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2020 Lincoln MKZ Review

The 2020 Lincoln MKZ sits near the bottom of the luxury midsize car class. It has a comfortable ride and a large trunk, but a shortage of passenger space, some subpar cabin materials, and tepid handling prevent it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Serene ride
  • Large trunk
  • Less agile than rivals
  • Some underwhelming cabin materials
  • Rear seats could be roomier

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Lincoln MKZ's #9 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Midsize Cars category. Currently the Lincoln MKZ has a score of 7.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 5.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Lincoln MKZ?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Lincoln MKZ a Good Car?

The 2020 Lincoln MKZ is not a great luxury midsize car. That’s not to say it’s a bad vehicle – it rides smoothly over most roads, and it has a larger trunk than many rival sedans. However, many of its luxury competitors have richer cabins with more room for passengers. Additionally, this car’s base engine can feel underpowered.

Should I Buy the Lincoln MKZ?

While the Lincoln is likely to retail for less than many of its classmates, there are better vehicles to consider. The Ford Fusion is essentially the nonluxury version of the MKZ, and higher trims of the Ford rival the Lincoln’s interior quality and may cost less. You may also want to look at the Lexus ES, which has a great predicted reliability rating and an opulent, comfortable cabin.

Compare the MKZ, Fusion, and ES »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln MKZ?

The 2020 MKZ belongs to a generation that launched for the 2013 model year. The 2017 MKZ underwent a major refresh, gaining updated exterior styling, a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged engine option, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which replaced the cumbersome MyLincoln Touch.

There were no major updates to the 2018 model, but the 2019 MKZ gained more standard safety features, such as blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning, and Lincoln limited the availability of the twin-turbo V6 engine to the top-level trim. The Black Label models were discontinued too, though you might still find Black Label Lincoln products. No major changes were made for 2020, so you may be able to find a similarly equipped MKZ from a previous model year that costs less. Most shoppers will want to stick with a 2017-or-newer MKZ.

Be sure to read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 MKZ reviews to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 MKZ »

We Did the Research for You: 33 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Lincoln MKZ in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 33 automotive sources. This Lincoln MKZ review incorporates applicable research for all vehicles in this generation, which includes the 2013 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Lincoln MKZ Cost?

At the time of writing, Lincoln hasn’t released official pricing information for the 2020 MKZ. Using the nearly identical 2019 MKZ as a model, we estimate the base 2020 MKZ will have a starting price around $36,000. That undercuts the starting prices of most class rivals. Additionally, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is available for no extra cost – a rarity among hybrids. 

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

Lincoln MKZ Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKZ or Ford Fusion?

The Ford Fusion is a good midsize car. As the corporate cousin to the MKZ, the Ford has lively handling and a large trunk. In higher trims, the Fusion also gets the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the base MKZ. Both sedans also have hybrid variants with similar powertrains. The high-end Ford Fusion Titanium rivals the Lincoln for luxury, and it retails for $34,450. That's around $1,600 less than the starting price we estimate for the base MKZ. With these two vehicles being so similar, go with the Ford.

Which Is Better: Lincoln MKZ or Acura TLX?

The Acura TLX is a luxury midsize car that has many of the same shortcomings as the Lincoln. The rear seats are not very welcoming, cabin materials appear drab compared to other luxury vehicles, the base engine feels weak, and the car isn’t sporty. To its credit, the TLX has great fuel economy estimates and rides smoothly over most roads. It’s affordable too, starting at around $33,000. That helps give the TLX the edge in this comparison.

Compare the MKZ, Fusion, and TLX »

MKZ Interior

How Many People Does the MKZ Seat?

As many as five people can sit in this Lincoln. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard, as are 10-way power-adjustable front seats and heated front seats. Genuine leather upholstery, massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Although the front seats are comfortable, the back seats get mixed reviews. Some critics say there is adequate space, while others say the accommodations are lacking. Thick pillars restrict visibility, though the standard rearview camera helps mitigate this issue.

MKZ and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the MKZ’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

MKZ Interior Quality

Although there are some stylish materials in the cabin, the overall look and feel is lackluster compared to rival sedans.

MKZ Cargo Space

With 15.4 cubic feet of space, this Lincoln has a decently sized trunk for a luxury midsize car. However, the trunk opening is narrow, which can make it difficult to load larger items. The placement of its 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack limits the hybrid’s trunk to 11.1 cubic feet of space.

MKZ Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base MKZ comes with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite radio, and an 11-speaker stereo. Navigation, HD Radio, two more USB ports, and a 14- or 20-speaker Revel audio system are available.

The SYNC 3 infotainment system is generally easy to use, with a responsive touch screen and some buttons and knobs for controlling many functions. However, some critics knock the system for relying too heavily on the touch screen for settings that physical controls could accomplish more easily.

Read more about interior »

MKZ Performance

MKZ Engine: Bland Base

Powering the base MKZ is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. A twin-turbo V6 that makes 350 horsepower (400 in all-wheel-drive models) and 400 pound-feet of torque is available. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The MKZ Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which combine to make 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The base engine is nothing to write home about. It’s powerful enough for daily driving but doesn't provide any excitement. The available V6 is robust, but it doesn't transform this car into a sports sedan.

MKZ Gas Mileage: Just OK

In its base setup, this sedan gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is typical for the luxury midsize car class. All-wheel-drive models get 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. MKZs with the V6 engine and front-wheel drive get 18/27 mpg city/highway, and all-wheel-drive models get 17/26 mpg city/highway.

The MKZ Hybrid gets much higher ratings of 42 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

MKZ Ride and Handling: Refined and Relaxed

The MKZ is a comfortable cruiser that provides a silky ride over most roads. However, many rivals are sportier. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available. The hybrid is front-wheel drive only.

Read more about performance »

MKZ Reliability

Is the Lincoln MKZ Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Lincoln MKZ an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Lincoln MKZ Warranty

The MKZ is covered by a basic warranty lasting four years or 50,000 miles and a powertrain warranty lasting six years or 70,000 miles. Hybrid components get a warranty that lasts eight years or 100,000 miles.

Read more about reliability »

MKZ Safety

MKZ Crash Test Results

The 2020 Lincoln MKZ received an overall safety rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The MKZ earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 MKZ.

MKZ Safety Features

The MKZ comes with several standard active safety features. Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver aids contains forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane keep assist. Adaptive cruise control is available (it’s standard in the hybrid), as are front parking sensors and a parallel parking assist system.

Read more about safety »

Lincoln MKZ Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 MKZ is about 16.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,749 to 4,217 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Lincoln MKZ Built?

Lincoln builds the 2020 MKZ in Mexico.

Which Lincoln MKZ Model Is Right for Me?

Lincoln offers the MKZ in three main trims: Standard, Reserve I, and Reserve II. The hybrid model comes in those same trims at no extra cost. Gas-only models have a six-speed automatic transmission and a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 245 horsepower. The Reserve II trim comes with the option of swapping that engine for a twin-turbo V6 that makes 350 horsepower in MKZs with front-wheel drive and 400 horsepower in models with all-wheel drive.

The MKZ Hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that combine to produce 188 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard throughout the lineup, and all-wheel drive is available in every model but the hybrid.

Lincoln MKZ Standard

We estimate the entry-level MKZ Standard trim will have a starting MSRP around $36,000. It has a generous list of standard equipment, including the SYNC 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, an 11-speaker premium stereo, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.

Also included are synthetic leather seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The base model also comes with MyKey, which lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers.

The Lincoln Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features comes standard as well. It includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, a rearview camera, and automatic high-beam headlights. The MKZ Hybrid gets all of that plus adaptive cruise control.

Lincoln MKZ Reserve I

The Reserve I trim is expected to retail for around $39,000. It gains navigation, HD Radio, two rear-charging USB ports, adaptive cruise control, leather-trimmed seats, and a power trunk lid.

The Reserve Plus package adds a 14-speaker Revel sound system, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a moonroof for around $3,000.

Lincoln MKZ Reserve II

Reserve II models are expected to start at around $45,000. The top-of-the-line trim and replacement for Lincoln’s Black Label series, the Reserve II includes the contents of the Reserve Plus package as standard equipment. It also comes with multicontour massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, front parking sensors, and parallel park assist.

The MKZ Luxury package is available for around $4,000. It has a panoramic glass roof and a 20-speaker Revel Ultima stereo, as well as all-wheel drive. The twin-turbocharged V6 engine can be added for around $2,800.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer. 

See 2020 Lincoln MKZ specs and trims »

The Final Call

In the highly competitive luxury midsize car class, the 2020 Lincoln MKZ is not a great choice. Quite a few things hold it back in our rankings, including rear seats that could be bigger, some bland cabin materials, a ho-hum base engine, and a lack of handling agility. Shopping around may uncover an alternative that provides more bang for your buck.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Essentially, you get what you see with the MKZ. It's relatively stylish and well-appointed, but it doesn't do anything to really wow you. It isn't that the MKZ is unentertaining or uninteresting to drive; it's just not a car you associate with fun. It's quiet, comfortable and, overall, a competent luxury sedan. The turbocharged V6 is impressively powerful, but the rest of the car's abilities aren't very sporty." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Although no slouch in the curves, the 2017 Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan isn't designed for the BMW set, but rather for those who appreciate a luxury sedan that delivers a smooth ride, a silent cabin and powerful engine. The MKZ feels more exclusive than a Lexus ES 350, more distinctive than a Cadillac ATS and more affordable than a loaded Mercedes-Benz C-Class. However, an Audi A4 or a Volvo S60 is certainly a more appealing competitor with a more substantial pedigree." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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2020 Lincoln MKZ

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