Full 2007 Lincoln MKZ Review
What's New for 2007
In order to more closely align its vehicles with a new naming structure, Lincoln has renamed last year's Zephyr the MKZ. There are also a number of updates to the vehicle as well. Foremost is a larger, more powerful 3.5-liter V6. The bigger engine makes 263 horsepower, 42 more ponies than last year. Other changes include the availability of all-wheel drive, altered front-end styling and optional satellite radio. Finally, drivetrain warranty coverage now spans six years/70,000 miles.
In an unusual twist, Lincoln has renamed one of its vehicles after just one year on the market. In order to more closely align its vehicles with a new naming structure, Lincoln has renamed last year's Zephyr sedan the 2007 MKZ. As was the case with the Zephyr, the MKZ midsize sedan is very similar to the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. As you'd expect from Lincoln, the MKZ comes with plenty of luxury features. But this year Lincoln has made a renewed effort to emphasize the differences between its car and its lower-priced brethren.
Most noticeable is the MKZ's exclusive new engine. Under the hood is a larger, more powerful 3.5-liter V6. The bigger engine makes 263 horsepower, 42 more than last year's 3.0-liter V6. It also develops more torque (249 pound-feet this year) and is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. This is the only engine available, and there's no base four-cylinder model as with the Fusion and Milan.
The Lincoln MKZ is a distinctly American take on the entry luxury sedan. The interior is suitably roomy and comfortable, and although the materials aren't class-leading, they're a noticeable step up from the Lincoln's lower-line siblings. And with peppy acceleration from the new V6 and a plush ride, the MKZ is pleasant to drive. Overall, it stacks up well with other premium and luxury-brand choices like the Acura TL, Chrysler 300, Lexus ES 350, Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen Passat, but many of these cars offer sportier handling dynamics and/or more upscale cabin furnishings. Then there's the matter of the MKZ's styling, which although unusual, doesn't seem likely to resonate well with the younger customers Lincoln hopes to attract. Still, for buyers seeking an entry-level luxury sedan with a little more interior space and a fairly reasonable price, the 2007 Lincoln MKZ is worth a look.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A midsize premium sedan, the 2007 Lincoln MKZ comes in a single trim with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The MKZ comes nicely equipped with such standard features as 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, wood trim, power seats with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control and a seven-speaker CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack. Notable options include chrome wheels, xenon HID headlights, a sunroof, an upgraded THX-certified sound system, satellite radio, a navigation system, and heated and cooled front seats.
Powertrains and Performance
All Lincoln MKZs come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It's good for 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system can transfer power from side to side as well as front to rear.
Standard safety features include front-seat side impact airbags as well as full-length head curtain airbags. Those head airbags include a "roll-fold" feature that helps to keep the airbag against the glass even if the occupant is out of position. All MKZs include disc brakes with ABS. Traction control is also standard, but oddly, stability control is not available. In NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Lincoln MKZ received four out of five stars for driver and front passenger safety. In the IIHS' frontal-offset test, the Lincoln MKZ received a rating of "Acceptable," the institute's second highest rating. It also earned an "Acceptable" rating in IIHS side-impact testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, there's plenty of chrome, wood trim and bold lines. The materials are solid in quality, and the leather seats look plush but can be a little firm for long trips. Also, the MKZ is a little bigger than other entry luxury sedans, making it a good bet for buyers needing a fully usable backseat. Trunk capacity measures 15.8 cubic feet.
With 42 extra hp compared to last year's Zephyr, the MKZ offers the brisk acceleration expected of a $30,000 car. Additionally, the new 3.5-liter engine has a smooth power delivery. Like the Zephyr before it, the MKZ is capable around turns, but doesn't offer handling dynamics on par with its more athletic competitors in this price range. Steering feedback, in particular, is unimpressive. On the flip side, the MKZ offers a typical Lincoln "big car" ride on the highway, making it an excellent candidate for road trips.