2013 Lincoln MKZ AWD Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-Speed Automatic)
Driven On 5/8/2013
The MKZ stands as an interesting styling alternative for entry-level luxury sedans. The interior should be nicer and rear-seat room is a compromise, but handling performance is impressive. Bottom line: There are better options for either sport or luxury, but none that will attract as many second glances.
PerformanceOccasionally the MKZ's turbo four-cylinder feels a bit overmatched, even with 240 hp, but it offers enough oomph for most tasks. The electric-assist steering is tuned perfectly and we love the standard adjustable suspension.
The 240-horsepower turbo-four has just enough power for passing maneuvers. Six-speed automatic is good about not being shifty on long hills, but can get confused at low speeds.
Slightly spongy brake pedal during panic stops at the test track, exhibited some fade. Nice and normal-feeling around town, where the brakes felt like they had plenty of power.
Very intuitive, the steering feels fantastic. Especially so when set to Sport mode, as that's when the MKZ comes alive and feels like it has the precision of a true sport sedan.
The standard adjustable suspension and all-wheel drive help here. In Sport mode the MKZ leans very little as it negotiates turns. This is a planted, highly composed car.
The transmission can get confused between first and second gears at low speeds. But throttle delivery is supple, suspension delivers a smooth ride, steering feels natural.
ComfortNoticeable difference between Sport and Normal with the MKZ's adjustable suspension. Still, competitors like the Lexus ES 350 are cushier, while BMW's 3 Series is a better handler. The interior is quiet. Seats could use softer padding.
The MKZ's front seatbacks are harder than you'd expect, lumbar support can't be dialed out enough. Door and center armrests need more padding. Rear seat is at a comfortable angle.
There are definitely softer-riding cars out there, but the MKZ's standard adjustable suspension is a boon. S mode is too stiff for most use, but Normal mode keeps harsh hits out.
Near-zero noise from the turbo-four on the highway, excellent sound deadening. Some wind noise around the base of the A-pillars. All-season Michelin Primacy tires can be loud.
InteriorThe MKZ's interior makes some compromises, some in the name of style (limited rear head room due to the sloping roof), some in the name of technology (the MyLincoln Touch center stack interface eliminates all knobs).
With MyLincoln Touch you need to press the center stack icons just right, or nothing happens. Buttons for P, R, N, D, S is odd, but works for Aston Martin. Simple phone pairing.
Low roof makes entry/exit hard. Door sills are wider than on most sedans. Have to duck to get into the rear seat, usually hit foot on base of rear seat as you get in.
Driver's right knee doesn't have much room thanks to the center stack. Front head room isn't bad considering the high driver's seat. Most adults will find rear head room tight.
Long but slim A-pillars for sloping windshield. Thick B-pillars, but tall side windows and wide rear window. Usable triangle window between C- and D-pillars. Large backup camera.
Door pockets are long but shallow. Rearward-situated center armrest bin. Nearly hidden under-center-console bin is almost useless. Split/folding rear seat with large pass-through.
ValueThe MKZ is nice enough, but is it $46,000 nice? Admittedly that price brings a goody bag of high-tech safety features. Fuel mileage with the turbo-four is below average, but the warranty is above average and free maintenance is a big plus.
Build Quality (vs. $)
This is a well-put-together car. Some materials are only of average quality, but most have a nice, soft feel to them. Quality wood and leather trim. No squeaks or rattles.
For $38,710 the MKZ comes with all-wheel drive, adaptive suspension, smart entry/push-button start, MyLincoln Touch, dual-zone climate control and 10-way power/heated front seats.
Options such as navigation, a rear camera, adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system and active park assist send the MKZ's price to $46,380. Nav doesn't come standard?
The EPA rates the MKZ AWD 2.0-liter turbo at 22 city/31 highway/25 mpg combined. We averaged 22.0 mpg over 844 miles. The MKZ managed just 23.2 mpg on our Edmunds evaluation loop.
The basic warranty covers the MKZ for 4 years/50,000 miles, while the drivetrain gets 6 years/70,000 miles. That's above average for the class.
The MKZ has roadside assistance for 6 years/70,000 miles. Even better, you get free scheduled maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Fun To DriveWe had fun with the MKZ at our test track, and were pleasantly surprised by the competence of its chassis, adaptive suspension and direct steering. The turbo-four isn't exactly inspiring, but we enjoyed the transmission's paddle shifters.
When the MyLincoln Touch interface isn't annoying us, this is a decent-driving sporty/luxury sedan. It attacks corners with ease, and it's generally a pleasant car to live with.
Overall, the MKZ isn't exactly chock full of life. But it does have a dual personality: With the simple press of a dash button, the MKZ switches from luxury to sport sedan.