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2018 Lincoln MKZ Review

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ finishes near the bottom of our luxury midsize car rankings. While there are reasons to like this sedan, such as its composed ride, most class rivals are more fun to drive, more luxurious, or both.

Pros & Cons

  • Relaxing, quiet ride
  • Both gasoline engines are peppy
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Cabin materials aren't as luxurious as some rivals
  • Back seat tight for adults
  • Laid back driving dynamics

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Luxury Midsize Cars category. Currently the Lincoln MKZ has a score of 7.6 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Overall: 7.6
Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 6.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2018 Lincoln MKZ a Good Used Car?

The Lincoln MKZ is a decent used luxury midsize car. It will likely appeal to buyers looking for a comfortable sedan that's not too flashy. Still, the MKZ falls short of the standards set by many rivals both in terms of performance and interior quality.

Check out the 2018 MKZ's main strengths:

  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Below-average projected ownership costs
  • Gasoline engines feel reasonably powerful, especially the V6
  • Fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain
  • Cushioned ride
  • Above-average trunk space in nonhybrid models

But take note of its weaknesses:

  • Cabin materials look and feel subpar for a luxury sedan
  • Less agile than most competitors
  • Adults may feel cramped in the rear seats
  • Shorter features list than many class rivals
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Lincoln MKZ review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 38 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 U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Lincoln MKZ?

Based on listings for the 2018 Lincoln MKZ on our site, the average list price is $29,900. Prices range from $24,000 to $36,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Cost to Own?

The 2018 MKZ’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $23,825, or $4,765 per year. That’s well below average for a luxury midsize car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New MKZ?

The 2019 MKZ starts at $35,995, and it includes a few upgrades over the 2018 model. Lincoln added adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and a pre-collision system as standard features. Lincoln also simplified its trim levels – eliminating the Black Label trim – and shuffled a few features around. You can likely save money by shopping for a used model, but you may miss out on these upgrades.

Read about the new Lincoln MKZ »

The current MKZ generation began with the 2013 model year. There was a refresh for 2017 that included updated styling, a new base engine with five more horsepower but slightly worse fuel economy than the previous base engine, and a new available twin-turbo V6 that puts out 50 to 100 more horsepower than the former nonturbo V6. The boost you get from the twin-turbo V6 depends on whether you choose front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For 2017, the Lincoln also added the SYNC 3 infotainment system to the MKZ. The 2018 model saw no significant changes. We recommend you start your shopping with the 2017 MKZ.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 MKZ »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Lincoln MKZ?

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about MKZ reliability »

2018 Lincoln MKZ Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Lincoln MKZ:

  • Steering wheel may detach

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Lincoln MKZ safety recalls »

Which Used Lincoln MKZ Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ comes in four trims: Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. The MKZ Select is an enticing option in this lineup. It comes with the accoutrements most people want in a premium car – leather seats, upscale touches like wood trim and ambient lighting, and lots of charging ports for your devices (including a household-style outlet) – and it should cost you less than the higher trims will.

  • Lincoln MKZ Premiere: The base MKZ comes with synthetic leather seats, the SYNC 3 infotainment interface, an 8-inch display, 11 speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats with lumbar support, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a proximity key with remote start, push-button start, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.
  • Lincoln MKZ Select: Standard features in the MKZ Select include leather upholstery, two rear-seat USB charging ports, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, wood trim, ambient lighting, and auto-dimming power-folding side mirrors.
  • Lincoln MKZ Reserve: The MKZ Reserve includes perforated leather seats, a voice-activated navigation system, heated and cooled front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a power trunk lid.
  • Lincoln MKZ Black Label: The MKZ Black Label is as exclusive as it sounds. Inside, Venetian leather seats and a 20-speaker Revel audio system are sure to impress your guests.

See 2018 Lincoln MKZ trims and specs »

What Does Lincoln’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lincoln offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. 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.

According to our research, Lincoln has a good CPO program, but competitors like Audi, Lexus, and Jaguar have more robust programs.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Lincoln certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the MKZ?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 MKZ the highest rating of Good in six crash tests. Properly equipped MKZ models earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. Headlight ratings for the MKZ depend upon the trim. Premiere, Select, and Reserve trims received the lowest rating of Poor for how well their headlights illuminate the road ahead. The Select and Reserve trims with the Technology Package received the second-lowest rating of Marginal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 MKZ a five-star overall safety rating out of five. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors
  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • pedestrian detection
  • front parking sensors
  • parallel and perpendicular parking assist
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane keep assist
  • driver drowsiness monitoring

See MKZ safety scores »

2018 Lincoln MKZ Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lincoln MKZ or 2018 Lexus ES?

The 2018 Lexus ES is a solid pick for luxury sedan shoppers with a family. The cabin provides the look and feel you expect from a luxury vehicle, and the rear seats have enough room for adults to ride comfortably. On top of that, the ES has high safety and reliability ratings, making it a pragmatic choice.

Which Is Better: 2018 Lincoln MKZ or 2018 Acura TLX?

The 2018 Acura TLX doesn’t have a user-friendly infotainment system, but there are few other reasons to complain. Both rows of seats are roomy enough for adult passengers, though taller people might want a smidge more headroom. The well-built cabin features premium materials throughout.

Compare the MKZ, ES, and TLX »

2018 MKZ Performance

How Does the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Drive?

The MKZ's base engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder that provides decent acceleration, and some critics say it has enough juice to make highway passing maneuvers without much trouble. Still, the available twin-turbo V6 is the better choice for drivers looking for prodigious power output. Whether in a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive setup, the V6 is strong and quick in any driving situation. The hybrid powertrain feels similar to the base engine in terms of potency.

This Lincoln shouldn't be the first choice for drivers who want an agile sedan. The MKZ puts an emphasis on comfort, and it lacks the athleticism of many rivals. However, it does ride smoothly, even over rough roads, and there's not too much body roll when taking turns.

  • Base engine: 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engines:
    • 350-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
    • 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter V6
  • Available powertrain: 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor with a combined 188 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (AWD unavailable with the hybrid powertrain)
  • Transmission: standard six-speed automatic; available continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its base engine, the MKZ gets decent fuel economy for a luxury midsize car. The numbers aren't as good with the available V6, but that's the price you pay for the extra horsepower. The available hybrid powertrain is easily the MKZ's most efficient offering.

  • Four-cylinder, FWD: 21/31 mpg city/highway
  • Four-cylinder, AWD: 20/28 mpg
  • V6, FWD: 18/27 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 17/26 mpg
  • Hybrid: 41/38 mpg

Read more about MKZ performance »

2018 MKZ Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 MKZ Seat?

The 2018 MKZ seats five people in two rows. While the cabin looks OK, it doesn't have the upscale feel you get in other luxury sedans. The front seats are spacious and supportive. The rear seats don't have enough head- and legroom for taller adults to ride comfortably, but the seats are tolerable for short trips.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • cooled front seats
  • massaging front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lincoln MKZ?

The 2018 MKZ has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The system receives an Acceptable rating for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are set too deep in the seat, but there are no other notable issues.

2018 Lincoln MKZ Features

The SYNC 3 infotainment system comes standard in this Lincoln. It's responsive and generally easy to use, but the interface is a bit clunky at times. Standard connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make things easy for those who prefer to just connect their smartphone to the system.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch display, 11 speakers, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: voice-activated navigation system, a 20-speaker Revel audio system, and two rear-seat USB charging ports
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key with remote start, and push-button start
  • Other available features: a panoramic moonroof and a 110-volt household-style power outlet

See 2018 Lincoln MKZ specs »

Read more about MKZ interior »

2018 Lincoln MKZ Dimensions

Lincoln MKZ Cargo Space

The MKZ has 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than most other cars in the luxury midsize class. The rear seats fold down, giving you more flexibility to haul larger or longer items, though the car's narrow trunk makes it tricky to load wide cargo. The hybrid version provides much less trunk space – just 11.1 cubic feet.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Lincoln MKZ Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,739 to 3,900 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Built?

Lincoln built the 2018 MKZ in Mexico.

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