This review has been a long time coming.  I was fortunate enough to meet the Lincoln MKZ exterior styling manager Solomon Song around a year ago at the Mandarin Oriental in South Beach.  What a nice guy, and what a great car!  I didn’t know how it drove because we only had pre-production prototypes, but the passion Mr. Song had for this car was apparent- and it shows.  So how was the car to have for a week?  And how is the hybrid?  And how on earth is Lincoln offering this car for the same price as the non-hybrid model?

My first impressions were beyond favorable.  The exterior looks great in any color, especially this gorgeous pearl white.  The lines are extremely modern and distinct.  (Good job Solomon!)  Standard keyless entry and start works without a hitch.  One of the absolute coolest features on the Lincoln has to be the push button shifter.  Why on earth hasn’t anyone done this (in recent memory anyway)?  The soft touch non-glossy surfaces are classy and non glare.  Speaking of those surfaces, this is the first all touch-sensitive interior that actually works.  All of the controls are intuitive and disappear when the car is off, MyLincolnTouch works great and is very easy to use and navigate, and the LCD gauge cluster is full of useful economy information.  The optional THX stereo is great and sounds good with all types of music.  The screens are all readable in direct sunlight and always tell you what you need to know.  The interior is extremely well thought out.

2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

The leather seats and material quality is a huge step up from previous cars and compares with much more high end cars.  The standard LED headlights and tail lights work great, as does the standard keyless entry and pushbutton start.  The interior appointments leave nothing to be desired, especially at this price range.  I can’t say enough about how nicely this vehicle is built.  It’s VERY VERY quiet inside, due in part to Ford’s use of Soundscreen which sandwiches sound absorbing vinyl between it’s glass layers.

And HOW is the hybrid the same price as the regular engine one?  I got around 36-38mpg average with this Lincoln on regular gas, and it didn’t cost any more than the gas one.  I’m still in awe.  Good luck trying to pick out the MKZ hybrid in the crowd.  Other than the attractive and different wheels and a simple “2.0H” badge on this back, this car makes its presence (or lack thereof) known at the gas pump rather than screaming “HYBRID” to every passer by.

The MKZ drives well, a bit soft as you’d expect for this type of car, but body motions are well controlled and the suspension is always supple and comfortable.  It still manages to be pretty fun to drive, especially with the torque of the electric motor helping out.  My friends, family, and all of my friends had nothing but good things to say about the Lincoln.  It’s rare to get such a great consensus, but it’s really clear that Lincoln has hit the ball out of the park.

2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Bottom line, I have no idea how Lincoln packed this much value and quality into this product.  If this is any indication of the new Lincoln Motor Company, we’re in for a treat.  This is the absolute benchmark for a car under $40,000, let alone a hybrid for that price.  If you’re in the market for a mid size luxury sedan, hybrid or not,  the Lincoln MKZ should be on your short list.  What a great car.  Solomon and the rest of the team: keep up the great work.