By Zach Vlasuk
KBB Expert Rating: 6.2
Saviors come in many different forms. For Lincoln, the 2013 MKZ sedan represents the first of four new models debuting over the next three years whose prime directive is to resurrect the 95-year-old marque. With a renewed emphasis on styling, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ showcases an expressive design that, unlike its predecessor, bears little resemblance to the Ford Fusion on which it's based. And since the Lincoln name tends to conjure up imagery of rudimentary in-car electronics, the 2nd-generation MKZ has been outfitted with a bevy of technology that is both cutting-edge and relatively easy to use. The MKZ is also the only nameplate in the industry to offer a no-cost hybrid option. It may not be the knight in shining armor that Lincoln had in mind, but the 2013 MKZ remains a suitable alternative to the usual luxury suspects.
If a stylish-yet-affordable luxury sedan outfitted with the latest in-vehicle technology sounds like an enticing proposition, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ deserves your consideration. In addition to class-leading fuel economy, the new MKZ hybrid's sub-$37K starting price makes it one of the most affordable hybrid luxury cars on the market.
If you believe the design and construction of a true luxury vehicle begins with its platform, the Ford Fusion-based Lincoln MKZ might not be the car for you. To that end, the MKZ fails to evoke the same level of refinement and panache as its German and Japanese rivals.
2013 marks the 2nd generation of the Lincoln MKZ. In an effort to regain some credibility in the luxury space, Lincoln endowed its best seller with a sleek new exterior design, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines (including a hybrid powertrain), and a full menu of high-tech gizmos such as Active Park Assist that automatically steers the car into a parallel parking space.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Lincoln MKZ carves through corners with more athleticism than you might expect. The new chassis has greatly improved the steering's precision and feel. However, the MKZ is considerably...larger than its fellow mid-size competitors, and with a base curb weight of 3,719 pounds, lacks the agility of cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 350 and the vaunted BMW 3 Series. Road, engine and wind noise are well-muted thanks to the additional layers of sound deadening material and the new active noise control feature that works like noise-cancelling headphones to further neutralize aural unpleasantries. In terms of power, the base turbocharged 4-cylinder is our favorite engine of the bunch, striking an excellent balance between performance and efficiency. Shifts from the 6-speed automatic are reasonably prompt, though not exactly smooth. On the other hand, the MKZ hybrid's gearless continuously variable transmission provides smooth getaways from stoplights and a virtually effortless driving experience.
To free up space, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ features an innovative push-button gear selector in place of a traditional shifter. This vertical 5-button layout resides on the left-hand edge of the center stack, well within reach of the driver.
LINCOLN DRIVE CONTROL
Lincoln Drive Control combines settings for the adaptive suspension, electric power steering, transmission, throttle, and traction control into a single dial with three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Comfort and Sport. Simply put, the system helps tailor dynamic performance to your liking.
If the 2013 Lincoln MKZ has an Achilles' heel, it's the interior styling. The ergonomics are sound, but the materials, textures and drab design put its visual appeal at the bottom of the category. The touch-capacitive buttons are rather difficult to use due to poor response, and the lack of conventional audio and climate controls turns simple inputs into a maddening excursion through a vast sea of on-screen menus. The MKZ's sizable exterior dimensions do not translate to roomy interior quarters, either, as rear-seat legroom and headroom are notably lacking.Exterior
The 2013 MKZ shares its fundamental architecture with the Ford Fusion, but that fact is largely disguised by the MKZ's distinctive new design. The significantly revised sheet metal provides this mid-size sedan with a more elegant, up-market flair all its own. In keeping with the current industry trend of enlarging front grilles to absurd proportions, the new MKZ sports a massive split-wing grille, which replaces Lincoln's previous vertical "waterfall" design. Standard across the board, the capless fuel filler is undoubtedly the unsung hero of modern automotive ingenuity, as it eliminates the need for a twist-off gas cap.
Positioned as a value-oriented luxury brand, Lincoln is notorious for offering vehicles with a treasure trove of standard features, and the 2013 MKZ is no exception. High-end goodies include heated front seats, leather upholstery, an adaptive suspension that adjusts to changing road and driving conditions, full LED taillights, an 11-speaker audio system, and the MyLincoln Touch multimedia hub with an 8-inch display and conversational voice-recognition software. With a strong emphasis on passenger safety, the MKZ comes equipped with eight airbags, a comprehensive suite of stability control systems, and Lincoln's SOS Post-Crash Alert System that activates the horn and hazard lights in the event of an airbag deployment.
Most feature content is bundled into packages, though items such as 19-inch wheels, a panoramic roof, and power rear sunshade are available as a la carte options. Offered on both the standard and hybrid version, the Preferred equipment package includes premium creature comforts like heated rear seats, a THX II-certified 14-speaker sound system, and a power open/close trunklid. For those who long for the latest electronic gadgetry, there is a Technology package comprised of Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, and a lane keeping aid that adds steering torque to guide you back into the driving lane. Unlike its closest competitor, the Lexus ES, a moonroof is not included as standard fare.
A new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylider serves as the base engine choice in the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. If you are willing to sacrifice some mph for a few extra mpg, a hybrid powertrain can be had at no additional cost. Also on the roster is a normally aspirated 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, though we feel its performance advantage over the base 4-cylinder is modest at best. Both conventional powerplants are matched with a 6-speed automatic, while the hybrid variant directs power through a continuously variable transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) restricted to non-hybrid models.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
231 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (regular fuel), 240 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (premium fuel)
270 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 mpg (FWD), 22/31 mpg (AWD)
2.0-liter inline-4 and permanent magnet AC synchronous motor (hybrid)
188 net hybrid system horsepower
129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 45/45 mpg
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg (FWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $37,000. Adding all-wheel drive will set you back another $2,000. A fully-optioned MKZ can approach $50,000, which is on par with the Lexus ES, and thousands less than a loaded BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4. While the majority of entry-level luxury sedans undercut the MKZ's starting price, most also fail to offer a comparable level of standard equipment. To see what others in your area are paying for the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, take a look at our Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. When it comes to resale value, the 2013 MKZ retains residuals similar to the Acura TL, but trails the rest of the segment by a few percentage points.
By Reese on Thursday, April 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"nothing wrong with this car. It is a great car . The person who buys this car will many trouble free years."
By rjw158 on Thursday, April 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,580overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel ecomomy, THX sound system"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my 2014 MKZ hybrid for 3 months, I drive 32 miles to work each way mostly freeway. With my previous work vehicle, a 2006 Mountaineer the best mpg was 19 @ 65-70 mph. With the MKZ my worst has been 38 mpg and as I approach the 3000 mile break in period my mileage is continually increasing, I am currently getting 43-44 mpg which is saving me $120 - 150 monthly. Even though this is a hybrid it still has enough pep, to accelerate quickly onto the freeway. No complaints with any equipment functions or mechanical issues. Lots of compliments everywhere I go even though this a entry level Lincoln Ford has done a very good job on this model. Love the THX sound system and the overall layout of the interior, this is definitely a driver friendly car. I have been driving Lincolns since the 1970's and this MKZ is among one of my favorites so far."
By jasmin on Sunday, April 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"i have it and love it. should have more leg room in the rear . if u have kids its little tight in the back .... but over all great car .."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By G on Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "$ for included features, mpg, sharp looks, 0% fin"
Cons: "upgrade for rear camera, mpg is not always 45 hwy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"1000 miles in and still glad i bought. wanted better model than fusion hybrid with more bells and whistles. mdz fit the bill and was only a couple thousand more than ford. same gas mileage per gallon and much more likable car. base model has most everything we needed but we splurged on the 201a pkg for the back up camera. actual mpg has ranged from the high 30's to over 50 in areas where max speed limit is 45. that is the sweet spot apparently. my first hybrid and with long warranty on that system, it sold me along with 0% financing."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Happy driver on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Luxury drive, versatility, cabriolet experience"
Cons: "Somewhat slow taking of voice commands"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I now own this car for almost 8 months and very happy with the buy. I was choosing between Audi A4, Lexus ES and Avalon, as I wanted a car in 40K range. How can Kelley Blue Book write that comparable mid-size sedans have more interior space than MKZ? A4 is more cramped in the back with a "hump" so it's basically a 4-seater; ES/Avalon hybrid have nearly no trunk space. I love my Lincoln hybrid for its appeal and yet practicality: it comfortably fits 5 passengers, has excellent mpg ($30 per month on gas vs. $120 for my former car, Volvo XC90); it's a front-wheel but still handles well on the snow so we can even undertake family skiing trips. This is the only hybrid on the market that allows for folded back seats and with seats folded it approaches the cargo capacity of a crossover SUV. Once I managed to transport 4 chairs to repair shop and my son's bicycle fits, too. The ride is quiet and smooth, the sliding roof tops the luxury feeling of this car. Excellent car for the family and yet makes you feel cosmopolitan, distancing yourself from all those soccer moms in Toyotas. My only recommendation for the future models is to improve Sync, which sometimes is slow to accept commands (but the features are fantastic, I hope they will keep them all with their next Blackberry-made system)."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By TD on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas Milage and Styling"
Cons: "Seats and Color Scheme on Sync system"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Keep in mind I'm a mid-40s long time pick up truck and SUV driver so moving to what I now call my "old man" car took some getting used to. I like the body and interior styling the first time I saw it and after driving it for a few weeks I'm very impressed. Despite what I've seen in some other reviews I'm getting very good gas milage. If drive it like "an old man" I easily get +41 and even if push it hard I couldn't get it under +37 no matter how hard I tried. The technology is great. Sync works fine. But to be fair moving from a six year old pick up I'm pretty easy to impress. If I were to change something: the seats are very snug in the shoulders and I'm not thrilled with the color scheme on the sync system (a minor issue but something you would think they would allow the driver to customizable)."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful