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2020 Lincoln MKZ Performance Review


Performance: 7.3

The 2020 Lincoln MKZ has a refined ride and a potent V6 engine option, but its bland base engine and dull handling reduce driving enjoyment. Fuel economy varies by powertrain. The hybrid model is the most efficient, while the twin-turbo V6-powered MKZ gets the worst gas mileage.

  • "The standard MKZ is smooth on the highway with relatively comfortable seats and a refined 2.0-liter engine." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

You can choose from three powertrains in this Lincoln. The base model comes with a 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. A twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is available. It makes 350 horsepower in models with front-wheel drive and 400 horsepower in models with all-wheel drive.

The MKZ Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to put out 188 horsepower. It swaps the six-speed automatic for a continuously variable automatic transmission.

With its standard engine, this vehicle gets EPA estimates of 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those figures are unimpressive by luxury midsize car standards, but they’re not bad. The V6 gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, and the MKZ Hybrid earns great estimates of 42/39 mpg city/highway.

The base engine draws mixed reviews, with some critics finding it adequate and others noting that power is lacking at higher speeds. Still, most agree that the V6 engine is lively and energetic.

  • Around town between lights and at relatively low speed, the 2.0-liter MKZ feels peppy. On the highway, it has only enough power for carefully executed passing maneuvers. Our AWD tester went from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, which is about a second slower than average for the segment." -- 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 … new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 is nothing short of breathtaking." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

Opting for comfort rather than agility, this sedan cruises over most pavement and road flaws with minimal disruption. It’s not especially agile, but it tackles turns with little body lean. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available in all models but the hybrid.

  • "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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2020 Lincoln MKZ

MSRP: $36,750 - $44,500

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