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2010 Lincoln MKZ Review

Substance in Style

A three-quarter front view of a red 2010 Lincoln MKZ

In short: A sporty and lavishly appointed entry-level luxury sedan.

he refreshed Lincoln MKZ design for the 2010 model year brings a hint of John Tjaarda’s iconic 1939 Zephyr grille with new design director Solomon Song’s elegant sophistication of lines, making this luxe sedan an instantly recognizable profile on the road. Most impressive for the car, though, is an interior full of memorable forms; soft, textured surfaces and a fit and finish to match the best in the entry-level luxury category.

A three-quarter side view of a red 2010 Lincoln MKZ

Contributing to the automobile’s sumptuous manners are a slew of soundproofing features, such as sound-reduction packing material in every structural hollow space, an acoustic laminate windshield, improved body/door sealing, an all new technology in the acoustic headliner and constrained-layer damping under the floor carpets. Together these design elements contribute to an elegant silence within the car when in operation. It was all tested at a wind tunnel with 80 mph gusts of varyingly angled cross winds, and the MKZ bested both the current Lexus ES350 and the Acura TL for noise levels. All that sound control offers a perfect chamber for the Lincoln’s standard THX 600-watt entertainment system with fourteen-speakers that can bring tears to your eyes. Select a volume that you like (or that your neighborhood likes) and it’ll play as seamlessly smooth and real as a live band in the back seat. Ford’s voice-activated SYNC communication system is included in the software package and has a free first-year subscription.

A rear view of a red 2010 Lincoln MKZ

Along with the cockpit’s audio credentials, the inviting nature of Lincoln’s refined interior gets more personal in the company’s latest seat design. In concert with the famous Bridge of Weir Scottish leather and fastidiously detailed construction, the MKZ’s seats offer both body control bolsters and a gentle cushion material directly under the body-contact surface. Even the door panels are redesigned to offer a deeper hollow space behind the elbow pads, giving the impression of a broader interior. As far as its capabilities go, a variable-rate rack and pinion and Ford’s well established AdvanceTrac stability control gives the MKZ a precision character. Real performance is limited by the V6 engine output in spite of a clever split between first three low-range gear sets for low-speed acceleration and the higher, overdrive set of upper range gears, which yield exceptional highway fuel economy for a commodious 3,600-pound sedan.

Read a review of the 2007 Lincoln MKZ AWD

Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; five-year/60,000-mile safety restraint system warranty; six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty; five-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty.

Base Price: $34,115 / As tested: $39,955

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 3.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC V6
Horsepower: 263 hp @ 6,250 rpm
Torque: 249 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed SelectShift automatic

Curb weight: 3,598 lbs
Wheelbase: 107.4 in
Length/Width/Height: 189.8/72.2/56.9 in
Turning circle: 37.7 ft

Brakes: all-wheel disc with ABS and brakeforce distribution
independent with short- and long-arm (SLA) with rearward facing lower control arms in front; multi-link fully independent with lower control arm in rear; anti-roll bars in front and rear
AdvanceTrac electronic stability control (ESC)

0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds
Top Speed: n/a

EPA City: 18 mpg
EPA Highway: 27 mpg

Safety: dual-stage front airbags; crash-sensing system; restraint control module; SYNC 911 Assist; Cross Traffic Alert (CTA); Blind Spot Information System (BLIS); child safety locks; tire pressure monitoring system

Likes: quiet and luxurious interior; comfortable seats with sporting bolsters; sensational sound system
Dislikes: out-of-date center section styling of body; disappointing engine output performance in spite of optimized gear ratios.


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Text and photography: Larry Crane

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