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There has been little more than tweaking for the 2012 model of the Lincoln MKZ, a reliable indicator that an all-new MKZ sedan is just over the horizon. In the interim, numerous premium features have been made standard, such as heated and cooled seats. And, as with most Ford passenger vehicles, there remains a huge emphasis on in-car technology, such as SYNC Applink. Finally, there are two new metallic colors: Crystal Champagne and Cinnamon.
For 2010, the MKZ receives a new front and rear fascia design, LED tail lamps, and a new instrument panel and center console. New available features include rain sensing wipers, Adaptive HID headlamps, voice activated navigation and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).
Handsome, classy and nicely turned out, Lincoln's first all-new sedan since the Jaguar-based, rear-wheel-drive LS is well suited to compete with "near-luxury" imports and attract more affluent buyers to Lincoln-Mercury showrooms, and the renamed 2007 MKZ's much-improved powertrain and other upgrades make it that much more competitive. But why jettison an excellent name with strong Lincoln heritage in favor of a soulless acronym after just one year? We think this car is good enough to succeed on its own, whatever it's called, but the label change is confusing.
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.