2013 Lincoln MKZ

Hybrid FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4

2013 lincoln mkz Reviews and News

2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Front View
The new Lincoln MKZ has struggled through a slow ramp-up of production but in the past two months has finally gotten on track. From the get-go, Lincoln has been offering the MKZ with three powertrains: a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four, a 3.7-liter V-6, and a gas-electric hybrid. Already, the hybrid is looking to be a much more important player for the MKZ than it was with the previous generation, and based on our first encounter with it -- as well as the hybrid's pricing and mpg ratings -- we'd say that the gas-electric's larger role is deserved.

A New Powertrain

The MKZ -- and its under-the-skin sibling, the Ford Fusion -- share a new hybrid powertrain: a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four replaces the previous 2.5-liter and works with an 88-kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 188 hp, which is fed through a CVT to the front wheels. Although non-hybrid MKZ models can be had with all-wheel drive, it's not available with the hybrid powertrain. Lincoln does not offer a plug-in hybrid version of the MKZ, as Ford does with the Fusion Energi.
While the powertrain's output in the Ford and the Lincoln is the same, there are differences in execution. The Lincoln's higher level of standard equipment and greater sound deadening make it some 200 pounds heavier; it also has a lower final-drive ratio, which makes it slightly quicker than its Ford counterpart despite the extra weight. All that clips 2 mpg from the MKZ's fuel-economy numbers compared with the Fusion, but the Lincoln's EPA ratings of 45/45 mpg (city/highway) still put the MKZ ahead of its foremost -- and only -- direct competitor, the Lexus ES300h (40/39 mpg). Those numbers also allow Lincoln to boast that the MKZ Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient luxury car.
Perhaps in response to recent criticism that the real-world mileage of Ford hybrids is far off of the EPA numbers, Lincoln pointed out several factors that can affect fuel economy. Driving at 75 mph versus 65 mph, for one, can knock off 7 mpg; an ambient temperature of 40 degrees versus 70 degrees can drag down mileage by 5 mpg; and during the break-in period, until 6000 miles or so, mileage can also be 5 mpg lower. So the message is: Your mileage may vary.

West Coast/East Coast

We drove the Fusion Hybrid on a short loop in urban L.A., whereas our first encounter with the MKZ Hybrid was a similarly brief drive in New York City. Midday traffic through downtown Manhattan and Greenwich Village meant generally low speeds and lots of stop-and-go traffic. The good news is that brake pedal modulation felt easier in the MKZ than our previous experience with the Fusion Hybrid, and the powertrain's switching between EV and gasoline propulsion is seamless. The car is quiet overall, but the Atkinson-cycle four doesn't have the best sound quality at low rpms -- you'd think that Lincoln could tune the active noise cancellation system to either alter it or drown it out. At higher rpm -- passing dawdlers on the West Side Highway -- the engine actually sounds better, and acceleration is not bad. Not bad also describes the power steering, which is electrically assisted but not overly light. The level of power-steering assist and the suspension dampers can be adjusted among comfort, normal, and sport via the MKZ's standard Drive Control, but only after you've found the correct sub-menu, which is well buried. That's probably not much of an issue for owners, however, since they're likely to select their preferred setting and then forget it.

On Displays

That instrument cluster is specific to the hybrid, of course, and as in the previous-generation car can grow vines and flowers in the right-side screen in response to fuel-efficient driving. The left-side screen provides more of a short-term report card, with bar graphs indicating how efficiently a driver is accelerating, braking, and cruising. Also, each brake application earns a score for percent efficiency. Subjectively, we prefer Ford's previous system, where a ball on a slider bar moved back and forth, giving you an indication of how far you could push the gas pedal before you'd awaken the gasoline engine. There's also the obligatory schematic showing power flow among the engine, the battery, the brakes, and the drive wheels, which displays on the center touch screen. Owners who tire of any (or all) of this can call up other information, such as the trip computer, audio info, et cetera.
The Hybrid, like other MKZ models, uses MyLincoln Touch, which means a colorful screen with great-looking graphics that takes too much attention to use, due to small touch points. The flat-panel buttons outside the touch screen cannot be operated without averting one's eyes from the road, and Lincoln's slider touch-bars for audio volume and fan speed are a gimmicky non-improvement over simple knobs. The MKZ also has touch buttons to handle gear selection -- a system last used by Ford in the Edsel (!) -- but they work fine. The whole business lends a sleek appearance to the dashboard and center stack, and the lack of a traditional gearshift opens up space for cupholders and storage space. There's also additional space beneath the console.
Interior materials are mostly good, but there were a couple of fit issues in our two test cars. The seats are soft and well shaped, but passengers relegated to the rear have less room than in most sedans of this size. The Lexus ES, which is based on the larger Toyota Avalon, has a far roomier back seat, as well as a better-trimmed interior.

A No-Cost Option

Unlike Lexus, which charges a $2880 premium for the hybrid ES version over the standard car, Lincoln has made its hybrid powertrain a no-cost option over the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four. With either engine, the MKZ's starting price is $36,800, including destination. Again turning to Lexus, that undercuts the ES300h by $3345.
Lincoln says that 30 percent of MKZ sales are hybrids (versus 22 percent previously), which isn't surprising given the lack of a price premium as well as the system's polish. Lincoln has correctly engineered its hybrid powertrain for maximum fuel economy while avoiding the pitfall of an economy-car feel. Not all aspects of the MKZ are as good as they should be, but the hybrid system really does hit the mark.

2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

On Sale: Now
Base Price: $36,800 (with destination)
Engine: 2.0L I-4 electric hybrid
Total System Power: 188 hp @ 6000 rpm
Engine Torque: 129 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Drive: Front-wheel
Fuel Economy: 45/45 mpg
2013 Lincoln MKZ Front Left Side View
The 1920s and '30s were the original glory days for this city by the sea, a playground for well-to-do holidaymakers. Lincoln was a favorite of that same crowd. Both Miami Beach and Lincoln embraced the modern design zeitgeist, Miami Beach with its many Art Deco buildings and Lincoln with its streamlined Zephyr followed by its instant-classic Continental. In the decades that followed, however, both Miami Beach and Lincoln lost their cachet. Each, in its own way, became a warren of the unglamorous elderly.
Unlike automobiles, which are restyled every few years, buildings usually are stuck with their original design -- and in an area that's economically downtrodden, it's not worth knocking down old buildings to replace them with new ones. Miami Beach was in that preservative limbo for years, until some visionaries realized that its Art Deco buildings had been out of style for so long that they actually were back in.
Most notable among those visionaries was Barbara Capitman, who founded the Miami Design Preservation League. In 1979, the organization was able to establish the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District -- the first twentieth-century district in the National Register of Historic Places. With a new appreciation for the city's architecture, Miami Beach's renaissance began. The transformation has been dramatic. Old buildings have been restored to their original grandeur, and new ones have joined them. An international crowd of beautiful jet-setters has colonized the revitalized Miami Beach and turned it once again into a playground of the fabulous, and those who wish to be.
Today, Lincoln's stewards dream of a similar reinvention for their brand. They would like nothing more than to see Lincoln reestablish the position in the luxury-car pantheon that it held during the first Miami Beach heyday. Unlike Miami Beach, however, Lincoln cannot get there with designs of the past. Yet the brand is hoping for a design-driven renaissance, with dramatic new styling that starts with this car, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
"We don't want to look back and dwell on the past," says Lincoln design director Max Wolff -- although he does acknowledge that the MKZ team had Ford designer Moray Callum's '61 Continental in the studio. Wolff contends that the MKZ "is pretty much a clean sheet." Importantly, the MKZ bears no likeness to the car on which it's based, the 2013 Ford Fusion, a vehicle that makes a design statement of its own. All body panels are specific to the MKZ, as is all the glass. Lincoln has been struggling with its so-called split-wing grille, and here the designers seem to have finally gotten it right. The front end is distinctive, as is the rear with its full-width taillights, which will become a Lincoln signature item. The sleek profile makes the Lincoln look longer, and it does indeed stretch an additional 2.4 inches compared with the Ford.
The two sedans share a 112.2-inch wheelbase, and that's not great news for the MKZ. As mid-size sedans go, the Fusion isn't very spacious -- you'll find a roomier back seat in a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry, to name just two -- and the MKZ is even worse. Compared with the Fusion, the Lincoln loses 1.3 inches of rear-seat legroom and 6.4 cubic feet of passenger volume, and headroom under the sloping roofline is marginal. Our test car was kitted out with Lincoln's biggest wow feature, a full glass roof that opens and slides backward over the rear window, although it further constricts the view to the rear when it does so. Available with the top three trim packages, it's a pricey option at $2995, but it dramatically brightens the cabin.
Also dramatic is the interior architecture, but some functionality is sacrificed to its sleek design. MyLincoln Touch is present, of course, and while it looks great, its drawbacks remain -- chief among them are tiny touch points that require too much concentration to use, unreliable reactions that can have you stabbing at the screen more than once, and novel but fussy slider touch bars in place of knobs for volume and fan speed. The flat-panel buttons for the rest of the climate controls work better, as they're larger and more responsive. The other novel bit is the use of a push-button automatic transmission in place of a shift lever. This bit of future tech first appeared in 1950s Chryslers and Packards, but no matter -- it works just fine and is easy to adapt to. It also allows a cleaner center-console design and opens up more stowage space.
Credit the MKZ's interior design for being distinct from the Fusion's. The seats, too, are different, softer and more comfortable than what you find in a Ford. Given that our test car was a top-spec Preferred trim level, however, the materials -- on the dash, the door panels, the steering wheel -- could have been better. This is not yet a cabin to worry Audi, and yet that's exactly what Lincoln needs.
While Lincoln has broken away from Ford with the car's exterior and interior, there are, of course, shared mechanicals underneath. The MKZ's powertrain choices start where the Fusion's end. Lincoln skips the cheaper car's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the 1.6-liter EcoBoost; instead, the Ford's top-spec, 240-hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost is the Lincoln's base engine. Exclusive to the MKZ is an optional V-6, a 3.7-liter found in other Lincolns, that proffers 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and offer the option of all-wheel drive (for $1230).
Like the Fusion, the MKZ is once again available as a hybrid. The hybrid powertrain, which uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and a continuously variable transmission, mirrors that of the Fusion, but whereas the Ford rides on low-rolling-resistance rubber, the Lincoln hybrid uses the same Michelin tires as the rest of the MKZ family; for that reason, its EPA numbers are 2 mpg lower, at 45 mpg city and highway -- still enough to claim the top fuel economy of any luxury car.
Most buyers are expected to choose the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, and that was the engine in the car we drove. It's the significantly more economical option, with EPA ratings of 22 mpg city and 33 mpg on the highway (versus 19/28 mpg for the V-6). Our 2.0-liter was paired with all-wheel drive, which trims 2 mpg from the highway figure.
Granted, we didn't really need all-wheel drive in South Florida -- the sun-kissed beach weather fully lived up to Miami's reputation as a winter haven. The all-wheel-drive system did squelch any torque steer that might have raised its ugly head when we gave the MKZ some stick. Many of those whom we encountered during our time with the car in Miami were surprised to find out that a four-cylinder was under the hood, but the 2.0-liter EcoBoost does a very respectable job of motivating this sedan. Its 270 lb-ft of torque is only 7 lb-ft shy of the optional V-6, and the turbocharger's boost is seamlessly integrated. The 2.0-liter is an excellent example of Ford's EcoBoost technology, but it has one failing, which it shares with most other direct-injected four-cylinders: a gritty, unappealing engine note. In the MKZ, you hear it only in the upper reaches of the tach; otherwise the Lincoln's additional sound deadening (including active noise cancellation) effectively masks the turbo four to the point where, at idle, you can't even hear it running.
Even more so than the powertrains, the Fusion chassis -- one of the best in the mid-size segment -- is an excellent starting point for the MKZ. Overlaid atop this chassis is Lincoln's standard Drive Control system. It offers three modes -- comfort, normal, and sport -- that affect steering effort, dampers, and powertrain. Even in comfort mode, the suspension shows no sign of float, and the electric power steering is not overboosted. At the same time, sport mode isn't at all harsh, which is surprising given the ueberaggressive Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (rubber this sporty won't be offered from the factory, by the way) wrapped around the stylish nineteen-inch wheels on our test car. There isn't enough difference in the settings to make the MKZ all things to all people, but the chassis is good enough to at least please some new people.
At its low point in the 1970s and early '80s, Miami Beach was the haunt of the elderly and, as we know from Scarface and Miami Vice, cocaine traffickers. The Lincolns of that time -- Town Cars and Continental Marks -- might have been popular with either group. Today, Lincoln is after a very different customer: younger (of course) and wealthier. They're also, in the words of Lincoln's marketing and sales chief, Matt VanDyke, "cultural progressives." That could be one way to describe the people who helped transform Miami Beach, a nexus of artists, gays and lesbians, and fashion trendsetters. Two early events that put the city on their radar were a much-publicized visit to Miami Beach by Andy Warhol in 1980 and, five years later, a Calvin Klein ad shoot at Hotel Breakwater by fashion photographer Bruce Weber.
Today, Miami Beach has been embraced by the world's tastemakers, as evidenced by the crush of people in town for the annual Art Basel art show. Is the MKZ stylish enough to resonate with a fashion-forward, culturally progressive crowd? Well, the people we encountered on Ocean Drive, along the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall, and at the beach were uniformly receptive to the car's look, but we contend that Lincoln needs to up its game still further if it's going to achieve its goals. The MKZ is only a first step. It's the first of four new Lincoln models that are on the way in the next four years -- two others are redesigns/replacements of existing products and a third is an all-new vehicle (expected to be derived from the Ford Escape crossover); there's also talk of a rear-wheel-drive model further down the road. For Lincoln, there's much work to be done. "We have a real journey to rebuild the brand," acknowledges VanDyke. As they know in Miami Beach, the road from faded to fabulous is a long one.
2013 Lincoln MKZ
BASE PRICE: $38,690
POWERTRAIN
ENGINE:
16-valve DOHC turbo I-4
DISPLACEMENT: 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
POWER: 240 hp @ 5500 rpm
TORQUE: 270 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
DRIVE: 4-wheel
CHASSIS
STEERING:
Electrically assisted
FRONT SUSPENSION: Strut-type, coil springs
REAR SUSPENSION: Multilink, coil springs
BRAKES F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
TIRE SIZE: 245/40R-19
MEASUREMENTS
L x W x H:
194.1 x 83.3 x 58.2 in
WHEELBASE: 112.2 in
TRACK F/R: 62.3/62.0 in
WEIGHT: 3874 lb
EPA MILEAGE: 22/31 mpg
Mister Miami Beach
Miami Beach might still be little more than a mangrove swamp were it not for automobile headlights and one driving personality. Carl Fisher made millions in the early 1900s supplying his Prest-O-Lite acetylene auto headlights to the nascent auto industry. In addition to cofounding Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of Fisher's subsequent endeavors, starting in the 1910s, was the development of Miami Beach. He financed the construction of Collins Bridge from the mainland, dredged Biscayne Bay to build up the land on Miami Beach, and then platted the land and started erecting winter homes for the wealthy. No small thinker, Fisher also built the Dixie Highway (today's U.S. 25) to bring Northerners to Florida -- it ended at the foot of Collins Bridge (since replaced by the Venetian Causeway). Fisher lost his fortune when the 1920s Florida land boom went bust and the stock market crashed, but his accomplishments in Miami Beach endured (neighboring Fisher Island is named for him) and earned him the sobriquet Mister Miami Beach.
Carl Fisher
Trip Notes
Park Central Hotel, 640 Ocean Drive, 305-538-1611, theparkcentral.com
Opened in 1937, this restored Art Deco hotel is on the oceanfront main drag but is located toward the quieter end. There's a small heated pool off the lobby and Quinn's restaurant out front, which, unlike most Ocean Drive eateries, is classy enough to forgo a sidewalk barker.
Indomania, 131 26th Street, 305-535-6332, indomaniarestaurant.com
Just off Collins Avenue at the north end of South Beach, this intimate restaurant serves superior Southeast Asian food at surprisingly reasonable prices. The four different tasting menus (rijsttafels) are very popular -- we can vouch for the Sumatra.
Las Olas Cafe, 644 6th Street, 305-534-9333
This tiny, cafeteria-style corner spot, where the Cuban fare doesn't get any more authentic, is jumping. No menu -- point to what you want. Eat in or take away. Cash only.
My Ceviche, 235 Washington Avenue, 305-397-8710
Come to this hole-in-the-wall eatery for ultrafresh fish tacos and burritos, stone crab claws, and chopped salads. Sit on the bench outside or get 'em to go.
Miami Cooks
Juvia, 1111 Lincoln Road, 305-763-8272, juviamiami.com
High above the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall, Juvia feeds Miami's beautiful people. The rooftop deck offers an equally stunning view for those who can turn their attention outside.
The Wolfsonian-FIU museum, 1001 Washington Avenue, 305-531-1001, wolfsonian.org
Housed in an ornate, Mission-style building originally used for storage, the Wolfsonian is dedicated to art and design from the Industrial Revolution until the end of World War II. Admission is $7, or check it out for free on Fridays after 6 p.m.
Miami Design Preservation League, 1001 Ocean Drive, 305-672-2014, mdpl.org
Support the work of the MDPL by patronizing their gift shop, or get an architectural primer on Miami Beach by taking a walking tour ($20, all proceeds go to fund their ongoing preservation efforts).
2013 Lincoln MKZ Front Left View
The split grille on the front of Lincoln's newest car has been described by Max Wolff, the brand's hip new director of design, as an eagle spreading its wings, but we think an association with a phoenix might be more apt. That's because the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is supposed to represent Lincoln's emergence from the ashes of the past as important new player in the future, and this means not only here in the U.S. but more importantly also in China, where serious money is at stake in the country's developing luxury market.
So far, Lincoln's renaissance has been troubled. The link between its premium cars and humble Ford versions of similar vehicles has been too apparent, and the Lincoln examples have not offered the performance or luxury credentials that could help us overlook the resemblances, visual or otherwise.
With the 2013 Lincoln MKZ AWD, there's still some badge engineering going on, yet we think this car shows that Lincoln and Ford might have finally figured out how to spin two very different vehicles from the same parts.

Think Audi and Volkswagen

With the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, Dearborn's top brass hopes to recreate the same sort of relationship between Lincoln and Ford vehicles that we see in Audi and Volkswagen. That is, much is identical under the skin, but the driving and ownership experiences exist on separate planets.
In the past, the Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion shared everything except their dashboards and the front and rear bodywork fascias. Now only the powertrains and the basic chassis structure are shared. Both the MKZ and the Fusion feature the same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, which is rated at 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. At the same time, this is just the base engine in the Lincoln, while it's the top of the range in the Ford.
Of course, both cars share the same powertrain in their respective, front-wheel-drive hybrid models, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a 35-kW electric motor that draws on a 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Also all U.S.-specification MKZs and Fusions are being built at Ford's assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and both brands of the car are available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
Yet that's where the similarities between the two cars end. Furthermore, only the Fusion offers an mpg-enhancing, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, while only the MKZ has an mph-enhancing 3.7-liter V-6, which develops 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.

A different approach to driving

Just as you'd expect, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ AWD represents a distinctive approach to the way a Lincoln is meant to go down the road.
For this, credit Lincoln Drive Control (LDC), which is electronic control of suspension damping, steering effort and transmission shift points. When LDC is set to Comfort mode, the car soaks up road irregularities and the light-effort steering is still communicative. When LDC is set to Sport, the car is appropriately taut in its ride and response without being harsh, although the heavy effort level in the steering feels unnatural to us. The Normal mode between these two extremes actually combines the worst of both, delivering a floaty ride even as the suspension crashes over road imperfections.
The MKZ does business with a six-speed automatic transmission that feels fine in a Comfort mode but seems a little too aggressive in Sport, as it holds onto gears for a moment too long and snaps off shifts in an unrefined fashion. Shift action is even a bit clunky in Normal mode, although Lincoln engineers tell us that the final calibration is yet to come.
This is a good thing, because the combination of the 300-hp V-6 and six-speed automatic is fantastic. The V-6 always pulls strongly, and there's a throaty roar from the twin exhaust outlets. A broad spread of torque helps to ensure that the six-speed automatic always seems to find the right gear.
As good as the V-6 is, we wonder if the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder might be a better choice overall. So far, we've only experienced this engine in the Ford Fusion, and it felt nearly as robust as the V-6. We would happily give up the aural delights of the V-6 in exchange for 4 mpg more in the city and 5 mpg more on the highway, as the all-wheel-drive Lincoln MKZ V-6 is rated at 18/26 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel-drive 2.0T is good for 22/31 mpg.

Don't you deserve some glitz and glamour?

The design of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ design is striking. The split-wing front grille is just as eye-catching as Max Wolff promises, while tasteful detailing with satin-finish aluminum adds a premium tone to the exterior. The wide, wide LED taillights successfully interpret past Lincoln designs. And we have to say that the combination of our test car's ruby red bodywork and gunmetal-grey 19-inch wheels proved downright dazzling.
Of course, it did take us a little while to see the car clearly, since the proportions seem slightly off a first glance. The headlights and taillights are too slim, which make the surrounding bodywork seem a bit too massive. The arcing roofline in combination with a stubby tail creates an awkward C-pillar and tall trunk. And finally the roof has been pressed down so tightly on the bodywork that the windows look like gun slits.
Even so, the MKZ's shape called out to us every time we walked up to it and the nuances of the design eventually became clear. The slim LED lighting fixtures create a crisp, striking - and instantly recognizable - visual signature. The graceful roofline permits the incorporation of a panoramic sunroof (a pricey $2995 option) that opens to the heavens. Finally, the C-pillar and rear deck lid combine to reduce aerodynamic drag, while the trunk beneath has an amazing amount of capacity.
When you're behind the steering wheel, the high seating position and that giant transparent roof help make the interior seem light and spacious, plus the driver's sightlines are unobstructed. The window sills are indeed a little high, but the effect is nothing like a Chrysler 300. At the same time, rear seat passengers might feel claustrophobic, since the MKZ's dramatic roofline allows rear headroom of only 36.5 inches, the least in this car's market segment. With the 2013 Lincoln MKX, chief designer Solomon Song has delivered the "elegant simplicity" that Lincoln design director Max Wolff describes as the new theme for the brand, even as the car conjures up glamour straight out of old Hollywood.

Welcome to a special environment

Slip inside the cabin and the new Lincoln MKZ feels special from the first. A high center stack sweeps down from the dashboard into the center console in one fluid form. The stack of controls itself is dominated by a large touchscreen interface with touch-capacitive faux-buttons.
To the left of center stack you'll find the buttons that control the transmission, the first push-button transmission we can remember for decades. It is surprisingly intuitive to use, as the gears are presented in a traditional PRNDS layout. The ignition button is above Park and it's a bit of a reach. This push-button transmission interface opens up worthwhile storage space in the center console, but the two tiers of rubber-lined shelves are too shallow, we think.
The interior plastics within the cabin don't match the standard found in a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but the color values are excellent. The dash and door panels are highlighted by tasteful wood and chrome accents. The gauges recall the previous generation BMW 7-series, and driver-controlled information screens are incorporated into the instrument binnacle. The MKZ's electronic displays are crisp and clear in their presentation, prove easy to navigate, and show the right amount of information without being distracting. Just like the transmission control, the interior trim and the watch-like instruments, the seats also set the MKZ apart from the Fusion, and we found them supremely comfortable with just the right amount of support in all the right places.

Lincoln's electronic interface and you

Each of the luxury brands has some form of all-encompassing electronic interface for its infotainment system. Among others, there's Acura's AcuraLink, Audi's MMI, BMW's iDrive, Lexus' Remote Touch, Mercedes-Benz's Command, and even Volvo's Sensus. What Lincoln features is MyLincoln Touch, a branded version of Ford's touchscreen-based system.
Sadly, MyLincoln Touch reminds us all too much of MyFord Touch. The touchscreen is slow to respond, while many of the accompanying buttons are too small to locate and operate. More important, it takes too many taps to accomplish even the simplest tasks, and this is not the kind of thing you want in a luxury car. At least the THX-branded sound system is fantastic. For all this, the touch points on the center stack are easy to locate and react quickly to inputs. We wish that they had little physical nubs to better indicate their locations when you're trying to keep our eyes on the road, although the backlit buttons elegantly disappear from view when the ignition is shut down. The slider controls for audio volume and fan speed are also lightning-fast to respond and feature neat LED lighting that follows your finger.
All of the active safety features -- adaptive cruise control, active park assist, lane keeping system, and automatic high beams -- are part of a $2250 technology package, and they work flawlessly. Blind-spot warning (which includes rear cross-traffic alert), is standard on the MKZ's Reserve and Preferred trim levels, but unavailable otherwise.
The lane-keeping safety system is really remarkable, as the electric-assist steering edges the car back into its lane when the driver's attention begins to wander. Systems from other car-makers use the stability control electronics to grab the brakes and push the car away from the highway's lane markings, but the Lincoln steers with the same predictable yet insistent pressure that human control would produce.

Does the phoenix rise from the ashes?

Will the 2013 Lincoln MKZ single-handedly save Lincoln from the trash heap of history? Well, let's not ask too much, lest we seem like one of those lame-brain Wall Street analysts who tries to predict a company's stock price from what the CEO had for breakfast. At first glance, the MKZ is a good car, and it stands on its own merits in terms of style and performance - a breakthrough for the brand, really. What it really does is set the stage for a number of forthcoming new models that will help to shape Lincoln's place in the automotive landscape.
The Lincoln MKZ is really meant to match up against the Lexus ES 350, which is the kind of comparison that reveals the marketing plan that Lincoln has set for itself. Compared to the midsize Lexus (the top-selling vehicle from Toyota's premium brand), the Lincoln has comparable variants powered by either a V-6 or a hybrid powertrain, while it also offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for improved mpg at an affordable price, plus all-wheel drive for all-weather traction.
At this point, we think the Lincoln MKZ is a better car than the Lexus ES, which is a big statement from us. It drives better, looks better and offers as much luxury, though the dealership experience is another thing, of course. Yet the midsize market doesn't end with the Lexus ES, as the comparative set includes the Acura TL SH-AWD, Audi A4 and Volvo S60 - three cars that deliver the same prestige, price and package size as the MKZ.
For those looking for something daring, dashing, and different in the midsize luxury segment, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is a genuine player. And so for Lincoln, the game begins.
SPECS
On Sale:
January 2013
Base Price (with destination): $39,920
As-Tested Price: $51,185
Engine:
3.7-liter V-6
Horsepower: 300 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 277 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: All-wheel
Wheels and Tires:19-inch aluminum wheels
245/40R-19 94V Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires
Curb Weight: 4002 lbs
Capacities:
Doors/Passengers:
4/5
Cargo: 15.4 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 44.3/37.0 in
Headroom (front/rear): 37.9/36.6 in
Towing: N/A
2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ

New For 2013

Lincoln completely overhauled the MKZ for 2013, along with the Ford Fusion it’s based on. A turbo in-line four engine featuring 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque is all-new, and the V-6 engine grows from 3.5 liters to 3.7 and now produces 300 hp. The MKZ Hybrid now uses a smaller engine, which could improve fuel economy. Lincoln’s sophisticated Lincoln Drive Control makes its debut.

Overview

Luxury automakers must have a strong contender in the entry-level premium segment, and the 2013 MKZ looks like Lincoln’s first real player there. Although the MKZ shares its underpinnings with the 2013 Ford Fusion, it looks very different and packs unique technology such as Lincoln Drive Control, which debuted on the MKS and the MKT earlier this year. Drivers can now select from three distinct modes—Sport, Normal, and Comfort—on most 2013 Lincoln vehicles, and the system will modify steering, suspension, throttle, transmission, and active noise-control systems to fit the desired parameters. We haven’t yet sampled an MKZ with the system, but it made a world of difference for the MKS and the MKT. Huge interior upgrades include real metal and wood trim on the steering wheel, door panels, and edges of the dashboard and an eight-inch screen for the MyLincoln Touch system that has caused us headaches in other vehicles. We aren’t crazy about the split-wing grille that anchors Lincoln’s current design direction, but it looks better on the MKZ than it does elsewhere in the line. At least the new design is ten percent more aerodynamic than the last MKZ’s, and the silhouette is closer to Audi A7 than Town Car.

Safety

ABS; front, side, and side curtain air bags; programmable MyKey; active headlights; and traction and stability control are standard. A lane-keep system, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support, blind-spot information with cross-traffic alert, active park assist, and inflatable rear seatbelts are optional.

You'll like:

  • Huge sunroof
  • Sumptuous interior

You won't like:

  • Styling not for everyone
  • MyLincoln Touch

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lincoln MKZ

  • Audi A4
  • Buick Regal
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Lexus ES350
2015 Lincoln MKZ Black Label Profile
Ford design chief J Mays told The Detroit News that Lincoln is "not true luxury," but said the brand could improve its image within a decade. That's despite a concerted effort from Lincoln to reinvent itself as a worthy competitor to German luxury brands.
2013 Lincoln MKZ Red Front Angle
Hoping to avoid the recalls that beset its popular Escape and Fusion models, Ford is sending some Lincoln MKZ luxury sedans from its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico to Flat Rock, Michigan, for final quality validation, before being shipped to dealers, Bloomberg reports. Flat Rock builds some Fusion models, along with Hermosillo, as well as being home to the Ford Mustang. The Lincoln MKZ shares a platform with the Ford Fusion.
Lincoln Town Car SB47 Flamethrower
We've known for some time that the Lincoln Motor Company was working on a Super Bowl ad, but the luxury automaker's announcement this morning is that it's actually working on two advertisements. One of them will be the previously reported ad compiled from thousands of tweets, but the other one may have grabbed our attention more.

Change Vehicle

Research Now

Certified Pre-Owned 2013 Lincoln MKZ Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$28,900

Used 2013 Lincoln MKZ Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$35,925

Free Price Quote

Compare dealer clearance prices and save.
Select this Vehicle

Compare The 2013 Lincoln MKZ

Click Circles to Compare

Your Selected Vehicle's Ranking

rank
4
2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
45 MPG City | 45 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
rank
2
rank
3
rank
4
2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
45 MPG City | 45 MPG Hwy
rank
22
2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
$35,925
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
8
2013 Lincoln MKZ
2013 Lincoln MKZ
Hybrid FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
188hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2013 Lincoln MKZ Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.0L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
45 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
45 MPG
Horsepower:
188 hp
Torque:
129 ft lb of torque @ 4000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
70,000 miles / 72 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
70,000 miles / 72 months
Maintenance
50,000 miles / 48 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Summary
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles; and certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the fuel delivery module may develop a crack, allowing fuel to leak.
Consequences
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module, free of charge. The recall began on July 20, 2013. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's recall campaign number is 13S04.
Potential Units Affected
390,783
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Summary
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, through March 15, 2013 and equipped with an engine block heater. During use, the engine block heater cords may be bent and in certain temperatures, the wire insulation may crack, exposing the electrical wires.
Consequences
Exposed electrical wires increase the risk of electric shock.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the block heater cord, free of charge. The recall began on June 28, 2013. Ford's recall number is 13S05. Owners may contact the Ford customer relationship center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
107
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:31
Component
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vehicles manufactured April 26, 2012, through September 24, 2013. Due to a manufacturing error, the transmission range sensor may not function properly allowing the affected vehicles to be shifted out of the Park position without first applying the brake pedal. Thus, these vehicles fail to conform with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 114, "Theft Protection."
Consequences
Without requiring the brake to be pressed, the vehicle may be unintentionally shifted out of Park, allowing it to roll which may result in a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will update the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) with new software, free of charge. The recall began on January 2014. Customers may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 13C09.
Potential Units Affected
7,153
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:RECLINER
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured August 15, 2012, through September 10, 2013, 2013-2014 Ford Escape vehicles manufactured June 5, 2012, through August 12, 2013, and 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured from July 23, 2012, through May 28, 2013. The driver and passenger seatback assemblies may have been produced with sub-standard weld joints used to attach the seat back recliner mechanism to the seat frame. The affected seat backs may have insufficient strength to meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, "Seating Systems."
Consequences
The back of the subject seats may become loose or lean while driving and potentially increase the risk of injury in certain crashes.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the seatback, free of charge. The recall began on May 30, 2014. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14C03.
Potential Units Affected
43,135
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES:DOORS:LATCH
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) notified the agency on April 23, 2015, that they are recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013, and 2012-2014 Fiesta vehicles manufactured February 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013. On April 30, 2015, Ford expanded the recall to cover an additional 119,567 vehicles, including certain model year 2011 Ford Fiestas manufactured from November 11, 2009, to May 31, 2013 and certain model year 2013 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured from February 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012. A component within the door latches may break making the doors difficult to latch and/or leading the driver or a passenger to believe a door is securely closed when, in fact, it is not.
Consequences
A door that is not securely latched could open while the vehicle is in motion, increasing the risk of injury to a vehicle occupant.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace all four door latches with an improved part, free of charge. Interim notifications were mailed to owners on June 5, 2015. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts are available. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S16.
Potential Units Affected
456,440
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to March 20, 2015, and 2015 Ford Edge vehicles manufactured February 26, 2015, to February 28, 2015, and originally sold, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. In the affected vehicles, snow or water containing road salt or other contaminants may corrode the electric power steering gear motor attachment bolts.
Consequences
If the bolts corrode, the steering gear motor may detach from the gear housing resulting in a loss of power steering assist. Loss of power steering assist would require a higher steering effort, especially at lower speeds, which may increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will apply sealer and replace the steering gear motor bolts as required. If one or more of the steering gear motor attachment bolts are broken or missing, a new steering gear will be installed in the vehicle. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on June 24, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S14.
Potential Units Affected
487,301
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS:SIDE/WINDOW
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SEAT BELTS
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
5
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
4
NHTSA Rating Front Side
3
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
5
NHTSA Rating Overall
5
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R

Find Used Lincoln MKZs For Sale

Search through millions of listings in the Automobile Magazine classifieds

5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Lincoln MKZ

Depreciation
42.8%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$16,180
42.8%
Insurance
$8,155
21.6%
Fuel Cost
$5,798
15.3%
Financing
$3,323
8.8%
Maintenance
$2,817
7.5%
Repair Costs
$1,080
2.9%
State Fees
$430
1.1%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $37,783 What's This?
Value Rating: Average