New 2018
Lincoln MKZ Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ is the midsize-luxury sedan with a distinctively American twist regarding what a luxury car should be. While its powerful engine options and high-tech features help it keep pace with cars like the Audi A4, the MKZ’s styling, interior design, ride and handling all cater to those who appreciate a competent car with a more luxurious feel. The MKZ offers the option of all-wheel drive, as well as a hybrid version at no extra cost. The sum total of all its parts gives the MKZ an upscale feel more distinctive than in a Cadillac ATS or Lexus ES 350. For the money, it’s hard to beat what this stylish Lincoln offers, and that may just be the MKZ’s most appealing feature.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If your idea of a luxury car is one that pampers its passengers with the latest technology, impresses with its sophisticated design and delivers good power and handling without compromising ride comfort, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ or MKZ Hybrid deserves a good look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a performance machine on par with the BMW 3 Series or Cadillac ATS, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ isn’t going to get your juices flowing. The MKZ’s resale value isn’t as good as some rivals, nor is its dealer network as exclusive.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ carries over with no major changes of note.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The 2018 MKZ isn’t some Ford clone wearing a Lincoln badge, it is a truly exceptional sedan that when equipped with the available 400-horsepower/400-lb-ft-of-torque twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, will take your breath away. While ride and handling in the turbocharged 2.0-liter car are clearly geared for comfort over aggressive cornering, the 3.0-liter version equipped with the optional Driver’s package makes time spent behind the wheel noticeably more engaging. The package includes Lincoln’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring that works by adjusting the amount of torque going to each wheel, thus improving cornering and traction. Also part of the package is Lincoln’s adjustable-shock setup with driver-selectable Comfort, Normal and Sport settings. The MKZ’s steering feel isn’t as heavy or precise as with a BMW or Infiniti sedan, but it’s not far from the experience behind the wheel of a Lexus, Volvo or Acura.

Favorite Features

PUSH-BUTTON SHIFT
In keeping with its high-tech luxury theme, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ replaces the traditional manual shift lever with a series of dash-mounted buttons. As with all new technology, Lincoln has built in safeguards to keep accidental gear changes from occurring should one inadvertently bump the panel.

LINCOLN DRIVE CONTROL
Lincoln Drive Control permits the driver more control over the car’s handling via a 3-mode setting for the shocks, transmission shift points, traction control, throttle and steering inputs. The settings for Normal, Sport or Comfort are self-explanatory and actually work as promised.

Vehicle Details

Interior

While we generally like the exterior styling, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ's interior still gets mixed reviews. Seating material with Lincoln logos imprinted on the faux-leather grace the base model, separated by a new center console with proper knobs and switches marking a vast improvement over the previous generation’s capacitive-feedback setup. MyLincoln Touch is also gone, replaced by an improved Sync 3 system. Despite being a large car on the outside, this Lincoln's interior is somewhat cramped. Rear-seat legroom is pretty good, but for the tall, headroom can be in short supply.

Exterior

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ wears the bold new face of Lincoln, modeled after the company’s flagship Continental sedan. While the new grille bears more than a passing resemblance to Jaguar’s signature grille, it works to make the MKZ look more of a player in this league. Although based on the Ford Fusion, Lincoln has done an admirable job with the MKZ's styling, giving it an upscale flair that its broader-market sibling lacks. The MKZ is loaded with simple but clever features such as the capless-fuel-filler system, which allows you to refill without getting your hands dirty, or forgetting the fuel cap.

Notable Standard Equipment

Lincoln has positioned itself as a value-oriented luxury brand, and there's no doubt that the Lincoln MKZ for 2018 is stuffed with a lot of equipment for the price. There are heated front seats, faux-leather upholstery, an adaptive suspension, adaptive HID headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an 11-speaker audio system. There's also Sync 3 that uses an 8-inch display and voice-recognition software to control a wide variety of functions. Each MKZ also comes with eight airbags, stability control, and Lincoln's SOS Post-Crash Alert System that activates the horn and hazard lights in the event of an airbag deployment.

Notable Optional Equipment

Three equipment groups are offered with Lincoln’s 2018 MKZ sedan. Premier is the standard-issue car, but the Select group adds leather seating, a power-steering column and rear-seat USB ports. The top-line Reserve group adds navigation with voice recognition, blind-spot information and ventilated front seats. Individual options include heated rear seats, a THX II-certified 14-speaker sound system, and your choice of moonroofs, including a panoramic roof. A Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and Active Park Assist. The Black Label Series brings a personal touch, with your own shopping concierge, additional paint colors and four unique interior-design layouts.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder serves as the base engine choice in the 2018 Lincoln MKZ; a hybrid powertrain can be had at no additional cost if you prefer mpg over mph. Also on the roster is a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (350 horsepower on front-drive cars), and its performance advantage over the base 4-cylinder is dramatic. 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
245 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg (FWD), 20/28 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: 41/38 mpg

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
400 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (AWD)
350 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (FWD)
400 lb-ft of torque @ 2,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (FWD), 17/26 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $36,000. All-wheel drive adds another $2,000. A fully optioned MKZ Black Label can approach $62,000, but most buyers will be happy with a well-equipped Reserve trim that tops out around $50,000. These numbers put a 2018 MKZ Reserve on par with the Lexus ES, but still 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 Lincoln MKZ, look at our Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. When it comes to resale value, the 2018 MKZ retains residuals similar to the Acura TLX, but trails the rest of the segment by a few percentage points.

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