[dropcap]I[/dropcap] was behind the wheel of the 2014 Lincoln MKZ hybrid for a week last fall and came away with a frank appreciation for the rejuvenated brand’s new luxury full-size sedan. Recently, I found myself test driving another MKZ — this one powered by a gasoline V-6 engine.
The MKZ — the first vehicle from the dedicated Lincoln Design Studio — has been reinvented in both style and substance, with a sleek design wrapped around intuitive and purposeful technology. It is aimed at attracting an emerging (read that “younger”) large new segment of premium automotive consumers.
The 2014 Lincoln MKZ offers three powertrains:
• Standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost delivers the performance of a traditional V-6 along with excellent fuel economy. Engine delivers a projected 20-percent increase in highway fuel economy.
• Optional 3.7-liter V-6 produces significantly more power (37 hp and 28 pound-feet of torque) than the previous MKZ V-6, while improving fuel economy by approximately 5 percent.
• Optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain delivers 45 mpg city, highway and combined.
Non-hybrid models utilize a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel add to the performance driving experience of the MKZ.
Improving grip on slippery roads, the available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system anticipates and adjusts the power delivery to the front and rear axles in as little as 16 milliseconds, faster than the blink of an eye, they say.
Standard equipment includes SYNC with My Lincoln Touch driver connect technology, Lincoln Drive Control, unique push-button shift, remote start, LED headlights and taillights, and 60/40 split rear seat. The MKZ also has a 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster, Active Noise Control, an eight-inch touch screen and Easy Fuel cap less fuel filler.
Available features include a retractable panoramic roof, inflatable rear seat belts and multicontour front seats with Active Motion. The retractable panoramic roof has a 15.2- square-foot glass panel and one of the largest rooftop openings available.
Standard Lincoln Drive Control coordinates the performance of multiple systems, including suspension, steering and noise control. A push-button shift replaces the traditional mechanical transmission shift lever with a contemporary five-button interface and opens up the center console. A THX II Certified Audio System with 700 watts, 14 channels and 14 speakers, is available. The quiet, well appointed interior is enhanced by standard Active Noise Control, genuine wood trim, full LCD instrumentation and heated front seats.
The MKZ also offers the Lane Keeping System, a suite of advanced driving aids that helps drivers avoid drifting from their lane due to distraction or fatigue. Consisting of Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Keeping Alert and Driver Assist, the Lane Keeping System utilizes a mono-vision camera integrated into the rearview mirror to read the lane markers ahead.
The MSRP on the 2014 Lincoln MKZ is $36,190.
[author image=”http://www.samaonline.org/Ron.jpg” ]Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.[/author]