Oakville Drives: 2017 Lincoln MKZ AWD Reserve: A Professional Driver’s Perspective

Lincoln MKZ 2017 AWD Reserve
Oakville Drives: 2017 Lincoln MKZ AWD Reserve: A Professional Driver’s Perspective
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is a second-generation all wheel drive five-person, mid-sized luxury sedan introduced in 2013 to replace the original version that existed for model years 2006 to 2012. The MKZ is based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion. The 2017 version of the MKZ includes a front-end facelift, featuring a new grill and headlights as well as a change in the standard engine from the 3.7L V6 to a 3.0L twin turbo V6 producing 400 hp. The MKZ is available in two base models, Select and Reserve.

Ford has enhanced the Lincoln brand to once again be a real competitor in the luxury marketplace.

I have now had the opportunity to drive and review the 2017 Continental, MKX and this MKZ. I think Ford has done a very nice job with these vehicles and nicely enhanced the Lincoln brand to once again be a real competitor in the luxury marketplace.

Handling characteristics
The MKZ comes standard with Ford’s 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo charged engine 245hp in both the “Select” and “Reserve” models. This is matched with all wheel drive and a six speed automatic transmission. You can still get the MKZ Select or Reserve in front wheel drive but you then need to select the hybrid engine. My test vehicle included the optional 3.0L twin turbocharged V-6 engine with 400hp (available only on the “Reserve” with an additional $4,500 payment). Personally, I think the 400hp version is just what this car deserves.

Ford Motor Company of Canada

Model: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD
Engine: 3.0L twin turbocharged V-6 engine
Base Price: $42,300 (before HST)
Price as Tested: $67,850 (before HST)

We had the opportunity to truly test the comfort of this car on our 7.5-hour drive from Oakville to Ottawa last Easter weekend. After the first three hours in stop and go traffic, I found myself switching on the seat massage function to ease the cramping. I also played with the adaptive cruise control to give my right leg a break from the action, but that didn’t last long. Regardless of the “following distance” you select, even the smallest distance provided plenty of room for the lane switchers to slide in at the last possible moment – resulting in more abrupt system generated braking. I also found a similar harsher braking action with the “following distance” set at minimum when travelling at higher speeds on the open highway and approaching a much slower vehicle. Quite unnerving at first – and finally resulting in my turning off the cruise control altogether. Adaptive cruise control is a great function as long as the change in speed of traffic is not abrupt, or you don’t have to put up with another driver’s last second right to left lane shift in front of you.

Once on the more “open” highway, the MKZ settles very nicely with a comfortable suspension and solid steering feel. The 6-speed transmission provided barely noticeable and smooth shifts. Dynamic torque vectoring included in the optional “driver’s sport package” added to the sense of full control though the sharper and higher speed corners. The MKZ suspension can also be adjusted through the drive settings to provide a more sporty and responsive feel. City driving is equally comfortable with excellent visibility supported by the car’s sensing and alert systems. Parking this larger sedan is helped by the front and rear sensors, and the park assist function.

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2017 Lincoln MKZ AWD Reserve

2017 Lincoln MKZ AWD Reserve

Comfort and styling
This is a very nicely appointed mid-sized sedan. Like with other Lincoln models, you’re greeted with an illuminated “welcome mat” under the power-folding mirror as you approach. Driver and front passenger comfort is provided by the standard 10-way heated leather seats with adjustable massaging air cushions in the seat and lower seat back. The design and layout of driver steering wheel controls as well as the dash-mounted controls is very good. Lincoln has located the push-button drive selector next to the screen that as a result, provides for a smooth centre console with more storage. One of the nice to have, but I think a pricey options, is Lincoln’s ($5,500) “Luxury Package” that consists of adaptive LED headlights and the upgraded Revel Ultima Audio system with 20 speakers that can belt out a great sound. As I’ve reported previously, Ford already has an excellent Sync 3 display and voice activated system that stands up to the best of them.

The MKZ comes with the “Climate Package” as standard equipment even in the base model. This gives you heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, rain sensing wipers with de-icer, and auto high beam. The optional “Technology Package” ($2,450) gives you that adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, forward sensing and enhanced park assist. Finally, the optional “Driver’s Sport Package” ($3,400) adds aluminum foot pedal covers, painted calipers, nicer rims, a sport tuned suspension and dynamic torque vectoring. Perhaps one of the nicer options on this car is the panoramic roof ($3,450) to enhance the driving experience on those warmer summer evenings.

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD

Safety
Lincoln has done a very good job with their safety features, whether as mandated by our regulations or provided as standard or optional equipment. Driver and passenger protection is enhanced through a full array of air bag and belt systems supported by a comprehensive set of warning systems. The driver’s ability to maintain car control is supported through the well-developed electronic stability control, ABS braking, dynamic torque vectoring, lane keeping, driver alert, and a host of front, side and rear sensing systems.

Things to consider
The MKZ can be an excellent choice for someone looking for a 5-passenger four-door luxury sedan with a sporty look and feel. Even the base model comes with many of the desirable comfort, safety, performance and style features without having to spend more. Of course, adding some of the optional packages can really enhance the feeling of luxury as well as drive comfort.

For more automotive reviews and insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol.

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