The Best-Selling 2017 Lincoln MKZ Offers Quiet, Potent Luxury
Lincoln describes its 2017 MKZ as "quiet luxury"; however the new model has a potent engine that produces a siren song -- with an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
Currently Lincoln's best-selling vehicle in North America, the midsize luxury sedan gets a significant mid-cycle refresh for the 2017 model year that is zeroed-in on updated quality, performance and style. The 2017 MKZ is the first vehicle in Lincoln's lineup to adopt the company's new design language previewed on the Continental concept car. Competitors include the Cadillac CTS and the BMW 3 Series.
Featuring Lincoln's signature one-piece trapezoidal, meshed front grille; jewel-like, slim LED headlights and taillights; an updated interior with a floating center console; additional safety features (including available automatic braking collision avoidance with pedestrian detection); and a more nimble ride with new engine choices, the premium sedan promises to continue in its role as a flagship model for the brand.
The newest model is more understated and classy -- a departure from the previous generation's styling that was more bold and brassy when it debuted in 2013. The 2017 model has gorgeous back-end tailoring that gives it fastback looks from the rear.
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is powered by a choice of three drivetrains, including a hybrid. At the top of the line is a new unique-to-Lincoln 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produces 400-horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system (front-wheel-drive 3.0-liter models are limited to 350 horsepower).
A 245-horsepower, 2.0-liter GTDI four-cylinder EcoBoost engine is a front-wheel-drive model. Both are shifted via a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with a push-button selector on the center instrument panel or steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Available Lincoln Drive Control allows drivers to choose between three drive modes: comfort, normal, and sport. The system includes continuously controlled damping and electric power-assisted steering to provide comfortable, confident handling, says Lincoln.
A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 70-kilowatt electric traction motor powered by lithium-ion batteries and a continuously variable transmission powers the MKZ Hybrid; it has better packaging and lower weight than previous Ford-produced hybrids.
A Driver's Package brings Dynamic Torque Vectoring to aid with cornering. The Driver's Package also trims the interior with multi-contour seats, carbon fiber appliques, and aluminum pedal covers, and adds 19-inch wheels, Ebony-painted calipers, and a Magnetic grille hue on the exterior.
Available enhanced park assist uses ultrasonic sensors to enable the MKZ to steer itself into either a parallel or perpendicular parking spot, and assist with park-out, as needed. Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality can automatically slow the car, resuming higher speeds when traffic clears. The system activates the brakes automatically to bring the car to a complete stop if the driver fails to apply brakes in time. An auto hold feature keeps the vehicle at a complete stop without the driver having to press and hold the brake pedal -- promising a more relaxing drive for MKZ owners, even in stop-and-go driving.
Inside, Lincoln engineers paid particular attention to the sound and feel of new switches and dials that replace slider adjustments for easier control of ventilation and audio functions. Commonly used buttons and USB ports are now even easier to access. An active noise control system contributes to a quiet cabin. A fully retractable panoramic glass roof is available, as well as a Revel audio system by Harmon that offers concert-quality sound.
The new sedan is available with two all-new Lincoln Black Label themes, Chalet and Vineyard, as well as the previously available Thoroughbred trim level; each offers unique luxury styling and premium materials. The standard Lincoln MKZ interior color palette includes a collection of beautiful shades such as Cappuccino, Ebony, and Terra Cotta, as well as an all-new Jade Gray hue. Pricing starts at $35,010.
By Sue Mead for MotorMatters
SUE MEAD began her automotive career as a part-time freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler Magazine in 1988 on the first team that included women as test drivers. Today, she travels the globe test-driving cars and trucks and working as a photojournalist/feature writer for dozens of publications. Mead specializes in 4WD, and has been an auto editor and 4WD editor for CNN/fn. Mead has been inducted into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and recently won her class as the Driver of Record in the 2011 Dakar Rally. Mead has received a number of awards for her work in the field of automotive journalism. She has written for Four Wheeler, 4Wheel & Off Road, Automobile, AutoWeek, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics. Parade, Womens Sports & Fitness, Autobytel, AutoTrader and the New York Times, as well as publications around the globe. Mead has written three books: Monster Trucks and Tractors; Off Road Racing, Legends and Adventures; and Rock Crawling.
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