2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Detailed Review

I have been most interested in testdriving this calendar year so far andthat is the 2014 and 2015 Lincoln MKZnow this model was completely redesignedfor the 2014 model year and therehaven’t really been any substantivechanges for the 2015 model year so thisreview will apply to both of those nowLincoln has been given a very hard timelately about their lineup it is full offront wheel drive or all-wheel drivevehicles rather than rear-wheel drivevehicles like you’d find from BMW orMercedes but I don’t necessarily thinkthat that’s a problem for the LincolnMKZ well it’s true that that may haveonce been a problem if we take a look atthe comparative landscape for thisvehicle it’s now full of front-wheeldrive German competitors from themercedes-benz CLA to the brand-new Audia3 we also have of course the Volvo s60the BMW 3-series but then of course BMWdoes have that brand new i3 and rumorsare at

the BMW 2 Series which isfront-wheel drive we’ll be coming to theu.s. at some point soon this of coursestill competes with something along thelines of a mercedes-benz c-class andAudi a4 the cadillac ats cts possiblysome buick models most definitely theLexus ct200hthe ES 350 and ES 300h and of course thebrand new Acura TLX which I haven’t hada chance to drive but hopefully I willin a few months up front the MKZ where’sLincoln’s new design language and that’sthis flowing grille right here it sortof looks like a winged arrangement forlack of a better descriptor overall I’mnot sure if I find this the mostattractive in this segment

but I don’tthink it’s nearly as bad as some peoplehave suggested go ahead and let me knowwhat you think in the comments sectiondown below I have to admit that thedesign is actually growing on me and Ithink it looks better in person than itdid when I first saw it I definitelythink it’s more attractive on the MKZthan it is on the MK X or the MKT whichare Lincoln’s crossover vehicles nowinteresting lift the most feedback I hadthis week from people that saw this outon the road was that they didn’t findthe grille too exciting it’s that theyfound the grille a little bit too demurea little bit too restrained and to thatI say that the BMW 3-series is veryrestrained as well it’s definitely notas exciting as many of the entries upfront I wouldn’t call any more or anyless exciting than the front end on thisparticular vehicle I think that overallthe most attractive entry in thissegment for me is the Cadillac ATS

Ireallylike the angular theme that’s going onat front but again please let me knowwhat you think down there in thecomments section down belownow in our particular model we haveparking sensors on the front there’sthese little dots right here and we havethe radar cruise control and precollision warning sensor right overthere that’s that blacked out portion inthis lower grille now all MKZ models inthe US have standard LED low beams LEDhigh beams as well as LED daytimerunning lamps now an interesting featurewith these LED headlamps and one of thereasons that they’re my favorite out onthe market right now is that in additionto their very crisp lighting patternthese also steer into the corners andfor some reason a lot of luxury carmanufacturers when they upgrade you fromstandard HID headlamps to LED headlampsyou lose the steering functionality andthat steering functionality is excellentif you live out on winding country roadsespecially because they do steer intocorners and they really improve yourfield of view well some may questionLincoln’s new styling direction on thefront end I think the side profile ofthe MKZ is incredibly attractive we alsohave a great deal of attention to detailgoing on on the side we have these turnsignals that are very neatly integratedinto the side view mirrors and there’salso a chrome strip

on the bottom bodycolored section on the top we have thischaracter strip that runs right alongthe side and we have a definite hipgoing on in the vehicle and some peoplehave questioned this relatively abrupttrunk design but I actually find itquite attractive as well right back herethe trunk design incorporates sort of aspoiler lip right here onto the trunklid which I find very attractive now theonly downside to this very vertical reardesign right back here is that Lincolnhad to put the trunk release right downhere by the license plate and that is alittle bit lower than I would like inthe vehicle although you can open andclose it with the remote control at 194inches long the MKZ is longer than youmight think it is 10 inches longer thana Volvo s60 10 inches longer than amercedes-benz CLA which is priced verysimilarly it’s actually even two incheslonger than a Lexus ES which is nowbased on the toyota avalon and it’s alsotwo inches longer than the all-new andall long BMW 3-series this is evenslightly longer than the forthcomingAcura TLXor the mercedes-benz c-class it’s justabout the same size overall as theCadillac CTS which is a BMW 5-seriescompetitor if this isn’t long enough foryou of course Lincoln still has thatLincoln MKS and that is an extra 10inches longer than this vand wider overall from this angle youcan really

see what I mean about thedesign of this rear end we have thissort of spoiler esque trunk lid righthere which is kind of attractiveLincoln spelled out broadly right therean LED strip going from tail lamp taillamp across the back high mounted stoplight right up here backup cameralocated right there again the trunkrelease button right down here and allmodels have hidden exhaust tipsincluding the hybrid model under thehood we have three different engineoptions things start out with a 2-literEcoBoost four-cylinder engine itproduces 240 horsepower if you run it onpremium 231 horsepower if you run it onregular unleaded and Lincoln does tellus that it is rated to run safely onregular unleaded unlike some of theother luxury entries out there itproduces 270 pound feet of torqueregardless of what kind of fuel you feedit we also have a 3.6 liter v6 enginegood for 300 horsepower at 277pound-feet of torque now both of thoseengines are mated by default to a6-speed automatic transmission sendingpower right here to the front wheels orif you so choose you can also get anall-wheel-drive option which will sendup to 50 percent of the power withoutslip to the rear wheels if the frontaxle does slip then you can send alittle bit more power to the rear but itreally depends on exactly what kind ofslippage is going on also available isthe hybrid system that we’re taking alook at right here on that side of theengine bay we have a 2 liter 4-cylinderatkinson cycle engine it produces

141horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torqueon this side of the engine bay is whereyou’ll find the electric motors and theplanetary gearsetthat make up the sort of transmissionthat we have under the hood that willgive you a system total of 188 totalhorsepower now I say sort oftransmission because this vehicle verymuch like toda and Lexuses hybrids doesnot have a transmission in thetraditional sense there are two electricmotors one planetary gearsetand those devices together combined withthe battery pack in the back and theengine propel the vehicle forward it isnot possible for this engine to drivethe car all by itself without theelectric motors and in many ways it’snot really possible for this vehicle todrive itself just by the electric motorsoutside of a very limited range so we dohave an easy mode capacity in thisvehicle it’s much higher than you’llfind in the toda and Lexus hybrids it’sjust about 70 miles an hour or so underlimited circumstances for a limitedrange possibly about a mile or two andthat’s all dictated by the size of thebattery pack in the backthis vehicle does use a lithium-ionbattery intrunk rather than a nickel metal hydridebattery like you’ll find in the Lexusand

Toyota hybrids that gives you alittle bit more space in the trunk thatwe’ll take a look at in a bit fueleconomy in this hybrid is very high forthis segment at 38 miles per gallon city37 highway and 38 combined if you getthe 2-liter turbo model that drops youdown to 22 miles per gallon city 33highway 26 combined in front-wheel drivetrim if you had all-wheel drive thingsdrop down to 20 to 30 125 if you get thev6 model that’s going to give you thelowest fuel economy that comes in at 19miles per gallon city 28 highway 22combined in front-wheel drive mode and18 26:21 if you do opt for the optionalall-wheel drive system front seatcomfort starts out at 8 out of 10 pointsthat’s the version that we’re taking alook at right here we have a 10 weightpower adjustable driver’s

seat we alsohave a four-way power adjustable tilttelescopic steering column this ismemory linked with a three-position seatmemory right over there on the door onenice touch is that the passenger seat inthe MKZ has the same range of motion asthe driver’s seat I do find the seatbottom cushion to be just a little bitshort for my legs but overall it is avery comfortable seat however if you dochoose an option box that is just under$600 for Ford’s multi-contour seat thenthis goes up to

10 out of 10 pointseasily the most comfortable in thiscategory and that is including thingslike the mercedes-benz c-class and theBMW 3-series that’s because that extraseat gives you massaging functions andanti fatigue function which inflates airbladders in the bottom of the seatcushion as well as the seat back cushionto help improve blood circulation wealso get some additional ways of motionon the seat with a four-way poweradjustable lumbar support and powerinflatable side bolsters as well now inthe luxury category you don’t find seatsthat are that adjustable or thatcomfortable until you step up tosomething like a BMW 5 Series with a$2,400 option package which is theiroptional sport seats which gives yourelatively the same range of motion asFord’s $600 option in the MKZ I woulddefinitely check that option box if Iwere you before we hop in the back let’stalk about leg room especially frontlegroom at 44 inches of front legroomthe MKZ has a great deal more legroomthan most of the other entries in thissegment including the Lexus ES 300hwhich is a fairly

long vehicle it’sreally noticeable right back here in thepassenger seat of this vehicle whichdoes move a great deal farther back inthe vehicle than you’ll find most luxuryvehicleswell that means longer legged frontpassengers and longerdrivers will find more room in the MKZthan some of those other entries it alsomeans that if you do push that frontseat all the way back in its tracksyou’re going to have less room in theback seat so keep that in mind when Ihop in the back scooting back to theback seat I give this seven out of tenpoints overall this front seats adjustedfor me at six feet tall and as you cansee

I have about five or six inches oflegroom left right back therethat’s a decent amount more legroom thanyou’ll find in a wide variety of thecompetition that’s partially because wehave a great deal more combined legroomin this vehicle than you will find insome of the shorter competitors and thatwould be front legroom and rear legroomput together but also we have arelatively thin front seat back if youtake a look at luxury vehicles the frontseat backs tend to be six or so inchesthick and these Lincoln MKZ seat backsare a lot thinner than that they’re notless comfortable Ford has just managedto figure out how to design them in areally thin and space-saving way andthat really gives you a lot more legroom back here than I had expectedunfortunately when it comes to rearheadroom this vehicle has more in commonwith the mercedes-benz CLA and the Volvos60 then the mercedes-benz c-class orthe

BMW 3-series if I sit upright inthis seat my head is distinctly touchingthe ceiling I do have to slouch a littlebit in order to be comfortable back hereso there’s a lot less headroom back herethan you’ll find in some of those othercompetitors now even something like alexus es350 only has an extra inch ofrear headroom so you may have to step upto something even larger than this ifyou want a really accommodating backseat on the right side keep in mind as Isaid that this front seat back is allthe way back in its tracks and that’sabout three to four inches further fromthe dashboard then you can move the seatin any of the competition so I means youcan fit a much taller person morecomfortably in the front seat of thisvehicle and still fit a six-foot personin the back if you had to I have aboutan inch of legroom left right back herethanks to the thin front seat backs andthe scalloped design of the seat back aswell

I don’t have a whole lot of footroom however I do have to twist my feetto get them in and out of the foot wellbut I could do that for about an hour orso without too much of a problemscooting on over to the middle seat thismiddle seat is surprisingly comfortableeven though it is a little bit above theoutboard bucket seats however I stillhave the same head problem right up hereI don’t have a lot of headroom I do haveto my head to kind of a funny anglein order to fit in that middle seatlet’s take a look at this relativelyfunny-looking seat belt right here thisis an inflatable seat belt it costs justunder $200 as an option in the MKZand this is definitely an option that Iwould select if I were youit’s also an option that I would selectif you were buying any Ford and Lincolnproduct in which it was available wehave two different ratchets one thatcomes up from the bottom and then onethat comes up from the seat back andthen

we have this exaggerated beltbuckle right here and the reason forthat is because in an accident this seatbelt will actually kind of unzip and itwill inflate and it will become aboutthree times as wide as a standard seatbelt and the reason you want that isbecause it distributes the load across awider portion of your body so especiallyif you’re a child or if you’re in asmall adult with very brittle bones thatsort of thing if you’re an elderlyperson this will greatly reduce the riskof injury and broken bones especiallybroken ribs in the event of an accidentit is designed to work properly with achild safety seat so you don’t need toworry about that but it is an optionworth getting in the center of the rearbench we have a fold-down center armrestthat is nicely padded two largecupholders a storage compartment rightthere and we also have a skipass-through now that ski pass there iskind of interesting because a widevariety of hybrid vehicles don’t giveyou a ski pass through or a folding rearseatback and we have both in thisvehicle the seat back folds down and wehave a very large and very squareopening in fact versus the standard MKZthe opening is only reduced by about twoinches in overall height

so you canstill fit very long items from the trunkinto the passenger compartment it’s agreat deal handier than most hybrids outthere aside from the trunk release whichI found to be in a slightly awkwardposition right down here above thelicense plate we have a decent amount ofcargo capacity in the MKZ I’ll take outthis computer bag right there and thenin here you can see we have a 26 inchand a 24 inch roller bag now it’simportant to keep in mind that we are inthe hybrid model and so we have kind ofthis two-tiered trunk motif going on wehave this lower cargo will where you canjust about fit a 24-inch roller bag anda 26 inch roller bag flat you can putsome additional cargo right on top andwe have the battery pack right back hereyou can actually put luggage right ontop of that battery pack right like thatnow thanks to this two-tieredarrangement I was able to easily putthree of these 24-inch roller bags inhere and one 26 inch roller bag ends awide variety of hand luggage back hereand that’s because this is only abouttwo cubic feet smaller than somethinglike a Volvo s60 or mercedes-benz CLA250 even though this is the hybrid nowifyou do get the regular gasoline modelthen we get 15 cubic feet which islarger than the BMW 3-series very largefor this category thanks to thecavernous cargo capacity even in thishybrid model I give this vehicle 10 outof 10 points

we also get thepreservation of that trunk pass-throughthe folding rear seatbacks and thanks tothe battery pack and the battery packpositioning in this vehicle we get adecent amount of cargo space and cargopracticality in here that you don’t findin the competition we also get an assisthandle for the truck and an availablepower trunk lid let’s take a quick lookaround the interior we have heightadjustable seat belts both the driverand the front passenger keep in mindthat we are in the model that has thecooled seats as well as the upgradedbrown leather this is very nice softtouch leather perforated inserts in thecenter and in the bottom of the seatcushion as you expect from a vehicle inthis price category the door is mainlysoft touch plastic there’s soft touchplastics all up here center section ofthe door right here soft touch armrestin this brown that matches the seats andeven soft touch plastics down here lowerin the door panel now right down here onthe inside we do have hard touchplastics right there on the inside rightnext to the speaker grille but none ofthat is an area where you’ll reallytouch it very often up here on the doorpanel we also have real wood trim andmetallic effect trim these veryattractive lock and unlock buttonsintegrated right here into the speakergrille moving over to the dashboard weagain have real wood trim we have thismetallic effect strip running rightacross the dashboard below that and ifwe zoom out you’ll see that all thistrim is designed to be very flushed withthe dashboard in a very attractivedesign it has sort of a branching themeover there by that air vent do find thisa design very attractive

you’ll alsonotice another thing from this angle ifwe move down just a tiny little bit andthat is the dashboard has sort of a liphere sort of overhangs the lowerdashboard you will find soft touchplastics for the majority of the lowerdashboard as well the reason itoverhangs is because we do have ambientlighting strip that runs across thecabin so it runs all the way from hereon the dashboard all the way across thedoor panels all the way back right thereand you can change the color in the MKZopening the glove compartment reveals amoderately sized compartment with atiered storage compartment right here wedo have a little shelf right up here andthen a lower shelf right there you cansqueeze the manual in that upper shelfand you can almost put a tablet computerright there in that area down belowmoving over to the scent of thedashboard their great deal of shapesgoing on here you can see that we havethis interesting curve right down hereand then the sort of lip over right herethis is the center channel speaker inour THX certified sound system model twolarge air vents right here in the middlemoving over to the center of thedashboard you can see we have this veryelegant design theme going on here Imight even

call this Scandinavian inoverall theme we have this injectionmolded dashboard that is flush with themetallic effect trim and the rest of thecenter console so it all looks like onesingle plane and it’s accentuated bythese touch buttons right down here nowat the top we have this speaker you cansee the dashboard actually sort ofcurves in a little bit and then goesunder this portion of the dash and thencomes back out and meets the rest ofthis in a very flush fashion the leftside of the infotainment touchscreen wedo have our start/stop button and thenwe have our push buttons for the driveposition in this transmission Parkreverse neutral Drive and then low nowsome people have emailed me asking mehow reliable this will be and honestlythis is going to be no more or lessreliable than the average gearshift inthe average vehicle because mostvehicles sold in the u.s. today havedrive-by-wire shifters right like thisso whether you’re using buttons or aknob or a more traditional shift leverthere’s no direct connection between theshift buttons or the lever or that dialand the transmission so there’s reallyno difference terms of reliabilitybetween these buttons and those otherdesigns but using buttons right likethis

link it was able to free up alittle bit of space in the centerconsole versus a traditional shifter andyou don’t have a traditional columnshifter hanging out right here on theside of the steering column over here onthe right side we do have great assistbreaking this is not hill descentcontrol this just gives you a little bitmore engine braking when going downhillthat’s because we’re in a hybrid versionright over here we have our hazard lightbutton then we have our autonomousparking button right here so you pushthe button down Mac they starts lookingfor a parking spot on the right side ifyou want to search on the left you justturn left turn signal on and it’ll startturning over there on the left you wantto know more about autonomous parkingthere is a video on my channel about howthese systems work Ford’s is one of thebest systems out on the marketof course right here we have my LincolnTouch the infotainment and navigationsystem in the MKZ if you want to knowmore about my lincoln touch then goahead and click that banner at thebottom of your screen you’ll be taken onover to a video about that system in ourparticular vehicle we do have the hybridso we have a hybrid energy flow screenright here and if we go over to theclimate settings weyou have a few options that you may notfind on some other vehicles such as theair-conditioned seats heated seats andthe heated steering wheel right overthere if we did have the multi-contourseats you get yet more buttons in thisscreen right here to help you adjust theseat and control the massage functionbelow that screen we have a single slotoptical disc player and then we havetouch buttons for the climate control aswell as the audio functions this vehicleright now they’re turned off I will goahead and start the engine so you cansee how they appear as you can see thebuttons are very attractive when thevehicle is on and they’re very wellhidden when the vehicle is off they’realso very easily

readable in brightdaylight like we’re seeing right here Ididn’t have any problems withresponsiveness and these buttons like Ihad with certain Cadillac cue buttonsthese never got confused they also havekind of a light-up feature so if i zoomit on this fan strip you can see that alight inside that strip actually chasesyour finger to help you know whatexactly you’re doing with that strip nowagain these are very easily readable inbright daylight like we’re seeing rightnow below the climate controls we have avery small storage department with a12-volt power outlet and a very smallstorage cubby right there behind that wehave two very large cupholders thesewere easily able to accommodate largetake out sodas like that and then inbetween these two large cupholders wehave a small can holder so if you have acan of redbull or something along thoselines you can put it right here inbetween the two large drinks moving backwe have a large softly padded centerarmrest if we open that up you will findyour auxiliary inputs for the my LincolnTouch system two USB ports right overhere this was not able to power a highdraw power device they had no problemcharging my cell phone we have a 12 voltpower outlet we also have the SD cardslot for the radio maps and then here wehave component video input in thisparticular system it is fairly deep it’salso relatively large a little dividerright there this is what the Lincolnkeyless entry and keyless go remotecontrol looks like it’s a veryattractive and relatively compact fromour controlunlock lock this is remote start trunkrelease and panic alarm before we moveover to the instrument cluster let’stalk about this little grate right herein the dashboard that’s actually for thepre collision warning system hiddeninside there is a row of LEDs and if westart the car you’ll actually see alittle test strip of LEDs right there itlight up it reflects off the windscreenright in your field of view if there wasa collision that the system thought wasimminent that it would actually flashthose LEDs very brightly a little bitbrighter than you saw there would alsomute the audio and beep at you veryloudly it’s verysimilar to what Volvo uses in all theirvarious vehicles and it is veryeffective in fact this is probably oneof the best notification systems forearly warning and collision detectionbecause it’s right there in your fieldof view and it’s very bright so youdon’t get that same kind of reactioneven with heads-up displays in competingvehicles this answer our cluster shouldbe very familiar to you if you’ve seenany recent Ford or Lincoln product -this large central speedometer righthere flanked by these two large colorLCDs on

either side this one on theright side right over here is controlledby this button array right over here onthe right side of the steering wheel asyou can see you get entertainment youget phon navigation climate as well asyour efficiency leaves the efficiencyleaves tell you how efficiently you’vebeen driving the more efficiently youdrive the more leaves and flowers youget on that little display right overthere you also have a wide variety ofcommands accessible right here via thisdisplay so you can change yourinfotainment source as you can see thereyou can actually see quick dials allcalls incoming calls outgoing calls youcan recall previous destinations go homeyou can get a compass you can also altercertain climate control settings so youcan actually change your temperatureright

there on that display now thedisplay on the left is very logicallycontrolled by the button right on theleft side of the steering wheel that youcan see right there we get someadditional gauges over here so thisshows you how many kilowatts the engineis producing how many kilowatts themotor is consuming or producing for youwe also have our instant miles pergallon battery gauge fuel gauge rightover thereaverage fuel economy right there in thecenter if we go back we also have accessto various trip computers fuel economyscreens with braking coaches andacceleration coaches certain vehicleinformation we also have access tovehicle settings like

the driverassistance settings one noticeable thinghere is that Lincoln does bury theirdrive control right in this menu andthat’s how you adjust the firmness ofthe suspension this does have a dynamicsuspension in us in this vehicle so wecan choose between comfort normal andsport right over there now depending onthe trim level you get there is also anavailable 10.2 inch full LCD instrumentcluster where everything that you seeright here is replicated in an LCDinstrument cluster it’s more of a twodial design theme by default I’m goingto go ahead and toss some pictures inthis video so you can see what thatlooks like I was not able to sample thatone in person however it does look likeone of the best LCD instrument clustersavailable it certainly seems to be oneof the cheapest ones becausethe Cadillac ATS you cannot get thebeautiful Cadillac LCD instrumentcluster in that model but you can get itin

the Cadillac CTS moving out to thesteering wheel via this very attractive4 spoke steering wheel it’s sort ofimitating a 3 spoke design we have thiswood inlay portion right down here thisdoes match the rest of the wood in thecar and it kind of gives it a 3 spokeeffect right down there I’m not sure howI feel about this airbag designs to besure and let me know what you thinkabout it down there in the commentssection down below the steering wheelintegrates port grips right up here withhand grips on either side of thesteering wheel that are very nicelyformed this button module controls thatscreen on that side of the instrumentcluster

this button module controls theones on the left side right down here wehave our cruise control buttons sincewe’re in the vehicle with the radarcruise control we do have a distancebutton right over there on this side youwill find your infotainment buttonsvolume up/down mute voice command buttonright there dedicated hang up and pickup buttons and track forward andbackward buttons those are contextual soit really depends on what menu you’re inin the my Lincoln Touch system as towhat they do if we look below the radioand climate controls you can see we havethis two-tiered storage area right hereright between the two front seats youcan see right over there to the driver’sseat from the passenger side we do havelittle rubber dividers here to help youkeep from having your cargo roll aroundso you can toss a phone down there likethat for instance now there aren’t anyUSB or power ports on either of thesetiers but they are kind of handy tostore knickknacksyou

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *