Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lincoln MKZ review

So, today MFD made it to the big time, actually snagging an invite to a manufacturer's presentation for the media. And here's my first impressions of the Lincoln MKZ, formerly Zephyr. While I thought the Zephyr was a better name, the new MKZ is a better car.
24 media types, including little old me, were given the keys and set loose with Lincoln's "entry level" offering.
And let's just start off with this, the new MKZ goes way beyond just a mid-cycle refresh.
To puncuate that there was a 2009 MKZ right there for side by side comparision. And while the old MKZ was already nice, the changes are subtle and startling at the same time. And entirely new front clip, which allowed powertrain engineers to retune the engine, as a result of improved under hood heat management. And it also lowers the cd from .34 to .32. For you non-technical types, like me, that means it slips throgh the air just that much better. And it looks so much meaner too!
And there's little that feels "entry level" inside either. All of the interior panels are completely new. Nice soft touch materials, new guages with a very nice lighting feature. Of course the guage cluster moves with the wheel, which means that anyone, no matter how tall or short ( like me ) can see the speedo and set up a comfortable driving position.
A very clean center stack with reasonably easy HVAC and Audio controls, flows int a very useful center console. Everything felt just right. It was easy to set the power seat, mirrors and wheel for any driver. The seats were very supportive and comfortable. Our travels brought us from Queens Botanical Garden through bumper to bumper traffic, then up to quaint Westchester villages on a mix of highway and twisty back roads.
The navigation screen, which I needed for some of these winding county lanes, was at the perfect height for viewing, with no problems viewing, no matter which way the sun was shining.

Overall, I'd say the MKZ was a fun drive, but comfortable enough to shuttle grandma or the kids anywhere. I was satisfied with the power of the V-6, even without EcoBoost. And while I'm usually a shift for myself kind of guy, I was impressed with the automatic's smooth seemless shift and lack of hunting. It's what you'd expect in the class. And about this point I'd be begging for a nice 6 speed manual, but I could live with this. Not only that I could enjoy it.

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