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2019 Lincoln MKZ

$35,995 - $46,995
Price Range (MSRP)
Lincoln MKZ

2019 Lincoln MKZ Review: A Bootleg Luxury Sedan

by Gabe Beita Kiser

With a relatively fuel-efficient engine and a low starting price of $35,995, the Lincoln MKZ is appealing to those who want a luxury sports sedan, and the features that come with that, without breaking the bank. Even on the base model, you get modern infotainment features that are easy to access, and a host of driver-assistance features that inspire confidence when dealing with the hustle and bustle of city life. On top of all that, you get a large trunk and enough passenger space to seat a family of four comfortably. You may not get the same level of quality as you would in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or BMW 3 Series, meaning the MKZ struggles to break into a truly premium status, but fortunately, Lincoln doesn't charge you fully premium prices, either. Lincoln has made great strides towards matching its European rivals, but it's still just a glorified Ford Fusion beneath all the exterior glitz and glam, and it has some way to go before it can justify the price tag on its uppermost trims. Hopefully, its impending redesign will see it bridge that gap while still sticking to its American roots and more affordable reputation.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 MKZ?

For 2019, availability to the powerful turbocharged V6 engine has been restricted to the top-tier Reserve II trim. Also, the Co-Pilot360 safety suite is now standard across the range. This comprises forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane-keeping alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable price tag
  • Potent optional V6
  • Excellent trunk space
  • Long list of standard features
  • Advanced safety features now made standard
  • Poor performance on the standard engine
  • Low-quality interior
  • Less passenger space than rivals
  • Less athletic than the 'sport sedan' nomenclature denotes

MKZ Exterior

The midsize luxury sedan sports a sleek design, with a broad grille taking up most of the front fascia. The adaptive HID headlights are slim and minimalist, and LED signature lighting with a horizontal LED taillight strip gives the sedan a modern, high-tech appeal. As standard, 18-inch alloys are housed within the unimposing wheel arches, while 19-inch alloys are available and standard on the MKZ Reserve II. Dual chrome exhaust tips hint at the powerful engines under the hood.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Front View
2019 Lincoln MKZ Front View Driving
2019 Lincoln MKZ Front Angle View
See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Averagely sized for the segment, the MKZ measures 193.9 inches in length, accommodated on a 112.2-inch wheelbase. The sedan stands 58.1 inches tall, with a width of 75.1 inches, excluding mirrors. Rivals like the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class bare similar dimensions. The Lincoln has a standard curb weight of 3,871 lbs across the range, making it heavier than the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Exterior Colors

Premium cars need premium colors, and a glance at the MKZ's palette of 10 exterior hues initially looks luxurious, until you realize almost every option is the same as you'd find on the Ford Fusion - barring the odd exception, like Infinite Black Metallic and Iced Mocha. The sedan can be dressed in a number of colors, with Infinite Black, Ingot Silver, Blue Diamond, and Magnetic Gray comprising the standard palette. For an additional $695, Ruby Red (another Ford color), Crystal Copper, White Platinum, Ceramic Pearl, Iced Mocha, and Rhapsody Blue are unlocked as options. Burgundy Velvet has been dropped from the previous year's palette.

  • Iced Mocha Metallic
  • Crystal Copper Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Ceramic Pearl Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Rhapsody Blue
  • Blue Diamond Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Infinite Black Metallic
  • Ingot Silver Metallic

MKZ Performance

Standard across the range is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. While these are respectable figures for a luxury sedan, the powertrain is unrefined, resulting in an unimpressive 0 to 60 mph sprint time of just under eight seconds. Still, this is enough power to move the MKZ around town and cruise the highway at comfortable speeds without feeling too tempted to push the sedan beyond its limits.

However, if power is what you want, then there is an available turbo V6 engine. With a more impressive 350-400 hp range at its disposal, this powertrain can get the Lincoln up to speed in around five seconds, which is a vast improvement, but still not on par with even mid-tier performance offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. This engine setup makes it much easier to maneuver on the highway, with easy passing and merging. This powerful engine is best paired with all-wheel-drive, despite the decrease in overall efficiency, as the drivetrain helps to mitigate torque-steer that is prevalent on FWD base models.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Front View Driving
2019 Lincoln MKZ Rear Angle View
2019 Lincoln MKZ Wheel

Engine and Transmission

Two engines are available to the MKZ. The standard fare is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, putting out 245 hp and 275 lb-ft. Unless otherwise requested, this is paired with a front-wheel drivetrain with the option of all-corner grip, which helps the vehicle stay competitive in terms of fuel efficiency. While the powertrain isn't particularly potent, it easily pulls the sedan around town with enough zip to feel sporty despite the poor acceleration times.

For those who value higher speeds, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 available to the Reserve II is the way to go. With 350 hp and 400 lb-ft at its disposal in FWD form, this engine grants better performance, despite being less refined. This downside shows more clearly in fuel efficiency and overall handling. This powerful engine is best paired with all-wheel-drive, though, as it sees the power increase to 400 horsepower with the extra traction.

Regardless of powertrain setup, the gears are managed by a six-speed automatic gearbox, which provides smooth shifts, although it doesn't shift down too readily when you press for a burst of power.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Steering is as you'd expect from a luxury sedan, with little feel traveling from the tires to the steering wheel. However, the light steering is ideal for town driving, where the quick responses are appreciated. The steering can be shifted between Comfort and Sport modes to customize driver engagement, but given the relatively minimal change this makes, sticking to the more manageable Comfort mode is suggested. Braking is as responsive as the steering, although it feels more rewarding with a pedal that communicates better. This results in easily modulated and controlled braking around town, with enough stopping power to bring the sedan to a halt from 60 mph in just 113 ft.

Handling is pretty good for a luxury sedan, especially thanks to the adaptive suspension that comes standard across the range. Thus, it's not surprising that that the MKZ remains well-mannered and composed on the road, even through sharper corners. But it's still heavy for the segment, and with AWD and the V6 engine, it doesn't feel as sharp and nimble as some rivals. Despite the adaptive suspension, the MKZ can feel a bit stiff on the road. Some road imperfections travel through the chassis too easily, and equipping the larger 19-inch wheels only makes this worse.

MKZ Gas Mileage

The MKZ's weight counts against it when it comes to gas mileage, with even the base 2.0T FWD engine plating up subpar estimates of 20/31/24 mpg - BMW's 3 Series offers up 30 mpg combined - with the AWD variant dropping these figures to 20/29/23 mpg. Upgrading to the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 brings more power, but worse economy, with estimates of 18/27/21 mpg in FWD guise, and 17/26/20 mpg in AWD guise as the penalty for the extra traction and power. While evaluated on regular gasoline, the engines require premium gas to achieve their maximum power outputs, making refueling the 16.5-gallon tank on FWD models and 18-gallon tank on AWD variants a costly affair. If it's cross-country touring ability you're after, the 2.0T AWD will bag you the greatest range of 414 miles in mixed conditions.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/31 mpg
* 2019 Lincoln MKZ Standard FWD

MKZ Interior

While the MKZ may be sleek and stylish from the outside, the interior fails to live up to the same standards. The materials used in the base model are definitely not up to par with what should be found in a luxury sedan, and only improve marginally on the upper trim levels, never quite matching those used within Audi or Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The cabin is also no more spacious than what you'd expect from a midsize sedan, with the optional sunroof further infringing on space. The infotainment system is easy to operate, thankfully, and controls for the myriad standard features are well laid out. Try as it might, the MKZ can't seem to disguise its Fusion origins well enough to truly feel premium.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Dashboard
2019 Lincoln MKZ Dashboard
2019 Lincoln MKZ Door Controls
See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There are appointments for five passengers within the cabin, on seats that vary from standard foam to multi-contoured seats that come equipped with massage functions. Overall, seat comfort is average for the segment, which doesn't really impress. Passenger space also doesn't astound, although legroom is quite good both up front and in the rear. Headroom is a little more limited, especially in the back, with taller-than-average passengers struggling to fit. Adding the available sunroof further reduces this space. On the plus side, entering and exiting the sedan is easy enough thanks to the wide-opening doors, although the sloping roof can make accessing the rear seats trickier.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior of the cabin can be upholstered in either synthetic leatherette or leather, the latter of which comes standard on the two upper trims. These materials are available in Ebony, Cappuccino, or Terracotta. Complementing Ebony or Cappuccino color schemes is Sonata Spin Aluminum trims with either Brown Swirl Walnut or Espresso Ash Swirl wood accents respectively. Terracotta upholstery is paired with Brown Swirl Walnut only. The materials are not as upscale as you would expect from a sedan in this price bracket, and the build quality is subpar compared to more refined luxury sedans by German competitors.

MKZ Trunk and Cargo Space

The luxury sport sedan segment requires entrants to be all things - spacious commuters, dynamically talented, and capable of hauling a family and their belongings on a weekend away. The latter aspect is where the MKZ fares decently, but it's not a class-leader. 15.4 cubic feet may be more than the Audi A4's 13 or the Mercedes C-Class's 12, but it lags behind the BMW 3 Series' 17 cubic feet. Still, it's enough to accommodate ten carry-on-sized suitcases with some clever packaging, and the fold-down rear seats enable extra storage at the expense of seating capacity.

Two cup holders for the front passengers and two for the rear, along with built-in cupholders in the door pockets, make up most of the small-item storage. A pair of trays below the center stack, a standard glove compartment, and storage space within the center armrest provide space for larger items.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Lincoln MKZ Top View
2019 Lincoln MKZ Side View
  • Trunk Volume
    15.4 ft³

MKZ Infotainment and Features

Features

The base-level MKZ comes equipped with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, 10-way power front seats, and four 12-volt power outlets. The standard Co-Pilot360 safety suite comprises blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. A 10.1-inch digital instrumentation cluster rests between the gauges, and a reverse sensing system concludes the standard driver-assist features. When you upgrade trim levels, features that become available include climate-controlled multi-contour front seats, four-way power lumbar, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 110-volt power outlet, and a power sunroof.

Infotainment

The Sync 3 infotainment suite that comes standard in the sedan is user-friendly and extensive, though leading rivals still offer more. An eight-inch touchscreen display lies at the center of the console and controls the SiriusXM satellite radio and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while navigation is added to the upper trims. Two USB ports and an audio jack facilitate a more physical connection, and allow you to charge your devices. Two additional USB ports are available to rear passengers on the upper trims, though these are reserved for charging only. Standard on the base model is an 11-speaker sound system, while a 14-speaker Revel sound system is standard on the upper trims. A 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system is available as an optional add-on.

MKZ Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power rates the Lincoln MKZ at 85 out of 100 for dependability, ranking it within the top five vehicles in the segment. In 2018, the sedan was recalled for reports of the steering wheel detaching, but 2019 models have escaped recall so far. Lincoln offers a basic warranty for 50,000 miles/48 months, drivetrain warranty for 70,000 miles/72 months. You also get 24,000-mile/24-month free maintenance and 70,000-mile/72-month roadside assistance.

MKZ Safety

The NHTSA has rated the sedan at five stars for safety, although the front passenger-side crash tests scored only three stars; the IIHS has given the car its best overall rating of Good in most tests, with only the headlights suffering sub-par scores.

Key Safety Features

Standard safety features comprise four-wheel ABS, traction control, stability control, a rearview camera, and rain-sense wipers, while under the Co-Pilot360 banner, all MKZ models are equipped with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, driver alert, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. The MKZ also comes standard with eight airbags: dual front, front knee, front side, and side curtain.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Lincoln MKZ a good car?

With an affordable price tag and a long list of standard features, the Lincoln MKZ certainly has a lot of appeal for those who want to look like they belong, while still benefiting from most of the features provided by a true luxury sedan. The exterior is stylish with just the right amount of sportiness, but once you open the door, the illusion is shattered. The interior lacks the upscale quality that rivals who have mastered the luxury segment provide; think Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4. However, if you are willing to overlook these shortcomings, the MKZ still has a lot to offer. Infotainment is top-notch, as is the standard consignment of safety features. The trunk is spacious, though still not class-leading, and the ride quality and handling aren't terrible. But the powertrains provide subpar gas mileage and lackluster performance, despite the power figures being on par.

This is the American sparkling apple cider of luxury sedans, standing beside the premium European champagnes of the world. It gives you just enough of a tingle to think you've experienced luxury, but it is a pale shadow compared to the real thing. And if you're going to put down the kind of money that the top-tier MKZ is asking, you may as well double down and get what your money is worth.

What's the Price of the 2019 Lincoln MKZ?

The Lincoln MKZ is remarkably affordable for a luxury sedan, but this shows in the vehicle's quality. The base-level MKZ will cost you as little as $35,995, while the Reserve I adds $3,000 in exchange for a fair number of additional features. Getting behind the wheel of the top-tier Reserve II will cost you more in the range of what a usual luxury sedan costs, with a starting MSRP of $44,995. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and a destination fee of $995. Adding all-wheel-drive will see you pay a further $2,000.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Models

The midsize Lincoln luxury sedan is available in three trim levels: the base MKZ, Reserve I, and Reserve II. Standard on all three models is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, developing 245 hp and 275 lb-ft for the front wheels. The Reserve II, however, also gets access to a 3.0-liter turbo V6 that throws out a more impressive 350 hp and 400 lb-ft, also towards the front wheels, with AWD adding an extra 50 hp. Regardless of how you configure the drivetrain, a six-speed automatic gearbox rounds out the setup.

The base-level MKZ rides on 18-inch wheels, has adaptive xenon headlights, and gets an adaptive suspension. Inside, it comes equipped with dual-zone climate control, four 12-volt power outlets, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The standard eight-inch touchscreen display facilitates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth, with the safety suite comprising blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision warning.

The Reserve I trim adds four-way lumbar to the 10-way power front seats, as well as a 110-volt power outlet, and two additional rear USB ports. Adaptive cruise control and built-in navigation enhance the driver-assist features, while HD Radio complements the standard SiriusXM.

The Reserve II replaces the wheels with 19-inch variants, while the new multi-contour front seats gain heating and ventilation to bolster the built-in massage functions. The steering wheel and rear seats also gain heating functions, and the standard 11-speaker sound system is replaced with a 14-speaker Revel surround sound system.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Standard
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$35,995
Reserve I
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,995
Reserve II
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$44,995
See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The sedan is well equipped, even in its base guise, while the top-tier trim comes packed with almost everything available to the vehicle. Still, there is space in-between for some customization, and notable packages include the Reserve Plus Package ($3,000) for the Reserve I, which comprises 19-inch alloy wheels, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a power moonroof, HD Radio, and a 14-speaker Revel audio system. The Luxury Package ($4,000) is available for the Reserve II and adds a fully retractable panoramic sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, a 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system, and HD Radio. A Duo Cinema add-on is available across the range for $995, adding front-seat-mounted dual monitors that can stream videos.

What Lincoln MKZ Model Should I Buy?

While the base MKZ trim comes with pretty much everything you really need in a modern daily-driver, the Reserve I trim might be worth the extra $3,000. The upgrade from faux leather to real leather is a significant bump in interior comfort, and when you add the lumbar support and additional charging outlets for smart devices, it is certainly worth the price. Stepping up the top trim isn't really worth the cost, although if you really want the V6 engine, this is unavoidable.

Check out other Lincoln MKZ Styles?

2019 Lincoln MKZ Comparisons

2019 Lincoln MKZ
2019 Lincoln MKZ

2019 Lincoln MKZ vs Ford Fusion

The two sedans share similar underpinnings and, therefore, some of the same weaknesses. The Fusion also gets a weak base engine, a 173-hp four-cylinder, which gives it equally poor acceleration. Inside, it isn't a luxury vehicle either, but it still feels better-appointed than the MKZ, with a larger interior and trunk. It features the same easy-to-use Sync 3 infotainment system, although the sound system is less extensive. However, the Ford costs half as much as the Lincoln and gets better fuel economy. When you take into account the Fusion's excellent ride quality and precise handling, as well as its available safety features that mirror those in the MKZ, the Ford is the better choice.

See Ford Fusion Review

2019 Lincoln MKZ vs Cadillac CTS Sedan

While the base 268-hp turbo-four engine on the CTS isn't as refined as other luxury models', it is still stronger than the MKZ's and gets better fuel economy. However, the available V6 and the 420-hp turbo V6 give it much more powerful options than the Lincoln, which pairs well with its sportier handling. Unfortunately, the interior shows the same lack of refinement when compared to European rivals and the CUE infotainment suite isn't as streamlined as the MKZ's. Add to this the reduced passenger and trunk space, and the CTS feels less like a daily driver and more like a statement car, especially when you take into consideration its higher starting price. Overall, the Caddy is a better performer, but that isn't everything a luxury sedan should be, and it feels less well-rounded than the Lincoln MKZ.

See Cadillac CTS Sedan Review

Lincoln MKZ Popular Comparisons