Cost: $29,175 - $31,050 ($33,000 as tested)
Photos and details
The MKZ was introduced last year as the Lincoln Zephyr. It was one of three mid-sized sedans based on the same platform: Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and the Zephyr.
When I drove the Zephyr last year, I found it the most disappointing of the three. Since it was supposed to be a Lincoln, Ford loaded the Zephyr down with lots of sound-deadening insulation. It deadened more than the sound.
With the same engine as those other two cars, a 3.0-liter V-6, the Zephyr felt overburdened, slow and heavy. In fact, everything about the car was dulled down to imitate the feel a large luxury sedan. The only problem is you don’t get the spaciousness of a big car in return.
Along with an unfortunate name switch - what was wrong with Zephyr? - the MKZ gets a new, more powerful engine and some improvements to the steering and suspension. Those are all good changes; the MKZ feels bright, lively and nimble. This is a Lincoln that's actually fun to drive while still offering a smooth and quiet ride.