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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ : Used

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Justin Pritchard
Good for average reliability and seem free of serious issues
History/Description: Debuted in 2005, Lincoln’s new-age entry-level model was called the Zephyr for a single year before being rebadged as the MKZ. With available AWD and standard V6 power, this Fusion-based sedan was aimed at other entry-luxury machinery like the Toyota Avalon and Cadillac CTS. Enthusiasts loathed the loss of the rear-drive, optionally V8-powered LS to this new front-drive sedan, though updated styling and features helped it hold its own in the market.

2006 Lincoln Zephyr (Photo: Lincoln)

For 2006, a 3.0 litre, 221-horsepower V6 was standard with an automatic six-speed transmission and front-wheel drive. In line with the rename the following year, engineers specified a larger 3.5 litre V6 with 263 horsepower. All wheel drive became an option, too.

Feature content included heated and chilled leather, automatic climate control, a ten-way power driver’s seat, an auto-dimming mirror, chrome wheels, Bluetooth, Ford Sync, satellite radio, intelligent key, and a 6-CD changer audio system with THX certified components. The uniquely-styled cabin was trimmed with wood and metal accents for an air of high-class sophistication.

What Owners Like: Many owners report a quiet and very comfortable ride and plenty of performance. Styling, interior looks and interior appointments also tend to be highly rated. Praise for overall value and the THX audio system round out the MKZ’s owner-stated positives.

What Owners Dislike: Owners of earlier models tend to complain about cheaper than expected interior parts and the potential durability thereof. A large turning circle, wind noise at speed, and blind spots were also fairly common gripes. Finally, some folks wished for more sporty and planted handling.

Common Issues: Inspect the MKZ’s interior and exterior for signs of wear and tear. Some owners complain of ‘thin’ sheetmetal that dents easily, as well as peeling or worn chrome trim on certain cosmetic parts. Check the condition of the leather, too. If excessive wear of any of the above is apparent, be sure to call it into pricing negotiations.

2007 Lincoln MKZ (Photo: Philippe Champoux/
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert