Based on the Ford Fusion family sedan, the Lincoln MKZ wears elegant sheet metal and comes with a well-appointed interior.
While the sedan’s standard 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-4 provides efficient performance, an available Atkinson-Cycle hybrid motor boosts the MKZ’s EPA rating to a fuel-sipping 45 mpg combined. A 3.7 liter, 300 horsepower V6 is also available, which gives the MKZ a slight boost in performance, though not enough to seriously tempt BMW 3-series or Cadillac ATS shoppers. We sampled the snazzy Lincoln in 2.0T AWD trim, meaning we got Ford’s torquey, direct-injected turbo 4, an engine which also makes an appearance in the Fusion, Escape, Explorer and even the Focus ST hot hatch. With nearly two tons of all-wheel-drive Lincoln to haul around, however, the little 4 cylinder can feel like it has to work pretty hard.
That said, few will buy the Lincoln MKZ with plans to head for a drag strip. The cruise is where this car comes into its own. The six-speed automatic shifts unnoticeably, and it’s possible to drive through the country or in light suburban traffic without ever reaching 2000 RPM. This is the kind of driving necessary to achieve the MKZ 2.0T’s 22/31 EPA fuel economy ratings. The MKZ hybrid offers even greater cruising-per-gallon, despite Ford recently having to downgrade its official mileage estimate from 45 to 37 mpg on the highway.