By on November 3, 2006

07mkz_4730.jpgLast year’s Zephyr was the automotive embodiment of all that’s wrong with Ford and Lincoln. The barely badge engineered Ford Fusion hammered yet another cheaply gilded nail into the once mighty Lincoln brand’s coffin. So now Ford has given the Zephyr a new name, engine and front end; an MP3 audio jack and [available] all wheel-drive. Is it enough to lift the Lincoln into some semblance of dignity, or does Lincoln still need to reach higher?

Prince may have changed his image since you began the last paragraph, but not much has happened to the artist formerly known as Zephyr. Despite the MKZ’ redesigned waterfall grill, the demitasse Lincoln is still rental-car vanilla searching for some Turtle Soup for the Soul. Sadly, the MKZ’ new front/rear lower valences and iced-out fog lights do little to dress up a relatively hum-drum package. From the plastic C-pillar trimmings– designed to visually lengthen the window outline (or daylight opening in designerese) to more Lincoln-friendly standards without actually doing so)– to its frumpy posterior, the MKZ is still such a Ford Fusion it Hertz.

07lincolnmkz_14.jpgThe MKZ’ interior comes in three basic flavors: slathered in a bland tan so lifeless it cries out for Jackson Pollock’s alcohol-fuelled spastic outbursts, specced-up in Germanic-style charcoal or doused in French gray. All three designs possess a dour demeanor that's deeply disturbed by all the shiny happy plastic satin nickel silver buttons, switchgear and accents. MKZ owners can also spice up their wall o’ dash with maple or ebony inserts, carefully “figured” not to look like fake wood. South Florida condo taste or no, the MKZ’ cabin provides a welcome change from the cookie-cutter cockpits of its foreign and wannabe-foreign competition.

The MKZ’ 10-way (yes way) front seats are as supportive as a drill sergeant, but at least they’re plenty comfortable. Peep the minimalist gauges, soak up the THX stereo’s solid audio attributes, feel the reassuring wood-trimmed wheel and let the heated and cooled seats set your soul on a relaxing journey deep into the heart of American luxury. After all, that’s what makes the uber-Fusion price worthwhile, yes?

07_mkz_2957.jpgNot entirely. The Lincoln MKZ is almost somewhat sort of entertaining to drive. It’s true: the name’s been changed to protect the innocent. The 3500-pound sedan gets a brand spanking new 263-horse 3.5-liter Duratec V6, mated to six forward gears, corralled by [optional] all-wheel drive. The powertrain turns the once sleepy Lincoln sedan into an automotive sleeper. With a first gear shorter than Tom Cruise proposing to Katie Holmes, the bigger motor’s ample torque reserve (249ft.-lbs.) pushes you back in your seat with genuine authority, while the high rpm punch keeps your eyes darting towards the speedometer.

The MKZ’ 6.7 second zero to 60 sprint time means that Lincoln’s finally given Commander Cody fans a hot rod worth singing about. Younger pistonheads (Commander Who and the What?) may despair. Quick as it is, the MKZ serves-up great heaps of body roll, “you’re not the boss of me” downshifts and a boingee suspension. Even so, it’s fun to throw the MKZ a tight curveball, punch it at the apex and rocket out of the corner. 

Clearly, this Lincoln is no sports sedan. But it’s the kind of car secondhand owners or short-term leasers can mercilessly thrash to an inch of its life with one hand draped across their passenger’s chair. In the care of less assertive folk, the MKZ also delivers decent enough ride quality: a happy medium somewhere between road feel and no feel. That and acceptable noise suppression make the MKZ a no-brainer for the grandmother of a Subaru WRX pilot.

07_mkz_3107.jpgIf you want this admirable powertrain in a cheaper, lighter, tighter, less ostentatious package, tough luck. The otherwise identical Fusion still rolls with the coarse, lackluster 221hp V6 as its top engine choice. Horsepower and refinement exclusivity may be a good thing for Lincoln, but it’s a bad thing for Ford. Instead of blowing away the competition with a big motor and AWD, the Fusion sees nothing but the taillights of V6 Camry, Accord and Altima drivers. In today’s market, not giving the goods to a Ford product in a competitive segment isn’t just a bad idea, it’s a silent killer.

I know: I’m complaining about a Lincoln model not sharing its good fortune with its Ford counterpart while complaining that the MKZ isn’t different enough from its Ford counterpart to justify its place in the Lincoln portfolio. How crazy is that? But brand differentiation is the retro-religion these days. Instead of creating a new, brand-specific automotive orthodoxy, Ford is busy robbing Peter to pay Paul– and they're both broke. The truth is Lincoln needs one no-compromise automobile that says this is who we are and what we do. No matter how you dress it up, the MKZ ain’t it, and never will be.

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96 Comments on “Lincoln MKZ Review...”


  • avatar
    taxman100

    Spec-wise, the car looks promising. I don’t what other vehicle can be had with AWD and 263 hp at that price.

    I also like the interior – different.

    That being said, if the thing makes enough money that Ford keeps the Lincoln name, and thereby pumps out an updated Town Car in a couple of years, than this “whatever-it’s-name-is” model has done it’s duty, as far as I’m concerned.

    Nice appetizer – now the main course – a Town Car I could be proud to lay down my $45,000 to buy.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    I don’t think the Lincoln is bad looking, but like the LS before it, The MKZ just has no soul.

    FWD engineering, even when it’s masked with all-wheel drive, cannot substitute for a good RWD platform. Ask Jaguar.

    Lincoln has thrown away its heritage. Their naming conventions (MKX, MKZ, MKWhatever) makes no sense, and the sooner we can forget the failure that is the new ‘Gator, the better. Their vehicles lack a coherent design and driving personality.

    “The truth is Lincoln needs one no-compromise automobile that says this is who we are and what we do. No matter how you dress it up, the MKZ ain’t it, and never will be.”

    Says it all.

  • avatar
    Terry

    OK, here’s the plan: Dump Mercury, have Mazda and Volvo design and engineer all their passenger cars(wait–they already ARE), keep Ford trucks…and make Aston Martin the “New Lincoln”.
    DONE! See how easy that was?

  • avatar
    JJ

    and make Aston Martin the “New Lincoln”.

    …is it even legal to say that?

    Anyway, I wonder what they would have called it here if they’d bring it over since MKZ stands for a virus that kills cattle (pigs, cows, sheep).

    Or maybe it’s just named suitably.

  • avatar
    Terry

    I just thought that if the best you can do is to badge-engineer your cars, you might as well use everything in your arsenal, dont hide the fact, and take that next bold step we keep hearing about.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This platform just doesn’t say “Lincoln” to me. I think they should have left it at Ford and Mercury and moved on. Now you’ve got hundreds of American joint dealerships (I can’t remember the last time I saw Lincoln and Mercury at separate locales) confusing the crap out of customers who can’t use the Karesh force to quantify the differences. I feel that confusing your customers is the worst thing you can do, and this product will likely cannibalize the hell out of the Mercury body double. Then again, maybe the up-sell is part of the game plan and Mercury is just the bait, Lincoln the switch…

    Lincoln evokes “large” and “luxurious” in my mind. I guess this just doesn’t fit that ideal–perhaps why we don’t see the Civic-derived Acura in the US, or the Caddy BLS. But even more than that, I think Ford should have simply imported the excellent Mondeo again (this time much larger and nicer than the dead-in-the-water Contour/Mystique version) and called it the Fusion. Euro styling right out of the box and a proven, solid-selling platform.

  • avatar

    I disagree on the charge of badge engineering. The only shared metal is the doors and roof. The interiors are quite different, and driven back-to-back they feel nothing alike. So they’ve done about as much as Toyota did with with Lexus ES, which was the obvious target.

    The charcoal interior is much easier for us younger folk to live with than the South Florida tan. On the engine, I found a strong top end, but not much in the midrange. Otherwise, the driving experience is much as you described, a bit soft but quite entertaining nonetheless. The AWD system does a great job of putting the power down no matter which way the wheels are turned.

    For other info and to compare prices on the car:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/MKZ.php

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I want a ’98 Mark VIII LSC.

    Black, low milage, loaded.

    THATS a Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    taxman100:I don’t know what other vehicle can be had with AWD and 263 hp at that price.

    There’s a few:
    1. STi (300hp, AWD, $33k)
    2. Evo (286hp, AWD, $29k)
    3. Passat (280hp, AWD, $29k)
    4. 300 (250hp, AWD, $30k)
    5. Charger (250hp, AWD, $26k)
    6. G35x (280hp, AWD, $33k)

    There may be more, even.

  • avatar
    ash78

    AWD: I think the newer Scoobies are in that price range with 250hp (2.5L turbo?). The VW R32 is 240hp and can be had for mid-20s…assuming you were on the waiting list, and on the dealership’s good side.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    ash78: The VW R32 is 240hp and can be had for mid-20s…assuming you were on the waiting list, and on the dealership’s good side.

    Next year’s R32 will be 250hp, AWD, and have an estimated price of $32,850. And even though it’s not a luxury car, the interior will likely put this (or any) Lincoln to shame.

    I think the newer Scoobies are in that price range with 250hp (2.5L turbo?)

    243hp for the non-STi scoobies.

  • avatar
    gunnarheinrich

    I actually enjoyed my drive in the old Zephyr. The sedan was the best driving Lincoln I’ve ever experienced.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I can’t understand why Ford thinks combining 4 shades of light tan, fake looking real wood, faux silver, faux chrome, grey, and black equals a luxury interior. Reference F150 Lariat for the worst example of this. Also those round ac bezels look so out of place on that dash to me. In any case, regardless of how many body panels are changed and how different the interior is, this vehicle screams tarted up Fusion to me. Lincoln should have invested in refining the LS and throwing a sweet body on it instead.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    ^yeah, rectangular HVAC vents would have been more appropriate, and could have referenced the shape of the grille. Little details like these which aren’t a big deal on a Fusion are important for a ‘luxury’ brand.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    I surprised to say that I actually quite like the looks of this. And like Taxman said, the interior is different but not in a bad way. Slightly facinated by it, I decided to take a closer look at the most recent auto show here in NY. Approaching the Lincoln display, I noticed that the MKZ was surrounded by a generous amount of admiring onlookers and tire-kickers (the only Lincoln to enjoy that kind of attention)… Perhaps they are on to something here?

    Jerseydevil: You just struck a chord…I’m a huge fan of Mark VII & Mark VIII LSC’s, too.

    Further to Sajeev’s point, if Ford is truly serious about reviving Lincoln the right way, they should bring us a new, no-compromise Mark (not MK) IX super-lux RWD coupe (and to make it a stronger business case, make a 4-door version as the new Town Car).

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    I want a ‘98 Mark VIII LSC.

    Black, low milage, loaded.

    THATS a Lincoln.

    Damn straight. They should have improved that car rather than killing it. Les idiots.

  • avatar
    streamliner

    No guts, no glory, that’s my take on Detroit in general, including “The General” and Ford. They are so cautious on cars and clueless on brand equity that it is no surprise that mediocrity is the result for such as Lincoln. It is simply sad to observe the gross incompetency in so many who are paid so much.

  • avatar

    I’m 51. When I was 16 I thought Lincoln was as good as it gets. Better than Caddy. When I was 30 I bought the first of 3 Continentals. Continental meant luxury, comfort with a touch of boldness. This car has no class and no soul. And what the hell was Ford thinking with 3 letter codes? I will never make any attempt to distinquish the line up, now.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    In the seventies Ford had the Granada/Monarch platform that was transformed into the Versailles. At least the Versailles had rear disk brakes to distinquish it from the Granada. And a rear hump for the spare tire look. Ford is returning to that childhood again. I guess they did not learn their lesson the first time.

    Maybe it’s time for Ford to consolidate the line to Ford trucks and Mustangs, A single Lincoln brnaded luxo-barge, and a midsize offering called a Mercury. Bring econoboxes in from Europe and call it done.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    There’s no reason to buy this Lincoln.

    However, there are two coole new reasons to buy a Lexus and, on reflection, it’s a national embarassment that this is so.

    The latest Lexus PARKS ITSELF. How cool is that? The latest Lexus HAS A RADAR-EQUIPPED ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL. How cool is that? This is the stuff from “Popular Science” of the mid-60′s, it’s finally here and I have to buy a Japanese car to get it!

    This wouldn’t be quite so tragic, except that the US automakers really should have whipped Lexus in getting this stuff to market. BECAUSE WE’VE DEVELOPED STUFF THIS SOPHISTICATED AND MORE!

    The reason I consider this a national embarassment is this…

    Since the early-to-mid-90′s, we’ve had Tomahawk missiles that guided themselves to target with TERCOM (Terrain Contour Mapping). This is all US technology developed for the military that is conceptually very similar to the idea of using radar to avoid following too close and/or avoid collisions.

    Since the early-to-mid-90′s, we’ve built 747s that fly themselves. Sure, this technology is conceptually similar to a car parking itself?

    Why isn’t a Lincoln or Cadillac the coolest car with the coolest features on Earth? Why is it a Lexus? We have the technology, why don’t we use it? Why aren’t we using our best technology to win on the economic as well as the military battlefield?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    You are all missing the point of this review.

    “With a first gear shorter than Tom Cruise proposing to Katie Holmes”

    Sajeev is hysterical!!!

  • avatar
    BrendanMac

    Lincoln needs a big horrible luxo-barge like the 300C. It don’t need to be a good car, just one with personality.

    That interior looks like Greebo’s spacesuit.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Spec-wise, the car looks promising. I don’t what other vehicle can be had with AWD and 263 hp at that price.

    As mentioned by other posters, VW Passat and Subaru Legacy are both superior car models with awd at this price range.

    Remember how the first gen Lexus LS undercut the MB S-class by 20% to get started? That’s what the Lincoln should do. The MKZ should be priced at $24,000 to make a impact. Only when it is well received by the car-buying public, can it raise the price gradually.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I actually enjoyed my drive in the old Zephyr. The sedan was the best driving Lincoln I’ve ever experienced.

    Gunnar, have you driven a Lincoln LS? Even the V6 without a sport package will run circles around the MKZ. Of course, the best driving Lincoln that actually looked like a Lincoln was the Mark VII LSC of the 1980s.

    So they’ve done about as much as Toyota did with with Lexus ES, which was the obvious target.

    Michael: I disagree. The ES has a completely unique skin, which means even the glass changed (probably). The Zephyr smacks of badge engineering, and it carries over to the interior since the roofline and doors are the same.

    At least the Versailles had rear disk brakes to distinquish it from the Granada. And a rear hump for the spare tire look.

    GS650G: Don’t forget the extensive NVH isolation Lincoln gave the Granada before they put their logo on it. The MKZ isn’t much quieter (if any) than a Fusion on textured pavement.

    Dump Mercury, have Mazda and Volvo design and engineer all their passenger cars(wait–they already ARE), keep Ford trucks…and make Aston Martin the “New Lincoln”.

    Terry: Aston Martin going that downmarket? :-) I’m still surprised that people say to dump Mercury, because you don’t save much money because its integrated with Lincoln. Same management, same dealer network, same everything.

    Why isn’t a Lincoln or Cadillac the coolest car with the coolest features on Earth? Why is it a Lexus? We have the technology, why don’t we use it?

    KixStart: Cadillac is making strides, albeit very slowly. Lincoln, on the other hand, cannot make the best car without pissing off Jaguar. Well, provided Jaguar stays in the Ford fleet for much longer.

    Jerseydevil: You just struck a chord…I’m a huge fan of Mark VII & Mark VIII LSC’s, too.

    I’m pretty surprised to hear the Mark VIII come up three times in these comments.

    Wait, no I’m not. There’s a 1995 LSC in my garage. And they sound sooo sweet with headers and an X-pipe.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Lincoln needs a big horrible luxo-barge like the 300C. It don’t need to be a good car, just one with personality.

    Brendan…maybe the reskinned Lincoln Town Car (2009?) will make that a reality. If it comes, Lincoln’s gonna have to carry the profits to the bank in dump trucks.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Why isn’t a Lincoln or Cadillac the coolest car with the coolest features on Earth? Why is it a Lexus? We have the technology, why don’t we use it? Why aren’t we using our best technology to win on the economic as well as the military battlefield?

    What is that “we”? I know for a fact that GM and Ford do NOT have this technology. For so many years, they had big words only.

    Remember GM insisting on fuel cell cars when Toyota introduced hybrids? Fine. Where are the GM fuel cell cars? When? Which dealships carry them? FYI, Honda will introduce the first mass produced fuel cell car model in 2010.

    Military research is different in that the funding is from tax money and thus are used irresponsibly. Commercial research is different. Suppose both GM and Toyota proposed that fancy feature X. If you are a stock investor, are you betting your hard-earned after tax money on GM or Toyota stock? Most investor checked their track record and selected Toyota. As of now, Toyota’s market cap is 11 times larger than GM, even though they sell about the same number of cars this year.

    Conclusion:
    No, GM/Ford failed not because of the lack of fancy feature X. They failed because they did not use the investor’s money well. Even when they had the research fund, they just paid themselves in various ways. Now they don’t have that option any more.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I just think of the Benz CLS…. and cry for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    BrendanMac

    Brendan…maybe the reskinned Lincoln Town Car (2009?) will make that a reality. If it comes, Lincoln’s gonna have to carry the profits to the bank in dump trucks.

    Sajeev: with all the badge-engineering, maybe they’ll use a convoy of Lincoln F350 Superduties.

    Enjoyed your review.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Brendan: Thank you. :-) Ya know if they made that F350, it would sell like hotcakes here in Texas. I know at least ten people who’d jump at the chance for a big diesel tow-vehicle with the interior of a Navigator. I’d go for it faster than I do the Mark LT.

  • avatar

    Decent review, but with so much bodywork different, the different interior, the better motor…well, the author’s bit at the end sort of explained it.

    As for those crying for the last Mark…if people had BOUGHT THEM, there’d still be a Lincoln coupe today.

    I own a T-Bird SC on the same chassis, and the buyers didn’t know what they missed.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    The first time I heard the voiceover on the new Lincoln tv commercial finish off by saying “Reach Higher!” I thought he was saying “Retire!”

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    Sajeev, I agree with Lieberman that the “Tom Cruise” like is comedy gold!

    Another vote for the Mark VII and Mark VIII. One side note about them and technology; Osram was one of my customers years ago and built the xenon HID fronts and neon rear lamps for the 95 Mark VIII. Before they were announced, they had these things running in the plant, but couldn’t tell me much about them (even though they had them in a mule Mark VIII for testing, so that gave it away.) The engineers there would tell me how the state police would pull them over all the time and start asking questions about the lamps, and when they could get such great lights in their cruisers. The 95 Mark VIII was the first vehicle sold in the US with HID lamps.

    That’s what Lincoln and Cadillac have meant to me: the latest style and techonology available wrapped up in a big V8 and RWD. As improved a car as the MKZ may be, it is still not living up to its predecessors as to what a Lincoln is. The sad part is that it is probably the best effort that today’s FoMoCo can muster.

  • avatar
    New2LA

    Cimmaron
    Catera

    Versailles
    Zephyr/MKZ

    AHAHAHAHAHA

    Have a nice day

  • avatar
    BrendanMac

    That’s what Lincoln and Cadillac have meant to me: the latest style and techonology available wrapped up in a big V8 and RWD

    Funny, Caddy and Links have always meant high pants and bifocals to me, up until the Escalade tied the Caddies to excessive consumption. Now, Cadillacs aren’t quite the extra-large Medi-scooters they once were, but Lincoln hasn’t quite shaken off their Town-Car-ness for me. I just don’t know what the badge is supposed to mean.

    Of course, that’s a bit of IMHO.

  • avatar
    johnnyreno700

    Why do they refuse to give this thing an 8? Would the Mustang mill fit in there?

    Am I the only one that LIKES the retro-square dash in the Navigator? It would certainly help this thing stand out from a crowd of look-alikes, most costing thousands less.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    There’s no way in hell a Mustang V8 would fit in there, and even if it would (without blowing up the transaxle) Ford doesn’t have the money and/or balls to make it happen. Not on that Mazda chassis.

    UnclePete: don’t forget the Mark VII was the first car in America with plastic headlights that sat flush with the body. Hell, even the Versailles had a “first” to its credit: it had the first Halogen headlights. I guess the Versailles is less badge engineered than I last recalled.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    Sajeev,
    I seem to recall the Versailles having a Leather wrapped dashboard, too…
    Can anyone else second that?

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    BrendanMac:

    Funny, Caddy and Links have always meant high pants and bifocals to me, up until the Escalade tied the Caddies to excessive consumption. Now, Cadillacs aren’t quite the extra-large Medi-scooters they once were, but Lincoln hasn’t quite shaken off their Town-Car-ness for me. I just don’t know what the badge is supposed to mean.

    Of course, that’s a bit of IMHO.

    I’m 50 years old, so I remember parents of my friends driving Lincolns and Caddys. That was the “I’ve made it car”, one of those little things to show you’ve had a successful life.

    I remember the snow-bird Caddys as more of a late-70s thing, probably as my parent’s generation got old they still saw it as the pinnacle car.

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    I just saw one of these things come in for appraisal the other day. A Zephyr version at that. It was sad, really. The car’s owners had stopped wanting it after 3500 miles. If this was a pet monkey, it would be the saddest pet monkey at the shelter for unwanted pets. And the only people who would want this sad monkey are those that would treat it like crap. I wonder how many of these things are shoveled into the hands of Ford employees for a song?

  • avatar
    rprellwitz

    I don’t get this car. It really seems to have no purpose in the Ford / Lincoln / Mercury lineup. It would have made more sense to refresh the LS (the last interesting product to come from Lincoln) with new exterior, refined interior and a bevy choices in drivetrain and suspension etc – Think 535i, 545i, M5. Perhaps even offer to let customers (by this I mean actual retail buyers – not dealers) order the cars the way the want them ala BMW Indvidual program where you can have the car any way you like it, for a price.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I seem to recall the Versailles having a Leather wrapped dashboard, too…

    It sure was, but it was just a Granada dashboard. Still, that strange car was more decadent than people give it credit for.

    http://www.lincolnversailles.com/

    It would have made more sense to refresh the LS with new exterior, refined interior and a bevy choices in drivetrain and suspension etc

    Well yeah, but you can’t expect Ford to nurture a quality product when they make one. That’s not part of their business plan.

  • avatar
    Infamous Dr. X

    Uncle Pete/Brandon Mac:

    I always thought that Caddy was *cool* and Lincoln was *bad ass*. Of course, I’m of…um…Italian extraction, shall we say [insert wildly gesticulating hands here], so I’m probably biased.

    I spent my whole life wanting a black Link or (preferably) Caddy. And then, just when I could justify getting a (ahem) Staff Car, they changed the styles or took them away entirely. Sucka fools. At least Cadillac is still bearable. Lincoln is just…ick.

  • avatar
    chanman

    Well yeah, but you can’t expect Ford to nurture a quality product when they make one. That’s not part of their business plan.

    Maybe what we need are foster corporations to take custody of these models away, maybe even at birth. It’ll be like abusive parents with good genes. “Thanks for the input, we’ll take care of it from here.”

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Lincoln had a great car already being produced – the LS – which was touted at this very site as the “best buy” going at Lincoln stores; since with its discontinuance, likely it would be sold at what you might call a “firesale” price.
    To my mind, it’s sad that the name “Zephyr” was dropped. It was a sign that (1) Lincoln knew it would mean something only to a demographic they don’t care about anymore and (2) the product is so weak, so derivative and cross-platformed, that the great name of “Zephyr” would be insulted, if put on that car.
    This car seems acceptable and that’s not bad. However, Lincoln historically stood for a marque that was equal to, or in some years, better than Cadillac. Lincoln should quit making the grotesque and baroque Navigator, as soon as they can; and start concentrating on the cars – again. The LS is lost; but there’s a starting mark (pun intended) here.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I also like the Zephyr name, though VW sort of has (had) the market cornered on naming cars after types of winds–Scirocco, Passat, Golf, Vento. Besides, it rhymes with “heifer”.

    Going alphanumeric, IMO, needs to construe factual info about the car, preferably platform and displacement. BMW has sort of gotten this right, but has strayed. I’d rather see MK35 or something like that.

  • avatar
    Ar-Pharazon

    Fear of litigation. You worry about beancounters running a company, just think about a bunch of lawyers. Ford was developing prototype adaptive cruise control systems about 17 years ago, but they were shelved because of fear of litigation. Geez . . . throttle-by-wire and steer-by-wire systems as well. All killed because the lawyers were afraid of lawsuits.

    I wonder, however, if the folks lauding a system to parallel park hands-free are the same group that pine for roll-up windows on other days. I’m sorry, but to me that’s about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of . . . talk about technology for nothing but it’s own sake . . .

  • avatar
    Ar-Pharazon

    MKX = Crossover (X-over)
    MKS = Sedan
    MKZ = Zippy entry level ?

    I say add an MKe = ecologically friendly B-car, i.e., European Fiesta derivative.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    My brother has an 03 LS V-8; great car, but all of those who are promoting the vehicle forgets the car just flat out didn’t sell – he bought his used for an outstanding price because demand used is just not there either. Also, it cost too much to make, and the lost money on every one they sold.

    The naming of Lincolns is completely idiotic – like that is the reason they are not selling.

  • avatar
    jrogers

    With Ford having very few resources available to build the Lincoln brand this is probably about the best they can do. What we have here is an attempt to compete for the customers currently considering a Lexus ES–decent power, nice interior, isolated ride with handling traded off, all derived from an existing platfrom with for this industry small investment. It is good that AWD is finally available in a Lincoln car. Lincoln will probably sell quite a few of these to uninvolved drivers–including older drivers coming from the Town Car.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The 3.5L V6 that produces 2 less horsepower than a Nissan Altima? Or the Infiniti G which the MKZ is actually supposed to be comepting with that gives you 306hp (plus a few HP overboost at speeds) for around the same money?

    Come on foxrun.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    the zepher has a cool lookin interior

    the LS 6 with a stick shift and sports suspension was a cool ride – if i needed such a big car it would have been on my short list, especially since it ws so inexpensive after all the rebates.

  • avatar

    And there you have it: “inexpensive after all the rebates.” When a Lincoln is in contention largely because of its price, it’s lost before it starts.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Also, it cost too much to make, and the lost money on every one they sold.

    Exactly. The LS was cost engineered with the hardware of a $45,000 Jag, but at a base price below the Town Car and Continental. It was destined to bite them in the you-know-what once the incentives were needed to move product after the initial marketing of 2000.

    Not updating the design and the lack of an SVT version (think Caddy CTS-V) pretty much set the LS down the path of Incentive/Fleet sales/Lease Hell.

  • avatar

    edspider:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 12:28 pm
    I’m 51. When I was 16 I thought Lincoln was as good as it gets. Better than Caddy. When I was 30 I bought the first of 3 Continentals. Continental meant luxury, comfort with a touch of boldness. This car has no class and no soul. And what the hell was Ford thinking with 3 letter codes? I will never make any attempt to distinquish the line up, now.

    The Lincoln style hit zenith in the early to mid-’60s. It was downhill after that, albeit slowly downhill. Refined but bold elegance.

  • avatar

    Kixstart: The latest Lexus PARKS ITSELF. How cool is that? The latest Lexus HAS A RADAR-EQUIPPED ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL. How cool is that? This is the stuff from “Popular Science” of the mid-60’s, it’s finally here and I have to buy a Japanese car to get it!

    And it would be even cooler to have a car that drives itself!!! Then we can read the newspaper or catch up on our email instead of having to drive the damn things.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    David Holzman: “And it would be even cooler to have a car that drives itself!!!” Then we can read the newspaper or catch up on our email instead of having to drive the damn things.

    Actually, that we have. It’s called “the bus.” :-)

    wsn: [re leveraging our military R&D] “Military research is different in that the funding is from tax money and thus are used irresponsibly. Commercial research is different. Suppose both GM and Toyota proposed that fancy feature X. If you are a stock investor, are you betting your hard-earned after tax money on GM or Toyota stock? Most investor checked their track record and selected Toyota. As of now, Toyota’s market cap is 11 times larger than GM, even though they sell about the same number of cars this year.”

    Military development is not “irresponsible.” It does reflect different priorities. However, it IS an investment paid for by GM, me, you, etc, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t get maximum value out of it. We keep military technology classified long past the point of usefulness. We must stop that. Japan is making money on night-vision scopes. Tech we developed. The taxpayers that funded that research (and our own industries) should have been allowed to exploit it commercially.

    Someone else suggested lawyers were to blame for Ford (or maybe it was GM) dropping radar-assisted cruise control some years ago. Toyota faces the same threat of litigation. They’re doing it anyway.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Someone else suggested lawyers were to blame for Ford (or maybe it was GM) dropping radar-assisted cruise control some years ago. Toyota faces the same threat of litigation. They’re doing it anyway.

    Since Mercedes has their own “Distronic” system in service for a few years now, I doubt the threat of litigation is an issue for any manufacturer.

    I’m sure cruise control had its detractors back in the 1960s, but technology has a way of separating the leaders (Mercedes, Lexus) from the followers.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    “Also, it cost too much to make, and they lost money on every one they sold.”

    Is the argument here that the Lincoln LS’s, Jag-based platform was so expensive that the car would not have been profitable even it had sold in sufficient numbers? Or was the problem that flagging sales necessitated a downward spiral into red-splattered, incentive hell?

    Perhaps I’m showing my ignorance, but I don’t see what’s so special about the LS’s “hardware” compared to other cars in its class. And even if the LS did provide a bit more “value,” wasn’t such a gambit necessary for Ford to gain a foothold in this class?

    My sense is that the LS failed primarily because it was such an anonymous car, right down to its stolen name. The LS should have been a Continental — and looked the part (suitably updated; a crass exercise in retro, a la the current Mustang, wouldn’t have worked).

    I fear that the LS was Ford’s last chance to revive Lincoln. Even huge investments in the brand may not be able to overcome the taint of badge engineering. Unfortunately, it may be time to integrate the L-M dealer network with that of Ford’s and downgrade both Lincoln and Mercury to a single “heritage” model each.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I like the Heritage model idea. Sell the Grand Marquis, Navigator and Town Car in a Ford, Volvo or Jaguar dealership.

    Even better, put the Town Car next to the Aston Martins in the showroom. (that’s for Terry to think about, LOL)

    Perhaps I’m showing my ignorance, but I don’t see what’s so special about the LS’s “hardware” compared to other cars in its class.

    Well, for starters, the suspension was pretty complicated and it takes a lot of R&D to make a car with a near 50/50 weight distribution. Factor in the unique drivetrain (only shared with Jaguar) stand alone sheetmetal and interior (for the most part) and an asking price in the same range as reskinned Camrys and the Mazda-based Lincolns…

    Yeah, selling a base V6 LS as an entry level, near luxury model gets a little hairy if the car doesn’t have the style and marketing to keep customers coming.

    I think the LS failed where the G35 is scoring big time.

  • avatar
    John Williams

    KixStart: Cadillac is making strides, albeit very slowly. Lincoln, on the other hand, cannot make the best car without pissing off Jaguar. Well, provided Jaguar stays in the Ford fleet for much longer.

    Shades of Triumph/Rover verses Jaguar. The former two couldn’t make a car that’d trump the Jag — the bosses wouldn’t allow that. Triumph withered away afterwards and Rover’s a namebadge in search of a car to be put on.

    I bet collective sighs of relieve would come from Lincoln and Mercury once Ford decides to lose the Leaping Cat. Keeping a prima-donna like that around and well fed tends to crowd out and starve those considered “less deserving”. Lincoln’s introduction — and eventual booting from PAG should had been a clue and a third.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    The MKZ is the Accry/Camord competitor that the Fusion should have been. Alas, Ford has pitched its Camry at the ES300 market.

    The Lincoln LS should never have been killed. The LS would have done fine even if they’d dropped out the (expensive to produce??) V8 and slotted in this new 3.5 V6 under the hood.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Sajeev:

    Your knowledge base is clearly deeper than mine on the technical aspects of the LS, but I’m still a little skeptical that Ford would have knowingly introduced a car that had little, if any, chance of earning a decent profit (in the luxury car field, no less!). How could the company’s much-feared bean counters have possibly allowed that to happen?

    You mention the complicated suspension. If it was so expensive, why didn’t the bean counters do the same thing to the LS that they did to the current Mustang – decontent it back to the stone age?

    The sheetmetal and interior differences with the Jag shouldn’t have been a budget buster. That’s standard operating procedure in this price class. And while the LS’s closest sibling was the Jag, the T-bird two seater and the Mustang reportedly had at least some commonalities with the LS platform (of course, the Ford p.r. department doesn’t like to admit this).

    At any rate, if the LS represented so much more car than a reskinned Camry, then surely Lincoln could have bumped up the asking price, no? If not, then what was the business case?

    I may still be terribly off track here, but something isn’t adding up.

    BTW, I suggested integrating the L-M dealer network with Ford’s rather than PAG’s because it seemed easier, and the product fit more compatible. The success of Jag, Rover and Volvo may depend upon them being viewed as operating at arm’s length from Ford’s tarnished American operations, where the motto apparently is, “Dumb cars for dumb people.”

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Once again FoMoCo proves that it doesn’t believe there really is a good reason for Lincoln to exist. Instead of building “American Luxury” or whatever their tag line is this week we just get high trim versions of Ford rent-a-cars.

    Why the **** bother?

  • avatar
    Foxrun

    Jonny Lieberman?

    Excuse me but what are you talking about the MKZ 3.5L has more HP then the AltimaSE-R Plus the MKZ comes with AWD and a longer warranty at a comparable price. The Infinity G is almost $3000 more with no AWD. Also I’m sure both the Altima and G-35 need the highest octane rated gas to get thier HP ratings, the MKZ 3.5L gets its 365HP on regular gas.

  • avatar
    kablamo

    The Lincoln LS should never have been killed. The LS would have done fine even if they’d dropped out the (expensive to produce??) V8 and slotted in this new 3.5 V6 under the hood.

    That’s well to say now, but 5 years ago Ford didnt’ have this new V6, in fact there was no state-of-the-art V6 to stick in the car. The LS was a nice, well-performing car, but it was built as competition to the 3-series. As nice as the LS was, it didn’t stand a chance against the handsome if not downright sexy last generation 3-series – in style and driving dynamics.

    IMO the entry-level luxury segment can tolerate badge-engineered offerings, but they need to be better disguised than this. Good competent car or not, luxury is about conspicuous consumption and appearances – neither of which are achieved when a car is a blatant redesign of a Mercury Milan itself a clear offspring of the Ford Fusion. I’ll grant the ES330 (a car I personally despise) is a sales success exception to that rule, that doesn’t mean it’s OK for anyone else to do the same. NO ONE confuses an Accord and a TL.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Here’s a quick, cheap and easy way to make a stunning Lincoln: Use the old tooling for the four-door Continentals of the 1960′s, and do some mild updating for technology and safety purposes.

    Okay, that’s a bit of a joke, but THAT’S the kind of Lincoln that we need. I can still remember the turquoise ’66 driven by the lady who lived next door to us…and I was a toddler at the time!

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    BuzzDog:

    there was a full size study of just that at the greenwich CT concours a few years back. it was stunning. ford did not go there, saying there was no money.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    At any rate, if the LS represented so much more car than a reskinned Camry, then surely Lincoln could have bumped up the asking price, no? If not, then what was the business case?

    Steven: the LS business plan would work (see the G35 as proof) but the car didn’t generate much showroom traffic after the 2000 model year. After that, the LS sold with heavy discounting. And the LS wasn’t cost engineered like other Fords because it was an offshoot of the Jag S-type program. The current Mustang is a mostly unique chassis that was engineered from the start to be a pure American Muscle Car.

    Remember the failure of the Merkur lineup? It was a great product (Ford of Europe knows how to make ‘em) but the sales and promotion wasn’t there.

    Here’s the difference: even if the MKZ needs the same (or more) discounting to sell, Ford will still proclaim a win because this car uses the same factory (in Mexico, not the niche lines at Wixom), same chassis, same powertrain as their Ford products. It costs significantly less to make, so the margins go from slim to acceptable.

    the MKZ 3.5L has more HP then the AltimaSE-R

    Yeah the MKZ makes 3 more horses (not significant) and runs on recommended 87 octane. Aside from that (which is a big thing considering gas price) the Duratec and Nissan VQ engines are very similar on paper and in performance.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    there was a full size study of just that at the greenwich CT concours a few years back. it was stunning. ford did not go there, saying there was no money.

    Jersey Devil, that was the 2002 Lincoln Continental Concept. Why that never became the Town Car (about now) is beyond me. Lincoln would be filthy rich if they put that bad-ass ride into production.

    Pics here: Continental Concept

    Then again, I’m sure Ford’s beancounting killed off this concept. Putting a price on new sheetmetal and suicide doors to people who don’t get it was well…suicide.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Sajeev Mehta: Lincoln would be filthy rich if they put that bad-ass ride into production. Pics here: Continental Concept

    Wow, that thing is stunning. Ford has been been talking up “bold American style” for years, but aside from the Mustang, they haven’t even attempted anything bold or American. Except now I see this Continental Concept, and it shows they are capable. They just aren’t willing.

    It makes no sense to keep talking up their new “bold” style if they aren’t actually going to deliver it. It just sets us up for more disappointment. Build things like this concept, and like the Mustang, or just shut up about it.

  • avatar

    The Contiental concept was stunning. I would have revived Lincoln’s image, but not necessarily made it profitable.

    On the Mk VII LSC, my father bought a 1986 under my influence. Still recalls that car fondly, even though he’s driven Lexus ever since. Not the most refined car, but overflowing with character.

    Interestingly, no one here is accusing the Mk VII of being a badge-engineered T-Bird.

    As others have said, the manufacturing cost of the MKZ is far lower than that of the LS. The LS never had a distinct enough character, way too generic, that’s why it didn’t sell. I drove the manual once. The interior wasn’t nearly sporty enough to fit the chassis. Seats had zero lateral support, bolsters too small and widely spaced. And the car felt too large. Ford could have dealt with these issues by issuing a true sport model, but never did.

    Sajeev, did you drive the MKZ back-to-back with a Fusion or Milan while you had it? When I test drove the Zephyr last year, I drove a Milan immediately afterwards (or was it the other way around?). The Zephyr seemed considerably quieter to me. Cannot remember if I drove it over any especially coarse pavement, though. After driving the cars back-to-back, it was clear to me that they were far enough apart in content and character to deserve the different badging and pricing.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Sajeev, did you drive the MKZ back-to-back with a Fusion or Milan while you had it? After driving the cars back-to-back, it was clear to me that they were far enough apart in content and character to deserve the different badging and pricing.

    Really? I drove a Zephyr and Fusion months apart (unfortunately) and found them to be similar. The Zephyr was noisy, banging on pavement joints all the way. It doesn’t elevate the Lincoln brand like the LS or Town Car does, but the MKZ is a moderate step up.

    Interestingly, no one here is accusing the Mk VII of being a badge-engineered T-Bird.

    Or the Mark VIII for that matter. And for good reason. They had very unique bodies, interiors, sound insulation, lighting, creature comforts, electronic gizmos, air suspension, bigger brakes w/ABS, and engines. I should know, I spent years infusing Mark VII engine parts, gadgets and brakes in my 1988 Cougar. :-)

    Its when you start putting cars into their brand’s historical perspective that things really make sense. LSC versus MKZ? No competition.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Michael Karesh:

    The Contiental concept was stunning. I would have revived Lincoln’s image, but not necessarily made it profitable.

    well really what the hell do they have to loose. Money? they are already loosin lots of that already.

    i love the sleek t-birds, continentals. i cannot beleive that there is no market for them.

  • avatar
    Studedude1961

    This car has an okay dash that is a 2/3 modernized replica of the 1961 Continental dash. They should have kept the name Zephyr. Otherwise, just another plain jane cookie-cutter soap-on-a-rope-a-dope that keeps Lincoln far back of the pack in looks and resale value.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Lincoln (and Mercury for that matter) is dead in the water.

    The MKZ and MKX are poor badge engineering job. The Town Car is a dinosaur. The new MKS lacks the V-8 available in the Volvo S80 and XC90, effectively positioning the brand BELOW its sweedish brother.

    Ford would honestly be better off shuttering Mercury and Lincoln, selling Aston Martin and considering spinning out Mazda.

    Ford would be left as the catch all brand, Volvo as a legitimte move up (something Mercury isn’t) and Jaguar would top the range with freedom to go even higher without Aston Martin positioned above.

    Of course, it would take bankrupcy to accomplish all of this.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Only a few years ago (2002) Lincoln showed a stunning concept car. I remember seeing it with my then 12 year old daughter, who said she was going to start saving her money to buy one. It was exactly what a modern Lincoln should be. They never built it. Instead we get the badge engineered also rans. Have a look:

    http://archive.cardesignnews.com/autoshows/2002/losangeles/highlights/h1-lincoln-conti.html

  • avatar
    kasumi

    Mercury and Lincoln seem so behind the times and dated to an entire generation. I love the look of the Continental Concept, but both lines reak of “old people’s cars.” Even the LS felt so pointless with the substantially better competition, besides it was only one car of a whole brand. At this point, Ford should kill both brands and sell some larger Lincoln sedans at Ford dealerships under the Lincoln name. It will be costly to fight with the dealers, but I can’t imagine keeping the brands alive is cheap either. Ford already has decent entry level luxury cars, (Mazda6 and Volvo s40/v50). For a large sedan, look to the s80. Unfortunately, for cars it looks like Ford’s future is with those companies.

    K.

  • avatar
    BrendanMac

    jthorner:
    Only a few years ago (2002) Lincoln showed a stunning concept car. I remember seeing it with my then 12 year old daughter, who said she was going to start saving her money to buy one. It was exactly what a modern Lincoln should be.

    While I could do without the “I shot Buzz Aldrin and made him into a matching luggage set,” in the trunk, THAT is the kind of imperialistic wafting machine Lincoln should be building. Too bad it almost too closely resembles a 300C.

    Now if only they could come up with a name for something that big….

    Maybe they could call it the Lincoln Continental Drift.

  • avatar
    jakeryan1974

    If lincoln had only built the continental concept, they could have sold them for $100k, and had customers… As a town car and limo owner, I can’t wait to see how they’re going to screw up whatever replaces the town car.
    As for the interior of this car, and their truck refreshening, I don’t get it. At 32, it doesn’t appeal to my younger side, nor does it appeal to my town car loving side. One day when I was at the dealer I sat in the last generation Navigator, lacquered wood, and it had door sills that lit up and said “Navigator”, and I could cross my legs in the back seat (or probably while driving it), and I remember thinking, “My god, this is more vehicle than anyone could possibly need” (and i secretly liked it). Their new vehicles have lost that appeal totally. :(

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    jthorner, Thanks for posting a link to pics of the Continental Concept.

    If you ask me (and most people have the good sense not to), that is, absolutely, Retro Done Right. I look at the car and think, simultaneously, “1965″ and “2015.”

    I don’t know about selling them for $100K, though. I find it hard to believe that Ford could offer a car that, no matter how luxurious, would be able to collect $100K per copy. VW couldn’t sell the Phaeton at over $50K, the brand wouldn’t support it. Ford is burdened by years of rental history and has inadequate snob appeal. They might do better executing a similar idea under the Jaguar marque and reaching for $120K.

    In fact, the very word, “marque” illustrates why I don’t believe Ford could sell the Lincoln for $100K. “Lincoln” is a “brand.” “Jaguar” is still a “marque.” You can’t use “Lincoln” and “marque” in the same sentence without sounding over-the-top, but you can say “Jaguar” and “marque” together without people sniggering.

    I hope somebody at GM has the good sense to look at this Continental Concept and float a similar idea based on, say, a mid-to-late ’60′s Cadillac limo. Discreet tailfins… discreet shoulder pads on the front fenders, reminiscent grillework, four headlights, real limo doors, real limo interior (facing seats), lotsa leather… Only available in black so shiny you can’t tell what color it is, extremely dark gray and navy blue so dark you think it’s black.

  • avatar
    jakeryan1974

    I hate to tell you that I beg to differ….

    That Continental concept is true to the brand in that anyone would know it’s a lincoln instantly by looking at it.

    And as far as the 100k argument… do you mean to tell me that there would be people lined up aroudn the block to pay over 100k for the Cadillac Sixteen? Because people were practically mailing GM blank checks to build the car….

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Lincoln can’t sell a 100k vehicle, at least not right now. Bill Ford Sr. already made that mistake back in 1956.

    All they need to do is make the Continental Concept on the Town Car chassis, add the Police Interceptor suspension and Ford Explorer running gear (300hp V8, 6-speed automatic) and they’d have a hit for 40,000-ish dollars.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    yeah, if dopey DCX could figure it out with the 300…

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Indeed, Cadillac should have figured out how to build the Sixteen. Then they could write Standard of the World on the front page of the owner’s manual without snickering :(.

    Cadillac was on a role with new car introductions for a time, but now seems to have lost the attention of corporate as GM tries to shower money on Saturn. As has been said zillions of times, GM doesn’t have the resources to do a proper job with it’s many brands, and neither does Ford.

    John

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “make the Continental Concept on the Town Car chassis, add the Police Interceptor suspension and Ford Explorer running gear (300hp V8, 6-speed automatic) and they’d have a hit for 40,000-ish dollars.’

    I couldn’t agree more. Of course that would be a Bold Move, and Ford only likes talking about Bold Moves and doesn’t really make them. Can anyone point to any current Ford product which embodies Bold Moves and American Innovation??????

    John

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    This goes back to RF’s point about keeping your Bold Moves to yourself until you have a product to merit the Marketing hype.

  • avatar
    DC

    260hp engine and AWD, two of the latest “must haves” in the industry, particularly the near lux segment. It offers much of what the competition offers (if not all), it’s a nicely built car and it uses a good platform… it’s cheaper, too!

    I’d hardly qualify it as a rental special, nor a glorified Fusion.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The Fusion also offers AWD and plenty of the same sheetmetal. The MKZ has the motor and a few nice gadgets, but its still a glorified Fusion.

    Lincoln can’t touch the uniqueness factor of a Lexus ES vs. its Camry counterpart…and that’s a sheetmetal shame.

  • avatar
    waywardboi

    looking back at that 2002 continental concept I cant for the life of Lincoln help but think why didn’t ford go there? hopefully this design will make it into the next Town Car design

  • avatar

    waywardboi: don’t expect the Town Car to come back after 2009, much less with sheetmetal befitting a proper Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Jacob Polla

    It is a shame the review didn’t go into more detail about actually driving the MKZ, and less time making snarky remarks. Yes the model is in the same family as other Ford products. However it has a different engine, transmission, suspension, interior, and so on. That seems a good reason to focus more on this car in its review.

    I’m seriously considering an MKZ from a long list of initial candidates. Not living in a city of a million people, many car brands are off the table because there is no dealership within 100 miles, and makers like Toyota won’t allow Lexus warranty work at Toyota dealerships. Other options price themselves out of consideration once comparable options are added. The BMW 328xi was a possibility, but not priced above $40K.

    Unfortunately, most MKZ reviews either obsess about the name change, or go on about the hideousness of the tan option interior and other trivia. Since I’ll never get to have days to test drive one like many reviewers do, it would be great to read something in-depth about how the AWD system works. Is the lack of stability control a problem? How was the mileage? How’s the control layout?

    The review left me with a more negative slant on the MKZ than I had before, although it told me nothing I didn’t already know.

  • avatar

    Driving the MKZ was like a Fusion with more body roll. It was soft and dull, but not soft and cushy like a Town Car. Does it work for a Lincoln? That’s up to you.

    The optional AWD system works fine when you demand full throttle in straight lines or in curves, and the 3.5L motor is a great improvement. The suspension is not tuned for enthusiasm and its still a nose heavy front wheel drive (biased) car…and you feel it in quick maneuvers. Understeer is too strong, and active handling doesn’t mean a thing here.

    The MKZ tries hard to be more than a Ford Fusion. Provided you stay inside and check out the interior, its a hard sell. Luckily its cheaper to buy fully loaded than its competition, but I’d be in an Infiniti G or BMW 3 before this ride.

    Did that help?

  • avatar
    bryanska

    MKZ and all other Fords have one thing nobody else has: Sync.

    Total MP3 player integration across dozens of manufacturers? Nothing for the Japanese comes close. The onboard computer is a HUGE reason to consier Ford. It’s upgradable and cheap.

  • avatar
    ZMark

    Every Auto Co. needs a flagship and an entry level model. Hence MKZ’s understated elegance and light luxury at a low price. That said, I just bought my wife one; though she wanted a new Altima to replace her late model Nissan. To equal her old vehicle it had to have leather and a moon roof. …Add a couple of options on an Altima, Camry, Accord etc., and you’ll more than pay for the comparably equipped MKZ.
    At $27K after tax (with current incentives) no way am I trying to squeeze luxury out of every day, humdrum look-alike’s. You can find lower priced cars but to equal the MKZ features you have to max out competitors options. By the time you max out the others it’s clear: who has better value? I’m not paying $30,000 for a Camry when I can get an MKZ for less and Avalon, Lex, and Infinity model are even higher. – Now as for that Lincoln flagship the MKS may fill that bill with lower cost than a comparable Lex, BMW etc. Yes, you get what you pay for and clearly MK’s are great values.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The MKZ is a promising car searching for a distictive exterior. As it is Lincoln got it partly right with the quick 3.5 263 HP V6 and 6 speed automatic, available AWD, an interior that cannot be mistaken for a bland Lexus, loads of features and a low price. The exterior is basically a Fusion with the bodyside moldings omitted (dumb) and a Lincoln spec grille and tail end grafted on. It couldn’t be more plain and generic. Neither could the meaningless name. When will Linclon and Cadillac learn. Changing names on a yearly bassis, letter names and Asian copycat plain dull exterior styling isn’t going to win many new buyers to the fold(myself included). Fresh original designs, bold interiors with some color and flair, class leading technology, innovation and features and good ol American style will surely be far more effective in moving todays iron.

  • avatar
    fps_dean

    The early MKZ and Zephyr’s interior was quite a bit cheesey. Still not a car I’d mind driving (if I fit inside them), but at the same time, the CTS, A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C class or Lexus ES could be had for just a little more money.

    One great thing about the MKZ however is that you can get one in great shape used for a great price. Someone looking at 4-5 year old car around the $10k mark can spend another three thousand and be driving a MKZ. You can’t go wrong with a MKZ from $13-16k.

    The cashmere interior looks like the Maxima interior, but the black interior, or even black and tan looks much nicer. The silver panel in the all-cashmere interiors is kind of ugly looking.

    Myself, I’m not a FWD fan, but there are definitely people out there who prefer fwd or awd over rwd (people with children, older people) and in which case, the MKZ is a good choice.

    The thing I agree with, is the idea about taking the Continental Concept with only a couple of small modifications to the car, putting in some sweet suspension, making RWD and AWD options and a v6 that produces around 250hp or a v8 option that produces around 300hp, and Ford would have themselves a gold mine. It’s very American, and very classy looking.


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