2013 Lincoln MKZ
Base price: $35,925
As tested: $39,950
MPG: 25 city/27 highway (2.0L), 45 city/45 highway (hybrid)
- Thoroughly impressive
- Eye candy
- No extra cost hybrid model
- Snug rear seat
By Jim Prueter
Lincoln is a brand that has, for the most part, been ignored by its parent company Ford. In turn, the auto-buying public has also shunned Lincoln products, seeing them as little more than gussied-up Fords.
The struggling brand represents less than 4 percent of Ford Motor Company sales. That’s down from 8.5 percent in 1990, and more than half of the Lincolns on the road today are at least 10 years old.
But now, for 2013, Ford has once again decided to reinvent the Lincoln brand, turning that responsibility over to Jim Farley, vice president of global marketing, who previously worked at Lexus.
Farley begins the new era at Lincoln with the radically redesigned MKZ (a version of Ford Fusion), designed by the brand’s newly created 150-person design staff.
The new MKZ is amazing to behold. For a brand rarely associated with beauty, it’s surprisingly stylish, sacrificing some of its rear seat room and cargo capacity in favor of a sleek sloping roofline and gorgeous silhouette.
Up front, there’s a new horizontal-bar split grille (think angel wings) that sweeps over to integrate the LED headlights. The rear features distinctive, thin, full-body-width LED taillights. The overall look has a strong sense of Jaguar DNA, a brand previously owned by Ford.
One of the most unique-to-Lincoln and awesome features is the all-new, full-length oversized retractable panoramic moonroof. The moonroof is self-adjusting, moving 8 inches forward at speeds above 40 mph to maintain a quiet riding environment.
More praise can be heaped upon the MKZ’s comfortable and luxurious interior with its top-notch materials and design. We also liked the model’s push-button automatic transmission control. Replacing a gearshift lever, the buttons are arranged vertically on the left edge of the center stack, adjacent to the LCD display screen.
The MKZ is available with either the standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost or larger 3.5-liter V-6 engines. A hybrid-electric version is also available at no additional cost.
Overall we think the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ is a stunning achievement for the brand’s quest of reinvention.