As my COAL series heads towards is inexorable conclusion, second story arc begins to emerge. In the first half of this series, I focused on my quixotic search for automotive perfection, only to find out (somewhat sheepishly) that it was available all along at any Honda dealership. The thread that begins to emerge in the second half is that of automotive regret and redemption. Getting a compromise car, being miserable for a few years before getting what I really should have gotten in the first place.
As you recall from my last COAL on my 2011 Buick LaCrosse, one of the cars I cross-shopped was the Lincoln MKZ. (That COAL, by the way, was the least popular entry to date in my series, based on the number of comments. Certainly not a good sign for Buick). Indeed, the MKZ would seem to be a better fit for my needs than the LaCrosse, sporting such niceties as all-wheel drive and those magical air-conditioned seats I first experienced almost a decade earlier.
So why didn’t I get the Z? One word: Walrus. I’ve previously touched on my dislike for the 2010-2011 MKZ front end, so I won’t repeat it here. Suffice it to say that stylistically, the first generation MKZ was a dud, looking too boxy and altogether too much like a Ford Fusion. The LaCrosse, by way of contrast, had much more interesting styling, and that is what I ended up getting.
The lesson here is that bad styling can ruin an otherwise good car, which the first-gen MKZ surely was. Lincoln must have agreed, and the second generation MKZ, released in 2013, sported much more slippery styling, and shared nary a body panel with the Fusion.
If you’ve followed my career at all, by now you know that I’ve been bought and sold more than a minor league ballplayer. About a year after starting at Edgepark Medical Supplies (which had just been acquired by a private equity firm), the company was flipped to Dublin, Ohio based medical behemoth Cardinal Health for around 2 billion dollars.
One of the perks of working for a large corporation is the discounts that are available from suppliers and customers of the company. In the case of Cardinal Health, this meant X-Plan pricing from Ford, Friends and Family pricing from GM, and supplier pricing at Chrysler. While there isn’t anything particularly special about X-Plan pricing (you could probably negotiate a similar deal on your own with sufficient arm twisting), the nice thing is I no longer have to go through all the haggling and posturing to get that best possible deal. Even better, I get this prenegotiated deal on special order cars, which is virtually impossible to do otherwise, as dealers would much rather sell you a car off the lot and seldom negotiate on special orders.
So armed with my choice of pretty much any domestic branded car at near cost, I immediately honed in on the MKZ that I almost got last time, never seriously considering anything else. Well, I did consider the Fusion Titanium, but a the time goodies like LED headlights and front parking assist were unavailable on the Fusion (although they are now).
Really, the only decision I had to make was four cylinders or six. The MKZ was (and still is) one of those rare vehicles where every trim level was available with every powertrain (4 cylinder, V6, and hybrid). So there is no penalty in terms of equipment for choosing a “lesser” powertrain.
After decades of driving sixes, I felt certain that I would get another one. The last great four-cylinder engine I owned was my 1994 Acura Integra GS-R, almost half a lifetime ago (and retrospect, it wasn’t really all that great). One has to go back even farther for the last time I had experienced a turbocharged four: All the way to my 1985 Chrysler LeBaron GTS. In short, my four-cylinder experience was a little out of date.
So in the interests of fairness, I decided to test drive both engines, back to back, both with all wheel drive (I didn’t consider the hybrid, although I might have if it were available with AWD). I must give Ganley Lincoln, the local dealership, credit for indulging me in my experiment. First I drove the V6. I knew that the 3.7L Duratec V6 was an aging design, without modern niceties like direct injection or variable valve timing. Still with 300 hp and 270 ft-lb. of torque, it moved the car with authority, and without the agricultural sounds that I’ve heard others complain about coming from this engine. Not bad.
Next up was the 2.0L Ecoboost four. With 270 hp and 240 ft-lb. of torque, both numbers trailed the V6 by exactly 30. As soon as I pressed the start button, I knew that this was not my father’s four-banger. None of the steering wheel shaking or engine hoarseness that I recall from the old Chrysler 2.2L were present. Indeed, from inside the passenger compartment at idle, it was difficult to tell what was humming under the hood. Pulling away, there was only the slightest hint of turbo lag. Certainly nothing like the second or more that I experienced with the LeBaron. There was also none of the peakiness that I recall from my Acuras: The torque curve was a flat as day old Coke. Under power, it had that cammy four-cylinder sound I recall from my Acuras (albeit far more muted).
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have no need for tire scorching performance. My needs are limited to the car getting out of its way, and the Ecoboost seemed to do just fine in that regard, so I ended up getting it. If all other things were equal, would I have preferred the six? Of course. But all things are seldom equal, and I found it hard to justify the several thousand dollars for a far less sophisticated engine.
The MKZ largely lived up to my expectations. The air-conditioned seats were pure joy, while the heated seats (which reversed the coolers to blow hot air) and heated steering wheel made winter tolerable. The push-button transmission, far from being a gimmick, was actually quite useful. Not having a shifter lever freed up a great deal of storage space in the center console, and allowed for the now fashionable “flying buttress” style center console. While Lincoln was one of the first to ditch the shift lever (and caught a lot of grief for it), most manufacturers have since followed suit with a variety of push-button, knob, or column-based electronic shifter controls.
The LED headlights were exceptionally bright, to the point that oncoming cars would sometimes flash their brights at me (presumably to congratulate me for driving such a fine car).
About those bulbs – take a look at this section I’ve excerpted from the owner’s manual above. While every car I’ve owned since the LED CHMSL on my 1994 Acura had at least some LED lighting, this was the first car I’ve owned illuminated entirely with solid-state lighting. The interior ambient lighting in seven different colors livened things up as well.
Even the much-maligned SYNC 2 didn’t bother me too much. Other than being a bit sluggish to response, I found it to be highly capable, functional, and intuitive to use. I loved the fact that I could change the background wallpaper image on the screen.
Really, I only had one major complaint, and that was with the THX sound system. Almost all the cars I have owned have had some variety of premium sound (Bose, Harmon Kardon, Acura ELS, Chrysler Infinity), and the Lincoln THX was easily the worst of the bunch. While the simulated surround sound had good presence, the bass was exceptionally flat. Lincoln must have realized this, having since switched to Revel for their premium sound systems.
But really, I would have to count the Z as being among the finest cars I’ve owned. Truly a Car of a Lifetime.
I’d consider one of these when I retire and turn in my last company car. Hope this is the equal of that one, a Chevy SS. Don’t need the performance, but do like the handling and comfort.
It a minor quibble, but my “problem” with Lincoln’s (and to a lesser extent, Mercedes-Benz) model names is that I’m never really sure which vehicle is being talked about….until you show me a decent picture.
I wasn’t aware that any Ford/Lincoln car was available with AWD in combination with the EcoBoost 2.0 liter….or that the 3.7 liter V6 was that old.
I’m the first to defend Cadillac and Infiniti’s new naming structure because I think it is as logical as the Germans’, possibly more so. But Lincoln’s is a bit of a mess. MKC, MKX, MKS, MKT, MKZ… No differentiation between cars and crossovers, no hierarchy, no connections… It’s a nonsense scheme and it looks like they’re finally phasing it out, what with the arrival of the Continental.
Yup, this is a problem they never would’ve had in the first place if they had called this one the Zephyr all along.
Only problem with Zephyr is to younger consumers, it means nothing. And, personally, I think it sounds stodgy.
Lincoln doesn’t have a big reserve of historical nameplates it can dust off, at least not as many as Cadillac. I was thinking about this the other day, how the MKS replacement is the Continental, Aviator is rumored to be returning… What could they call the others? The livery MKT is already called Town Car. The MKZ could become the Zephyr again. But what else does that leave? Capri, Versailles, Cosmopolitan, Premiere. They can’t use the last one because of Chevy. Cosmopolitan is what the Sex and the City girls drink. Capri? That was overused by Mercury. Versailles? Lovely name attached to a failed car.
I guess they’d have to come up with new names.
On that note, Toyota owns the Edge trademark in Australia so Ford will be calling the new Edge…. the Endura!
While you’re right about the old names not resonating with younger buyers, I’m wondering if at this point its just better for Lincoln to switch away from the alphanumeric nomenclature since nearly every other luxury brand is using it these days. I think it would help them stand out.
Endura sounds like the name of one of those meal replacement/nutritional drinks aimed at adults.
Will they have an Agnes Moorhead edition of the Endura?
They named their car after a late 60s Pontiac bumper???
The Zephyr wasn’t stodgy, it was used on a boxy bland sedan, and prior to that Mercury used it on another boxy bland sedan. A model name is only as good as the car the emblem is glued to.
The Duratec V6 dates back twenty-one years to the 1996 Taurus/Sable.
The name dates back to 2.5/3.0 l V6’s of the 90s but the 3.5/3.7 l V6’s are completely different, and made their appearance around 2008.
+1 that’s how I understand it as well. Think of Duratec like the Cobra Jet engines in the 60-70s, there were 428 and 429 CJs, but neither were physically related besides being pushrod V8s.
My first impression of this car was “If I wanted a loaded, tarted up Ford Fusion I would visit the Ford dealer!”
But after reading Tom’s honest driver’s report on this car; I may have to revise my mind set.
Lincoln now differentiates Fords about as well as Toyota differentiates its FWD Lexus models from their Toyota counterparts. Kudos.
I think an MKZ is much more interesting than a Lexus ES but I do have some quibbles. Firstly, the interior: it’s very modern but it’s almost spartan, with the flush touch-capacitative buttons and the sparing use of wood. It’s not bad, it’s just a little out there for me (the ’17 model is a bit of an improvement).
Secondly, it looks just a tad awkward from some angles. Certainly not your car though… Those wheels really make it pop. Maybe it’s a design that needs the right color and wheels to really shine.
You have no idea just how curious I am about the 2017 MKZ. The new twin-turbo 3.0 comes in a front-wheel-drive variant (AWD is optional), which I think is absurd! 350 hp and 400 ft-lbs… they reduced the horsepower from the AWD model but kept that much torque. Car & Driver didn’t have glowing praise for the FWD MKX 2.7T, so I’m curious to read reviews of the MKZ FWD 3.0TT but nobody has tested it yet.
I liked where Lincoln was going with their grilles on the MKZ and the current MKC and MKX but now they’re changing again to the new Continental-style grille. I think it’s an improvement on the MKZ but thankfully they’ve kept the rear the same. I always loved that end the most.
Glad you loved your MKZ! I’ll always be more of a Cadillac man but I’m happy to see Lincoln back in action. And really, you can’t cross-shop an MKZ with an ATS or CTS… The latter is much more expensive, the former is much smaller and lacks some of the MKZ’s niceties (panoramic roof, ventilated seats). It handles better but the MKZ is no slouch itself!
They’ve already axed the 3.0 FWD MKX, so my guess would be the MKZ is next, if it hasn’t already happened. Most Lincoln dealers in the Northeast avoid ordering front wheel drive variants due to low demand, so I’m surprised they made them in the first place.
This car which I’m not sure is the small or smaller lincoln. It looks like a saturn. Not a good sign. Oldsmobile cars looked like Saturn’s before they died. It is hideous.
The emblems are huge. So tacky and rediculous. But probably necessary so it won’t be mistaken for a saturn or something from Korea. And a turbo 4 engine. Probably will need expensive repairs sooner or later. Why buy a Lincoln that looks like a saturn and is so tiny. It’s no more impressive looking than a Chevy and a kia puts it’s looks to shame. These cars would not even make a good mercury. Lincoln has no big impressive, car. No the kiatinental does not count, though it’s better than this. Lincoln is and will continue to fail because they forgot what a Luxury car should be. Big, flashy, impressive, smooth, simple and reliable. They also forgot what a Lincoln should look like. It should be v8 with rwd, body on frame, with lincoln styling. Like the previous to 98 town car. Those did not look like Saturn’s or need giant emblems. There is a market for these. Even the pregnant Chrysler Lhs 98-2011 cars were way better than this. Hand they updated the panther lincoln with coyote 5.0 and body as beautiful as the early cars they would thrive. This abomination has nothing to recomend it over a kia or a Toyota or a ford. It’s a saturn looking midsized ( being generous) boring and ugly. This is the most crowded market and technology is in everything so it’s not special. I would never buy one or any post 2011 lincoln. Lincoln has stolen the oldsmobile 1980s formula and is going to end up the same way. They got rid of the nice rear wheel drive cars for drastically downsized misproportioned cars with iffy powertrain options and copied saturn styling which is best left to compacts trying to be different, and alienated all their customers. Lincoln owners will do one of 3 things, drive an old one, or buy a truck or get a Chrysler. They won’t buy a mkcar.
Abomination? Ok, ease up, turbo…
Lincoln sales have actually increased each year since 2013. They may have alienated Town Car customers but that was an ageing demographic anyway.
I highly doubt putting a new engine in the old, old Panther platform would have resulted in a roaring success. Would I have liked to see a RWD flagship Lincoln? Yes. But the luxury market wants crossovers and Lincoln is doing well with the MKC and MKX.
You have a good point about technology. You can get so many luxury features in regular Fords and Kias, it makes it harder to justify a luxury purchase. But to many luxury car buyers, it’s not just the feature list that gets them in the door… It’s the dealership experience, the added cachet, etc etc.
You lose me with the Saturn comparison. It looks nothing like a Saturn, other than being vaguely futuristic looking and a sedan.
“Thou shalt not do FWD”
“Thou shalt not do cars with less than 8 cylinders”
“Thou shalt not do cars less than six meters long”
Really, if this world was like that, we would be driving BOF 1991 Fleetwoods with airbags.
Obviously, luxury features become mainstream. But (I’m with you in this, William), if features were what mattered, who would buy a Mercedes C350 when a Kia Optima had the same features?
270 hp from 4 cylinders, and 300 hp from 6. With numbers like that, the V-8 engines requirement in a luxury car is as relevant as the V-12’s was in 1960. The classic big Lincolns could always count on cheap gas to feed their gluttonous appetite. We live in a different world now. Missiles were launched into Syria recently. Having done little damage, gas prices in my area still went up 10 cents a gallon, and once it became apparent that it was a one time strike, prices came back down. The world oil market is too volatile to ignore fuel economy in any segment. Just because people can afford expensive fuel doesn’t mean that they want to spend their money on it. As for FWD vs RWD, if you drive a luxury car as intended, you won’t know which wheels are supplying the power anyway. Lincoln is on the right path.
There seems to be an assumption that V8 = 460 with single digit MPGs. Technology since the 70s hasn’t just made fours and sixes better you know.
To put things in perspective the new Continental is rated at 17 city/26 highway, a 5.0/automatic Mustang is rated at 16 city/25 highway. 1 MPG difference.
I own a 2013 MKZ with 2.0T engine. It’s everything I want in a car, and THEN some. With it’s 3 handling & suspension options I can choose between Comfort, Normal & Sport. (I prefer using the shifter paddles on the wheel when in Sport, just to keep things interesting).
In town, my MKZ gets between 20-23.1 mpg. (Using the Loop around the city , not a lot of stop & go driving)
On the open road, it gets GREAT gas mileage…right at 27 mpg.
Plus Lincoln now offers free pick up, drop off, and loaner car privileges to every new owner, and I think CPO shoppers can opt in if they want. Can’t get that at a Ford dealership.
Now that’s service!
Ford owners can’t do that?
Not yet, but soon. In Europe, where Ford’s biggest car is the Mondeo (Fusion), they have instituted a “scheme” similar to that used by Lincoln. The top trim level Mondeo (and they are extending this to the top trim levels of other Ford vehicles) have a “special” sales force, special lounge for the customer (if they personally bring their car to the dealership and elect to wait), and have a few other perks available to them the run-of-the-mill Ford owner does not enjoy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford eventually brings that idea to the U.S.
Still, not enough to convince me to pay € 51,610 (!) for a fully optioned Mondeo here in Austria.
The same William. I’ve been interested in Saturn for years and have owned and continue to own a Saturn.
The Lincoln looks nothing like anything they ever produced from the S to the Aura.
The luxury car market has moved well beyond large BOF sedans (and sedans in general, for that matter). SUVs and Crossovers are where the action is at now.
You do realize the 61 Continental was unibody right? One can credibly make the argument that Lincoln’s identity was eroded once it went back to body on frame and became a fancy Galaxie/LTD/Crown Victoria.
I do agree about V8s and RWD on a credible flagship though, whether car or crossover. I understand the practical arguments against, but Luxury isn’t practical. I don’t demand these from a stat argument, but a visual and audible one, Better proportions and better sound when you pass some peasant’s gas sipper. 🙂
So does it look like a Saturn or not?
Not. Even. Close.
I feel like that front end would really benefit from a set of dagmars. It might give it a bit of attitude a la ’59 Dodge.
Tom, The close up photo of the MKZ instrument panel showing some of the transmission selector buttons gives me a sense of déjà vu [all over again] harking back to the first car I legally drove on public roads, a 1957 Torqueflite Chrysler.
Admittedly, the MKZ’s buttons are on the other side of the steering wheel, electronic instead of cable operated, and control more than just three speeds, but still…
Are we devolving from the standardized non-button oriented PRNDL column or console lever pattern that was set up in 1966 for safety reasons?
It seems each manufacturer is playing potentially (in some cases real) dangerous games with their shifter gadgets, designs, and recently recalled monostatic gizmos.
Or am I just muttering in the wind as I chase kids off my lawn?
Definitely a problem, as witnessed by the recent spate of accidents involving Jeeps and their shifters. My current fleet of cars has all kinds of different shifters, and I always have to stop for a second when getting into one the reacquaint myself with the particular shifter it has.
Manuals have had differing patterns for eons, nobody ever standardized a consistant pattern for those. Buttons make more sense with an automatic, having a clunky lever is the reason PRNDL got standardized, people rely on muscle memory and with a linear shifter movement with no feel for proper gear selection besides the detents, you absolutely MUST look at the gear indicator to truly know what you selected before you set off. Otherwise you get into an unfamiliar car and make your usual shifter movement without looking and you end up running into your house if the pattern differs. With buttons however, they are the indicator, you have to look, and you press P you’re in Park, Press R you’re in Reverse, etc. Easy, logical and less wasted space.
The fiasco with Jeep ZF shifters is entirely different, they are an unintuitive spring lever that stays centered and frankly it’s fatal results are directly a result of the stubborn clinging to levers in automatic cars.
Nobody standardized a pattern for manuals? Every manual (car) I’ve driven has had the same pattern – the only thing that ever varied was reverse, and there’s usually a failsafe to prevent you engaging that by accident.
Having said that, I just bought a Renault Scenic which I have to park with its nose an inch from my garage door, and a couple of times I’ve engaged 1st when I wanted reverse.
Agree, although haven’t I seen a manual transmission or two in my life (probably long ago) in which first gear was down and to the left? Nowadays it’s always up to the left.
As for automatic shift patterns, a couple years ago, there was a horrible accident here in New York State. A woman drove onto some RR tracks, and sat there in rush hour with her Mercedes in park, waiting for traffic ahead of her to move. Along came a train, and by at least some accounts she couldn’t get the car in the right gear because it had an atypical shift pattern. She couldn’t get off the tracks and was hit by a Metro North Train. She and five people on the train were killed.
When five-speeds first came along, I remember some Nissans had first on a dogleg off to the left, and fourth and fifth in the same plane. The magazines howled about that.
The first to second shift required doglegging? Wow.
the only consistently to manuals is neutral is in the middle and you go in a H pattern. Reverse is all over the place, 1st is sometimes doglegged, there have been examples of 5th being next to 4th(80s Mustang GTs pre-T5) and so on. It’s the Wild West compared to PRNDL, and most of the examples I know of were cars made after the 1966 regulation for autos.
“you absolutely MUST look at the gear indicator to truly know what you selected before you set off”
What if I don’t want having to take my eyes off my surroundings in order to shift? That is quite important to me when I have to shift from D to R and back a few times to get out of a tight parking spot for example. I once rented a Chrysler 200 and came to dislike the dial shifter because it gave no feedback in regards of which gear is selected. I would have liked stronger detents for D and R and weaker ones for everything else. Push buttons should have tactile feedback.
I would suspect that after a bit you would develop muscle memory on those buttons. For those of us who spent time with the old Chrysler pushbuttons it was possible to work them by feel after awhile, and that was even with them over on the left side of the dash (and I am a righty). Perhaps why this is why I find the buttons a better solution than some of the others. The lever seems so 1940s to me.
No problem with kids on my lawn. Of course they can’t see it past the nine-foot-tall hedge.
I agree. We used to have pretty-much standardized controls in standardized positions. made it easy to transfer from one car to another. Last year we rented a Holden Calais and couldn’t find the handbrake. The rental agency never told us it was a teeny little electric toggle we’d totally overlooked – I had to look it up in the manual fortunately left in the glove box.
Must be hard for mechanics or valets driving a lot of different cars all the time.
It just adds unnecessary complication and costs to today’s vehicles and really serves little purpose. I had a 2016 and 2017 Fusion SE for a rental.
The 2016 had a normal key and shift lever and the 2017 a rotary knob and push button start. I honestly did not see any advantage with the new desgin unless placing your cups forward to back is better to you than side to side. Both cars had the same size storage compartment and the underside of both had the same amount of storage. The dial shifter was more annoying to me and I never really got used to it. Leaving the key in my pocket was okay but has thus far proven troublesome to a colleague at work with a 2017 MKZ AWD 2.0. Sometimes when she is driving a warning comes up that a fob has not been detected despite sitting right in the center console. The dealer has replaced the fob and reprogrammed the system but the issue still persists. She is afraid that it will shut the car down if the error doesn’t go away like it has currently done after a few minutes of donging at her. It seems that today the Millennials love complication and it will be interesting to see how all this electronic overkill holds up after the warranty runs out and the second or third owner gets a hold of these vehicles.
Nice pick Tom. When these debuted in 2013, whatever wheel and tire combo they put on some of them made their ride substantially worse then a Fusion Titanium, which really surprised me, but they quickly changed whatever it was that made them behave that way so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Tom, did you use Lincoln Drive Control a lot? It’s surprisingly effective at changing the handling characteristics of these cars. Also, I’d be curious how you dealer experience was because if I’m understanding you correctly that Lincoln dealer is a standalone operation, which is rare for the brand.
I may pick one of these up in the near future to replace my Focus as they are a very good value on the used car market, which is becoming very favorable for sedan shoppers. Although I’ll probably end up picking up a Fusion SE with a couple of options as a two year old example with around 30,000 miles can be realistic had for about $13K, a surprisingly low amount that I would not have believed possible a year ago/
Never used drive control. I still believe that a well sorted out suspension doesn’t need electronic doodads. For the MKZ, I thought the ride/handling balance in the normal setting was just about perfect. Never felt the need to adjust it.
One of the ugliest front clips ever. Looks like a locomotive.
Well, it IS a Zephyr. Lincoln latched on to its name for some of their cars in the mid to late 1930s. This is a beautiful train, years ahead of its time, and NO ugly grille!
The Zephyr was a streamlined train, the Lincoln Zephyr was a streamlined car. The grille isn’t much different on the 30s one
Beat me to it. That was kind of the idea.
I always thought that the Lincoln front end looks like some kind of mutant electric shaver. I have owned two Mustangs (still have one of them) with the 3.7 V6 and it is hard for me to think about it as old, although I suppose it does date back to the mid to late “oughts”. I have put around 50k miles on these two Mustangs and am still pleasantly surprised at how smooth and responsive this engine is. Compared to the agricultural 4.0 V6 Ford used to put into the base Mustangs it is an improvement of several orders of magnitude. I know that the current trend is for all vehicles to have smaller engines, and to use some sort of supercharger for those times when more power is needed/wanted. I am trying to keep an open mind about this but for many of us there is still no replacement for displacement; I suppose that we dinosaurs will eventually go away and leave the world a more ecologically friendly place.
I’ve read they attempted to mimic the grille on 30s and 40s Lincolns.
Yes, like a Gremlin looked like an Ambassador.
The 3.7 V6 in the MKZ is just as old as Windsor 302 in 1990 Town Car
The Duratec 37 is a 3.7 L (3726 cc/227 CID) version of the Cyclone V6 intended to power heavier or premium vehicles. The 3.7 L’s additional displacement comes from an increase in bore diameter to 95.5 mm (3.76 in), stroke remains identical to the 3.5 L at 86.7 mm (3.41 in). Ford Power Products sells this engine as the CSG-637 for industrial uses starting in mid-2015, which replaced the 4.2L Essex.
A Hiroshima, Japan assembled Mazda MZI 3.7 was installed in the 2008 Mazda CX-9 and was the first 3.7 L Cyclone V6 to see production. The first Ford application of the 3.7 L was the 2009 Lincoln MKS.
A few days before the 2009 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Ford unveiled a new version of the 3.7 L for the 2011 Mustang, making it the first Duratec-badged V6 since the Lincoln LS to be used in a production rear-wheel drive car. This version of the 3.7 L features Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT); delivers 31 mpg‑US (7.6 L/100 km; 37 mpg‑imp) highway mileage in the Mustang, and was the first production engine to deliver in excess of 300 hp (224 kW) and 30 MPG
Good looking car I have to admit. I’ve not been a fan of Lincoln’s direction over the last 15 or so years but when that generation M’Kay Z debuted I thought they finally did the Zephyr name justice – which is unfortunate since they renamed it!
I truly like push button shifters with an automatic. I never understood the need for an obtrusive lever for a transmission you have no connection to basically until you’re at your destinations.
I think the shift (no pun intended) from column to console shift went as follows:
1. Foreign manufacturers who sell mainly manual transmission cars in their home markets start to sell autos to Americans. To save money, they use the existing hole in the floor where the stick used to go, so now they only have one interior stamping, console, and steering column for both types.
2. American auto buyers start to equate console shift automatics with the higher quality, more modern foreign cars.
3. Column shift is then seen as the old Detroit way to do things, and since the foreign cars all have their shifter in the console, it must be “better.”
And in the 40 some odd years I have been in the auto scene I have never ever heard anybody complain about a floor shift lever residing in a center console. Everybody knows how to use them. It offers a nice place for some to rest their hand. It is much easier and quicker to slam down into a low gear or put into a performance shift mode than looking around at which button to push or trying to figure out where the knob needs to be.
Fast forward to today and there is nothing but complaints. Some designs even kill like the poor unfortunate actor from Star Trek. That was idiotic of Chrysler. Several people told me they had no idea how to put a rental Mercedes in gear with the goofy monostable setup. They associate the location of that lever for things like windshield wipers etc. The stupid push pull button setup is another mess and requires the driver to always take their eyes off the road. I never once have ever taken my eyes off the road in any floor mounted shift lever to put the car into neutral, reverse or drive.
It is an answer to a question that nobody asked
Most cars with pushbutton/dial shifters (including the MKZ) have paddles on the steering wheel for manually shifting gears, so you don’t lose that capability with electronic gear selectors.
Hey, no argument from me when it comes to the Rube Goldberg designs like Chrysler uses, but I still think a center mounted lever on an automatic car is a waste of space. There was nothing wrong with column shifts besides Europhile snob appeal of the console , and push buttons can be eyes off just like HVAC controls or radio controls can be as long as there’s a tactile ability to feel out the surroundings. Having a universal floor shift layout is only beneficial if you drive numerous different cars and have no wheel time to get accustomed to it.
Personally I’ve driven cars with the conventional shifters you admire exclusively, and I can’t think of a single instance where the car was moving and I needed to reach down and shift to another position. Frankly selectable low gears are fairly pointless now a days anyway considering how good transmissions have become – which is a pretty recent development in the industry, wasn’t long ago when 4 speed autos were the standard.
Aside from any issues some have with the styling, shifter-ergonomics, and gadget-overload, I have heard that Ford is having problems, at well under 100K-miles, with carbon build-up on the valves of their direct-injection engines. Of course, if you’re able to trade-in every 2 – 3 years, that may not be a problem.
Happy Motoring, Mark
Sounds and looks like a very nice car.
……free pickup and delivery can’t be had at a Ford dealership…..
I have been a customer at my local Ford dealership past 20 years and have always had free pickup and delivery. And free over night loaners too.
I have to agree with Tom on the 2 litre Ecoboost. I have owned a 2017 Escape, so equipped, for 11 months now. A very impressive little package. It still amazes me how quickly I am speeding up to 140 kms.
Now if only I could get the auto stop/start to stay off without defaulting back…… Ring gears and starters cost more than that tablespoon of fuel I save at a light….
Does the heat and air turn off at lights too?
To Warren’s comment. The fan keeps running. If heat or air is on full demand the engine stays running.
That program at your local dealer is of their own volition, while Lincoln’s program is official and applies to every dealer.
So…. I’ve read all the posts so far, but I still have a question:
Why should I (since I do not qualify for X-plan pricing) choose a Lincoln over a Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, or Genesis?
For each of those brands I can name a justification that I can explain to my friends:
Lexus – Quality and resale value
Mercedes – a history of Germanic quality
Cadillac – distinctive handsome styling and American brand identity
BMW – Sporting luxury
Genesis – Luxury at a value price
However, I have trouble naming a reason to buy a Lincoln. All the features are available on a Ford. I don’t feel that Lincoln has doneu as good a job as Cadillac at defining a distinct brand identity, and consistent (love it or hate it) styling identity.
I am presuming that all the (near) luxury brands offer similar customer service levels.
Can someone convince me why I should consider a Lincoln? I should note at this point, that I do not care for the Zephyr nose – somehow I reminds me of a Baleen whale more than a classic Lincoln.
When I was a teen in 70’s and my interest in all things automotive took off, my grandfather explained the premium automotive brands by the people most likely to be found behind the wheel of one.
1) Cadillacs were for new money folks who liked to show off. Deep down they often lacked a sense of refined taste but they were always big spenders.
2) Imperials were owned by engineers, advertisers, chemists, psychologists, and rich non-establishment folks who could care less what people thought of their car.
3) Lincolns were favored by bankers who liked to display low-key conservative good taste (before Iacocca festooned them in padded trunk humps and opera windows). A Lincoln driver was more likely to work in finance, a Cadillac owner more likely to be in organized crime. A woman getting out of a Lincoln was in a Chanel suit from Bergdorf’s….a woman getting out of a Cadillac was in whatever had the most Logos on it from Macy’s.
4) Buick was the Doctor’s car. A nice professional’s car without tipping off the patients that you are charging them too much.
5) Mercedes were owned by tenured faculty and university upper administrators who got a taste for them when they took a sabbatical leave in europe, otherwise who would spend that kind of money for a 4 or 6 cylinder car with hard vinyl (sorry MB-Tex) seats or even worse a smoky, noisy, & slow diesel.
6) Jaguar’s were owned by any of the above who just finalized their divorce.
7) Volvos were owned by low ranking university faculty who felt that they could only afford one car until they finally achieved tenure.
8) SAABs and ALFA’s were driven by Airline Copilots. Pilots drove Olds Toronados, Lincoln Marks, or Ford Thunderbirds. Pan Am Pilots drove Corvettes or Eldorados.
9) BMWs were owned by guys really wanting an ALFA but also needing a car that started every day. They were also usually handsome enough to get a date without having to impress her with his ride because most women back then thought the BMW was just an ugly FIAT sedan made in Germany. (and they never heard of the Necklar/FIATS).
10) Audi was usually purchased by the guy who owned VW’s since college, but recently got a salary increase.
11) though they are only a memory, Grandpa said Peerless, Packard, and Pierce, were for old money, rich farmers or funeral directors.
……What did Grandpa drive? 36 Chrysler, 48 Packard, 51 Packard, 55 Packard, 65 Dodge. 90 Buick. Those cars were only driven on the weekends, otherwise he had a Chevy truck as his daily driver.
Real World Truth (for that time period).
I think more than half of that is still true today.
The successor of Imperial is Chrysler platinum trim.
Also, somewhere around Detroit, a funeral home still has a Packard hearse as late as summer 2014.
I think Lincoln maybe onto something with their Black Label idea. For years I’ve wondered why no one has resurrected the idea of a coach building company that focused on bespoke interiors and concours quality exterior paints. Cadillac could step up their platinum level option to be a new kind of “Fleetwood.”
“Want a blue interior? No problem, let me show you to our Fleetwood studio…..”
I’m not sure if Ford bought any American coachbuilders in their past (they do have Ghia and Vignale), but I know Chrysler got LeBaron in the Briggs purchase. Though that name has probably been dragged down by K-car associations, I’m sure they could trademark Dietrich. He was their first stylist. Jaguar sold a good number of Vanden Plas models which was just a Daimler with a badge swap. It even had the Daimler fluted grill surround and plinth.
Just imagine interiors available in a wide choice of colors again, and the availability of more than 8 colors (with 5 being variations of gray). And for once I would like to see a leather interior that isn’t 45% vinyl. I recall in the 90’s the first Chrysler Sebring with leather meant the front seats only!!!! I think customers don’t hold much stock in the old prestige brand name being on the their car anymore….what they want is quality. The existence of Lexus, Infiniti, Kia K900, and Genesis are proof that the easy road to being a Luxury brand is to simply build a reliable, comfortable, powerful automobile of real instead of “perceived quality.” The Detroit brands just love that term….perceived quality. Granted that mentality is why you will see nice materials used only on “touch points” while the rest of interior can be cheap hard plastics. Sad that they think their customers won’t be able to differentiate between what makes up real luxury-level quality from the perception of it. Chrysler’s leather wrapping of the 300 dash and console for their platinum option owes its very existence solely to the need to provide that expected level of detail for a buyer of a Lancia. Pity they think the European customer deserves a leather wrapped dash of Frua leather while an American should be thankful to get a softer bit of padding on their armrest. ARRRRGGGGGHHH shame on them!!!!!!! LOL
I think Black Label offers hope. (wasn’t Black Label a Carling beer last seen widely in the 70’s? Carling interestingly was the reinvented Peerless Company when they saw it was more profitable to brew beer in post-prohibition America than build luxury cars in the Great Depression). The attached photo is the Peerless factory in 1965.
…no, it’s because your headlamps were not aimed correctly. That is endemic to just about all vehicles in the North American market, and is almost singlehandedly responsible for the piss-poor ratings most headlamps get from the IIHS.
I’m aware of that. I was just making a poor joke.
Fair ’nuff. I miss those from time to time. 🙂