Lincoln 2011 MKZ Hybrid A Sweet Green Ride
Lincoln is Ford's only remaining premium brand after jettisoning Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo. For many, Lincoln is the car that takes them to the airtport, or the cemetery. But Ford has been adding to the Lincoln lineup in the last couple of years in the hopes of changing minds about the storied brand.
The latest addition to the lineup is the MKZ Hybrid, a full-electric version of the MKZ that has been out in the market for a few years. But Ford, hoping to capture some excitement around the hybrid package, just as it did with its Ford Fusion last year, the MKZ has had several interior upgrades that make it a worthy entry in the lower rungs of premium/luxury sedans.
The fuel economy is impressive. It is rated at 39 mpg combined city and highway driving, and 41 mpg in the city, and I got close to that level.
The MKZ Hybrid looks, feels and drives like I expect a fine Lincoln should.
No question the styling of the MKZ remains conservative. It is, in fact, built on the same engineering platform and at the same manufacturing line as the Ford Fusion. But for $35,180, it is a very good value while also delivering a full-on premium (hybrid) experience.
I would argue, in fact, that Ford's hybrid systems are more attractive and compelling to drive than Toyota's. The car most readily compared with the MKZ Hybrid, in fact, would be the Lexus HS 250h.
Joined in the Lincoln showroom by the MKS sedan and the MKT crossover, Lincoln is delivering a much more competitive showroom today than it did three years ago. IN a couple of years, the MKZ is going to have a design and package that is totally unique from the Fusion. That is something to look forward to as this American luxury brand tries to achieve a comeback. It takes time for the brand image to catch up with the quality of the hardware. But the MKZ Hybrid is a huge step forward for Lincoln's credibility and cachet.