Posted November 15, 2014 | © Photo by Sherri Tilley
Like the voice of current company spokesman Matthew McConaughey, the new 2015 Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan has a unique sultry quality coupled with an intriguing raspy edge. A dramatic redesign of this classically sophisticated vehicle has given the affordable midsize automobile an upscale flair consistent with its historically elegant brand.
Comfortably refined with an underlying bad-boy vibe, the MKZ has eye-catching curb appeal to be sure. Its sleek contoured lines, sloping roof, split-wing grille, and stunning optional 15-square-foot retractable panoramic sunroof give the car a modern and even somewhat futuristic feel ... and that made for a very stylish arrival at a recent red carpet event we attended.
Setting out for the evening on an otherwise chilly night, the convenient keyless entry gave quick access to nearly-effortless push-button ignition and a pair of ebony leather 10-way heated power front seats along with a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel which was very much appreciated. After one press of the driver memory button (for automatic tilt-and-telescoping steering-column placement and personalized seat positioning) and an adjustment to the auto-dimming review mirror, we were good to go.
In the Spotlight
A quick resetting of the ambient lighting color selection (because, what can we say, we like the interior to have a certain upscale nightclub ambience) preceded an exploratory tour of the luxurious cabin features. The chic combination of leather, aluminum, and genuine wood trim gracefully accents the easily-accessible center-stack instrument panel which houses streamlined push-button gear selectors along with touch-sensitive slider bars for the dual-zone automatic climate controls and SiriusXM Radio. Tech-savvy consumers will appreciate the 8-inch touch screen which is divided into four quadrants allowing for additional utilization of phone, entertainment, navigation, and climate settings. Although a few concerns have been expressed regarding the MyLincoln touch system, we found the user interface to be generally intuitive and quite easy to navigate.
An easily-hidden tray holds two of the interior’s eight cup holders in a spacious center storage compartment, and an open pass-through console provides ample room for personal belongings. In addition to in-car voice-activated command options, a set of nifty thumb controls on the steering wheel serve to activate the supplementary screens directly in front of the driver so that navigational readings, infotainment displays, and gauge settings may be adjusted without straying too much visually from the road ahead. The back passenger area is outfitted with a 60/40-split folding rear seat and optional inflatable seatbelts for added safety; and while interior fabrics lack slightly in tactile suppleness and taller riders may find headroom to be a bit tight, shortcomings are marginally offset by the generous 15+ cubic feet of trunk space and two backseat powerpoints (one upgrade being a traditional AC outlet).
The 2015 Lincoln MKZ is available in three separate engine choices with front-wheel drive being standard and all-wheel drive optional.A 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V-6 delivers 300 horsepower and 277 pounds-feet of torque to performance-minded individuals, while the fuel-efficient hybrid produces a total of 188 horsepower by pairing an electric motor with a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle I-4 gas engine. To have your innovative cake and eat it too, consider the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 240 horsepower and 270 pounds-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission boasting approximately 30+ miles per gallon of gas (replenished via an uber-tidy capless fuel filler).
Proving itself beyond capable, the sporty 2.0L EcoBoost engine in the Reserve-package model that we drove offered attentive throttle response, promptly propelling us up onto the highway in mere seconds.While traveling alongside the glittering downtown cityscape, we found tightly-curved overpass maneuvering to be a breeze even at speeds that were ... well ... let’s say just fast enough to competently evaluate the car’s impressive handling functions and appreciate its road-hugging cornering abilities. The MKZ also offers a superbly tranquil ride experience thanks in part to the adaptive suspension and active-noise cancellation which, in our case, made for optimum enjoyment of the standard 11-speaker premium audio system.
A Package Deal
Lincoln has grouped an assortment of standard equipment and optional technologies into several specific packages. The standard-issue ‘Premiere’ package includes equipment such as adaptive LED headlamps, heated front seats, rearview camera, side airbags, etc.The one-level-up ‘Select’ package adds ambient lighting and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column; and the elite ‘Reserve’ package offers all these items plus ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a navigation system with voice activation, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, a power trunk lid with soft-close, and more. The Technology package bundles adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support, controlled parallel parking assistance, automatic high-beam control, lane-keeping system, forward sensing system, and rain-sensing wipers.
With an MSRP beginning at $35,190 and a five-star overall safety rating, the 2015 Lincoln MKZ is a neo-traditional forward-thinking sedan loaded with an abundance of high-tech devices that you just might find "alright, alright, alright."
For more information and a complete list of available options, visit: