Affordable Luxury - Let Cadillac Chase the Germans
January 7, 2019
My last Lincoln was a 2002 LS V8. I skipped the first generation Zephyr/MKZ because of poor build quality and terrible reviews. Instead, I traded the LS for the 2008 Acura TL. After 165K on the clock of that car, it was time to look for a new ride, and a friend of mine gave me his MKZ to drive for a week.
What a difference a generation makes. The CD4 platform the MKZ shares with the Fusion makes this a wonderfully sure-footed car on the "twisties" and a very comfortable cruiser on the interstate. I have the FWD 2.0T and was surprised that torque steer under full throttle wasn't at all as pronounced as it was in the Acura. Despite having only 4 cylinders, the car does hustle - thank the 275 lb/ft of torque for quick launches and more than enough "umph" for passing and merging. Just don't expect the tire burn-out performance of Mustang GT (been there, done that, and over it!). The car will competently cruise the interstate at above posted speed limits if asked - and it will do it quietly and little fuss. One note, you'll experience a noticeable dip in performance and fuel economy if you use 87 Octane fuel - the advertised horsepower, torque, and fuel economy numbers are achieved with premium (93 Octane) fuel.
I have the Reserve trim and Technology Package with sunroof. Build quality is impressive, controls are easy to use, and the Ruby Red exterior with 19" wheels makes this a very handsome car to look at. The Cappucino interior leather chairs are wonderfully comfortable, and the cheap plastic that appeared in the first generation Zephyr/MKZ's and up until 2013 have all but disappeared. This really is a satisfying car and a reason not to spend $65K for a Caddy, a Lexus, or the Germans - it's a true value proposition.
It's too bad that Ford has decided to quit the sedan business after 2020. This is really a wonderful car.