Fast Take: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD

Fast Take: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD

We don’t posses the willpower to turn down a drive in a 400hp luxury car…so we didn’t

Words by: Adam Allen

 

When it was announced last spring that 1980’s pop sensations Hall and Oates would be playing a local gig we snapped up a couple of tickets, excited to revisit some of the songs that constituted the soundtrack of our youth. While the show lacked some of the electricity you’d have encountered in 1985 when “Out of Touch” was tearing up the charts, the guys still know how to rock and everyone went home happy.

In addition to that concert, another mile marker of last summer for us in the Carpages Garage was the chance to sample Lincoln’s relatively new MKZ, as regular visitors to this space will be quick to remember. While it’s true that not much time has elapsed from then until now, let us ask: if you were again offered the keys to a luxury sedan with all the fixin’s and a twice turbocharged 400 horsepower V6, would you turn it down? Yeah, we wouldn’t either.

As our week progressed in the MKZ this second time around, we found ourselves drawing parallels between Hall and Oates and Lincoln as a brand. Where both once were wildly popular and would attract legions of admiring fans, nowadays that ‘lightning in a bottle’ feeling has faded, even if musical act and luxury brand still draw crowds today respectively, if on a smaller scale.

In our previous review of Lincoln’s not-quite-flagship sedan, we remarked that the effort being put forth to restore some of the brand’s glory days is evident, but that there is still work to be done. As great as the list of equipment and laudable build quality are, they only go so far as to distract people that the MKZ is, at it’s core, a seriously warmed-over Ford Fusion. Some folks balked at the $68,000 price of admission, even after we extolled the virtues of the Revel Ultima audio, the seemingly endless power adjustments for the massaging front seats and the piercing light thrown off by the LED headlights.

Let’s first focus on what the MKZ excels at. It is a supremely comfortable car bereft of road and wind noise- attributes that make it a terrific companion if you put on a bunch of kilometres as part of your daily commute. The seats are swathed in buttery Bridge of Weir leather and are extremely comfortable, even if you never use the myriad of power adjustments that are available. It has all-wheel drive that not only tames the grunt of the powerful V6 in all weather conditions, and it also allows for a surprising amount of grip which gives the MKZ a welcome level of athleticism. Factor in the industry best SYNC3 infotainment system and the aforementioned jaw dropping Revel audio and you’ve got a pretty good package.

We have already touched on the biggest niggle faced by the MKZ, and that is its steep price tag. Some might not be able to rationalize spending close to $70K for a Lincoln when they could have a BMW 5 series for similar money. We know that Lincoln has the ability to bring the car in line with the price tag, so we’ll reserve judgement until the brand’s resurgence strategy is in full swing. Our biggest gripes after spending another week with the MKZ are few- we still don’t love the pushbutton shifter and its plasticky interface, but we do like how the lack of a gear level frees up valuable real estate on the console. More troubling would have to be the fuel economy- this is a thirsty car. We managed 14.2L/100km, not great by most standards and disappointingly worse than what we got last time around. Despite these issues, the MKZ remains a handsomely styled, excellently appointed luxury car with a twin turbo V6 not available in any other Ford or Lincoln product. If Lincoln keeps viewing their lineup as works in progress and keeps striving to bring back the good old days, we look forward to the what lies ahead.

 

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD- Specifications

  • Price as tested: $67,850
  • Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger sedan
  • Powertrain Layout: Front engine/all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Engine:  3.0 turbocharged V6, 24 valves, DOHC
  • Horsepower:  400 @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque (lbs-ft.): 400 @ 2,750 rpm
  • Curb weight: 1,901 kg (4,191 lbs)
  • Observed Fuel Consumption: 14.2L/100km (16.5 mpg)