Joyce and I were lucky enough to be a part of Lincoln Canada’s Blogger Date Night experience, where we were treated out to have dinner at a restaurant of our choice, and given a 2013 Lincoln MKZ to drive for a couple days. I’m a big fan of the new Ford products, and was quite excited to have the opportunity to test this car. Here are my thoughts.
Prequel: the Food
Miku Restaurant was overall a positive experience. The service is impeccable. The food is a little more tricky. We were lucky enough to try a number of different things on the menu, and as with most restaurants, there were dishes that oozed flavour and made me want more and more, and there were dishes that left me with a couple nods and a shrug. You can’t go wrong with their aburi and aburi oshi sushi; they are all good. The mussels with pork belly is another winner. Go with the seafood (obviously), and go with their popular dishes, and you will have a great time.
Since Joyce covered the food in great detail, so let me jump into the car, and tell you a bit about the 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
The Lincoln MKZ was first introduced as the Lincoln Zephyr, named after an entry level Lincoln from the old days. MK = Mark, Z = Zephyr.
Without going into too much detail, you should know that MKZ shares its platform with the Ford Fusion, which in turn was derived from the Mazda 6.
This is simply the reality of the modern automotive industry. We live in the golden age of platform sharing. However, gone are the days when companies like GM would stick 10 different badges on the same car. Today, cars that share platforms are expected to look different and feel different. And because one platform can be used to derive several models, manufacturers can invest more into the R&D of a particular platform (you’d hope anyways).
Now the question becomes, how good of a job did they do with the MKZ?
The car arrived early, while still completely dark out. The LED headlights shined through my curtains like the morning sun. It’s got a long strip of elegant LED tail lights to match. The exterior looks modern, clean, frankly too good for my driveway.
I got the fully loaded 3.7L AWD version, priced at just over $50,000, a long way up from its 38k starting point. It does come with all the toys.
The interior looks amazing by Detroit standards, which isn’t saying much. I am glad they are catching up to the Euros.
The waterfall like centre console is the centrepiece of it all. The use of a push-button “shifter” allows Lincoln to create this seamless flow. It’s very futuristic, and very cool.
The design is aesthetically pleasing, but form over function. The climate and radio touch controls take some getting used to (especially trying to get the fan speed or radio volume just right). The push button shifter is neat at first, but frankly proves to be more work than a traditional shifter.
With 300hp from the v6, there’s plenty of power on tap. The acceleration is brisk, and the transmission shifts when it should in auto mode (normal or sport), but it’s not as reactive as I’d like when using the paddle shifters.
There are 3 suspension/drive settings: comfort, normal, and sport. I didn’t even try the comfort setting as I found normal to be too uncontrolled as is. In normal, there is excess movement over bumps, and lots of body roll when turning. I could really feel the 4000+ lbs of heft. Once it’s in sport mode, things tightened up nicely.
Unfortunately the drive does give its underpin away. The MKZ doesn’t have the same kind of agility and feedback you’d get in proper sports sedan. It doesn’t like to be pushed very hard, and lacks that “glued to the road” feeling. This is still the best handling Lincoln that’s ever been made, and it will take on spirited drives with no problem.
The MKZ is a capable highway cruiser. The seats are very supportive, yet still soft enough to be comfortable. The suspension does a good job of absorbing the small cracks and bumps, and keeps the car stable at high speeds. This car has tons of toys for you to use on the highway. The only disappointing part is the noticeable wind noise at cruising speed.
Lincoln packed this car with goodies. I’ll just go over a few of the less common/cool features the MKZ has.
Headlights that turn towards the direction you steer—it’s so simple and works so well it’s a wonder why doesn’t everybody do it. This is hardly a new invention. Its first use can be traced back to the 1930s.
I did a little night driving on some back country roads with no street lights. It made me wonder how I ever managed with regular headlights.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Cruise control isn’t much use on urban highways. There are too many cars around; they speed up, slow down, and change lanes all over the place.
Adaptive cruise control, now quite common on luxury cars, changed all that. It’s able to adjust the speed automatically to maintain distance from the car in front, and it will even brake for you if the car in front slows down quickly.
Driving long distances is very tiring. The repetitiveness of the highway/freeway always makes me drowsy.
The lane-keeping system keeps you in your lane. The front camera sees where the lanes are. If you start to drift out of your lane, it will do three things: 1. an audible alert; 2. a visual alert; 3. physically correct your steering to put you back in your lane. #3 is clearly the most impressive. I tested it out several times, and it worked like a charm.
Active Park Assist
I’ve always been critical about this feature on new cars. I’ve seen videos where the car would move at a snail’s pace, or it would hit a fence, or it would take up way too much space..
I tested out this feature multiple times. It really does make parallel parking a breeze. I control the throttle/brake, and the car steers and parks itself. Apparently it will park in spaces within 1.2 times the length of the car, which is a pretty reasonable amount. I doubt I can do much better.
Big WOW: Retractable Panoramic Roof
Holy jeebus this thing is huge. The glass roof (I’ll call it skyroof) will slide back to cover the rear window of the car.
Even in the middle of November, I drove with the roof open for a good amount of time. It reminded me of my old E30 convertible, which now I wish I didn’t sell.
This is a must-have option for the car. It does cause buffeting at speed, however the roof will automatically decrease its opening as you speed up.
While the interior looks promising, there are some QA issues that just shouldn’t exist for a car at this price range. The console storage buttons are finicky to operate. Sometimes it would open when you press on it, and sometimes it wouldn’t. There was a strange rattle noise when I first got the car, coming from the roof, but that went away after I opened and closed it a few times. One of the LEDs for the interior ambient lighting is mounted too low, so I can see the bulb from my driving position.
Drive – 7/10
Exterior – 9/10
Interior – 6/10
Toys – 9/10
Total – 31/40
Thank you again to Lincoln Canada for partnering with us on this Blogger Date Night experience. If you want to read about what Joyce says about this experience, click here.