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Lincoln MKZ: Belated Impressions from a Brief Drive

My goodness is this “feature” not the worst thing since unsliced bread!
My goodness is this “feature” not the worst thing since unsliced bread!
Graphic: content (is not here

A while ago, I had the good fortune to drive my grandfather’s Lincoln MKZ. I have no idea how many miles are on it or even what year it is, but I do know how it felt to drive and sit it. The example I drove I suspect is a 2017 or so model. It looks exactly like the image above.


First, the exterior. It is a large sedan that possesses far more purity of form that it has any right to. It is long, low, and dare I say it, sleek. Also, it’s low. Like, really low. The single long thin brake light spreading across the area under the duck bill fits nicely with the overall aesthetic. I quite like the way it looks, though I can’t say it is the most modern design currently available, which is perhaps a good thing.

What the car does that is unusual is it manages to be simultaneously very comfortable and yet maintain sharp handling matched with a striking aesthetic. What it doesn’t do well is not fall apart. Let me explain.


When you get in, whether as a driver or passenger, you will probably be surprised by how airy the cabin is.

Illustration for article titled Lincoln MKZ: Belated Impressions from a Brief Drive
Photo: graph

The entire cabin is wrapped in creamy tan colored soft touch materials and some supportive leather seats. However, you are immediately aware of just how little space the padding actually occupies, since it is obviously an extremely flexible material yet the seat itself moves very little. You don’t feel the hard frame, but somehow you know it is there. The seats, despite very little use, also had seemingly unacceptable wear, particularly on the bolster. The plastic sills had been cracked quite severally but did hide the scuff marks well.

The sweeping dashboard free of a bulky console shift looks futuristic and sleek. I found the push button PRDN controls to be somewhat unsatisfying to push though easy to reach. Overall, it is a surprisingly pleasant and spacious cabin free of any unnecessary clutter. The arching console with a convenient bin beneath was both distinctive and useful.


It had a backup camera that, when it works, has good resolution and is easy to use. It works less than half the time, displaying a “see your Ford/Lincoln dealer message.”

Rear passengers are, of course very comfortable and not for want of leg and arm space or headroom. You sit quite low but you can still easily see out the window. The large rear quarter windows heightened this feeling.


Though I never put anything in the trunk, I did observe it was predictably vast. Not much to say there other than the fastback design forced the opening to be rather small with a high-ish liftover.

Now, for the driving.

As I said, you sit very very low. The car wants you to sit with the seat fairly reclined but the wheel juts out enough to make this feel natural. You feel like a you are doing the gangsta “drive leaning way back with one arm straight out on top of the wheel” thing. However, the car feels very comfortable and natural in this position. You never feel not in control. For all that, visibility is surprisingly excellent. You never want for awareness of your surroundings, even out the rear.


You have road feel, but it feels far away way out in front of you. So pavement imperfections are unobtrusive but you have a feel for how the car is moving forward. The steering is numb without much feedback, but in an intentional sort of way. It befits the car. In other words, there is nothing I would change about it.

Perhaps most surprising, it can corner! I never wanted for grip and turn in was fast and precise. Really, it was entertaining to thread through a corner. It was good safe fun where you never felt worried about how the car would react. It just held the road.


The powerful V6 provided much more oomph than I found myself needing and acceleration was quick. Quicker than I really expected. It just wanted to go. I didn’t observe much torque steer but I also didn’t push it too hard. The low and reclined driving position already enhances your sensation of speed but I could tell it could really shift if you wanted it to.

So, it is a fun comfortable car that can do anything you wish it to. That is, until it falls apart. I was not impressed with the build quality or the fit and finish. The whole interior felt sort of fragile in a vaguely disconcerting sort of way. The car is in much worse shape than his circa 2006 Ford Ranger or his circa 2004 Ford Explorer before he gave it away a few years ago.


Fun to borrow, not to own. I suspect it would be a great roadtripper though.

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