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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: Up Close

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In a sense, the MKZ Hybrid is the polar opposite of the Toyota Prius. While the Prius’ unique hatchback styling makes it instantly recognizable as a hybrid, the MKZ Hybrid can — and I think will — stay under the radar because it looks exactly the same as the luxury sedan it’s based on, save for a few new badges. Lincoln has taken being understated to the extreme with this car. Maybe that’s what Lincoln buyers want from a hybrid.

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The interior isn’t much different than the regular sedan, apart from the new partially digital instrument panel dubbed SmartGauge with EcoGuide. The panel is similar to the one in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but it offers additional graphical information about your long-term fuel efficiency; drive more efficiently and you’ll have white flowers “blooming” in the right LCD screen. Overall, the MKZ Hybrid offers respectable levels of luxury for its class, including real wood trim and soft leather front bucket seats.

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Despite looking a lot like a conventional MKZ, the MKZ Hybrid is a definite win for Lincoln. It gives the brand some green cred in a time when that’s more important than ever, and it also leapfrogs the luxury hybrid competition to become the most fuel-efficient model by a significant margin with its EPA-estimated 41/36 mpg city/highway.

Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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