2019 Lincoln MKZ

By September 9, 2019

The 2019 Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedan is swift, quiet, comfortable, and most of all, understated.

For the 2019 model year, Lincoln has dropped the top-tier Black Label trim level, along with its choice of designer themes. Standard active-safety features now include automatic emergency braking.

Three trim levels are offered: Standard (base), Reserve I, and Reserve II. Both reserve trims are available with a hybrid (gasoline/electric) powertrain.

Lincoln offers a choice of three powertrain options: turbo-4, V-6, and thrifty hybrid. The base 2.0-liter turbo-4 develops a solid 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, driving a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option.

Upgrading to the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 practically turns the MKZ into a sport sedan. All-wheel drive is standard with the V-6, which generates 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet.

In the MKZ Hybrid, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine works with twin electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined output is 188 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is the only configuration, but the Hybrid powertrain is offered on two trim levels: Reserve I and II. Fuel economy is estimated at 40 mpg in combined (city/highway) driving. Base pricing is identical for the regular turbo-4 model and the Hybrid.

Crash-test results have been good. The NHTSA gave the MKZ a five-star rating overall. The IIHS assigned “Good” ratings in all applicable crash tests. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and rear parking sensors are all standard for 2019.

Model Lineup

Prices do not include $995 destination charge.

Standard ($35,995 with front-drive, $37,995 with all-wheel drive) gets the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, including 10-way heated power front seats, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth, dual USB inputs, a 10.1-inch digital gauge cluster, synthetic leather upholstery, 11-speaker audio, keyless ignition, remote start, automatic high-beam headlights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control also are standard.

Reserve I ($38,995 with FWD, $40,995 with AWD) adds leather upholstery, wood trim, navigation, adaptive cruise control, power tilt/telescopic steering column, and ambient lighting.

Reserve II (44,995 with FWD, $46,995 with AWD) comes with a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear-window power sunshade, heated/cooled front seats, 14-speaker Revel audio, active parking assist, and 19-inch wheels. Perhaps most importantly, the V-6 engine can be substituted for the turbo-4.

FWD Hybrid Reserve I ($38,995) comes only with front-wheel drive and is propelled by a gasoline/electric powertrain. Hybrid sedan is equipped similar to regular Reserve I.

FWD Hybrid Reserve II ($44,995) comes only with front-drive, equipped similar to gas-engine Reserve II.

Exterior

Not too many sedan bodies qualify as dramatic, but that adjective describes the MKZ. Taut proportions, a lengthy profile, a sloping roofline, and sleek LED lights help Lincoln’s mid-size sedan look the part of a luxury automobile. So do the full-width light-bar taillights. Standard LED headlights and Lincoln’s corporate grille design help separate the MKZ from its Ford Fusion origins.

Interior

The MKZ cabin stands in strong contrast to the body. It’s a more minimalistic place, with none of the lavish luxury touches applied to the latest Navigator. Upper trim levels wear materials that elevate the sense of luxury.

Comfortable front seats welcome the driver and passenger. Back seats, too, offer plenty of comfort for two adults, though a third might fit snugly between them. The sloping roofline constricts head clearance. At 15.4 cubic feet, trunk space is ample.

Lincoln’s use of a pushbutton shifter rather than a gearshift lever does help create a subdued cabin feel. 

Driving Impressions

The 2019 MKZ focuses on sedate civility and comfortable roadgoing manners. It’s a subdued, ever-comfortable highway cruiser.

At the same time, performance stands out on two levels. Gas-engine models, if equipped with the surprisingly powerful V-6 engine, have energetic acceleration. In contrast, the thrifty and efficient Hybrids fit comfortably into the changing world around us.

The 400-horsepower V-6 option is accompanied by active torque vectoring and configurable driving modes. Steering is nicely weighted, but whipping through corners is not this sedan’s mission. Ride quality is on the taut side, aided by a standard adaptive suspension.

With front-drive, the turbo-4 MKZ is EPA-rated at 20/31 mpg City/Highway, 24 Combined. All-wheel drive lowers the estimate to 20/29/23 mpg.

The twin-turbo V-6 is EPA-rated at 18/27 mpg City/Highway, 21 Combined, with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive lowers each estimate slightly, to 17/26/20 mpg. Turbocharged engines need premium gasoline.

The MKZ Hybrid is far more frugal, EPA-rated with front-drive at 42/39 mpg City/Highway, 41 Combined.

Final Word

Comfortable and quiet, the 2019 Lincoln MKZ is best in Hybrid form and in top trims. It’s a near-luxury sedan with the spread-out space of a family sedan, with exceptional Hybrid gas mileage in its win column.

 

Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.