The MkZ…Take Two
April 4, 2012
By: Austin Rutherford
Not long ago, Lincoln set out to reinvent itself in the eyes of the customer. At the New York International Show, they showed their first full effort with the all-new MkZ. To debut the car, Ford and Lincoln brought out many high level executives and moved their Lincoln stand away from Ford to separate the two brands.
Seeing the MkZ only in pictures does not do the new design justice. One needs to see it in person to appreciate not only the overall design, but the subtle cravings as well.
The new bow wave grill gives a much more authentic face to the brand than the past “cheese grater” or “baleen” designs. The horizontal lines fan out from the grill. Much like a wave, each piece has a curve in it that gives the grill more dimensions. The LED headlights
Moving onto the side, the grooves in the profile expand deeper along the length of the vehicle to give the vehicle large hips and a more aero look at a ¼ view of the vehicle.
The top half of the rear is very good looking with the thin body wide taillights. These taillights are highly stylized. The rear window design extends into the truck. Though this is not really glass, it still complements the design of the fenders very well. This also helps cover up the radio which had to be moved here due to the full glass roof.
The bottom of the rear is where things get dicey. Even though the tailpipes are integrated and have a nice design, the surrounding area is completely cheap black plastic. You would think with Lincoln wanting to hit the luxury market hard with the new MkZ, that this area would at least be painted. This leaves us with a very uneasy feeling due to the fact the all-new Fusion does not have this and has more put together, luxurious look to the lower rear end.
The interior is a pretty much a carry over from the concept shown in Detroit. Thanks to the gear shifter moving out of the center console, the area under it is now free and offers huge amounts of carrying space for bags, etc. The loss of the shifter also gives a more open feel to a front seat driver.
On short inspection of the seats, we found them comfortable enough, but we do think they could still use more padding. We believe this shortcoming is a result of some sharing still conducted with the Fusion.
Perhaps the most noticeable and annoying quality issue with the next MkZ is in the rear seat. Instead of extending the side of the bench seat to the door opening, Lincoln took the cheap route. This pre-production model, so hopefully this could change, had cheap plastic in this all-important place, which gave an unsettling feeling when getting into the rear passenger door. For instance, the new Chevy Impala had the seats extended to the doors. If a budget minded Impala can have a better quality back seat, there is no excuse for Lincoln to have it as well.
All in all, the Lincoln MkZ is an impressive start for Ford’s next mountain to climb. The next steps for Lincoln need to be to build upon this sound foundation and climb the rest of the way hopefully to the top of the luxury mountain.