When it comes to entry-level luxury sedans, most American buyers are more interested in European and Japanese brands. Lincoln has been trying to compete in this segment with the Ford Fusion-based MKZ for years despite its limited success.
Lincoln has re-made the MKZ front end with a new look that was first found in the brand new Continental sedan. The LED headlights and a Jaguar-style grille add character to the car sleek body. Lincoln also added a new turbocharged V6 engine good for 400 hp. A base four-cylinder turbocharged engine and Hybrid powertrain continue to complete the MKZ lineup.
If you’re planning on shopping for a luxury sedan that gives you plenty of features for your money, or if high fuel economy is a priority then 2018 Lincoln MKZ is worth a try. Otherwise, you may find some rival luxury sedans that are more appealing.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Lincoln MKZ is an entry-level, four-door midsize luxury sedan that sold four trims levels: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label. There are three powertrains available: a four-cylinder, six-cylinder and hybrid.
The base Premiere model is well-equipped and comes standard with keyless entry and ignition, an adaptive suspension, 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver-seat memory settings, power-adjustable front seats with heating, simulated leather upholstery and a 60/40-split folding rear seat with pass-through. Standard tech features include a rearview camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 8-inch touchscreen display, Lincoln’s Sync 3 infotainment interface, Sync smartphone app integration, Bluetooth, and an 11-speaker sound system with two USB ports, a CD player and satellite radio.
The MKZ Select gets you an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, a power-adjustable steering wheel, four-way power lumbar adjustment front seats, genuine wood trim, leather upholstery, enhanced interior ambient lighting, two rear-seat USB charging ports and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.
Optional for the Select is the Select Plus package, which adds rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, a navigation system and power trunklid.
The Reserve trim includes all above features along with 19-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, A 14-speaker Revel audio system with HD radio and enhanced connectivity functionality.
The 2018 Lincoln MKZ Black Label is similar to the Reserve but also get upgraded and extended leather upholstery and a simulated suede headliner and a choice of three unique themes. The Black Label also offers a host of special services, including extended premium maintenance plan, remote vehicle delivery, a mobile showroom, pickup and drop-off of your car for service work.
Most options are bundled into packages. The Climate package adds a windshield wiper de-icer, automatic wipers, automatic high-beam control, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The Technology package adds an automated parking system, a forward collision warning system with pre-collision assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention.
For the Reserve, a Luxury package gets you LED headlights and a premium Revel Ultima audio system with 20 speakers and HD radio. The Driver package adds distinctive interior and exterior trim details, a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch polished alloy wheels, painted brake calipers, torque vectoring (V6 AWD) and multi-contour front seats. The Climate and Technology packages are available with the Reserve as well.
Stand-alone options include 19-inch polished alloy wheels, a power rear sunshade, a panoramic moonroof, or traditional sunroof and inflatable rear safety belts.
The 2018 Lincoln MKZ is available with three different powertrains. The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission with a push-button gear shift are standard. All-wheel drive is optional.
In performance testing, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, an average for the class. EPA fuel economy returns 24 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway) for FWD models and 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive.
Optional for the Select, Reserve and Black Label is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine will attract to driving enthusiasts with its 350 hp and 400 lb-ft on tap with front-wheel drive. Output jumps to 400 hp when equipped with all-wheel drive. It also matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
In performance testing, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T AWD went to 60 mph from zero in quick 4.8 seconds. Top speed of 150 mph. Fuel economy rating stands at 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway) with front-drive and (20/17/26) with all-wheel drive.
The 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Together this combination produces a total output of 188 hp. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sent that power to the front-wheel. In track testing, the MKZ Hybrid accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, which is slower than the Lexus ES 300h. The EPA economy rating at 40 mpg combined (41 city/38 highway).
Inside, the 2018 MKZ Lincoln cabin is all about the seamless combination of technology and luxury. In terms of luxury, the higher trim has a rich look and feel, and the Black Label model boasting premium leather upholstery with unique stitching and genuine wood trim.
In terms of technology, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ interior can be fitted with low-profile but highly usable features, including the adaptive cruise control that can be used in stop-and-go traffic and the practical Sync voice control systems. Lincoln has also replaced the MKZ previous touch-sensitive audio system control with old-fashion tuning, climate and volume knob. The new Sync 3 interface is also more responsive to inputs, and its large virtual keys are easier to press accurately. The optional navigation system offers swiping and pinch-to-zoom features that mimic a smartphone interface.
The front seats offer excellent comfort, and the optional multi-contour seats offer unlimited adjustment. The sloping rear roofline makes the headroom limited for tall rear seat passengers, but the leg room is quite generous.
With 15.4 cubic feet, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ trunk size is excellent and becomes more practical thanks to the standard 60/40-split folding rear backrest. The hybrid model has 11.1 cubic feet, which is smaller due to the gasoline/electric powertrain large battery pack.
Release dates and price
Official price for the base MKZ Premiere starts at $36,530 (including the $925 destination fee). The Select costs $39,425, while the Reserve trim has a starting price tag of $41,095. The Black Label is the most luxurious MKZ and costs $48,915. All-wheel drive as a $1,900 option