With a MSRP of $35,400, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ is easily one of the most affordable midsize luxury sedans on the market. Last year, Lincoln decided to update the MKZ’s styling, making it a car worth checking out.

The long list of standard features and quiet ride should appeal to a lot of car shoppers. While the base MKZ delivers ample performance, the available 3.0L EcoBoost engine packs a serious punch. Impressive crash-test scores prove that the new MKZ is a well-built automobile.

Performance Specs

The base power source for the new MKZ is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It develops a satisfying 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard as well. While most drivers will have no complaints about the base engine, the optional turbocharged V6 engine is especially potent. You can also choose the optional 3.0L EcoBoost engine for an extra punch. All-wheel-drive versions are rated to produce a sensational 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Unsurprisingly, the extra muscle under the hood transforms the Lincoln MKZ into a much more exciting car to drive. When launched from a standstill, the 3.0L MKZ takes only 5.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. Lincoln also offers a fuel-saving hybrid engine, which develops a total of 188 horsepower.

Expect the 2018 Lincoln MKZ to deliver a smooth performance on the road. Whether you are driving through the city or hustling down the interstate, ride comfort will remain impressive. The MKZ’s standard adaptive suspension automatically adjusts to different types of pavement. If you demand the best possible handling, opt for the Driver’s Package. A performance-tuned suspension and Lincoln’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring system enable the MKZ to perform more like a genuine sports sedan. When you take a sharp curve, you will immediately notice the car’s balanced driving dynamics. While front-wheel drive comes standard, the optional AWD system ensures better traction during slippery weather conditions.

Fuel Economy

When equipped with the base engine, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ will return an economical 21 mpg in town and up to 31 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the larger 3.0L EcoBoost engine lowers the sedan’s fuel economy to 18 mpg in town and 27 mpg on the open road. Keep in mind the optional AWD system further reduces the MKZ’s gas mileage. To obtain the maximum fuel economy, choose the hybrid model. According to the EPA, it will return a thrifty 41 mpg in the city and 38 mph on the highway. Unlike some of today’s other luxury sedans, the new MKZ does not require the use of premium fuel. Lincoln engineered it to run perfectly fine on regular unleaded gasoline.

Safety and Entertainment Features

The new 2018 Lincoln MKZ proves to be a very secure family vehicle. It managed to earn a five-star overall safety rating. A Top Safety Pick+ certification by the IIHS further highlights the MKZ’s ability to safety transport passengers. In the event that your airbags deploy during a collision, Lincoln’s SOS Post-Crash Alert System will automatically call for help. Meanwhile, a standard backup camera helps you to dodge obstacles when parking. If you allow your teenager to get behind the wheel, Ford’s MyKey feature allows you to set a speed limit and restrict the stereo system’s maximum volume. Several advanced driving aids are now offered. Automatic brake priming helps you to stop quickly during emergencies. Some of the other safety innovations include adaptive cruise control, lane departure intervention, and blind-spot monitoring.

Most car reviewers agree that the new Lincoln MKZ is a true bang for the buck. It comes loaded with plenty of high-tech goodies. Lincoln’s Sync 3 infotainment system is among the best. It is simple to use and quickly reacts to your touch. Some of the other notable standard features include an 11-speaker sound system, smartphone integration, and voice controls. You will find an even greater number of luxurious features on the higher trim levels. City dwellers will especially like the automated parking system. Boasting a total of 20 speakers and a 1200-watt amplifier, the Revel Ultima audio system has received high marks for its superb sound quality. A beautiful panoramic sunroof is available as well.

How It Stacks Up Against the Competition

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ measures up well against rivals such as the 2018 Acura TLX and the 2018 Lexus ES. In contrast to the Lexus ES, the new MKZ can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Some drivers will also prefer the MKZ’s elegant exterior styling. While the TLX is engaging to drive, its top-of-the-line engine is not nearly as powerful. When equipped with Lincoln’s 3.0L EcoBoost engine, the MKZ is noticeably quicker than both of these competitors

Pros / Cons

For the money, the base Lincoln MKZ is hard to beat. Its high-quality interior and satisfying amount of standard equipment make it a legitimate bargain. However, the available turbocharged V6 engine gives the MKZ an extra measure of driving excitement. Head-turning exterior styling is yet another one of the MKZ’s key selling points. Featuring niceties such as multi-contour seats and exclusive leather upholstery, the Black Label trim is especially plush.

While the new MKZ certainly deserves a test drive, there are a few cons to consider. The sedan’s sleek roof limits the amount of available headroom. This could be an issue for the drivers who have tall family members. Despite the MKZ’s powerful optional engine, it is still not quite as engaging drive as some of today’s other luxury cars. If sportiness is a top priority, sedans like the 2018 Cadillac ATS and the 2018 BMW 3 Series will leave you more inspired.