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 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)."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Allen on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "I'm 6'2 and I still have room"
Cons: "Can't think of one"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"That's right! American, Mexican, & Canadian workers made my ruby red MKZ. Had a 2011 Prius and gave it to my mother. I love my Lincoln Hybrid."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By DissapointedDiva on Monday, February 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Body Style, Comfort"
Cons: "Quality, dependability, service experience."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I leased this vehicle brand new. Have owned it for barely five months and It has been in the shop four times, a total of one month. I have never had an experience like this before. One problem after another. Vehicle won't detect key, won't start, steering issues, drivability issues. Many parts having to be replaced. Get one problem fixed and I'm back with a new one a few weeks later. I have a long year and half left on my lease. I am so disappointed. Will never purchase a Lincoln again. I can't for my lease to end."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Niecey on Thursday, January 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,031overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "tech features and value for money"
Cons: "blind spots"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased a 2013 MKZ a in Aug 2013. So I've had it for about 5 months now. My previous car was a 98 Infiniti that I absolutely love! I actually had my heart set on another Infiniti and was planning to get an Infiniti Q50. I also looked at a new Lexus ES350, 2014 Acura RLX, used BMW 5 series, and a used a Mercedes. I've been looking at cars over a year. I didn't want to spend over $50k and I wanted make sure I got exactly what I wanted since I'll probably have this car for at least 10 years. However, when I started researching the MKZ it had everything I wanted and I ended up purchasing it with a great deal for thousands less than what I was planning to pay for a similarly equipped Q50. I should also say that I am a 34 year old female. I have yet to see another 2013/2014 MKZ in my area. So, I get lots of looks, questions like "is that a Lincoln?", and old men at the gas station wanting to take a look at my new baby. I will say that there are some major blind spots in this car. However, I do have a fully loaded MKZ which includes the tech package with blind spot detection. So, the blind spot detection has really come in handy. I have taken one road trip since I've had her and the ride was very smooth. However, this car doesn't have the "floaty old person car feel". I don't know how to explain it but I'm sure you all know what I mean. My mom has Chrysler 300 and it has the floaty old person car feel. The MKZ does not feel like that at all. It is perfect mix of sporty and smooth. Plus you can easily change the settings if you prefer a smoother or sportier ride. Overall, I'm very pleased with the MKZ and I plan to keep her for a long time. If you are techie like but want the best value for your money the MKZ is a clear winner. No where else will you get a brand new luxury car with similar technology for this price. Plus you have a proven long time trusted brand like Lincoln behind you."
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By OSCAR on Saturday, January 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ext. & Int. Design, Technology, Suspension, Seats."
Cons: "Small driver floor mat, steering at low speeds."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am 40 years old and I live in Mexico. I purchased the fully loaded MKZ V6. I was in the market for a $50,000 dollar car. My considerations were the BMW 328i and the Cadillac ATS. I liked the MKZ because if offered a V6 engine instead of a turbo 4. For $46,500 I bought the loaded MKZ with technology package which I have been using every single gadget (adaptive cruise, lane keeping assist, auto high beams, adaptive headlights that turns with steering, auto wipers, etc.) This car is a DELIGHT to drive. The seats are very comfortable and you can immediately sense the high quality leather used in them. It is very easy to find a comfortable driving position. It has 3 different suspension modes: Sport, Normal, Comfort. The Sport mode drives like a german car, the Comfort mode drives like a Town Car. In this car I have the best of both worlds. The engine sounds great, brakes are very good, and in Comfort mode you will barely hear any exterior noise. Lincoln did a great job with this car. I truly recommend its purchase."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By James on Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, comfort, MPG"
Cons: "Trunk space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We wanted to replace our eight year old Cadillac STS (worst car I have ever owned) We looked at many other luxury cars over the last few months. We wanted luxury, style, comfort, and better MPG. My wife is in heavy traffic to and from work. The car is currently getting 37mpg in very cold weather. We expect that to go up as the weather gets warmer. The car drives great in winter conditions. We've had no issues with the car as of yet. And we are pleased with our purchase. Overall this car has suited all of our needs without breaking the bank. We did have a hard time finding a car that compared with the STS ride and comfort, the Lincoln MKZ had surpassed it. We are getiing great gas mileage, which was very important to us. This car was 10,000 less than the sticker price of our 2006 STS and gives us everything the STS did, except better gas mileage."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful