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2011 Lincoln MKZ

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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.

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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 225 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

worse car ever

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "nice looking car"

Cons: "car is no good"

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

"there is so much wrong with this car headliner to short for car which is making the headliner com down in the front and the back of the car......the brake system is the worse ......most of the time its so hard to stop the car....almost ran in the back of another car a few times......the ride is awful....worst car ever had .....its not worth the money....."

worse car i ever had

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "gas mileage"

Cons: "everything else"

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

"This car has only two pluses...gas mileage and color. Every part of it is difficult to deal with. Key is sensitive to the touch so the doors lock with out you knowing it. Have to take you eyes of the road to change the lights if not on automatic, to change air temp, to check compass. Can't back out of a parking place with out tons of beeps. Lincoln HQ got a 6pages letter about all of this cars issues."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best of the Ford/Mercury/Lincoln mid-sized in 2008

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

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
10/10

Pros: "Small nice Lincoln ride as in the bigger Towncar"

Cons: "Gas mileage could be a lot better than it is"

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

2008 Lincoln MKZ in Light Sage Green

"I just replaced my old trustworthily Lincoln Towncar - Touring Sedan w/ 235,000 miles with this 2008 MKZ that was in mint condition and only 30,650 miles. Have sense replaced original tires, all fluids, and added rear (roof and truck) spoilers plus a clear nose bra. This car looks and drives like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Not too crazy about its 8-year old DVD based Navigation system and the fact that I can't get a good replacement for it since I would loose the THX stereo system. I did purchase at the 2015 version of the Nav DVD to replace the original 2007 one that that came with this car. Found only one interior light bulb burnt out (in the driver's window control switches), but hey, it is an 8 year old car. Original owner only used this car to go back and forth from his country farm home to his summer home on the Oregon coast one a year. Always garaged. Nice upgrades from my 2001 LTC, but a little different ride and feel. The 3.5L V-6 is good , but not as powerful as the old 4.6L V-8. MPG could have been better. I went from 16/23 to 18/26). Six speed tranny took awhile to get use to since it revs high when it downshifts several gears when I step on the gas to pass someone. I've only had this car for 2,000 miles and all is fine."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2008 Lincoln MKZ in Light Sage Green

Brakes are noisy

By on Saturday, October 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Looks Inside and Out, comfortable"

Cons: "Disappointed in gas mileage for a V-6;brakes noisy"

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

"Brakes are noisy especially in colder weather; not a big problem; have had it looked at by dealer--says no problem; feel in a car that sold new for almost $37,000 (although I purchased used in 2013) brakes should not be noisy; previously owned a 2001 Lincoln Continental V-8 which had in-town gas mileage of around 16 and highway around 20; disappointed in the MKZ gas mileage for a V-6---in-town around 15; highway around 19; I don't drive much these days (only about 8,000 miles in 2 years) so gas mileage not a huge issue BUT feel it should be much better"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

really like this car

By on Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,500

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: "Great car. Comfortable"

Cons: "SYNC"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this car but hate the SYNC that Ford products have. I will change to a GM car so that I can have Onstar again."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

50K miles I've had no repairs, zero.

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great dealer service"

Cons: "No complaints"

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

"I have replaced the cabin filter which I believe cost $45.00...that's it. I have a 72 month, 100,000 mile warranty on the car and have used none of it."

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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