The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is the luxury marque’s first foray into the world of hybrid technology. It goes without saying this technology is borrowed directly from the Ford Fusion Hybrid. What does need said is this is a very good package.
Since first driving this hybrid powertrain arrangement in the Fusion a couple of years back I knew the engineers at Ford were on to something.
Fuel economy figures (41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway) have continued to impress the automaker and consumers alike, especially in the wake of once-again-higher fuel prices.
Wrapping the Fusion in Lincoln luxury was a no-brainer and the MKZ Hybrid package is a winner.
“The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid provides a real choice in the marketplace for customers looking for a vehicle that not only makes a statement about who they are but also reflects their ideals,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development. “It offers the best fuel economy in its segment, a host of advanced safety features, and all the amenities and modern design of a true luxury sedan.”
The Lincoln touch is apparent everywhere in the MKZ. Lexus’ HS250h is touted as its main competition but the MKZ Hybrid is so much more the two should never be mentioned in the same sentence so henceforth I will refrain from doing so.
The heart and soul of the hybrid powertrain is a 156hp 2.5-liter I-4 gasoline engine mated to a 106hp permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor that can power the vehicle in EV mode only up to 47 mph. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission sends propulsion to the front wheels. The battery pack is a 275V Nickel-Metal Hydride and is located behind the rear seat.
Inside are the appointments Lincoln is once again becoming well-known for and I believe a recent survey put them once again at the top of the leader board in consumer opinion of luxury brands.
We enjoyed gorgeous leather and wood appointments in our test model MKZ Hybrid but what surprised me most was the fuel range. With the 17.5-gallon tank topped off the miserly Lincoln will run some 600 miles (612 when our tester hit the driveway) making this a great choice for summer travel, especially with those ventilated seats and the Lincoln SYNC/Sirius Travel technology packages.
Pricing begins at $34,330 with our test vehicle coming in at $41,170 after the addition of the Ultimate and Technology packages. This includes power moonroof, adaptive HID headlamps, ambient lighting, voice-activated nav system, BLIS blindspot alert system with cross-traffic alert, rearview camera and THX II surround sound system.
The summer of 2011 may just belong to the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid as once again the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.