Better mileage from Lincoln
The new MKZ Hybrid has appeal as gas prices surge
incoln’s position in the luxury market
has eroded considerably over the
past decade as buyers have chosen Euro-
pean and Asian models from manufactur-
ers with broader model lines. Quality is
not an issue here as Lincoln topped J.D.
Power’s 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study,
finishing just ahead of Lexus and outpacing
its American competitor Cadillac.
The best-selling Lincoln model is the MKZ,
a premium midsize sedan introduced in 2007
as the Zephyr and renamed the following
year. All recent Lincoln models begin with
“MK” followed by a third letter, with the
model sometimes pronounced Mark Z.
Beginning in 2011 a hybrid was added, a
timely and well-received introduction as
gas prices surge to near-record levels.
Seating five passengers, the standard
Lincoln MKZ is available in front- and all-wheel drive and is powered by a 3.5-liter
V- 6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The MKZ Hybrid is
powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor, producing a combined 191 horsepower.
Available only in front-wheel drive, the
MKZ Hybrid is priced the same as the
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FORD MOTOR CO.
base gasoline model, allowing MKZ shop-
pers to choose either model for the same
$34,645 starting price. One in four cus-
tomers do so and it isn’t hard to see why
as the hybrid gets 41 mpg city, 36 mpg
highway compared to the V- 6 rated at 18
mpg city, 27 mpg highway. Hybrid fuel
numbers most likely won’t be reached in
the middle of a Wisconsin winter, but in
warmer weather and with in-dash Eco-
Guide assisting you, you’ll find that oper-
ating this sedan in electric-only mode at
speeds up to 47 mph brings you close.