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2015 Lincoln MKZ 3.7 AWD Black Label Quick Spin

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Filed under Automotive, Lincoln, Test Drives


Surprisingly, there continues to be a few vehicle manufacturers attempting to redefine themselves even with the currently thriving automotive industry. Among them, Lincoln tends to be a brand that stands out in the crowd in need of a proper placement yet still has a decent offering when it comes to their MKZ midsized luxury sedan.

>> Get the best price on the Lincoln MKZ from a network of local dealers now. <<

The 2015 Lincoln MKZ has remained to be a slight head turner since its full redesign for the 2013 model year. The MKZ carries on with very few changes other than the addition of parking sensors, automatic headlights and a review camera to the list of standard features for all trims.


Powered by either a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder or my test vehicle’s 3.7-liter V6, the MKZ serves up consistent power expectations but both options remain to be slightly underwhelming especially when you consider the straight-line performance of its direct competition. While the MKZ Hybrid offers exceptional fuel mileage compared to its gas-powered siblings, my 2015 Lincoln MKZ Black Label 3.7 AWD gets an underwhelming EPA estimated 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. I walked away seeing my best highway figure of 23.6 mpg and a combined 19.8 mpg, hardly the efficient vehicle here.


With 300 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque from my test vehicle’s 3.7-liter V6 and an all-wheel-drive system, the straight line performance was expected to be a bit more than what I experienced. Sixty mph come up in about 6.7 seconds while the stability of the chassis thanks to its adjustable and adaptive dampers proved to be more exhilarating than its sheer acceleration. The MKZ may do better with additional gears outside of the only transmission available, its 6-speed automatic controlled by a line of push-buttons on the dashboard, which can be confused with the ignition start/stop button right above the Park button. While very different, there is something that just isn’t right about push buttons for gear selections on the dashboard.


The three-mode (comfort, normal, sport) adaptive dampers change the driving character of the vehicle in drastic ways, especially selecting the sport setting where rebound of the suspension system is quite limited and rather stiff at times going over large dips or humps in the road. Overall, ride quality is good and quite comfortable in normal or comfort modes, which are selectable through the vehicle’s settings menu on the gauge cluster by way of the steering wheel buttons. The default sport “S” button in the array of dash-mounted transmission shift buttons places the dampers in sport mode while the transmission adapts to proactively downshift often.


Lincoln’s interior appointments in the MKZ remain to be in a state to pull off the unthinkable. Basically, the interior is almost there for a true luxury appeal. Probably the diminishing point of return lies with the center console stack with its touch-capacitive buttons that can be a bit cumbersome tied in with the slow-to-respond and small graphic on-screen buttons of the Sync touchscreen infotainment system. This is an area Ford and Lincoln continue to struggle, potentially seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel with a reworking of the system for some upcoming 2016 and 2017 model vehicles. We’ll have to wait and see if the “improvements” pan out to be just that.


With the upscale Black Label designation for my 2015 Lincoln MKZ, there is a selection of one of four designer themes, in addition to select exterior colors exclusive to the exclusive branding. The cabin on my test vehicle is refined with Vianca white diamond-perforated leather seats with red accent stitching and the same stitching throughout the door trim. Additionally, the exterior is a unique, eye-catching electric-bluish “Notorious” paint color. Yes, it is serious, I suppose.


In all, the Lincoln MKZ has its plenty of work to put in to undercut its competition. While the good looks and sleek appeal of the MKZ is great, I’m not sure those good lonely attributes are enough to fend off competition. I found myself wanting a bit more regarding headroom and acceleration power to match its lustrous looks, and luxury appointments. Still, in my loaded up MKZ Black Label test vehicle you do get an ample assortment of luxury-esq equipment, such as front heated and ventilated massaging seats, heated rear outboard seats, a suede-like headliner, a bevy of active safety features, all LED exterior lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels, a massively-sized sliding panoramic sunroof, and overall comfortable and compliant driving characteristics. Chewing off the as-tested price of $56,415 might be a little hard to accept but at the sum of all of its parts listed on paper, you could easily justify the price of admission until you spend a week or more with the MKZ.

>> Get the best price on the Lincoln MKZ from a network of local dealers now. <<

Copyright: 2015


  • Price: Base MKZ $38,975 /$56,415 As-Tested MKZ 3.7 AWD Black Label including $895 destination charges
  • Engine: 3.7-liter DOHC V6 300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm / 277 lb.ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
  • Total length: 194.1 inches
  • Total width: 73.4 inches
  • Total height: 58.2 inches
  • Track: f/r-62.3/62 inches
  • Turning circle: 38 feet
  • Headroom: 37.9/36.5 inches
  • Legroom: 44.3/37 inches
  • Fuel tank: 17.5 gallons
  • Curb weight: 4,129 pounds
  • Cargo volume: 15.4 cu.ft.
  • Passenger volume: 96.5 cu.ft.
  • Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds
  • EPA mileage: 18 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
  • 0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds

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