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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.
For 2006 Ford introduced its all-new Ford Fusion mid-size sedan and divisional platform mates Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr, all based on Japanese partner Mazda's well-respected Mazda6 front-wheel-drive architecture. All three have earned media praise, strong quality reviews and good first-year sales. Now comes a new, more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, available "intelligent" all-wheel drive andconsistent with Lincoln's new naming conventiona brand new moniker (pronounced "M-K-Z") confusingly similar to those of its new MKX crossover and soon-to-come MKS luxury sedan stablemates and, as far as that goes, far too many other entries whose makers seem to pick their names from a can of alphabet soup.