Even before considering what’s under the hood, the true test is how I feel when I settle into a luxury sedan, buckle up, and punch the pedal.
My first impression of the 2017 Lincoln MKZ was how surprisingly sporty it feels.
The suspension definitely delivers the kind of comfortable ride quality you’ would expect from a Lincoln and the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is respectable in terms of power and character.
Next in importance is the look of the machine. Here, too, the 2017 delivers. This year’s redo is a refreshing improvement, thanks to a new grille and headlights, reminiscent of a Jaguar XJ.
Besides the restyled exterior up front, it is inside where you really will appreciate the 2017 MKZ’s changes for 2017. Gone is the futuristic-looking but ultimately frustrating MyLincoln Touch climate and infotainment interface. In its place is Ford/Lincoln’s latest Sync 3 interface, which is quicker and easier to use.
The 2017 MKZ cabin is all about the seamless integration of luxury and technology. In terms of luxury, the upper trim levels have a posh look and feel, and the available Black Label models raise the bar with premium leather upholstery with unique stitching and genuine wood trim
But honestly, the engine is the best thing about the evolved 2017 MKZ. The turbo V-6 offers a matter-of-fact power, seamless torque delivery, and flawless manners as the revs build. That output is sent through a six-speed automatic with tightly packed ratios that top out with a direct-drive fifth gear and an easygoing 0.74:1 overdrive sixth. It certainly is quick, with the 4,307-pound MKZ 3.0T whooshing to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid are offered in three trim levels: Premiere, Select, and Reserve. A special Black Label version also is available.
The Premiere base model comes well-equipped with 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, adaptive xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, 10-way-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Standard technology features a rearview camera, voice controls, Lincoln’s Sync 3 infotainment interface, an eight-inch touchscreen display, Sync smartphone app integration, and an 11-speaker sound system.
Stepping up to the MKZ Select model gets you an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, power-folding outside mirrors, leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, front seats with four-way power lumbar, a power-adjustable steering wheel, enhanced interior ambient lighting, a 110-volt household-style power outlet and two rear-seat USB charging ports.
Optional for the Select is the Select Plus package, which adds a navigation system, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Reserve trim level has those features as standard, plus 19-inch wheels, a power trunk-lid, ventilated front seats and enhanced connectivity functionality.
There’s also the Black Label trim. It comes equipped similarly to the Reserve but has an upgraded interior and a choice of three unique themes. The Black Label also comes with a host of special services including a mobile showroom, remote vehicle delivery, and pickup and drop-off of your car for service work.
Safety-wise, standard features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side-impact airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. The Sync infotainment system also offers 911 emergency crash notification.
The new MKZ starts at $36,095 for front-drive powered by the 2.0-liter four. A loaded Black Label edition with all-wheel drive, the 3.0-liter turbo V-6, and other options can pass the $63,000 mark.