By on April 2, 2012

Here’s the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, and just as many of us suspected, the Ford Fusion is the much nicer looking car. Redundancy, thy name is Em Kay Zee.

The MKZ’s oddly thick C-pillar, kangaroo hips and pseudo-Aston rear deck treament look like a mismatched, mis-shapen pastiche that tires too hard to be an Audi A7. The front, as previously discussed, isn’t the most elegant either. We’ll leave it to Jack and the rest of the TTAC crew to see how it looks in person. The MKZ concept wasn’t so impressive in person, but it didn’t look all that bad in the flesh.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

76 Comments on “2013 Lincoln MKZ: Thick In All The Wrong Places...”


  • avatar
    wagonsonly

    Part of me likes it, and part of me relates the front end to a late-90s Pontiac Sunfire (and I don’t mean that in a good way).

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      That front grill looks like it was taken right from the Sunfire. WTH, Lincoln??

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        What part of Baleen Whale does Lincoln’s design Center not get?

        Oh sure, Lincoln toned down & tucked this in, but it still smells of brine & kelp and has a face that only a mother could love, and she died of fright

        This exterior wrap makes Chris Bangle appear to be a huge success. At least he only dissed you while leaving.

  • avatar
    mike978

    The front looks OK but from the side view the rear looks like it is a mess, but would be nice to see a photo of that.

    Do people think this looks like a Fusion in drag? That would be the killer – if it looks different, even if lots of people don`t like it at least it won`t get that tag.

  • avatar
    afflo

    This would be more applicable if this were a Vellum Venom post, but has anyone noticed that the perceived height of a vehicles doors can be greatly influenced by the height of the door handles on the door?

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      I noticed the high handles too – the line flows forward from the rear-quarters in an interesting way. I had to go look at the same style-line on the A7.. I actually think the Lincoln treatment is somewhat better integrated.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    The side profile looks nice enough to me, but it’s hard to see how this is going to change people’s perception of Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Well its not as nice as I would have hoped, but then again what ever is? Its not a bad looking car and the front end does not look that bad. The interior appears to be very nice and upscale.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Why is this Czech site the only website that will leak embargoed images?

  • avatar
    Slab

    The shape, especially in the areas noted, was strongly determined by the retractable glass roof. I like that it’s not a Fusion with a Lincoln grill.

  • avatar
    moorewr

    When I first saw pictures of the Audi A7, it looked badly proportioned to me in profile, just like this does. Which is to say, yes, they are cribbing a lot from the A7, but also that I want to see this car ‘in the flesh.’ I think it has more potential than Mr. Kreindler does, evidently.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think the car as a whole looks great. It is true that it is a tarted up fusion, but if the price is reasonable, I think it could do well. Its true, Lincoln will not be getting BMW, Merc, Audi defectors in droves, but in pictures and on paper, this looks like solid offering. There is so much platform sharing these days, at least at the entry level in the luxury segment, I think other manufactures Honda/Acura, Toyota/lexus, Audi/VW deserve to have their vehicles looked at in the same way, tarted up chrome editions of more populist models. The Fusion should be a huge hit, for me, thats one reason to get something different. I hate driving cars that are common. If this Lincoln ends up nailed to showroom floors, all the more reason to look. I love cars that were built/engineered with high hopes and extreme love that end up struggling in the marketplace. Great deals on overengineered cars.

    • 0 avatar
      MBsam

      “I think other manufactures Honda/Acura, Toyota/lexus, Audi/VW deserve to have their vehicles looked at in the same way, tarted up chrome editions of more populist models.”

      That is completely wrong. You can go through the entire Lincoln lineup and pick one which car is directly related to which Ford vehicle. Audi is certainly not like that and nor is Lexus really. Platform sharing is one thing but being a ritzy-er version of a regular model is something entirely different. Badge engineering like THIS is really non-existent beyond Ford/Lincoln in this day and age.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        @MBsam finds Lincoln as too much platform sharing. Question is who is Lincoln targeting? Is it Mercedes & BMW or Acura, Infiniti, Cadillac and such. Infiniti platform shares the G & new JX or rebadges Nissan Patrol. Lexus ES & Camry. Highlander & RX. Toyota 4Runner sold as Lexus GX aka Land Cruiser or Prado. LX is the LC200 overseas or just LC. Every vehicle sold by Buick could be had with some modifications as another GM here or overseas. Cadillac SRX & Escalade. I can continue.

        Parking the current MKZ next a Fusion does the Lincoln no favors. The new one will not appear to have the same body. The MKS does not look like a Taurus. MKT does not look like a Flex. MKX & Navigator need work yet I MKX looks good and Navigator might be out.
        If Lincoln found that people will not pay more premium $ for their product they might need to go down the road Cadillac started with the 1st. CTS. BMW 5 size, BMW 3 price tag. 2nd generation is good enough to bring in a direct 3 sized ATS.

        Good Luck building Premium Identity Lincoln.

      • 0 avatar

        Lexus is a little different in that they do have bespoke cars, such as their flagship RWD car, the pseudo-pocket-rocket, and the $50K midsize thing that everyone forgot. But yes, despite all those non-rebadged cars, their Camry with nice interior is their most popular car. Something just works right about it. Note that their Prius-clone in sedan format flopped badly, so it’s not all just about badge-engineered.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        I doubt anyone’s going to complain about platform sharing if it produces nice, compelling cars. If it doesn’t, however, then it often gets the blame. Sharing platforms on stuff people don’t really care about, like the bits we don’t really see, is not a problem. I think Lincolns for a while now has avoided the primary pitfalls of platform sharing, nothing you actually see, both inside and out, is actually shared. It’s just that the actual product just wasn’t compelling enough.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        This is not a badge engineered Fusion. It looks like no body panels are shared, it has unique powertrain options, and most importantly it will have Lincoln Drive Control which includes the continuously controlled dampers (think magnaride, but accomplished via electronically controlled pistons inside of each shock).

        MotorTrend and Automobile both have reviews out on the 2013 MKS which has the Lincoln Drive Control and they mention that it completely changes the handling qualities of the car, even allowing it to surpass the E350 and A6.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Look folks obviously no one on these pages will give it a second thought. I feel though that several other people that are just looking for a somewhat stylish car with a pleasant looking interior will go for it. After see the pics of the new ES350 is this one really that bad after all?
    My feelings are that its time for Lincoln to stop playing stop/gap and just shot for the moon. The auto industry much like all industries are a moving target and it just seems like they targeted the cars that are available today.
    As a nephew of an avid hunter my Uncle Will would always say “boy what you shooting at?? you must not want to eat tonight..” Well I didnt that night ( and some others). I soon learned from my dear departed uncle that hunting is very different from fishing. It takes considerable more skill to hunt. Ford is fishing right now…

    • 0 avatar
      4LiterLexus

      “Somewhat stylish” and “pleasant looking” might be enough in the FWD near-luxury segment in terms of design; after all, can’t the same be said of the current Buick Lacrosse and Lexus ES? For what it’s worth, I really like how svelte this car looks: it’s like a lighter MKS with some A7 thrown in.

      Also, until we know more about the tech, production-car interior, and powertrains, it’s tough to say whether or not the new MKZ is a leader, or even class-competitive with the next generation of the competition. From what is visible here, it could be on track.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Indeed many of the design elements are actually quite nice on its own. The front end is pretty neat, the side view is pretty sleek, don’t have pictures of the rear so that’s an unknown, but they don’t seem to mesh together well, look like a mishmash of design. The slim front end especially look out of place compared to the thick, plump design of the rest of the car.

  • avatar
    ReturnofSAM

    Where’s the click to destroy button on the pics? I don’t see a single nice viewing angle save for from the inside. I actually liked the previous Lincoln grill with the chunky vertical slats. Wow, I can’t believe how poorly this turned out considering some of the hype journalists with a sneak peak have said.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Just noticed in the pics??? Does this one have the push button gears??

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      It’s probably a pop-up gear selector like Jag/BMW have. More fancy to twist than pull, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        vt8919

        If you look at the interior shot more closely, you can see the PRNDL buttons to the left of the navigation system, immediately above the website logo.

    • 0 avatar
      CA Guy

      Am I the only one who thinks a push button transmission gear selector is not a great marketing asset for this car?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        It’s not just a gimmick – the idea is to free up center console space to allow for either a roomier storage area or, as it looks like in this case, larger cupholders and maybe some other type of storage under that flap.

      • 0 avatar
        CA Guy

        Not saying it’s a gimmick, just not necessarily a good choice. Perhaps my view is colored by remembering too well the problems push button gear selection (albeit mechanical in those days) caused for Chrysler sales people, and how sales and marketing campaigned for a return to the column/floor shift in ’65. Mercedes and BMW have chosen to move the gear selector to the column for some models, also freeing up the console area for more storage space. But those seeking a sportier image or feel may continue to prefer a console/floor shift selector.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        “Am I the only one who thinks a push button transmission gear selector is not a great marketing asset for this car?”

        In the past two weeks, Mercedes Benz has introduced two new “refreshed” models for 2013 – the GLK and the GL. Both of them have done away with the console-mounted shifter and will be using a stalk on the steering column.

        Get used to it. The console-mounted shifter is done.

  • avatar
    jonny b

    Is it just me, or are all of the flame-surfaced, crimped and rippled pseudo-luxury sedans out there beginning the fade into each other? It’s not a look I particularly care for even when it’s well executed, and in this case it’s not. What I’d love to see, and what I think would do Lincoln a world of good, is a return to slab-sided, squared-off, mid-eighties German minimalism. It would stand out against the crowd of baroque styling. What’s more Lincoln can claim to have come by it honestly, given their history of killing over the top finned 50′s extravagance with the early 60′s Continental.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      Not really…PROPER luxury manufactures have identifiable design language. Audy and the deep grille, BMW and their split grille, etc.

      However, this car is as anonymous as camo in a field. It’s a disappointment of the highest level.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        BMW has had decades to associate their cars with the kidney grills and hofmeister kink. In fact, when Bangle tried to bring BMWs design language into modern times he was skewered for it, although I think time has proven him to be a visionary with all of the flame surfaced design cues everyone else has picked up.

        Lincoln has tried a few different design languages lately, from the old fashioned waterfall grill in the Town Car, to the 60s Continental inspired square egg-crate grill on the old MKX and Navigator, to the newer double-wave inspired by the Lincolns of the 40s. This is the most successful version thus by far. Looking at it head on it’s easy to see a bird taking flight spreading its wings with the tips being the headlights. Perhaps it should be called the ‘phoenix grill’ to signal the rebirth of Lincoln.

        I also like the wrap-around tail light as shown in the concept, and I hope the production model keeps it. It’s a nice tie in to Lincoln’s more modern heritage and brings to mind the Mark VIII.

  • avatar
    TTACFanatic

    I think it looks OK … I think its the kind of thing that will look way better in person (but time will tell). It isn’t shocking good looking, but it also doesn’t look like a re-badged Fusion. I think the biggest change I dis-like is the new corporate grill.

    What I think will be interesting is the power-trains. Will the new MKZ get a V6 to help set it apart from it’s Ford counterpart?

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Side view – good
    Back view – good (from the previous car show article)
    Front view (any angle) -so so

    I like the dash though with its mix of Audi and Lexus styling.

    Game changer? Lincoln saver? I dunno..

  • avatar
    afflo

    After not enjoying a Fusion at all as a recent rental car, and someone who does not generally like four-door cars I’m surprised to say that I actually like the looks of this!

    The panoramic roof looks very nice. I have a Scion tC with a split panoramic roof, and I’m curious about several things:

    1. The large panel of glass on mine is tight when closed, but can rattle a bit on some jiggly road surfaces when open. It appears that the soft plastic bushings on the track assembly are to blame. I’d be curious if there is another method used on this car with a much heavier glass panel.

    2. Is there any way to block light with the glass closed. The central cross-member between the fixed and moving panels in the tC hold two roll-up sunshades that can be pulled across either window independently. How is this handled in the Lincoln? A glass roof is terrific to brighten up the interior, but in the heat of the summer (on my black leather seats especially), or when trying to fend off a migraine, the ability to have an opaque roof is a must.

    3. Does it still have the capability to pop up and vent the interior, or is it a slide-only design? I imagine that the pop-up and slide action (requiring that the glass be mounted almost exclusively at the leading edge) is a large part of the rattle issue noted above.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The real question between the MKZ and the Fusion will be the engine combos. If I read the article on the Fusion correctly, the Fusion will be 4 cyl only. Will the MKZ be available with a V6?

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      Do they have any hopes of selling Lincolns in Europe?

      The cylinder count doesn’t matter so much anymore but direct injection and turbo do. It will need a halo sport model with an Ecoboost engine, and they should make AWD available too.

      They’d be smart to price this at or below the Buick Regal, too, assuming they’re hungry for conquest sales.

  • avatar
    mulled whine

    The front reminds me of Dame Edna’s Glasses.

    Which is about the age range you will see behind the wheel , no doubt.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    It looks much less like the Fusion this time around, but that’s mostly because the new Fusion has a remarkably ugly front grille, whereas this looks (comparatively) refined.

    It still looks really Fusion-y from the side, though.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Garbage.

    KILL THIS BRAND ALREADY

  • avatar
    drylbrg

    I wonder if the chunky C-pillar is to provide structure for the huge retractable roof. If it is then it’s marketing dictating to design and that’s a bad sign.

  • avatar
    Mr. Sparky

    This is a fairly attractive looking entry lux car. It’s clear that they wanted it to be a little flashier than say an Lexus ES, but not odd like the Acura TL. To me, it looks like what a 2013 Oldsmobile Aurora would look like if Olds were around today (ok, not necessarily comforting even though it was solidly handsome car at the time).

    As long as the price differential between the top Fusion is around the 5k mark, I don’t think Fusion value argument will be a problem. The entry lux/”nice” car market is dominated by platform doppelgangers. People buy for either label or because they want something just a bit nicer. As long as there is enough “value-added”, there is enough people that will pony up the extra money.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Wow…I don’t think a Camry is this anonymous.

    And what an in-cohesive design…its terrible. It looks as if it was designed by three different committees and none of them actually talked to each other.

    There you have it folks…Ford screwed Lincoln up so much, it can’t be saved.

    Once again, this Fusion rebadge….is simply just a trim level.

  • avatar
    Searcher

    Looks like they tried so hard to make it inoffensive that they forgot to make it look like a Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      That’s exactly it. It’s not ugly. It’s just not what a Lincoln should be. Chrysler has it right with this and the previous 300. This thing has zero swagger. And I’m a Ford guy who once loved Lincoln (pre-Navigator truck BS).

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        Since when did Lincoln mean swagger, class, or anything but a stuffier, less hip Buick? I like this car, but all this pontificating about what a “Lincoln” should be? It’s a crusty American brand trying to be aspirational… Cadillac is just barely pulling it off again, and still most of its cachet is among the lowest rungs of contemporary society. Ditto for the 300.

        A luxury or near luxury car should say something other than “I went to Jimmy-Johns Fow’rd-Lenkin’-Murkree.” If there’s no snob appeal, it may as well be a Fusion or Taurus.

        Lincoln SHOULDN’T be anything other than happy to still be alive.

  • avatar
    RegistrationPlease

    Alas, poor Lincoln. I knew thee well.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    That may be the least ergonomic center stack this side of a Chevy Dolt.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      While I usually don’t agree with you, your comment is certainly correct. That interior also screams “I’m trying too hard”. Also, the dash to door fit is going to be tough to build with precision fits for thousands of cars. Acura has been doing rather badly with this type of design in terms of fit, so I am leery that Lincoln is going to do much better…

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You can`t even get through one comment without snark. At least use the correct name or was it a typo?? Do you want people to start calling the Honda unCivic because it is relatively noisy and unrefined compared to its competition. Sufficient that Honda need to do an “emergency” refresh one year after a brand new model.

  • avatar
    M.S. Smith

    It’s hard to say much about the car’s looks based on some touched-up PR shots.

    With that said, it’s going to be hard to out-do the Fusion. Because the new Fusion is just incredible.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree with you but be careful in praising the Fusion too much as one TTAC author got into trouble (and since backed down, unfortunately) for praising the Fusion lavishly. You can lavish praise on other vehicles like the Prius C without issue though!

  • avatar
    hifi

    What Lincoln needs is something lustworthy. The rear looks like it could be beautiful, but I can’t tell for sure. The side profile is really nice. But what I don’t like is a front end that looks completely devoid of style. It’s very much a emotionless, generic Lexus ES from the front.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I’ve learned never to take a bloggers word on anything. I like to see vehicles in the raw, sit in them, drive them. The decline in quality of auto reviews is obvious and it’s apparent that “writers” compete for catch phrases, one liners, initial impressions that set a tone. It’s no wonder that manufacturers are blowing them off. The best a blogger can do is follow the marketplace ’cause that’s where the action is. To think they can set the marketplace? Such proud scribes in their underwear late at night plinking the keys.

  • avatar
    th009

    Is that a black plastic triangle I see on the C-pillar?

  • avatar
    willbodine

    I’m disappointed. Was hoping for a home run analogous to the ’61 Continental. This thing is just okay. Hardly a game changer.

  • avatar
    david42

    This is a perfect competitor to the Cadillac XTS: both are a collection of fancy toys stuffed into a tarted-up family sedan. I had thought that GM and Ford got over their habit of wasting money on products designed for a world where Toyota/Lexus somehow doesn’t exist.

    Having said that, it could be interesting if this thing sprouts an EcoBoost V6. No one would buy it, but it would be a sign that Lincoln isn’t just rolling over and playing dead.

  • avatar
    moorewr

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120402/NEWYORK/120409973

    “Three engines will be offered: The base car gets a 2.0-liter I4 rated at 240 hp (with premium fuel) and 270 lb-ft of torque. That’s expected to get 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The 3.7-liter V6 makes 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque with an all-wheel-drive configuration and gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg in expressway conditions. These units work with six-speed automatic gearboxes….

    “The car is expected to start at about $41,000.”

    41,000? An Aprils Fools Day joke from Ford, one hopes.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The current MKZ starts at just over $35K, and this one looks to be a major improvement with a ton of extra technology and hardware standard.

      I’m sure Michael Karesh will do a cost analysis in the eventual review, but on almost any of the current Lincoln models if you option them out vs the competition the Lincoln comes out way ahead in terms of price per set of features.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        $6000 more than the old one? Check.
        Priced higher than the Audi A4? Check?
        Less power than the old 3.5L engine? Check.

        One more nail in the coffin? Check.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        th009 –

        It’s closer in size to the A6, and by the time you option an A4 to have what the MKZ comes with standard, the A4 is more expensive (no standard adaptive shocks/steering, heated/cooled seats, driver’s seat memory, pushbutton start with sensor based keyless entry, bluetooth, HID headlights, wood trim, etc, in the Audi).

        The base 2.0 has less hp but more torque and a flatter torque curve than the 3.5, so acceleration will likely improve plus the fuel economy is better. The 3.7 liter gives a 40hp bump over the old 3.5 if you want the most power.

        It’s a much better car than the current MKZ with styling that sets it apart from the Ford and it comes with much more equipment standard. It’s not a price increase for the sake of an increase, it’s Lincoln building a high quality competitive car and charging an appropriate amount for it.

      • 0 avatar
        TTACFanatic

        The base price needs to fall to around $32K and here’s why:

        The new BMW 3-series starts at just under $35K … it has a 2.0 turbo four that produces 240-HP and though standard equipment may not be the same … at that price the BMW is going to win every time.

        With a new base around $32K you could maybe get into the V6 model for $35K (and change) … which just might get some conquest buyers who still want the smoothness of a six-cylinder but don’t want to pony up for a 335i.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I doubt it will start over $40K.

      The MKX starts at $39K and the MKS starts at $42.7K. Both of those come standard with the 3.7L and are supposed to be higher in the Lincoln pecking order than the MKZ.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I still find it funny that the premium engine option for certain Lincolns and Cadillacs is the base engine you get on the F-150, Mustang, Camaro, and Impala.

  • avatar
    fabriced28

    It totally looks Chinese. Vellum venom would be the right place to dismantle its design.

  • avatar
    righteousball

    Based on the sketches I’ve seen, this side view is totally what Nissan and Honda attempted to accomplish with their mid-90s Q41/RL. I’d rate this Lincoln exterior a success based on that…LOL.

  • avatar
    Almost Jake

    To me, it has hints of Hyundai Genesis and Chrysler Sebring in the front grill and hood.

    What I wanted to note is the Ford execs and employees will still claim the car a success. I recently moved from Dearborn, MI and can clearly see that they live in a bubble concerning domestic car perceptions.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    I think Lincoln has the Lexus ES in their cross hairs with this MKZ. That’s good, as it frees up showroom space for the upcoming Personal Luxury Coupe based on a stretched next-gen Mustang platform with IRS.

    A guy can dream, right?

  • avatar
    Mr. Sparky

    Now that full set of photos have hit the internet, the MKZ looks quite handsome. Color appears to make a big difference with the car. The silver pics look a bit flat, but the press kit has a gun metal example which looks much better. As long as they price this right ($38K amply equipped, low $40Ks tarted up), these should sell just fine. Other than TTAC B-N-B, the average buyer will have no clue that this car shares the Fusion platform.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Looks good. Smooth. Cribs from the outgoing Saab 9-5 more than the Audi. Screw the Audi anyway. I’m sick of ‘em. They are BO-RING.

    The Lincoln is probably available with a nice brown interior with wood too. Better than the coffins from Germany or the grayscale Japanese or Cadillacs.

  • avatar
    axual

    Memo to Lincoln: Think different.

    Memo to Self: Never consider a Lincoln until they think different.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India