Lincoln is on the verge of a product overhaul, with seven new or heavily updated models due in the coming years. One of these, potentially the most crucial to securing Lincoln’s future, is the 2013 MKZ, which was previewed in concept form at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Unfortunately, Lincoln is taking its time with its rebirth, but that doesn’t mean the brand’s current offerings aren’t worth a look.
If you’re in the market for a mid-size luxury sedan, especially one that’s environmentally friendly, then the 2012 Lincoln MKZ could be the car for you.
Priced in the mid-$30k bracket, the MKZ is essentially a restyled, better-upholstered Ford Fusion--and that's a great place to start since the Fusion's been one of our top-rated vehicles since its introduction. It also offers V-6, hybrid or four-cylinder drivetrains, and the hybrid in particular guarantees that the MKZ is one of the most fuel-efficient sedans around.
The official EPA rating for the 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is an impressive 41/36 mpg city/highway, which is very impressive considering the car can seat up to five and comes with a load of safety and tech features. The MKZ Hybrid has a nifty visual trick that helps drivers learn how to drive more efficiently. It says it with flowers: one part of the LCD gauges shows a plant that adds new buds as drivers use their lead feet more judiciously.
Not only is the fuel-efficiency impressive, but the transition from gas to gas-electric operation is the best we've experienced this side of the Chevrolet Volt, and its electric steering and regenerative brakes silence some of the most serious criticisms we usually level at hybrids.
Note, the rest of the range of still fun to drive, especially the V-6, which is a standard front-driver though can be optioned with all-wheel drive. This is the performance model of the fleet, coming with a very healthy 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque.
In terms of utility and cargo space, the MKZ isn't quite up to the task that a less efficient Chrysler 300 or maybe a Buick LaCrosse could handle better. The smaller scale does it give it a better urban driving feel than some of its rivals, though. One thing to note is that the optional all-wheel drive feels like a setback, adding a few hundred pounds of curb weight without promising much more traction, except in regions where winter driving requires you to change your tires.
For more details, check out the full review at our sister site The Car Connection.