2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Review: Going Green At A Cost

by Jay Traugott

With a host of standard features, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and a comprehensive safety suite all coming standard, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid warrants closer inspection by those seeking to save a buck and go green without sacrificing the luxuries we expect from an entry-level luxury sedan. However, Lincoln clearly doesn't seem as well-suited to lead this segment as its Eastern competitors, with the Honda Insight and Toyota Camry Hybrid handily besting the American manufacturer's offering in almost every area, and they aren't even premium brands in the same vein as the Lexus ES300h. Still, the 188-horsepower combination powertrain is quite strong for the segment, even if it doesn't show it that well in the performance figures it achieves, and the $36,995 price tag isn't all that expensive if you really want to keep your purchases American.

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

While the standard MKZ has seen some additional changes made for the new year, the hybrid variant only sees some of the advanced safety features becoming standard on the base model with the addition of the Co-Pilot360 suite of features, comprising forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane-keeping alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Pros and Cons

  • Lots of standard features
  • Rear seats fold down to increase cargo space
  • Doesn't cost more than a standard MKZ
  • Cramped interior despite exterior size
  • Poor interior quality
  • Lower gas mileage than rivals
  • Abysmal ride quality

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid Standard
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$35,995
Hybrid Reserve I
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$38,995
Hybrid Reserve II
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$44,995

MKZ Hybrid Exterior

Riding on 18-inch alloys as standard, with available 19-inch wheels, the MKZ Hybrid sports a sleek design that is fronted with a broad grille and understated adaptive HID headlights. LED signature lighting with a horizontal LED taillight-strip gives a futuristic edge to the car, while the rear fascia sports dual chrome exhaust tips that hint at a powerful, confident vehicle.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Front View Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Top View Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Front Angle View Lincoln
See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The hybrid MKZ is modestly sized, with an overall length of 193.9 inches, which accommodates the 112.2-inch wheelbase. Without accounting for mirrors, the sedan is 75.1 inches wide and stands 58.1 inches tall. These dimensions are very much on par with rivals like the Lexus ES300h and similar to the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Due to the lack of mechanical changes throughout the trim levels, the sedan has a standard weight of 3,871 lbs, which is slightly heavier than core competitors in the segment but only 100 lbs heavier than the standard 2.0T FWD MKZ.

  • Length 194.1 in
  • Wheelbase 112.2 in
  • Height 58.1 in
  • Max Width 73.4 in
  • Front Width 62.3 in
  • Rear Width 62.0 in

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • 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 Hybrid Performance

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

Engine and Transmission

Only one powertrain is available to the Hybrid MKZ. By combining a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a 35 kW electric motor and 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the powertrain develops a total of 188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. This power is regulated by an electronic continuously variable transmission and directed to the front wheels only. All-wheel-drive is not available to the hybrid sedan. While these figures don't look too poor, the MKZ really struggles to accelerate unless you force it to by flattening the pedal, with a slow 0 to 60 mph time of around nine seconds. The throttle is slow to respond, especially when already on the move, making it difficult to pass all but the slowest of cars on the highway.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Taking cues from electric vehicles, the MKZ Hybrid is remarkably quiet to drive; the cabin is well-insulated and the engine barely makes a sound. However, this silence is rudely interrupted the moment you pass over even slightly rough terrain. The chassis wobbles noticeably over even mild bumps, and - when the going gets really rough - will unsettle passengers quite easily; we'd expect more from a vehicle in this class.

Sadly, this whole-body shaking is probably the most communication you will get from the car regarding the quality of the road since the steering seems mute on the subject. Despite this lack of communication, the steering is light and exceptionally responsive, especially when Sport mode is engaged. But this doesn't inspire confidence in a vehicle that suffers from a great deal of body roll and feels significantly heavier than it is. A saving grace in an otherwise disappointing ride, the MKZ's brakes are well-tuned. The regenerative nature of the hybrid brakes doesn't cause any noticeable stutter when slowing down or releasing the pedal.

Overall, the MKZ Hybrid is perfectly suited to town driving where its extremely low limits will not be put to the test, and where you can expect road quality to be of a high enough level so as not to completely ruin your driving experience.

MKZ Hybrid Gas Mileage

Fuel economy is quite competitive for the segment, with the combination engine managing to cover an EPA-estimated 42/39/41 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. This is only slightly behind the Lexus ES300h, which gets 43/45/44, and nearly doubles the estimates of the standard MKZ in its base form. Needless to say, you will spend a lot less driving the MKZ Hybrid, with a total range of 574 miles thanks to its 14-gallon fuel tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 42/39 mpg
* 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Standard

MKZ Hybrid Interior

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Dashboard Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Central Console Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Speaker Lincoln
See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

While there are appointments for up to five passengers, the sedan is not overly spacious inside. Legroom is generous, especially up front, but headroom in both sections of the cabin is relatively cramped. Average-height adults will manage well enough, but taller passengers may struggle. The seats are comfortable, however, with faux leather as standard and real leather available. The front seats feature 10-way power adjustability to assist with finding a comfortable driving position, and general forward visibility is good. There are large blind spots, however, but blind-spot monitoring does come standard. Overall, the cabin is adequately appointed but the build-quality is substandard, and the materials used are not as upscale as those used by competitors.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 44.3 in
  • Front Head Room 37.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.5 in

MKZ Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

As is common in most hybrid vehicles, trunk space is sorely lacking. However, the MKZ Hybrid's 11.1 cubic feet is still usable, although the larger Lexus ES 300h offers a mammoth 16.7 cubic feet by comparison. While the space provided in the Lincoln is enough for day-to-day use and shopping, providing room for only half a dozen grocery bags, the rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split to open up more room. This functionality is very rare in hybrid vehicles and makes the MKZ stand out.

Small-item storage is also quite generous, with cupholders for both front and rear passengers, as well as door pockets with their own bottle holders. The center armrest and glove compartment provide space for larger items, while two trays near the center console can store phones, wallets, and other smaller items.

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Top View 1 Lincoln
2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Side View Lincoln
  • Trunk Volume
    11.1 ft³

MKZ Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

Well-equipped, even at the entry-level, the MKZ's features comprise dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and ignition, four 12-volt power outlets, 10-way power front seats, and adaptive cruise control. The Co-Pilot360 safety suite includes blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera, and is now stock fitted across the range. A 10.1-inch digital instrumentation cluster and a reverse sensing system round out the advanced driver-assist features. Features available when you upgrade trims include a 110-volt power outlet, four-way power lumbar adjustments, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, climate-controlled multi-contour front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power sunroof.

Infotainment

While not overly elaborate, the infotainment suite present in the sedan is user-friendly and covers all the modern-day essentials. The Sync 3 infotainment system features an eight-inch touchscreen display through which you can access the satellite radio or connect your smart device via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There are also two USB ports and an audio jack if you want a more physical connection, and all sound is channeled through the 11-speaker sound system. On the upper trim levels, you get access to HD Radio and an additional two USB ports for rear passengers, although these are only for charging. Navigation is added to the Sync 3 system, and a 14-speaker Revel sound system comes on the top trim. A 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system is available as an optional add-on.

MKZ Hybrid Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power rates the MKZ Hybrid at 85 out of 100 for dependability, placing the vehicle in the top five within its category. However, the car was recalled in 2018 for problems with the steering wheel detaching as well as failure in the torque converter connection, despite 2019 seeing it given a clean bill of health so far. Lincoln offers a basic warranty for 50,000 miles/48 months, drivetrain warranty for 70,000 miles/72 months, and hybrid component warranty for 100,000 miles/96 months. You also get 24,000-mile/24-month free maintenance and 70,000-mile/72-month roadside assistance.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    Unlimited Years \ Unlimited Miles

MKZ Hybrid Safety

The NHTSA has rated the hybrid 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. Not too surprising, considering that its key safety features include four-wheel ABS, traction control, stability control, a rearview camera, rain-sense wipers, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, driver alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and eight airbags: dual front, front knee, front side, and side curtain.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid a good car?

The MKZ Hybrid has a lot going for it; it comes with loads of standard features, has an excellent safety rating, and decent fuel economy. But when you're looking at a hybrid, value for money should be of a high priority, and we just don't think the Lincoln hybrid sedan lives up to this particular expectation.

The standard MKZ is already just a more expensive Ford Fusion it's based on, so it's no surprise that the hybrid variant follows the same trend. And when you consider that the Ford Fusion Hybrid isn't even the most affordable hybrid out there, it puts things into perspective. Add to this the fact that the MKZ is underwhelming to drive, with is cumbersome handling and objectionable ride quality, and it's easy to see why we suggest you look at one of the more refined options out there. For an affordable, reliable, and well-designed hybrid vehicle, you would be best served looking at one of the Japanese manufacturers like Honda or Toyota, since they seem to have mastered the art.

🚘What's the Price of the 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid?

Despite the cost benefits that come from owning a hybrid vehicle, the MKZ hybrid doesn't cost a cent more than the standard MKZ variants. However, they do come with a less powerful combination engine. Getting behind the wheel of the entry-level Hybrid will cost you just $35,995, while the Reserve I is a modest step up at $38,995. The top-tier Reserve II adds quite a few stylish improvements and tech upgrades, setting its starting price at $44,995. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and a destination fee of $995.

See All 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Trims and Specs

🚗What Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

While the base Hybrid trim comes with pretty much everything you really need in a modern daily-driver, the Reserve I trim might be worth the extra $2,000. The upgraded upholstery alone is tempting, but additional power accessories and infotainment upgrades seal the deal. And when you consider how much you are already saving just by driving a hybrid, and the fact that it costs no more than a regular MKZ, the investment is well worth it.

Check out other Lincoln MKZ Styles

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Comparisons

Lexus ES Hybrid Lexus
Toyota Camry Hybrid Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid188 hp42/39 mpg$42,500
Lexus ES Hybrid 215 hp43/44 mpg$41,810
Toyota Camry Hybrid 208 hp51/53 mpg$28,430

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vs Lexus ES Hybrid

Although it comes in at a slightly higher price bracket, with a starting price of $41,560, the Lexus ES 300h is well worth the extra few grand. Apart from looking better from the outside, the Lexus also sports a genuine luxury interior as opposed to the budget interior of the MKZ, with better material choices, build quality, and overall space. This extends to the trunk, with the ES 300h boasting 16.7 cubic feet, which is impressive in a hybrid; however, the rear seats don't fold down like the Lincoln's. The infotainment system is also a bit obstinate, unlike the refined Sync 3 system in the MKZ. The Lexus is also a relatively hefty sedan like the Lincoln, but it comes with a stronger 215-hp engine, which helps offset this. With significantly better comfort and handling dynamics, coupled with a more impressive fuel economy, it's not hard to see why the Lexus takes the cake here.

See Lexus ES Hybrid Review

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vs Toyota Camry Hybrid

While not a luxury sedan, the Toyota Camry definitely fits the bill as an eco-friendly and affordable daily driver. It doesn't try as hard to impress you inside as the MKZ, but the Camry is well-built and comes with a lot of standard features. It is also quite a bit roomier inside, unlike the deceptively larger Lincoln sedan. The Toyota comes with a stronger 208-hp engine, which, when combined with its lower weight, gives it better acceleration and overall handling. Add to this the impressive 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and there is not much that the Camry doesn't do better than the MKZ. Its ride quality could be a bit better, but since the Lincoln's is downright abysmal, this is another win for the Toyota. Overall, the Japanese sedan handily trumps the American hybrid, and it delivers better fuel economy to boot.

See Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Popular Comparisons

2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Video Review

Check out some informative Lincoln MKZ Hybrid video reviews below.

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Photos
$35,995 - $44,995
Price Range (MSRP)
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid