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2016 Lincoln MKZ: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader July 2015

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ hits the sweet spot for consumers, combining luxury, economy and value into a handsome package as easy on the eyes as it is on the wallet. Although not as exotic or performance-oriented as the BMW 3 Series or Cadillac CTS, the 2016 Lincoln MKZ offers a uniquely opulent design, a choice of three capable and efficient powertrains (including a hybrid model) and a nice roster of upscale amenities.

Shoppers not as interested in a status symbol, however, may notice that many of the MKZ's innovative features are available on its popular Ford sibling, the Fusion, for thousands less. The trade-off is a Ford badge in place of the Lincoln markings.

What's New for 2016?

The 2016 MKZ carries over unchanged from the 2015 model year.

What We Like

Plush ride; good fuel economy; an abundance of available tech/comfort features

What We Don't

Not that fun to drive; polarizing exterior styling; complicated MyLincoln Touch interface

How Much?

$36,085-$57,000

Fuel Economy

The MKZ benefits from three different powertrains. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder delivers 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, and it offers fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

The more-powerful 3.7-liter V6 outputs 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque with an Environmental Protection Agency rating of 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy in all-wheel drive.

The Hybrid, with its 2.0-liter gas-engine/electric-motor combination, yields a more-than-adequate 188 hp and achieves an impressive 41 mpg city/39 mpg hwy. It's offered with front-wheel drive only. The hybrid's performance is considerably less than the V6 but still proves capable in most driving situations.

Standard Features & Options

The Lincoln MKZ is offered in two similar trim levels: MKZ ($36,085) and MKZ Hybrid ($36,085). Both models, in base form, bring an impressive array of standard features and amenities, including 18-inch wheels, automatic and adaptive headlights, rear parking sensors, a rear backup camera, push-button starting, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, power adjustable heated front seats, driver's-seat memory and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel. Concerning technology, the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid have a MyLincoln Touch interface, the SYNC voice-command system, an 8-in touchscreen display and an 11-speaker stereo.

The MKZ AWD ($37,975) adds all-wheel drive to the mix.

Building up from the base model, there are several options packages. The bottom-rung Select package includes auto-dimming heated and power-folding side mirrors, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, HD Radio and wood trim on the steering wheel.

Next is the Reserve package, which includes the Select package's features plus navigation, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a 110-volt outlet, a power trunk release with a soft-close feature, premium perforated leather seating, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and cooled front seats.

The Black Label Series builds on the Reserve package's features by offering consumers their own shopping concierge, four unique interior wood and leather packages and additional paint color choices.

Models equipped with the Select and Reserve packages can add 19-in alloy wheels and a THX II Certified sound system.

Off to the side is a Technology package, which includes a lane-departure system, adaptive cruise control, an automated parallel-parking system, rain-sensing wipers and automatic high-beam headlights.

Stand-alone options include such premium amenities as a retractable panoramic moonroof, inflatable rear seat belts, a power rear sunshade and upgraded multicontour seats for the driver and front passenger.

The 3.7-liter V6 adds another $1,200 to the bottom line.

Safety

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ includes standard front side-impact and side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control, a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning, collision warning, adaptive cruise control and inflatable rear seat belts.

In government crash testing, the 2016 Lincoln MKZ earned five out of five stars for overall crash safety, five stars for frontal-collision safety, four stars for side-impact safety and four stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Lincoln MKZ a Top Safety Pick recipient.

Behind the Wheel

Overall, the 2016 MKZ isn't much of an enthusiast's car, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's more in the "comfortable ride and easy to live with" category. The MKZ's ride and handling are on par with similar models, such as the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse, thanks to Lincoln Drive Control, an intelligent system designed to deliver a well-balanced driving experience.

The MKZ's 2-liter turbo and 3.7-liter V6 are both quite robust, making launches from the line and highway enjoyable. The Hybrid feels both confident and capable, yielding an impressive 41 mpg city.

In typical Lincoln fashion, the MKZ's interior is well isolated from the outside world, making this sedan a comfortable and plush turnpike cruiser. Get the MKZ into tight turns, and it will stick to the intended path. Just don't expect overly thrilling performance or dynamics close to that of its German rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Lexus ES -- The ES may cost more than the MKZ, but it has a more luxurious interior and better resale value.

2015 Cadillac CTS -- The CTS is a more engaged driver's car and has a better interior layout than the MKZ. That said, the MKZ offers a hybrid model and more rear-seat legroom.

Used Audi A6 -- A 2012-2014 Audi A6 will cost about the same as a new MKZ but offers more luxury and better performance, as well as more clout.

Autotrader's Advice

Because the MKZ is not on the same performance tier as the Cadillac CTS, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, we wouldn't recommend it as a luxury-sport-sedan choice. If you don't need all-wheel drive, the hybrid model offers the best value. It brings all the opulence, amenities and soft ride of the standard MKZ but also returns excellent fuel economy that's far superior to its nonhybrid rivals.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Lincoln MKZ: New Car Review - Autotrader