There are many brands on the market attempting with all their designing and marketing might to break through and rise to the top of the heap. Lincoln is one such label that chose to take its future by the horns and steer it in what will hopefully be the direction of making sales.
The new 2013 Lincoln MKZ is nothing short of a very bold attempt at standing way out in a crowd of compact to midsize luxury sedans. Its styling is growing on me, and there are very few negative points to be made against the car. In fact, its biggest hindrance is the brand itself.
What is a 2013 Lincoln MKZ?
The MKZ is Ford’s luxury-brand gateway car. Sharing numerous mechanical aspects with Ford’s excellent Fusion, the MKZ is an attempt to bring Lincoln’s brand of panache to the masses.
The current string of the MKZ (née Zephyr) began in 2006. Sales never came in droves, and the situation remains more or less the same. The storied soon-to-be-100-year-old company has been struggling to appeal to younger affluent buyers who continue to be drawn by German cars and (more recently) Cadillac.
2013 Lincoln MKZ Price and Specs
The base FWD 2013 Lincoln MKZ is offered at a starting price of $37,100. At this price point, the MKZ features Ford’s delightful turbocharged EcoBoost 2.0L engine that produces 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is included.
Interestingly, the Hybrid version has a base retail price identical to the base car. It is powered by a 2.0L Atkinson-Cycle 4-cylinder hybrid engine that generates a total system output of 188 horsepower. A permanent-magnet AC-synchronous electric motor and eCVT transmission complete the mechanicals.
The top dog in the MKZ lineup is the 3.7L AWD. Its 300 horsepower V6 and intelligent AWD bring this MKZ’s entry price to $41,295.
As tested, my 2.0L EcoBoost FWD included the Reserve equipment group ($3,350), White platinum paint ($600), retractable panoramic sunroof ($3,450), polished 19” wheels ($1,150), and more for a grand total of $47,678.
Driving the 2013 Lincoln MKZ
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ’s raison d’être is quite clear: Its intent is not to take on the sportiest of the entry-level luxury cars, but to be a capable and comfortable smooth operator for getting about. It does this quite well -- this plays against it in my opinion.
EcoBoost now carries a tremendous amount of promise, and it delivers in the MKZ. Surprisingly, even tempered in this application, the way it delivers horsepower and torque are noticeable but not incommodious. The absence of throttle hesitation and turbo lag along with a well-geared and programmed transmission make the 2013 Lincoln MKZ easy to drive.
There is no excitement to be had, though. Attaining a good clip is easy, if uneventful. The same goes for the ride. In fact, I’ve little to say about how the MacPherson and multilink independent suspension works on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
The Lincoln Drive Control’s active suspension, electronic power steering and noise control make the cabin a quiet and easygoing place to spend some time. The ride remains composed over all but the worst road surfaces. It will handle the daily grind with aplomb.
As you may have guessed by the tone of this section, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is not the most exciting car to drive, but it does what is required of it.
Inside and Out of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ’s outer shell is what the media talked about -- the stir, if you will -- above all when the concept car was introduced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. Despite the not always positive response to the car’s shape, Lincoln went ahead with the controversial rearward slopping roofline.
At first, I thought Lincoln had finally gone off the deep-end and gone back to the design days of the ugly monumental flop named the MKT (ever heard of it?), but the darn thing began to grow on me. The near identical in size wedge-cut front and rear overhangs really do it for me, as does the faux hatchback rear profile. With the right wheels and colour (as on my tester), I actually like the overall slightly incoherent shape.
To note, the retractable panoramic sunroof looks good in the brochure if nothing else. Once fully retracted, which would be the reason for getting it, it shades a large portion of the rear window, making poor visibility even worse. I’d save the money for a new couch, for example.
The cabin is an equal generator of mixed feelings. Fit and finish are very good. Materials are of the quality sort; however, the dashboard’s presentation is mundane. The premise was elegance, but I think Lincoln went a little too far with the push-button transmission selector.
Passengers are generally well cared for, comfort- and room-wise, save for rear headroom. In fact, always be mindful of your head when entering the car as the low roofline can be hazardous to your skull.
Comparing the 2013 Lincoln MKZ
The MKZ plays nice and innocent in a segment where a war rages on. Between the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS, there’s barely any reason to glance in the Lincoln’s direction.
That is, unless you’re looking to cause a stir… Kind of.