Lincoln used the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show to take the wraps off the new version of its midsize luxury sedan, the MKZ. Gone is the split grille with swooping headlights that dominated past Lincoln models in favor of a more conventional look.
Lincoln says it designed the MKZ to appeal to buyers who wanted something different in the segment and says it embodies the idea of “quiet luxury.”
The MKZ looks more conventional, if not downright conservative, with the new grille design. There are also subtle peaks that run the length of the hood and LED accents around and below the headlights.
There are 19-inch wheels available on some versions of the MKZ, as well as a fully retractable panoramic moonroof that, Lincoln says, will offer the largest open-air roof among sedans on the market.
Inside, some features such as the floating center console and push-button gear selection remain in the new model, but Lincoln said it reworked the controls so that there are now switches and dials for commonly used ventilation and audio functions. These replace slider adjustments in the 2016 model and are a welcome change.
In addition, for 2017, there are two new Lincoln Black Label themes – Chalet and Vineyard – that are offered along with the Thoroughbred theme for 2017. Finally, the Lincoln Active Noise Control system carries over for 2017.
There’s a new engine that’s exclusive to the MKZ for 2017. It’s a 3.0-liter V-6 that, when matched up with optional all-wheel drive, produces 400 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque. (The engine is limited to 350 horsepower if one chooses front-wheel drive, but torque numbers are unaffected.)
A hybrid version uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and is front-wheel drive. Details, including mileage, have not yet been announced.
The Driver’s Package, available with the 3.0-liter V-6, includes 19-inch wheels and ebony-painted brake calipers.
There are a number of safety options including precollision assist, which is designed to detect pedestrians and help avoid or lesson the severity of some frontal collisions. In addition, there’s optional adaptive cruise control and parking assist to help steer the MKZ into parking spaces.