2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Test Drive

“Lincoln MKZ Hybrid adds to Lincoln’s appeal”
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Lincoln’s MKZ sedan was launched initially in 2005 as a 2006 model building upon the luxury division’s proud standard set by the legendary Lincoln Zephyr. The 2010 MKZ benefitted from several functional and design improvements, making what was a good car an even better one. The 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid takes the Lincoln Motor Company to an even higher level.

Enhancements to the 2010 model MKZ included: Refined comfort with new seats featuring Bridge of Weir luxury leather from Scotland; a quieter cabin; revised suspension, uniquely tuned for a balance between comfort and handling attributes; better engine performance with more control and improved fuel economy; and innovative safety and convenience technologies. Also new for the 2010 MKZ : a cabin air filter to remove respiratory irritants and toxins caused by traffic and industrial pollution; available Adaptive HID headlamps that rotate according to speed and steering inputs for greater visibility; available rain-sensing wipers, which activate when windshield moisture is detected; armrest clamshell storage and leather- wrapped steering wheel with genuine wood accents; Easy Fuel™ capless refueling available Blind Sport Information System® with Cross Traffic Alert; available reverse camera system; THX® II Premium Certified Audio System with 5.1 Surround Sound; available Voice-Activated Navigation System with integrated SIRIUS® Travel Link™; Lincoln SYNC™ with 911 Assist™ and Vehicle Health Report .

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Power for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes from a 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder, Atkinson-cycle with , intake variable camshaft timing (iVCT), paired with a permanent magnet AC synchronous 88kW electric motor with an electronic Continuously Variable Powersplit. Energy is delivered by a 1.4 kWh lithium high voltage battery (35 kW). The gasoline motor puts out 141 horsepower along with 129 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, while the combined gas/electric system’s net horsepower is 188 at 6,000 rpm. Motive energy is transmitted to the front wheels through a Six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, operated by push buttons on the instrument panel.

The MKZ joins the flagship MKS sedan and MKT crossover with distinctive design elements, which include varying interpretations of Lincoln’s signature split-wing, waterfall grille that is reminiscent of the original Zephyr’s grille. The grilles are flanked by thinner, wrap-around headlamps, generating a wider, sportier appearance. The MKZ’s new, chamfered front fascia shares a family resemblance with the Lincoln MKS, featuring a sculpted hood and ridges that flow into the A-pillar. The rear sports a new decklid with wider LED taillamps, that further accentuate the car ‘s width.

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Inside, the cabin of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid reflects an even more upscale look with genuine aluminum and wood along with an all-new instrument panel. Detailed touches include welcome lighting, chimes and tuxedo stitching as well as contrasting piping on luxury leather seats. Shifting gears, starting and stopping and the park brake are all activated via the IP positioned push buttons.

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An available Sport Appearance Package adds the following to the regular MKZ’s appeal: Special sport suspension tuning with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars; 18-inch, 20 -spoke alloy wheels with alternating wide/narrow – bright/painted spoke Euroflange polished wheels; a unique grille and darkened headlamps; contrasting piping and unique interior appliqués; and an available all-wheel drive (AWD) system for better traction and lower noise, vibration
and harshness. The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is FWD only.

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Safety features include: a steering column design that provides an optimum level of energy absorption; Dual Stage Air Bags and Additional air bag inflation levels provided by incorporating a variable time delay between the 1st and 2nd stage output; Enhanced Occupant Classification System – Front passenger seat sensor identifies three states of occupant classification: empty seat, child presence and adult presence.

My test 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid came in the Front-Wheel Drive configuration, as already mentioned AWD is not available. The exterior finish was done in White Platinum metallic, while the interior was executed in Hazelnut perforated leather with dark faux wood trim panels. The base sticker read $36,190. A Special Equipment Group Package and other stand alone options combined with the Destination charge elevated the final sticker to $46,800. Before tax and license.

SUMMARY: The only real issue that I have with Lincoln’s lineup of vehicles is the alpha-designation of their models – there’s MKX, MKS, MKZ and MKT. Can anything be more confusing? I think not. Dealing with model variations is what I do, but I must sympathize with the consumer who doesn’t deal with such matters on a daily basis. Mind you, Lincoln isn’t the only guilty party – BMW and Mercedes-Benz deliver the same level of confusion with their alphanumeric model designations.

Okay, having gotten that off my chest, let’s move on to state that the 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a very desirable four-door mid-luxury sedan. It is attractive, it performs well, even as a Hybrid vehicle that delivers up to 45 mpg. The push-button transmission is intuitive and simple in its operation. The air conditioning in my test car seemed to be lacking in its cooling performance, even at the lowest temperature setting. If you require more power, the non-hybrid EcoBoost V6 provides a viable alternative.

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid falls just below the flagship MKS in Lincoln’s hierarchy, but my favorite is still the MKT (I think of it as a sport wagon) due to its more dramatic appearance and higher degree of versatility and functionality. If one doesn’t need the extra room or care about the more emotional design, and there’s no desire for the increased horsepower and performance delivered by the EcoBoost engine technology, then the MKZ Hybrid is obviously the sensible way to go – it features all the familiar traits of a hybrid vehicle, regenerative braking, etc., while delivering fuel efficiency.


SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid FWD


Base Price: $36,190.
Price as Tested: $46,800.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder, Atkinson-cycle with , intake variable camshaft timing (iVCT). Electric Motor: Permanent magnet AC synchronous 88kW motor with electronic Continuously Variable Powersplit. 1.4 kWh lithium high voltage battery 35 kW.
Horsepower (bhp): 141 / Net System power: 188 hp @ 6,000 rpm.
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 129 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed SelectShift automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with aluminum control arm and stabilizer bar; Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD)
Rear – Advanced multi-link suspension with CCD.

Brakes: Standard four-channel, four-wheel discs with ABS, Regenerative Braking, AdvanceTrac® ESC and electric parking brake.

Tires: Michelin Primacy 245/40 R19 91V mounted on 20 -spoke alloy wheels with alternating wide/narrow bright/painted spokes.

Wheelbase: 112.2 inches

Length Overall: 194.1 inches

Width: 73.4 inches excluding mirrors.

Height: 58.1 inches

Curb Weight: 3,828 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 13.5 gallons

EPA Mileage Estimates: 45 mpg city / 45 mpg highway

Drag Coefficient: Not listed

0 – 60 mph: Not tested


Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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