It hasn’t been around long, but the Lincoln MKZ has been given a makeover for 2017. It’s still rather sedate-looking, but it’s face has a more youthful look.
No question this test car in Reserve trim, provided by Ford of Canada is a looker that’s as at home at the theatre as it is at a shopping mall or anywhere in between. One thing is certain, this is one Lincoln that I’d bring home from the play.
Gone are the conventional sweeping headlight housings of the previous model. Gone is that weird-looking wing-like double grille treatment.
Now, more-modern five-element HID lighting elements, underscored by a bright LED strip provides a sweeping look down the road at night. The grille is a more conventional one-piece affair remindful of the new Continental.
It might be the long, graceful curves clad in a $700 Burgundy Velvet coat, or perhaps that gargantuan panoramic sunroof, but the MKZ looks bigger than its mid-size classification. The $750 polished machined aluminum wheels don’t hurt the look either.
The sunroof, a $3,450 option is a single piece of glass that slides back over the rear window as it opens, but taller rear seat passengers will still find the glass reduces headroom.
The interior is a symphony in leather and wood with a 20-speaker Revel Ultima audio system – a concert hall on wheels (depending on your musical tastes). Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system is a huge improvement over the past iteration. It will actually listen to you and, more importantly, understand what you want.
And there are knobs, honest to goodness knobs for adjusting radio volume and tuning and there are toggles to adjust HVAC temperatures.
The are more touch controls for radio and HVAC that not long ago were all the rage (they certainly made me rage often enough when even a simple adjustment could cause me to look away from the road). Now there are knobs! Honest to goodness knobs that take all of three seconds to become intuitive. Sometimes you have to step back to step forward.
Speaking of step forward, the test car comes with a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that produces 400 horsepower and 400 ft. lb. of torque. Mated to a slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, this car will certainly move you forward quickly while not being overly thirsty at the pumps. It’s reputed to get a combined fuel rating of 14.0L/100 km in the city and 9.2 on the highway for a combined 11.8 L/100 km. The best I managed was 11.9, so the ratings are pretty accurate.
The car has paddle shifters, but I admit I don’t use them much, but I did try them now and then and they work just fine.
Among the electronic aids is Park Assist which will automatically it the MKZ into a spot whether parallel or angle parking. It’s another feature I don’t use often, but it’s always a hoot to watch the expression on a passenger’s face when they experience it for the first time.
This MKZ came with all-wheel drive, which is perfect for prairie roads and weather. It’s a system that’s biased toward front wheel drive, but like the rest of the stable of electronic nannies aboard, it goes into action quietly, seamlessly, unobtrusively.
Steering is light, quick and gives me decent feedback. The car goes where I point it without pause. Nice.
As for ride, the MKZ has impeccable pavement and street manners: Quiet and smooth with a suspension setup that irons out all but the most severe wrinkles, it doesn’t lose its composure even on a loose gravel surface.
The seats, front and back are welcoming and comfortable. The only limits to range are fuel consumption and bladder capacity, otherwise I could get in this car and just keep going…and going…and…
2017 Lincoln MKZ
Trim level: Reserve
Price before taxes: $63,850.00
Configuration: front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.0 L twin turbo V6/ 6-speed automatic
Power/torque: 400 hp/400 lb. ft.
Fuel economy ratings: 14.0 L/100 km city, 9.2 highway
Warranties: 4 years/ 80,000 km basic, 6 years/110,000 km powertrain
Competitors: Acura TLX, Audi A4, Buick Lacrosse, Lexus ES 350, Volvo S60