sensitive – as is the 8-inch inch LCD full-color screen which hosts the latest version of SYNC with MyLincoln Touch. Right in front of the driver there is a 10.1 inch LCD screen which displays the speed gauges and other importnat vehicle information.

Comfort wise, the Lincoln MKZ does not disappoint. As with every Lincoln from the past, the MKZ lives up to interior comfort luxury with plush leather seats that seem to just hug you while you’re driving.

Performance

2014 Lincoln MKZ - 11The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is available with a range of engine choices including a 2.0 liter EcoBoost, a 300-hp 3.7 liter V6 or a 2.0 liter Hybrid. My test car was powered by the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost making 240-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. All of that sits on the same architecture as the Ford Fusion – and that’s not a bad thing because the Fusion is pretty impressive when it comes to the performance section.

Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Lincoln MKZ 2.0 EcoBoost can run from 0 to 60 mph in around 7 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. While those might not seem like strong numbers, the MKZ’s performance is strong enough to handle many driving situations. The 4-cylinder EcoBoost acts more like a V6 and the handling is very sharp allowing you to zoom in and out of lanes on the highway.

Fuel-economy wise, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ EcoBoost manages to return 22/33 mpg (city/highway) for the front-wheel-drive model. My AWD test model is rated at an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg.

After driving the new MKZ for a week, I definitely noticed that Lincoln is stepping out of the box. Rather than offering a lifeless but comfortable ride, Lincoln is aiming for a more dynamic feel that keeps the driver connected to the car – all while keeping comfort in tact.

Overall

You’re probably thinking by now that the MKZ is an overpriced version of the Ford Fusion in a different skin and a Lincoln badge that carries this outstanding price tag. Not exactly. Prices for the 2013 Lincoln MKZ start at just $35,925. That’s just a tad bit cheaper than its Lexus ES and Acura TL competitors.

In fact, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ comes with 10 class-exclusive features, seven of which are standard: push-button shift, LED headlamps, 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster, Bluetooth, iPod/USB Connectivity, Active Noise Control, 8-inch touch screen and remote start. All that costs just $35,925.

If you’re in the market for a new luxury sedan, I definitely recommend that you give the new Lincoln MKZ a look.

– By: Omar Rana

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