Test Drive: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Review

Jerry Reynolds | November 29, 2016
Test Drive: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Review

The Lincoln Motor Company wants you to think differently about its car company.  Lincoln is in the midst of a product revolution of sorts.  I had the all-new Continental for a weekend recently and it was easy to forget I was driving a Lincoln.  Now comes the new MKZ, a larger-than-midsized luxury sedan.

The exterior appearance of the car grabs a ton of looks. 

People are just not sure what it is, especially from the side, due to the very swooping roofline and low stance of the MKZ.  From the front, you get the Lincoln Signature grill, LED headlights, and frontal fog lights.  From the rear, dual exhausts look really good and the rear taillights are LED and run completely across the rear.  Not only is that safe, but it looks terrific.  The 18” wheels look great, but of course, personally I would want the optional 19” or 20” wheels.

The 2017 MKZ comes in a lot of variations. 

The base model is the Premiere, then the Select, and then the top-of-the-line Reserve model, which is what I am reviewing.  MKZ comes in front wheel or all-wheel drive.  You also get to choose from three engines:  the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo putting out 245-horses, that same engine in a hybrid version, and finally the most exciting; a 3.0-liter V6 with twin-turbos emitting 400-horses.  All of them come with a 6-speed automatic that you can shift from steering wheel paddles.

My tester is the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Ecoboost, and it is the all-wheel version.  I had concerns about the power before I drove it, but as is typical of the Ecoboost, when you really jump on the accelerator hard, the turbo kicks in and you are off to the races.  I detected no hint of turbo lag.  As much as I loved the 400-horse V6 I drove in the Continental, for most people this 2.0-liter will be satisfactory and you’ll love the fuel economy.

Just as an aside, if I were actually purchasing this car, I would go with the hybrid version. Lincoln does not charge any money for the hybrid, something unique to Lincoln. With the hybrid, you’ll get 41 miles per gallon in town, and 40 on the highway.


One major improvement for the 2017 MKZ is the interior.

It is super nice and truly luxurious in this Reserve edition model.  It has a nice console in the center, two nicely-placed cup holders, and with the shifter buttons high on the dash running vertically, it gives the interior a very clean look.

The gauge cluster is colorful and easy to read.  There is a driver info center to the left side of the dash in the middle of the tachometer, and you can change the car’s settings from the center of the gauges by scrolling through controls on the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel.

At the top of the center stack, is a color touchscreen that operates the audio, climate features, navigation system, Bluetooth, and some of settings can be changed on the screen.  This is all part of the Ford Sync 3 system, which is much improved and worked flawlessly.  In the app section, you can find out real-time traffic info, check movie listings, sports scores and schedules, weather info, even ski conditions, all at the touch of the screen.  Everything on the screen is also voice-activated.  I find the operation of the screen simple and driver-focused.

I love too that there are knobs to change the sound system volume, and you can tune the radio with a knob.  The electronically-controlled air conditioning controls are also on the lower side of the center stack, and pushbuttons allow you to turn on the dual heated and air-conditioned front seats, and you can turn on the steering wheel warmer.

One really nice feature is called Lincoln Embrace. 

As you approach the car with the key on you, the MKZ awakes.  The headlights and taillights come on, the interior lights illuminate, lights on the bottom of both side mirrors light your path on the ground with a Lincoln logo, and the pushbutton start button flashes for ease of starting the car.  There are no buttons to push, it all just magically happens.

The MKZ Reserve comes with an impressive list of standard features, most notable:  power trunk opener, interior ambient lighting, leather interior, blind spot monitoring, remote start, remote lock and unlock, rear view camera, reverse sensing system, and navigation system.  One feature I just love is the Auto Hold button next to the touchscreen.  When you pull up to stop, even on a hill, you can take your foot off the brake and the car will stay there until you hit the accelerator, then the brakes release.

Optional equipment on my tester includes the panoramic sunroof with power shade.  It has the Technology package which includes: adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and active park assist to parallel park for you.

This car has the Luxury Package which includes: LED adaptive headlights, and an outstanding Revel audio system that has 20-speakers and sounds amazing. Finally, it has the Climate Package that gives you a rear heated seat and heated steering wheel.

The MKZ has plenty of headroom for most adults, a lot of back seat legroom, and a massive trunk with fold-down rear seats.


Driving dynamics are really good in the MKZ.

The ride is great, you don’t feel every bump in the road, handling is good in curves, and it just feels like a luxury car, but not too soft and floaty.

A big feature with all 2017 Lincolns is the concierge service it provides at no charge.  If you need service or maintenance, your dealer will bring you a loaner car, pick yours up, and bring it back to you clean and detailed.  Speaking of warranty, Lincoln offers a great one with 6-years or 70,000 miles of powertrain coverage.

Fuel economy is good at 20 in town, 28 on the highway, and 23 overall.  I got over 28 on the highway at 75-miles per hour.  The front-wheel drive version does about a mile per gallon more.

The vehicle I am reviewing is a pre-production model, so I don’t have exact pricing, but I calculated it below and it is pretty close.  If you are in the market for a luxury car that gets great fuel economy, is roomy, but not too big, drive the 2017 MKZ.

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve

  • What I liked most:  Interior and exterior appearance, value for the dollar.
  • What I would change:  I’d like a 7-speed transmission for even better MPG.
  • MSRP: Base price $41,925, as equipped $51,850 (estimated).
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 20 City/28 highway/23 Combined.
  • Official Color: White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat
  • Odometer reading when tested: 3200
  • Weight: 3900 pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 194” long/73” wide/58” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 18 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: N/A 2017
  • MKZ in a few words:  Great luxury car, outstanding value.
  • Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance and free pickup and delivery, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty.
  • Final Assembly Location:  Hermosillo, Mexico.
  • Manufacturer’s Website: Lincoln

Related Video: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Black Label

Photo Credit: Lincoln
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