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7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 6.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Lincoln MKZ Review

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ (along with the MKZ Hybrid) is a sensible buy, with a smooth ride and low ownership costs. However, the MKZ trails in our rankings due to its so-so interior quality, tight rear seats, sluggish infotainment system, and uninspiring performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Less expensive to buy and own than most rivals
  • Lots of standard features for the price
  • Smooth ride
  • Excellent hybrid fuel economy
  • Unimpressive cabin materials
  • Complicated infotainment
  • Limited rear headroom
  • Forgettable performance

2016 Lincoln MKZ Overview

Is the 2016 Lincoln MKZ a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ is a decent option if you’re in the market for an affordable, dependable luxury sedan. Its cushioned ride and exceptional fuel economy make it an ideal choice for your daily commute. Plus, used MKZ sedans are often some of the lowest-priced cars in this class. That said, the Lincoln feels less refined than its top luxury rivals, and you can find many of the MKZ’s features for much less money in its corporate twin, the 2016 Ford Fusion.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Lincoln MKZ review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 29 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Lincoln MKZ?

The average price of a 2016 MKZ (including the hybrid version) is $23,900. That positions this Lincoln as one of the least expensive vehicles in our ranking of luxury midsize cars. With a variety of configurations and optional amenities, expect to see prices range from $19,000 to $29,900, based on our analysis of 670 MKZ listings on our used car site. Vehicle condition, mileage, and current demand also affect the sales price.  

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Lincoln MKZ Cost to Own?

Select ownership costs are relatively low with the 2016 MKZ. It typically costs $22,700 to insure, fuel, maintain, and repair this car for five years. Similar luxury sedans – including the 2016 Lexus ES and 2016 Acura TLX – cost $23,500 or more for the same expenses.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New MKZ?

The Lincoln MKZ is a champion of value among midsize luxury sedans, even when used. With that in mind, a used 2016 MKZ is undoubtedly a better value than a new 2018 MKZ. The 2016 model’s average price of $23,900 represents a savings of almost $12,000 off the base MSRP of a new MKZ. Keep in mind, there are a few benefits to buying a new MKZ, including updated styling inside and out, more horsepower, and an optional twin-turbo V6.  However, these improvements do little to offset the higher sticker price for many shoppers.

Read about the new Lincoln MKZ »

Because the MKZ has a comparatively low price tag, you won’t find any new alternatives from other luxury brands that can compete with the 2016 MKZ’s average price. If you prioritize buying new over buying luxury, consider the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu ($21,680), 2018 Hyundai Sonata ($22,050), and 2018 Mazda6 ($23,000). All three midsize cars have good scores in our ranking, and their below-average starting prices give you some wiggle room to upgrade to a nicely outfitted mid-level trim.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Lincoln MKZ?

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s above average for a new car, but competitors like the 2016 Lexus ES and Lexus GS lead the class with perfect five-point ratings.

Read more about MKZ reliability »

2016 Lincoln MKZ Recalls

Two recalls have been issued on the 2016 MKZ (at the time of this review’s writing). An extensive recall fixes a hardware problem and prevents the steering wheel from detaching while driving. A much smaller recall replaces defective gas tanks that may potentially crack in an accident. 

See more information on Lincoln MKZ safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Lincoln MKZ Is Best? 

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ marks the fourth model year of a generation that launched with the 2013 model and includes the 2018 Lincoln MKZ. There were no major updates between the 2014 and 2016 model years. The 2017 MKZ has better engine options and a nicer interior, thanks to its midcycle refresh, but it will cost you an extra $6,000 or so. For the best value, look for a 2014 or 2015 model. The 2015 model was the first to include rear parking sensors and rearview camera as standard equipment.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MKZ »

Which Used Lincoln MKZ Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 MKZ and MKZ Hybrid come in four trim levels: Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. The MKZ Premiere has an 8-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, voice recognition, satellite radio, keyless entry and remote start, heated front seats, and leatherette upholstery. The MKZ Select trim adds leather. The MKZ Reserve gives you navigation, blind spot monitoring, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a power open/close trunk. MKZ Black Label models tout special-order upholstery, trim, and exterior paint colors. Options include massaging front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat DVD player, and the Technology package (a suite of advanced safety features). For shoppers wanting an attractive list of luxury features without spending too much, we recommend the MKZ Select trim.

See 2016 Lincoln MKZ trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Lincoln MKZ Warranty

You may also want to shop for a certified pre-owned MKZ. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lincoln extends its original new-car warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. Lincoln puts its CPO vehicles through a 200-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lincoln warranty page carefully. This coverage isn’t spectacular, so if the idea of buying a certified pre-owned car appeals to you, we recommend shopping instead for a CPO Lexus or Infiniti. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about the Lincoln certified pre-owned program »

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the MKZ?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2016 Lincoln MKZ the highest rating of Good for roof strength, seat safety, side impact safety, and moderate overlap front crash safety. The MKZ earned an Acceptable rating in small overlap front crash safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the MKZ a perfect five-star rating in overall and front impact safety, as well as four stars in side and rollover crash testing. 

All 2016 MKZ models are equipped with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. MKZ Reserve sedans add blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. An available Technology package (Select and Reserve trims only) adds forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, parallel parking assist, front parking sensors, and lane keep assist.

See MKZ safety scores »

2016 Lincoln MKZ Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Lincoln MKZ or 2016 Ford Fusion?

The 2016 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ share the same vehicle platform, as well as many components and features. You’ll find both sedans available with the same hybrid system, infotainment, and safety features. The biggest difference between the two is price; used Fusion models are often thousands of dollars less than comparable MKZ models. However, you won’t see much of a drop in quality with the Ford. The Fusion is the better buy overall.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lincoln MKZ or 2016 Lincoln MKS?

Neither the full size 2016 Lincoln MKS (which was discontinued after 2016) nor the midsize MKZ are top picks in their respective classes. Both fall short of segment rivals in overall refinement and material quality. However, the MKZ is the better option of the two. It earns much higher fuel economy estimates, offers comparable features, and often costs less.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lincoln MKZ or 2016 Cadillac CTS?

The 2016 Cadillac CTS is a much sportier vehicle than the Lincoln MKZ. Its engines are more potent and it wields sharper handling. The CTS also bests the MKZ with a higher-quality interior and more advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking. Performance and polish do come at a price, though; used MKZ models are much less expensive. If you can afford its price tag, the CTS is the superior pick.

Compare the MKZ, Fusion, and CTS »

2016 MKZ Performance

How Does the 2016 Lincoln MKZ Drive?

There are two engine options in the 2016 MKZ: a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is available. Both engines feel strong and enable swift acceleration. Lincoln also offers the 2016 MKZ as a hybrid; it features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor that yield a combined 188 horsepower. The MKZ Hybrid doesn’t get up to speed as briskly, but it does offer sufficient passing power on the highway and very efficient fuel economy estimates. 

All MKZ sedans are equipped with Lincoln Drive Control, a type of adaptive suspension that adjusts to smooth out bumps in the road and keep the MKZ well-planted. The system works well, and though the MKZ isn’t a sports sedan, it rounds corners with confidence.

Does the 2016 Lincoln MKZ Get Good Gas Mileage?

Out of the gas-only MKZ powertrains, the four-cylinder engine earns much higher fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, versus the V6’s estimates of 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. For superb fuel efficiency from a midsize sedan, pick the MKZ Hybrid, which earns 41 mpg city/39 mpg highway.

Read more about MKZ performance »

2016 MKZ Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 MKZ Seat?

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ seats five and features a quiet, uncluttered cabin. Its front seats are soft and nicely contoured, and they provide ample head- and legroom. The rear seats, however, feel cramped and offer minimal headroom for taller passengers relative to other cars in this class. Leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are standard; leather, ventilated and massaging front seats, and heated rear seats are available. While the MKZ’s cabin looks crisp and modern, its interior materials and plastics don’t feel up to par with its luxe competitors.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Lincoln MKZ?

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats, along with an additional tether anchor for the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the MKZ’s LATCH system the second highest score of Acceptable for ease of use.

2016 Lincoln MKZ Features

2016 MKZ models have a lot of standard tech features, including voice recognition, an 8-inch touch screen with MyLincoln Touch infotainment, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, remote start, and Ford’s MyKey parental control system. The touch screen isn’t very easy to use; it’s often slow to respond to inputs and its menus can be confusing. Touch-sensitive areas below the screen control a number of climate and audio functions – replacing conventional buttons and knobs – but these can be awkward to use as well. That said, the MKZ’s voice recognition system works very well. Available features include navigation, a THX 14-speaker sound system, and rear-seat DVD players.

See 2016 Lincoln MKZ specs »

Read more about MKZ interior »

2016 Lincoln MKZ Dimensions

Lincoln MKZ Cargo Space

The MKZ offers an adequate 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space. The MKZ Hybrid has a smaller 11.1 cubic feet of room, due to the placement of its battery pack.

Lincoln MKZ Length and Weight

The 2016 MKZ is a 16.2-foot-long luxury sedan. Its curb weight ranges from 3,687 to 3,993 pounds, depending on the configuration.

Where Was the 2016 Lincoln MKZ Built?

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid were built in Mexico.

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