Driven: 2013 Lincoln MKZ

A. J. Mueller

2013 Lincoln MKZ

BASE PRICE: $38,690

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

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

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.

Trip Notes

Park Central Hotel, 640 Ocean Drive, 305-538-1611,
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,
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.

Juvia, 1111 Lincoln Road, 305-763-8272,
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,
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,
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).

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Vern Southard
The new Lincoln MKZ is a definite step in the right direction for Lincoln and FoMoCo. Ford needs a  luxury brand that will compete with the European and Asian imports for a growing upscale market share with a younger demographic. The don't have to be just limos, land  barges, or golf club convenences. The sleek low profile stying, implementation of smart engine technologies like direct injection, twin variable cam timing, and smooth reliable turbocharging to get more power out of a smaller, lighter engine makes sense when gas prices keep going up, and are not likely to go down any time soon. The use of electronic power steering, electronic damping and ride control, the tech packages that includes lane assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, a very sensitive cross traffic alert, parking assist, a rear vision camera that is second to none, extremely quiet ride and solid handling, excellent seats, a V6 or a small turbo that put out 300 or 240 HP, lots of quality leather and all the luxury amenities like memory seats, intelligent keys, navigation, HD sound system, analog and touch and voice controls of many of the car's systems, and under the $50K price point provides a lot of value compared to the German or Japanese luxury import sedans, which by the way have not changed very much except for now sporting re-designed front end grille work and scoops to look more "sporty" and are getting old and outdated unless you care to drop another thirty or forty grand to get a factory tuner upgrade with lots more horsepower and stiffer suspension.  It may not be the car that traditional Lincoln buyers expected, but it is a high quality technologically advanced automobile that is going to bring Lincoln back into the luxury market and convert a lot of former import buyers who would rather buy a leading edge, stylish, luxury American brand than enrich the coffers of a foreign car company. Lincoln Motor company is going back to it's historical roots and the American luxury dealership experience is about to get a whole lot better with the new generation of Lincoln dealerships now being built. Ford is serious and will not let the Lincoln brand go away. There is a new luxury crossover SUV way following the MKZ that will also impact the luxury crossover market in a big way. Until you drive one don't give the over new Lincoln thumbs down. Get out there and drive one and find out for yourself, unless you have to have a big L or M on your grille to impress the folks at the country club and want to pay a whole lot more to step up to bigger and more expensive car with no more technology or innovation than you can get in the Lincoln for less. 
If this is the car that is going to save Lincoln, start planning the funeral.....
Let me be clear, I love Lincolns.  I've owned several Lincolns of the 60's, the last being a 69 Continental 4 door.  Loved 'em.  But, times change and we must downsize and save the world with better fuel economy, etc. That being said, I don't love the 2013 MKZ which is a damed shame, because I want to.  Let me see, it's larger than a Ford Fusion, but has less interior space, "the materials -- on the dash, the door panels, the steering wheel -- could have been better" and so on.  I can understand a Lincoln with a four cylinder engine in this day and age, I can even accept (maybe in time) the hideous front end, but if this is the car that is supposed to save Lincoln, well, it's a swing and a miss.  There are just to many better cars in this price range to be forced to compromise and if I'm going to drop 40 large, I don't intend to compromise, I'll get what I like.  This car I don't like.  If FoMoCo can't do better than this, Lincoln is doomed. 

Well atleast you didnt just say it sucked like so many of your comrades.

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