San Francisco: Over
at Lincoln things need to settle down. Lincoln keeps building fine
vehicles that no one seems to care about. 2006 was the last year for the
Lincoln LS, a really nice car that few bought. Right now Lincoln has
five models; could you name more than one without looking?
The MKZ was
originally introduced as the Lincoln Zephyr, a name that resonated with
auto buffs but was never explained to the masses. Now we have the MKZ,
MKX, and Mark LT. Do these designations ignite your automotive
soul? They do nothing for me. But back the subject at hand, the MKZ
To be fair Lincoln
is not alone in playing the dumb name game. Many automakers seem to be
willing to give up time honored names and us alpha, numeric, or
alphanumeric "names" in their place.
The big question
is will the MKZ get lost in the shuffle? Will Lincoln have the chutzpah
to promote it properly? The MKZ is a nice car but in a sea of nice cars
it needs to be seen as special. And make no mistake it is special for
Lincoln. Lincoln, like other domestic luxury cars, has a rapidly aging
owner base, especially when compared to the European and Japanese
competition. How many twenty, or thirty-something’s do you know that
lust for a Lincoln as opposed to an Acura or BMW?
Okay, all that
aside here is what makes a MKZ. It is a front-wheel-drive (with AWD
optional), 5-person, four-door sedan. It does not claim to be a sport
sedan but it is close. Lincoln has tried to marry traditional luxury
touches with foreign functionality. And it does work.
Inside is soft
leather seating for 5, wood touches, accessory controls that are easy to
see and use (and that don't require a computer geek or 10-year old kid
to operate). This is the kind of interior a driver can be instantly at
Under the hood is
the same 3.5-liter V6 that is used in the Edge mated to the same 6-speed
automatic transmission. The engine produces 263-hp, which is 2 fewer
than in the Edge, curious. I would have expected more, not less.
Although the transmission is excellent, and I am not a fan of manual
shift automatics, the competition either offers a manual mode or a real
manual transmission. Lincoln does neither and really should.
transmission combo does excel at fuel economy. The FWD MKZ is rated at
19-mpg city and 27-mpg highway. The AWD version lowers that to a still
respectable 18/26. Considering that this is a 5-person sedan that weighs
almost 3,500 lbs. that is excellent economy.
The MKZ is a car
that begs to be driven aggressively on back roads. Even Lincoln's own
ads say, "throw off your stodgy attitude", and the MKZ comes so close,
but it just does not make it. As much as I liked the MKZ
I kept comparing it in my mind to so many other cars and it kept
coming up short.
The pieces are all
there: the aforementioned DOHC V6 (just tune the exhaust so it makes the
right noise) and the 6-speed auto trans, plus the P225/50VR17 tires,
taut suspension, aggressive stance, and twin pipes. The MKZ starts at
$29,235 and AWD will cost you only $1,870 more.
It just needs that
certain something to light a fire in a prospective buyers soul. Ford
isn't about to listen to me but the MKZ really only needs a little
tweaking. Start with the engine, upping the power to about 300. Then
open up the exhaust just a little so there's a nice growl. Give the
transmission a manual shift over-ride, and make it like the auto trans
that Jag uses, the one that blips the throttle on downshifts.
Add on a set of slightly more
aggressive tires with different wheels and there you have it, the new
Hot Rod Lincoln.
Oh yeah, stop
messing around with names. Go back to the Zephyr and build on it.
Ford has a new
CEO, Alan Mulally, who came from the aerospace industry. He used to
drive an Acura. Maybe Mr. Mulally will get the Lincoln designers and
Ford engineers into some competitor's products so they will realize what
they are up against. Keep the Lincoln Town Car for limos and old farts,
and build something exciting that kids will lust for when they grow up.
By Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Ford Home Page
Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: The MKZ is a car that
begs to be driven
Topic: The 2007 Lincoln MKZ
Word Count: 810
Photo Caption: The 2007 Lincoln MKZ
Photo Credits: Lincoln Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 27
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Lincoln MKZ
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Lincoln MKZ