$22,091 - $31,542

2018 Lincoln MKZ Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Lincoln MKZ was new.


Performance: 7.2

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ is smooth, composed, and quiet – all the qualities you want from a comfortable sedan. Its gasoline engines are eager to please, but its laid-back handling discourages spirited driving. Fuel economy is average with the base engine and outstanding with the hybrid powertrain.

  • "At its heart, the MKZ remains a traditional American luxury car, offering a smooth ride, a powerful engine and responsive handling." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "The 6-speed automatic transmission is buttery-smooth in relaxed driving conditions but a bit dated when pushed, but though this Lincoln's power output naturally begs to be put to the test as often as possible, the overall character of the car is better suited to laid-back cruising." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "If you can get over the notion that this is just a gussied-up Fusion, you'll find a pleasant car. The new front end works well, even if it's a bit Jag-ish. The EcoBoost four-cylinder provided enough oomph and the all-wheel drive plenty of grip. I bet this would be a tough SOB in the winter. Even with only 245 hp, the car never seemed like it needed more power." -- Autoweek (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Every nonhybrid MKZ comes standard with a 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a polished six-speed automatic transmission. You'll have no problem scooting around town with this engine, and most say it's peppy enough for passing slower cars on the highway (though not everyone agrees). Fuel economy is only fair for the class, at 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

For around $2,500, you can upgrade to a twin-turbo V6 engine. When combined with all-wheel drive, this engine cranks out 400 horsepower (350 horsepower with front-wheel drive). Gas mileage is around 17-18 mpg in the city and 26-27 mpg on the highway.

A hybrid powertrain is also available in every trim at no extra cost. This 188-horsepower powertrain includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 41 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

  • "Though it isn't the most entertaining car in the luxury sedan segment, the … MKZ is certainly competent with the standard 2.0-liter engine. Acceleration with this engine is slower than most rivals, so those who desire a bit of speed might want to look into the more powerful turbocharged V6." -- Edmunds
  • "The MKZ's 2-liter turbo and 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 are both quite robust, making launches from the line and highway enjoyable." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "If you haven't driven a Lincoln in the past 10 years, a few minutes behind the wheel of the 2017 MKZ midsize-luxury sedan may come as quite a shock. The 2.0-liter engine is quite an eye-opener in and of itself, but the 400 horsepower/400 lb-ft of torque offered up by the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 is nothing short of breathtaking." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

The MKZ is a front-wheel-drive sedan, and for models with a gasoline-only powertrain, all-wheel drive is available. Handling and ride quality emphasize comfort over sport, treating you and your passengers to a quiet, smooth ride. Careful tuning of the suspension allows it to soak up bumps and control body lean without making the ride too stiff.

  • "The MKZ comes standard with an adaptive suspension that helps it travel through corners in a relatively flat and composed manner. This isn't exactly a canyon-carver, but it handles curves well, especially when you take into account its considerable size." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2017)
  • "The body motions are well-controlled, for the most part. Lincoln has made a big deal about cutting interior noise and it's working: The car is quiet, even on the freeway. The overall driving experience would improve with more steering feel, but really, how many MKZ customers care about that?" -- Autoweek (2017)

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