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2011 Lincoln MKZ

Overview
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2011 Lincoln MKZ Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

Lincoln claims the 2011 MKZ Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America, beating its likely closest competitor, the Lexus HS 250h, by six mpg during city driving. The company also says the MKZ Hybrid tops the Lexus with room for one more passenger, along with more standard luxury and segment-exclusive safety features. Indeed, the Lexus will be this car's main competition, considering they're priced within $800 of each other. But the new Lincoln could also conceivably do battle with cheaper competition from Toyota (Camry Hybrid), or possibly within its own brand ranks (Ford Fusion Hybrid). The MKZ Hybrid is offered in one trim level.

You'll Like This Car If...

You want to maximize fuel economy and efficiency without sacrificing a luxurious ride and the accoutrements that make it so. The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is several hundred dollars cheaper than the Lexus HS 250h, which will undoubtedly sway at least a few buyers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You aren't averse to bold styling. Like its brand brethren, the MKZ has got the brand DNA right in your face with massive twin chrome grilles in front and long taillights astern. It's not quite as extreme as the fascia on the MKX crossover, but it'll still get attention.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is the brand's first-ever hybrid offering. It employs Ford Motor Company's second-generation hybrid technology, the award-winning 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle in-line four-cylinder. There's also what's called "SmartGauge with EcoGuide" interactive technology in the instrument cluster that provides real-time information to help the driver maximize fuel efficiency, and even actively "coaches" drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance.

Driving the MKZ

Driving Impressions The constantly variable transmission (CVT) in the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is rather loud at speed and drones somewhat under acceleration, but admittedly plays a crucial role in helping the...

car get the unbelievable gas mileage that it does. Brake pedal feel could be better and the binders are a little difficult to modulate in traffic, but that's a problem with most hybrids. And last, it floats a bit in the corners, but holds its ground well, particularly considering the tires are hybrid-hard. Besides, who buys a hybrid for its handling prowess? We also wish that the interior – what you use to interface with the car – had an update and some better materials, because better tactile feel would go a long way in the MKZ. Small gripes aside, though, if it's this or the Lexus HS 250h, just tell us where to sign, Lincoln.
Favorite Features

Driver Interfaces
We must profess our love for the intuitive and responsive touch screen technology aboard today's Fords – err, Lincolns. That, along with the SmartGauge driver-interactive instrumentation and SYNC capability, gives the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid a distinctly high-tech feel. Almost like we are in fact driving the future.

SmartGauge with EcoGuide
All hybrids, regardless of make, should come with a system like this, especially considering that most typically buy a hybrid for absolute fuel efficiency domination. This system, by offering feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance, helps you eek the most mpgs out of your car.

2011 Lincoln MKZ Details
2011 Lincoln MKZ photo Interior

While the interior of the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid does feel a little dated with an abundance of cheap, hard plastics, the technical features within more than make up for the lackluster cabin appointments. The SmartGauge instruments – which offer feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance – are impressive and give the car an almost sentient personality as it interacts with the driver. An interactive multimedia and touch screen interface sits in the center stack, allowing you to easily manipulate the navigation, climate and audio controls along with hands-free calling (if you'd rather not use SYNC for some of these, that is).

Exterior
2011 Lincoln MKZ photo

If you like the glorious grilles up front, you're likely not to have any problem with the rest of the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid's exterior, although we will point out that the rest of the car's styling is a little sedate in contrast with the front end. Unlike the more sharply creased Ford Fusion Hybrid, the MKZ has a more stately look to it. The standard wheels are painted multi-spoke 17-inchers, with 18-inch polished aluminum alloys available as an option. There's also a Sport Appearance Package that might help a bit with the ho-hum rear three quarters.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A robust standard equipment list is likely where Lincoln will sell most of its buyers. The 2011 MKZ Hybrid comes with a host of standard convenience and luxury features, including the SmartGauge cluster and the always-entertaining SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system, along with Bluetooth capability for your MP3 player, memory stick, or smartphone. The MyKey feature allows parents or fleet administrators to activate a restricted driving mode and works directly with consistently engaged stability control, blind spot monitoring, and Cross Traffic Alert. And finally, there's what's called the "Personal Safety System," a suite of seven protection technologies like dual-stage front airbags and an occupant classification system that work to protect vehicle inhabitants.

Optional Equipment

Options on the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid include a THX II certified audio system with 5.1 surround sound, navigation with integrated SIRIUS Travel Link, a power moonroof and 18-inch polished aluminum wheels. If you opt for the Sport Appearance Package you also get a sport-tuned suspension bundled into the mix.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is powered by Ford's second-generation hybrid technology – the 2.5-liter Atkinson-Cycle in-line four-cylinder engine that's also found in Ford's Fusion and Escape Hybrid models. The engine itself makes 156 peak horsepower at the top end of the tachometer, but electric motivation gives the car an additional 35 horsepower boost, via a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor and nickel-metal-hydride battery packs. The well-matched combo is enough to give the MKZ Hybrid a best-in-class total system power output of 191 horsepower. No, it isn't going to win many stoplight drag races, but that's respectable considering that it returns 39 combined mpg and a claimed 47 mpg when cruising under all-electric motivation. And while its gas-powered MKZ brothers are available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Hybrid puts its power down using only the front wheels.

2.5-liter in-line 4, permanent magnet AC synchronous motor
191 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (engine and motor combined)
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 41/36

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 189 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

my best vehicle ever

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "easy to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car thinks for itself. I have not had one issue with this vehicle since I bought it three years ago. I have owned many luxury vehicles and this one ranks at the top of the list in every area."

overall a great vehicle. Noisy Tires!

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,343

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Over all the 2008 MKZ is a wonderful midsize car. My one and only complaint with mine is the road noise transferred into the passenger compartment from the tires. A Ford Service department confirmed that the noise appeared to be coming from the tires. When the car accumulated over 25 thousand miles on the tires the noise was very evident in the car. I had two tires replaced at about this time due to a blow out from hitting a pot hole. The noise decreased tremendously after these two tires were mounted. My MKZ now has over 73 thousand miles on it. Im on my secound set of tires and they are as noisy as ever. It is a shame that a luxury car has so much road noise transferred into the cabin of the car. I have confirmed this problem with other MKZ owners. I have been informed that certain makes of imported tired are much more quiet. I may find out or I may just sell the MKZ."

overall a great vehicle. Noisy Tires!

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,343

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Over all the 2008 MKZ is a wonderful midsize car. My one and only complaint with mine is the road noise transferred into the passenger compartment from the tires. A Ford Service department confirmed that the noise appeared to be coming from the tires. When the car accumulated over 25 thousand miles on the tires the noise was very evident in the car. I had two tires replaced at about this time due to a blow out from hitting a pot hole. The noise decreased tremendously after these two tires were mounted. My MKZ now has over 73 thousand miles on it. Im on my secound set of tires and they are as noisy as ever. It is a shame that a luxury car has so much road noise transferred into the cabin of the car. I have confirmed this problem with other MKZ owners. I have been informed that certain makes of imported tired are much more quiet. I may find out or I may just sell the MKZ."

overall a great vehicle. Noisy Tires!

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,343

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Over all the 2008 MKZ is a wonderful midsize car. My one and only complaint with mine is the road noise transferred into the passenger compartment from the tires. A Ford Service department confirmed that the noise appeared to be coming from the tires. When the car accumulated over 25 thousand miles on the tires the noise was very evident in the car. I had two tires replaced at about this time due to a blow out from hitting a pot hole. The noise decreased tremendously after these two tires were mounted. My MKZ now has over 73 thousand miles on it. Im on my secound set of tires and they are as noisy as ever. It is a shame that a luxury car has so much road noise transferred into the cabin of the car. I have confirmed this problem with other MKZ owners. I have been informed that certain makes of imported tired are much more quiet. I may find out or I may just sell the MKZ."

Love this car

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, nice looking sedan, luxury w/ value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This hybrid is a wonderful sedan. Comfortable for 4 people, squeeze for 5. Gas mileage 34 mpg 3 year average- actual data for mixed in town and highway"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Truly obtained my dream luxury car.

By on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Styling, handling, design, features, comfort"

Cons: "No leather dash, cloth headliner"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Glamour shots at the lake.

"This is not your grandma's lincoln. I am a 34 year old female, and I own a top of the line, red MKZ with the sports package (alloy wheels, sport suspension, sports grill, carbon fiber trim), custom rear deck spoiler and lightly tinted windows. It drives like a dream and has power plus. I get compliments on my car everywhere I go. Some car critics will say Americans can't/ don't make "true luxury" cars because of quality issues, usually referring to the lack of use of leather for dashboards and headliners, and poor trim detail/ alignment. My personal opinion is leather dashes are not practical, and they easily weather and crack due to the windsheild. That being said, the dash in this car is not leather, but it is NOT "plasticy". It feels almost like very worn suede/ leather and is solid- no cheapy clanking when knocked on. The trim is tight throughout the car inside and out with well designed, asthetic, and comfortable controls. I've had it since new, and it has not had a single mechanical or body part failure. I personally prefer my body style to the new models, however, I've heard the glass dashboard in the new models is something to behold. I recommend adherance to the scheduled maintenance and regular detailing, and your car, like mine has been said to be, will still look and drive like new even after 3 years and 36,000 miles. My favorite features (other than the styling of course) are the cooling seats and keyless entry pad- never be locked out of your car again! I will drive this car to the grave and be buried in it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Glamour shots at the lake.

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?