The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid doesn't scream hybrid. It's not subscribing to any earthmobile movement in any other way than its hybridness, and that's fine, because if you want your hybrid to proclaim its hybrid abilities with just its looks, you have other options. But if you just want some good, clean fuel efficiency and some style, too, then the MKZ Hybrid is your perfect match.
What I liked most about the MKZ Hybrid, which is Lincoln's first hybrid, is it felt solid. It wasn't tinny-sounding when the doors were closed, and it didn't make any squeaks or rattles. The MKZ Hybrid had some luxurious touches including wood trim and some sharp-looking design elements with plenty of chrome. I daresay it's flashy! It left a nice impression on me, and it will on you, too.
This front-wheel-drive midsize sedan has the power to get you where you need to go, but if you're looking for something to drag race, you'll want to look elsewhere. I especially like that this hybrid comes from an American brand and is good-looking, too.
The 2011 MKZ has a starting MSRP of $34,645. My test car had a fancy package on it that bumped the price up to $41,370, including destination and delivery charges.
The MKZ Hybrid is a modern, sleek sedan, and it's certainly not cheese-wedge shaped like many hybrids out there. The Lincoln only has a few hybrid badges to let others know you're driving a green machine.
If you're looking to make a good impression, the MKZ Hybrid delivers. The car is sporty and has some defining lines on the hood and tail end. The taillights are large, but look proportional to the rear end. The huge grille is definitely the MKZ Hybrid's most polarizing feature, but I happen to like it. I like a little character and distinction with my cars.
Getting in and out of the MKZ Hybrid is a piece of cake. The doors aren't too heavy for the kids to open and close with ease. Smaller kids may need assistance with the doors, but what's cool is the interior door pulls are close to the hinges, so kids don't have to stretch too far to grab the handle to close the door from the inside.
The trunk is surprisingly roomy for a hybrid, but it has a small opening. That can make it difficult to load large strollers into it. It's worth testing before buying.
The MKZ Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine that's paired with an electric motor to make a combined 191 horsepower. It can go up to 47 mph on electric power alone. The MKZ Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 41/36 mpg city/highway. While those aren't exactly mind-blowing numbers, they are a significant improvement over the gas-powered MKZ with front-wheel drive that gets 18/27 mpg.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times
The MKZ Hybrid's interior is where it really shines. Not literally; it literally shines on the outside with all that chrome. On the inside there's a little shine but mostly some luxury-type touches. Like heated and cooled Bridge of Weir leather seats and the wood trim and chrome details I mentioned earlier. With ambient lighting to help set the mood, any journey will be blissful in this hybrid sedan.
What I had fun with in the MKZ Hybrid was the instrument cluster, which Lincoln calls the Smart Gauge with EcoGuide technology. This futuristic display with its "Star Trek" readout will dazzle even the most jaded car nuts. Heck, I'm used to futuristic stuff in cars and I'm dazzled. The readout can be set to display a variety of information, including power, fuel efficiency or whatever. You can set the readout how you like, with the emphasis on power, fuel efficiency or whatever. When you're driving efficiently, white flowers on the display add petals and leaves to indicate how you're doing.
The MKZ Hybrid has a bad case of button madness. This is not a trait limited to Lincolns in general or the MKZ Hybrid in particular. From the driver's seat, there aren't many areas that aren't begging for your attention. I happen to want to give my attention to the road.
The MKZ Hybrid may have a little more razzle-dazzle than your average hybrid, but it doesn't overdo it in the features department. In the backseat, there are three seating positions and a fold-down armrest with a couple cupholders. That's about it. There's good legroom in the second row, and unlike many modern sedans that are going for the coupe look at the loss of some backseat headroom, no such issue exists in the MKZ Hybrid.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
One of the nice things about such an uncluttered backseat in the MKZ Hybrid is that it's just that. Uncluttered. There weren't any problems with my kids using the seat belts on their own.
The two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats are clearly marked and easy to access. Hallelujah! There is room for a rear-facing infant seat in the MKZ Hybrid's backseat.
The hybrid's standard safety features include front-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, traction control and seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag and side curtains for both rows.
My test car came with an optional package that included a blind spot warning system with cross-traffic alert. Other optional safety features are adaptive headlights and a backup camera with parking sensors.
Get more safety information about the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid here.