The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid combines luxury and serious fuel economy perfectly.
By Holly Reich
THE BIG PICTURE
Lincoln debuts its very first hybrid in the 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, with an astounding 41-mpg city/36 mpg highway. It’s big news that this MKZ is still packed with all the luxury appointments one would expect from a Lincoln. And at no extra cost. The front-wheel-drive gasoline MKZ and the hybrid model start at $34,645.
Inside the cabin, Lincoln’s signature luxury markers hold true. Touches include wings of wood, stitched seats, plastic lined cup-holders, flocked felt in the back seat storage area and a bright, easy-to-use nav system. The eco-system makes driving a hybrid fun. My husband, who is a nut for lumbar support, was all about the comfortable seats. The trunk? Truly it swallowed my entire Thanksgiving shopping spree at Costco.
An interesting note: Lincoln uses a number of recycled materials in their vehicles, including genuine wood appliqués and Bridge of Weir luxury leather, which uses a chromium-free, organic tanning process and is completely recyclable at the end of its life. Post-consumer plastics and recycled resins such as detergent bottles, tires and battery casings are used to create parts like splash shields and radiator air deflector shields.
As mentioned, a trunk big enough for your big party shopping, plenty of room for three kids and two adults. Being hybrid – well, that’s obviously a family winner. But, bottom line, this is a serious family sedan, and a great mom car.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with Lincoln’s exclusive Personal Safety System, seven protection technologies that include dual-stage front airbags and an occupant classification system that senses whether the passenger seat is occupied. It also can gauge how heavy (or large the person is – meaning if it’s a child or an adult) and customizes airbag deployment to provide the appropriate level of protection.
Other safety features include child safety locks for the rear seat, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether anchors for Children).
The vehicle comes standard with AdvanceTrack electronic stability control that is designed to help drivers maintain steering control as well as directional stability in adverse conditions.
The MyKey owner control feature, a Lincoln-exclusive, allows owners to limit speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive more responsibly. It also encourages seat belt use, provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph.
Integrated spotter mirrors, which can detect cars and objects in your blind spot, and a Reverse Sensing System, which beeps when something is blocking your path when you back up, also are available.
GIZMOS AND TECH
The 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is by definition packed with clever technology starting with the interactive SmartGauge with EcoGuide. It provides information to help maximize fuel efficiency and coaches drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance. The system gives positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance through the growth of virtual small flowers on its right-most screen. The pretty white flowers, inspired by apple blossoms, can really make your day. Winning this game is all about driving smart.
Another technology new to Lincoln MKZ is SYNC AppLink, a software application that gives Lincoln SYNC users hands-free voice control of select smartphone apps.
Lincoln also offers up a great sound system. The 5.1 surround sound with a 12-channel amplifier delivers 600 watts to 14 speakers and two subwoofers.
Worth a mention: Easy Fuel (capless fuel filler) – This Lincoln exclusive feature uses an integrated spring-loaded flapper door to eliminate the need for a fuel tank screw cap. (That means no chipped nails for me.) Heated and cooled front seats – always a plus.
Yes, Lincoln you brought it on with the hybrid. Now add some glitter and capture a younger crowd.
It’s a Lincoln sedan with all the luxury appointments that tag along with the badging. And it’s a hybrid!
The interior is not only lux but those little white flowers that pop up when you are being a good (eco-conscious) driver are really fun to look at.
Exterior styling. Yes, this sedan has that buff grille going for it but basically, I’m ready for some more radical design, something that looks pluckier, funkier.