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2019 Lincoln MKZ Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.6

The 2019 Lincoln MKZ is a refined luxury midsize car. It’s quiet and comfortable, offering an even ride with minimal disturbance from outside noises and jostling from coarse pavement. It’s not especially sporty, but this sedan and its turbocharged engines offer plenty of power, the V6 especially so. The hybrid trades some power for fuel efficiency. The automatic transmission makes smooth, timely shifts.

  • "At idle, the 2.0-liter engine is relatively calm. It doesn't rumble, just sort of hums, and not much engine noise makes its way into the cabin. When you floor it to get on the freeway, there's only a hint of a whine. At highway speeds the MKZ is quiet enough for whisper-level conversations." -- 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

The standard MKZ features a 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Two other powertrains are available. The first is a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 400 horsepower in all-wheel drive models and 350 in front-wheel drive models, with 400 pound-feet of torque. The second belongs to the MKZ Hybrid, which has a 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor that produces a combined 188 horsepower. With this powertrain, an electronic CVT replaces the six-speed automatic transmission. Each engine is adequate, and the V6 has more than enough to hold its own in any driving situation.

The nonhybrid MKZ with front-wheel drive gets 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those fuel estimates are about average for the class. AWD models lose 2 mpg on the highway. Fuel efficiency decreases with the V6 engine, which gets up to 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. However, the FWD hybrid MKZ earns an excellent EPA-estimated 42/39 mpg.

  • 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 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

Composed and comfortable are accurate descriptors for the Lincoln MKZ. This sedan was built for comfort. It glides over rough patches on the road and navigates around corners and turns with little body lean. It’s not especially agile or engaging, but that’s not how Lincoln designed it to be. If you’re just looking to cruise around town in comfort, the MKZ is up to the task. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. However, the hybrid is FWD only.

  • "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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