Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Used MKZ for sale
List Price Estimate:$7,550 - $12,046
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Excellent infotainment features
  • comfortable seats and driving position
  • high fuel economy from Hybrid version
  • responsive steering.
  • Non-premium feel
  • not enough differentiation from Ford Fusion
  • rough ride with sport suspension.

The 2012 Lincoln MKZ is a competent midsize premium sedan, but it does not represent enough of an improvement over the similar Ford Fusion to justify its Mercedes-like price.

Vehicle overview

As much as we disliked the subject in school, there are times in the course of evaluating cars when we find it necessary to step back and do a little math. After putting our pencils to the 2012 Lincoln MKZ, we conclude that things just don't add up.

To be sure, the midsize MKZ sedan has a number of good qualities, including decent handling, an attractive and comfortable interior and a long list of available high-tech doodads. The problem is that the littlest Lincoln still just doesn't feel as substantial or polished as you'd expect an entry-level luxury sedan to be.

To get a better handle on this equation, it helps to understand the MKZ is actually a rebadged version of the mass-market Ford Fusion sedan. Nothing wrong with that per se, as the Fusion is one of our favorite midsize sedans. So good in fact, that Lincoln's engineering team made relatively few changes under the skin.

The problem, of course, is that it takes a lot more than a few exterior styling tweaks and interior upgrades to compete in a category full of excellent luxury sedans, which ultimately leads us to conclude the MKZ just doesn't compute.

This is especially true when you consider just how many excellent cars there are to choose from in this price range. Specifically, we'd recommend cross-shopping the 2012 Audi A4, 2012 BMW 3 Series, 2012 Cadillac CTS, 2012 Hyundai Genesis, 2012 Infiniti G37, 2012 Lexus ES 350 and 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, all of which show more attention to detail and a greater degree of engineering excellence.

The lone exception to this sentiment is the Hybrid version of the MKZ, which offers fuel-sipping powertrain technology that's not available in the others. Perhaps the smaller 2012 Lexus HS 250h (hybrid) might be considered a competitor to the MKZ Hybrid, but the Lincoln bests it in both passenger space and fuel economy. However, it should be noted that the less expensive 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid is essentially the same car as its upscale Lincoln cousin -- albeit without the fancier styling and plusher cabin trimmings.

In sum, the 2012 Lincoln MKZ is a good car that represents the best of the Ford Fusion's attributes, combined with a compelling array of luxury features. But, unless you're considering the Hybrid, it just isn't the equal of its competition.

2012 Lincoln MKZ models

The 2012 Lincoln MKZ is a midsize luxury sedan that's offered in two trim levels -- base (V6) and Hybrid.

Apart from their powertrains, both MKZs are identically equipped. The long list of standard features includes 17-inch wheels, foglights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry with an outside keypad, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats with driver seat memory, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, auto-dimming driver side and rearview mirrors and full power accessories. Also standard are Ford's Sync system and a nine-speaker sound system with six-CD changer, auxiliary/USB audio jacks and satellite radio.

Options include a Navigation package that bundles the expected navigation system with a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a single-CD/DVD audio player, digital music storage capability, HD radio and Sirius Travel Link service. On the Hybrid, the Navigation package also includes a premium surround-sound audio system. The Ultimate package features all the above (including the premium sound) and adds 17-inch chrome wheels, a sunroof (also available as a stand-alone option), adaptive xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers and ambient lighting.

The Sport Appearance package (not available on the Hybrid) adds 18-inch polished alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and distinctive details including contrasting seat piping, aluminum interior trim and darkened exterior trim. The Executive package adds upgraded leather upholstery and real wood interior trim.

2012 Highlights

The Lincoln MKZ returns unchanged for the 2012 model year.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Lincoln MKZ is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is standard. Lincoln offers the MKZ in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy is respectable, with EPA estimates of 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models and 17/24/19 for all-wheel-drive versions. In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive MKZ accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, which is a midpack time in this segment of entry-level luxury sedans.

The MKZ Hybrid is motivated by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine teamed with an electric motor that together make 191 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). EPA estimates stand at 41/36/39 mpg. Though we haven't tested an MKZ Hybrid, we did test the similar Ford Fusion Hybrid, which ran from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is reasonably quick for a hybrid.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. The 2012 Lincoln MKZ also gets Ford's programmable MyKey system, which allows parents to specify limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume for their teenage drivers.

In government crash tests, the MKZ earned an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with a three-star rating for frontal impacts and four stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the MKZ its top "Good" rating in both frontal-offset and side-crash tests. In Edmunds brake testing, an MKZ Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 132 feet -- which is longer than expected from a luxury sedan.

Driving

Behind the wheel, the 2012 Lincoln MKZ is perfectly competent, if not very exciting, which makes it a good match for buyers looking for a quiet and comfortable luxury sedan. The V6 offers decent acceleration, though the exhaust note lacks the throaty growl of some of its competitors. The Hybrid provides relatively brisk performance as well as composed handling that's similar to that of the non-hybrid version.

Add the sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels that come with the available Sport Appearance package (not available on the Hybrid), however, and things get a bit more interesting. In fact, the MKZ becomes downright fun to drive. The trade-off to this firmer suspension setup, of course, is a rough ride that doesn't feel particularly Lincoln-esque.

Interior

The 2012 Lincoln MKZ's passenger cabin gets some nice feature upgrades and better materials than those found in its Ford Fusion cousin. That said, the interior seems more like something you'd find on a top-of-the-line mainstream sedan than a car meant to compete with European luxury marques like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

On the upside, the seats are comfortable and both front and rear seat passengers enjoy a good amount of head- and legroom. Out back is an equally generously sized trunk, with 16.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the base model; the Hybrid has only 11.8 cubic feet, due to the battery pack that intrudes into the trunk space.

The MKZ's range of available technology is another positive here, especially the navigation system's Sirius Travel Link service. Audiophiles will also want to make sure to give the excellent THX surround-sound system a listen.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Awsome Vehicle MKZ Hybrid 2011
kensnek,06/08/2011
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
We have had this car since March of 2011 and love everything about it. Have averaged 39.1 long term combination city/hwy. This car has exceeded our expectations for mileage,comfort,handling and looks. We never expected to own a Lincoln let alone a hybrid. This car is a well kept secret!
3.88 out of 5 stars
New to Hybrid Cars
dieselfest,09/04/2012
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Just passed 600 miles on new Ultimate Pkg MKZ Hybrid. On short trips about 2 miles I get about 26 mpg. Commute to work 22 miles one way 30City/70Hyw, I get 42 mpg consistently. Strange results considering city should be 41 mpg and thats what the short trips are. If I drive normally meaning faster off the line at stop lights and break later and harder, I can only get about 33 mpg average. This isn't too bad and I can live with those numbers. The car really teaches me how to drive more efficiently. I do go past 65 mph but under 75 on the highway regularly and still get 42 mpg. I find that hard acceleration and hard breaking is my biggest problem.
4.63 out of 5 stars
put your doubts behind, get the hybrid
bbq_pitmaster,11/11/2011
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
If there's no difference in price why would you want the gas-eating V6? Our average fuel economy is 37.8 MPG and could be better, depending on how much you're pushed in traffic. You do not have to trade off on power, it just comes from another source. It's quiet and responsive; regenerative breaks are great, nice wood trim, more if you get the exec pkg (plus suede inserts); heated and cooled seats; blind spot system is also very helpful. Headroom is not as spacious because of the moonroof. Center console hits the arm just right, the ones on the door are too low, so you rest your arm on the window sill. Decent turning radius, adjustable LED dash display. THX sound is very nice.
4 out of 5 stars
Still Nice Hybrid
tuko,11/19/2015
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Purchased 2012 MKZ Hybrid with around 30,000 miles off lease. Certified pre-owned with extended Lincoln warranty. Pros: Great gas mileage averaging 40.5mpg since purchase. Will get upwards of 50+mpg strictly city but "only" high 30s on the highway. Goes down in winter or with A/C on. Crystal white exterior with beige interior makes this a nice looking car but hard to keep clean. Ok ride on smooth roads but a little choppy on rough roads but I've been spoiled with my old Town Car. Main advantage over a 2013 or newer MKZ Hybrid is the size of the gas tank. 2012 was last year for a 17.5 gallon tank which means I maybe fill it up once a month. Previously owned a 2013 Fusion Hybrid with only a 13 gallon tank so needed to fill up more often despite similar gas mileage. Cons: Battery does intrude on trunk space. No indicator on dash to tell you if head lights are on which is weird. Nav option, sun-roof and rear camera are nice options. Overall, wife and I like the car. Now about 74,000 miles. If I need to haul lots of stuff, there's always my Town Car. Would buy another one if they still made them.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat3 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.5%

More about the 2012 Lincoln MKZ

Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Overview

The Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). The Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid?

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Which used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrids are available in my area?

Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for sale near you.

Can't find a used 2012 Lincoln MKZ MKZ Hybrid you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lincoln MKZ for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,855.

Find a used Lincoln for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $11,330.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln MKZ for sale - 8 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,291.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $11,271.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Lincoln MKZ?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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