Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994

    2009 Lincoln MKZ

    Remember Rocky vs. Mr. T? The third "Rocky" movie - the one where Stallone had to get back in the ring against a scary opponent (Mr. T) after the humiliating loss of his title - and his self-respect? That's pretty much where Lincoln is right now. Having been bounced out of the luxury car ring like a past-it palooka, Ford's once-strong luxury division is hoping for a comeback.

    Part of the rebuilding effort includes the mid-sized MKZ sedan - which appeared in late 2007 as an early '08 model and replaced the unsuccessful LS sedan.

    Unlike the rear-drive LS, the MKZ is built on a front-wheel-drive layout, with AWD optional. Where the old LS tried to compete with high-performance RWD sport sedans like the BMW 3-series and Cadillac Catera, the MKZ is intended as a domestic-brand alternative to cush-oriented entry-level luxury sedans such as the Lexus ES350.

    WHAT'S NEW

    The '09 MKZ is almost exactly identical to the 2008 version - except for two things. The first is that electronic stability control is now standard equipment. The second is a significant uptick in the MSRP of both the base model with FWD ($31,795) and the otherwise identical model with AWD ($33,685).

    The '08s were $30,980 and $32,850 respectively.

    The price uptick is understandable given the obnoxious depreciation of the dollar's value that has occurred over the past year; however, it eats away at one of the MKZ's biggest draws - its lowball price relative to competitors like the $34,120 Lexus ES350.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    Both versions of the '09 MKZ come with a 265 hp 3.5 liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission driving either the front wheels or all four wheels. One of the really nice perks of this engine is that it is designed to operate on regular unleaded. Many cars in this segment require premium - which can cost 20-30 cents or more per gallon than 87 octane regular.

    EPA rates the MKZ at 18 city, 28 highway - just slightly worse than the ES350's 19 mpg city mileage, but also just slightly better than the ES350's 27 mpgs on the highway.

    Power-wise, the MKZ's V-6 compares favorably with the ES350's 3.5 liter V-6, which at 272 hp is only slightly stronger. However, 0-60 times are about half to three quarters of a second behind the ES350, which can get there in 7.1 seconds vs. the 7.6-7.7 seconds of the MKZ.

    The Lincoln isn't a dog; it's just not especially athletic. But that wasn't Lincoln's intent here - and if your main concern is smooth, effective power delivery - and the ability to burn the cheap stuff - you may like it just fine.

    RIDE & HANDLING

    As noted before, the MKZ is a very different car than the old rear-wheel-drive LS. Compared with that car, its suspension is muey soft. As is its steering. Lincoln decided to quit trying to out-German the Germans (and out-Japanese the Japanese) and instead focus on what American luxury sedans have traditionally excelled at - that is, being soft, smooth and quiet.

    Cornering prowess is a secondary concern at best.

    STYLING & UTILITY

    In a segment gone swoopy and low-slung, the MKZ's boxier, more upright shape definitely stands out. There's a modernized, "wide-mouthed" version of the trademark Lincoln waterfall grille up front, crisp styling pleats pressed into the hood and trunk - and chrome accents (outside mirrors, trim rings around the fog lights) finishing it all off.

    Very much in keeping with the Lincoln history of subtle elegance and good taste.

    Inside, it's more controversial.

    The "twin breadbox" dash layout will be familiar to those who can remember the "Hawaii Five-O"-era Lincolns of the late '60s and early '70s. Light colors (creamy tans and off-whites) for the dashpad and door panels along with "satin nickel" accents and indirect puddle lighting give the cabin a soft and welcoming vibe.

    It's distinctive; it's different. Whether it's a good or bad move, however, only time and market reaction will tell. It's definitely a departure from the rounded/elliptical, hyper-aggressive sport-bike-like shapes that seem to be the "in thing" in luxury sedans lately.

    Other retro touches include an analog clock in the center stack and high-visibility numerical gauge facings (with LED backlighting) instead of digital stuff, which is also different - and nice because it's so immediately self-explanatory.

    The MKZ has a very large trunk, too - 15.8 cubic feet vs. the 14.7 cubic foot trunk in the Lexus ES350.

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    The MKZ's interior suffers from the presence of some hard (and cheap-looking) plastic panels on the dash. Like the Lexus ES350 (which is based on the Toyota Camry) the MKZ is based on a less-expensive, less prestigious Ford cousin (the Fusion sedan). But Lexus does a better job of covering up the family relationships; the MKZ's Fusion origins are sometimes a bit too obvious for comfort.

    Lincoln itself has been in the doldrums for years now. It's not that Lincolns are bad cars but rather that they don't hold their value nearly as well as other luxury cars - Lexus cars especially. But the upside to that is you should able to wrangle an MKZ for well under MSRP - a feat that's next to impossible to achieve with any Lexus.

    Safety-wise, there is much to praise. In addition to its now-standard electronic stability control, both FWD and AWD versions of the '09 MKZ come standard with front seat side impact and curtain airbags for both rows. The MKZ scores highly in both government and insurance industry crash testing.

    DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    The MKZ has good power, but isn't happy when pushed hard, especially in corners. The all-wheel-drive model has a firm grip on the pavement but the steering is pretty doughy and the suspension seems to react just slightly after you make an input, instead of delivering that immediate connectivity you find in a BMW, Lexus or Cadillac.

    The six-speed automatic has also been programmed for softness rather than sport feel; for example, it won't hold lower gears when powering through turns - and there are only two selector options on the shifter console, "Drive" and "Low." There's no "sport" setting - and no tap up/tap down manual gear change function, either.

    On the other hand, there are buyers out there who don't much care about high-performance handling and just want smoothness and quiet - which the MKZ absolutely delivers.

    The seats (which aren't "sport buckets") are extremely comfortable as well as easy to get into and out of. There is ample headroom both front and back, even with the optional sunroof - and even for drivers/passengers as tall as 6 ft 3.

    Nice touches include the hand-pull parking brake (which offers an additional level of safety in the event the regular brakes ever fail) and the Lincoln keypad entry system that lets you get into the car without a key - or if you've lost your key.

    Unlike more and more cars in this segment, the MKZ has simple push button controls for the AC and stereo system that are much less aggravating to use - and potentially expensive to fix down the road - than the "mouse" interfaces and so on you often find in competitors. You won't need a 200-page manual - or a degree in Microsoft CE - to figure out the MKZ's controls.

    Just get in - and drive.

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    Though its Fusion Connection isn't well hidden, the MKZ does have a few cards to play - chief among them being its relative affordability and available AWD.

    While Lincoln has upped the MSRPs for 2009, the MKZ - especially with AWD - is still a pretty good deal compared with its most obvious direct competitor, the Lexus ES350. The $34,120 Lexus doesn't offer AWD at all - yet starts out about $435 higher than the AWD-equipped $33,685 MKZ.

    The MKZ also compares quite favorably with middle-brand, mid-priced V-6 almost-luxury sedans like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry that don't have the prestige brand nameplate going for them - or the all-wheel-drive, either.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,783

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    Posted this article on the main site with pictures:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...9&Itemid=10893

  3. #3
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    It's still a Mazda 6, just as the ES350 is still a Camry.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    It's still a Mazda 6, just as the ES350 is still a Camry.
    True - however Toyota does a much better job of covering up the Camry roots of the ES350. Drive the two back to back and you'd be surprised how different they feel - not to mention the vastly better interior of the ES350. The MKZ meanwhile rides and drives almost exactly the same as its Ford cousin, albeit with a little more power.... .

    Lincoln is in bad shape. It's hardly even a luxury car brand anymore.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,783

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    Lincoln is in bad shape. It's hardly even a luxury car brand anymore.
    Mercury is dying and Lincoln is dropping down to the same level as Mercury once occupied a slightly more upscale from Ford. Chrysler when it got in financial trouble did the same thing with the Chrysler division, it dropped down a few levels. Even today a top of the line Chrysler 300 is at least $20K cheaper than the Cadillac STS.

    Maybe being a budget luxury marque is not such a bad thing, if the economy begans to tank Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, etc. may be hurting bad.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    Lincoln is in bad shape. It's hardly even a luxury car brand anymore.
    Mercury is dying and Lincoln is dropping down to the same level as Mercury once occupied a slightly more upscale from Ford. Chrysler when it got in financial trouble did the same thing with the Chrysler division, it dropped down a few levels. Even today a top of the line Chrysler 300 is at least $20K cheaper than the Cadillac STS.

    Maybe being a budget luxury marque is not such a bad thing, if the economy begans to tank Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, etc. may be hurting bad.
    I dunno.

    People who buy Benzes and BMWs are (generally) upper middle class and higher. I doubt the cost of fuel means much to them. After all, if your income is $200,000 annually having to pay an extra $2,000 every year for fuel is trivial.

    The people really feeling the pinch are the middle and working classes.

    As far as Mercury and Lincoln:

    I see no future for Mercury at all. Ford doesn't need a third division - and its market share doesn't justify it.

    Ford does, however, need a luxury brand. The problem is that Lincoln has slipped out of the luxury segment; it's at best a distant, second or third string player. The entire division needs to be completely made over. They appear to be going the Acura route - meaning, not quite in the BMW/Benz league but close enough to at least be considered as an alternative to those "premium" brands, etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,783

    Re: 2009 Lincoln MKZ

    I know a few people who have recently traded in or in the process of trading in their BMWs and Mercedes for less expensive cars. The big uptick in recent years of Mercedes, BMW, etc. sales was due to middle class people buying them. The middle class with the falling prices in the real estate market (no equity to pull out of their houses to buy these expensive cars), job security becoming more iffy, etc. are beginning to move away from buying these cars. Servicing and insuring BMWs and Mercedes is very costly, and when the wallet gets tight people trade them in on lesser marques.

    Diamler will rue the day, when they decided to loot Chrysler and toss them into the garbage. If they had done what they said they were going to do back in 1998, as the economy tanks they would have less expensive Chrysler and Dodge cars like the Neon (which Diamler cancelled) to fall back on. Instead they took all this money and spent it on Mercedes (on such worthless endeavors as a Mercedes minivan, the CLS which is a redunant product built on the W211 E-Class platform, the Maybach, etc.), they doubled their model lineup offerings during the Chrysler looting. These are all offerings that will die in the next 3 years as sales dry up. Mercedes Benz has a tough road ahead especially as the economy worldwide continues to tank. The Smart Car is their only bright spot, but it's not enough for them to avoid the fate that awaits.

    The big question is what will Dieter Zetsche do now that he does not have Chrysler (to loot) to feather his nest?




Similar Threads

  1. What should Lincoln do?
    By chiph in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-04-2010, 03:07 PM
  2. 2009 Lincoln MKS
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-25-2008, 06:28 AM
  3. 2009 Lincoln MKS belly flop on its way to dealers
    By Eric in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-22-2008, 07:57 AM
  4. 2009 Lincoln MKS - Doomed to flop?
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-08-2008, 10:14 AM
  5. Preview: 2009 Lincoln MKS
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-30-2007, 08:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •