2007 Lincoln MKZ AWD Review


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2007 Lincoln MKZ

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By
JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Lincoln MKZ AWD
Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6
Horsepower/Torque: 263 hp @ 6250 rpm/249 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 107.4 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.5 x 72.2 x 57.2 in.
Tires: P225/50VR17
Cargo volume: 15.8 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/ 21.3 mpg test
Base price: $31,050 (plus $715 destination charge.
Tester also had heated/cooled front seats ($495),
satellite radio ($195), THX sound system ($995),
and aluminum interior trim ($195)

The Bottom Line: The renamed Lincoln Zephyr is a premium version of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. In the era of brand management this means you get a few more doodads in a basic vehicle that has proven itself as practical and feature-laden.

For 2007, Lincoln has renamed its midsize Zephyr the MKZ. I'm sure they had a reason for eliminating one of the greatest names in Lincoln history, but nobody cleared it with me first, so I don't know.

Whatever it's called, the MKZ is a nice car with a lot of great features. The 3.5-liter V6 (same as you get in the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, except those cars go with the 221-hp version) pumps out a solid 263 hp and drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is powerful, quiet and its performance is smooth, all you'd expect from a luxury car. The MKZ has plenty of kick when it's called to perform.

In addition, handling is very good on winding roads. The MKZ can offer a lot of fun on winding roads, yet it's compliant enough to make Interstate driving a pleasure as well. So you can sit in your heated and cooled seats and enjoy the ride. Sadly, the seats offer little side support, so negotiating those winding roads can be less fun than it might.

Legroom in the rear is good, but I would have expected better. Head and shoulder room in the rear is okay, but in a premium car you expect a little more. As is fitting in a premium car, the MKZ has a nice instrument panel with white-in-black dials. The dash-mounted HVAC outlets follow good Ford practice. They're flat and clean when closed, but push a button and they're wide open and ready to do their job.

The dash also had a clearly labeled remote trunk release. All too often we drive cars that need a trunk release but don't have one or have one but it's cleverly hidden.

The trunk itself is a good size at nearly 16 cubic feet. It carried everything we could stuff in it, although in all honesty my wife didn't get to pack for an extended trip, which really would have challenged its limits.

The smart leather-covered steering wheel has cruise, audio and temperature controls on it. And, in the imported car sense, the power windows are automatic up and down, at least on the driver's side. I've always wondered why more American manufacturers don't offer power up as well as down.

Front passengers have a pair of cup holders in the center console. Inside the deep console itself is an AUX input. Our tester also had a Ford iPod installed.

For an extra $8,000 over the Mercury Milan, or $9,000 over the Ford Fusion, you gain all-wheel drive and significant luxury. To some, the extra investment is worth it.

2007 The Auto Page Syndicate

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