2010 Lincoln MKZEnlarge Photo
Last year's 2009 Lincoln MKZ was a story of 'almosts' - almost sporty enough, almost luxurious enough, almost refined enough to compete with its American and Japanese competition. After a slick but inexpensive re-hash, the question is: is the 2010 Lincoln MKZ still 'almost', or is it enough?
In the exterior styling department, the 2010 MKZ is a lot like one of its prime competitors: the Acura TL. It's a love-it or leave-it design, with a pleasing outline dominated by a toothy, bright-chrome grille - though it's by no means as controversial as the TL's bionic beaver tooth. A similar unit seems mostly at home on the nose of the larger MKS, but on the MKZ, it definitely draws the eye a bit more than it should.
If you can get past that, however, there's a lot to like about the MKZ's shape. It's a shape shared fairly closely with the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, however, so don't expect to stand out from the crown until that grille comes into view.
Inside is where the 2009 MKZ needed the most attention - the materials and styling were a bit on the drab side for a car sitting astride the $40,000 mark. The 2010 version fixes this, however, with materials no one in the price bracket can seriously complain about, and more attention to putting soft surfaces in all the right places than either GM or Toyota.
One area of particular note to longer-legged drivers is the center tunnel, which when edged with hard and flashy aluminum or plastic trim can cause a bruise or at least discomfort on longer trips. The MKZ has a pleasantly soft, rubbery material here that makes it almost unnoticeable - exactly as it should be.