2014 Lincoln MKZ review

Are you liking the look of a Lincoln then?

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Lincoln MKZ

This is the Lincoln MKZ. The what? Yeah I know. Strangely Lincoln is one of those brands that tends to slip off the radar. Don’t know why it should though. Lincoln is an illustrious and historic brand, founded in 1917 by Henry Leland – a former manager of Cadillac in fact. And yes it is named after President Abraham Lincoln.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

And yet apart from the Lincoln Town Car (no longer made) and the Lincoln Navigator (no longer trendy) you’d be hard pressed to recall any current product from the marque. And yet Lincoln produces two saloons, two crossovers and two versions of the aforementioned Navigator.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

This then, the MKZ, is one of those saloons, the smaller one in fact. Although that’s a relative term because at 4930mm long and 1864mm wide – it’s slightly longer and wider than a Lexus ES, which puts in the BMW 5 Series segment currently ruled, in my opinion, by the Cadillac CTS.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Although it looks nothing like it, the MKZ is actually based on the new Ford Fusion – so essentially we’re looking at a premium version of that car from Ford’s luxury wing. Unsurprisingly where Ford Fusion prices (which start at AED89k) top out at AED135k, the MKZ begins – sort of – at AED145, rising to AED195k.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Although having said that, the Fusion comes with a four-cylinder engine, but the MKZ gets a beefy 3.7-litre V6 producing 300bhp and 277lb ft of torque – and you really do feel it through this front-wheel drive chassis. There is apparently an AWD version, but it’s not currently shown on the pricelist.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

I find the styling pretty striking – sleek, smooth and a bit of a fusion. It’s bold and thrusting at the front – very American. And yet neatly and delicately finished at the back – somewhat European. The lines work well and the profile is coupe-like. Handsome and elegant sums it up.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Inside it’s inviting, comfortable with decent space and legroom, even in the back with an air of opulence about it. It may not harness the finest quality of trim materials, but it does offer a unique and futuristic take on a car dashboard. There isn’t a gear selector, instead you get buttons on the dashboard like an Aston Martin.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

The centre console design is taught and well executed and it incorporates the touch controls seem in the Fords bearing the full compliment of Synch infotainment. If there is anything that lets down the seemless experience in the cockpit controls, it’s the navigation which requires and an odd press-and-hold action to activate and then the interface seems slightly as odds with the more subtle layout of the regular screen. But then you don’t use the Nav much here so it doesn’t matter.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

From the driver’s seat the instrument binnacle does seem to sit lower than usual, but the adjustable steering wheel keeps the driving position acceptable. Besides the apparently lower dash gives a great impression of airiness and supposedly better forward vision.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Select drive and stomp on the throttle and you’ll encounter enough torque to overwhelm the traction control systems – there’s definite wheelspin. When it hooks up, it propels the saloon pretty rapidly at the horizon. Likewise you won’t want for punch on the go as the engine and transmission are very responsive and there isn’t really any need to call upon the sports setting.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Besides this isn’t a sports saloon, and that’s reflected in the ride and handling – the former is very smooth and cosseting, whilst the latter is merely competent with reasonable response and a decent check on inherent understeer. It’s definitely a car set-up for smooth and unruffled progress though, rather than barging through bends.

2014 Lincoln MKZ

This is actually a very good alternative in its sector and offers great comfort, space and style for its segment. The pricing is reasonable and it’s well equipped and stands out from the crowd as a slightly different choice.

There’s just one small fly in the ointment. As we’ve said, this is essentially the Ford Fusion underneath and that car is cheaper and not that much slower. So for the maverick who desperately wants something entirely different, this should go on the shopping list. For the rest of us, wait till the Ford Fusion is in the showrooms!

2014 Lincoln MKZ
Specs
Price: AED145,000-195,000 (US$39k-53k)
Engine: 3.7-litre V6, 300bhp @ 6500rpm, 277lb ft @ 4000rpm
Performance: 6.5secs 0-100kph, 210kph, 10L/100 (est)
Transmission: six-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight: 1882kg

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