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2016 Lincoln MKZ Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Lincoln MKZ was new.


Performance: 6.8

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ has strong engines, a comfortable ride and composed handling, according to auto writers, but it isn't as agile or fun to drive as many similarly priced rivals, including the Cadillac CTS and BMW 3-Series.

  • "Equipped with the standard 18-inch wheels and all-season tires, the 2016 Lincoln MKZ offers a quiet, compliant ride that's exactly what we'd expect from this class, and more particularly, from Lincoln." -- Edmunds
  • 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." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • The overall driving experience was pleasant, yet the MKZ lacked the engagement quotient common to the segment's best sport sedans (we didn't look for excuses to jump behind the wheel)." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ comes standard with a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. A 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine is optional. According to the EPA, the base 2016 MKZ gets 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is about average compared with the fuel economy of other four-cylinder upscale midsize cars. The V6 model gets 18/27, which is slightly below average compared with the fuel economy of rivals with six-cylinder engines.

The 2016 MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make 188 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission (automatic) is standard. The 2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 41/39 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a hybrid luxury car and for the upscale midsize class as a whole.

The Lincoln MKZ's base turbocharged four-cylinder engine feels almost as powerful as the optional V6, critics say, and the turbocharged four-cylinder gets noticeably better fuel economy. Auto writers agree that both models offer strong acceleration from a stop and on the highway. However, some reviewers point out that both engines are unremarkable for the class, and many rivals are available with more-powerful turbocharged V6s and V8s. Test drivers report that the MKZ Hybrid has adequate acceleration, and they're impressed with its fuel economy.

  • Although the V6 offers more power, we've found the turbocharged four-cylinder is the better choice. It feels nearly as strong when you're accelerating in traffic, and it returns much better fuel economy. That said, neither engine is a standout, as many competing sedans provide quicker acceleration, particularly if you opt for one of their upgraded engines." -- Edmunds
  • "The 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly good at motivating this heavy sedan, but the optional 3.7-liter V6 is still a better choice. The hybrid isn't particularly quick, but Lincoln's fuel economy claims are no joke, as it's easy to keep it in the 40 mpg range." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "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." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid come standard with front-wheel drive and Lincoln Drive Control, which can alter suspension and steering characteristics with Normal, Comfort and Sport settings. All-wheel drive is available on gas-only models.

Reviewers note that Lincoln Drive Control helps give the MKZ the smooth ride and poised handling of upscale midsize rivals like the Lexus ES. Critics also write that the MKZ has adequate braking power. However, test drivers say the MKZ is less agile than a number of similarly priced rivals, including the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac CTS and Audi A4.

  • "Something you might not expect from the MKZ is its composure when going around turns. The standard adjustable suspension and quick steering make the MKZ feel more alert than any other Lincoln in recent memory. The MKZ isn't quite as sporty or agile as its German rivals, but most consumers will find it competent and enjoyable in this regard." -- Edmunds
  • This Lincoln can handle corners more athletically than you might imagine. But it's no sport sedan, and is outclassed by cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, or other similarly priced sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "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." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • Braking performance-70 to 0 mph in 168 feet-is adequate for a mid-size car wearing all-season tires. …" -- Car and Driver (2014)

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