Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...
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Thread: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

  1. #1
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    Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Previously I wrote my impressions of the MKZ at the Boston Auto Show (and every other brand there). Today I went to the last hour of the Providence Auto Show and had LOTS more time to spend with the MKZ and its immediate competition, the ATS (the MKZ and ATS were almost nose-to-nose), Avalon, Azera, and and Genesis. No one was there in the final hour, the reps were exhausted and not assulting me for my personal info every 5 seconds, and no one cared I was obviously doing direct car to car comparos, which bug the reps at bigger shows. Anyone can feel free to ask me any questions...

    MKZ:
    So, the same two MKZ's at Boston were in Providence as well, a Ruby Red Hybrid with the darkened 19 inch wheels and a 2.0 AWD Smoked Quartz with the standard 18 inch wheels, both without panoramic sunroofs (why at big shows like this?). As before, the Hybrid was open, the AWD wasn't. However, there were some big differences:
    • The lighting in the RI Convention Center was much less harsh than the Boston Center, and the colors looked very different here. The Ruby Red, which looked somewhat bright in Boston, had much more depth here and the Smoked Quartz, which looked washed out in Boston, looked, well, smoky as it should and more complex. I will now withhold all judgement on all colors until I see them in natural light.
    • Same goes for the interior. The light Dune on both cars looked darker in the warmer light here and the interior looked much more upscale for it. I'm still not a fan of the darker wood in both cars and look forward to seeing the light wood and aluminum trim options. When I mentioned I was looking forward to seeing the darker interior colors in the future, a rep volunteered that, "The black interior really looks great."
    • The open Hybrid was powered up at this show!! What a difference. It had no power in Boston. The interior really comes to life with the words "Lincoln" lit on the sills, the gauges on, and all of the console options visible which, powered off, just makes the console look like a flat expanse of plastic, granted an elegant one. It also lets you play with MyTouch, the slick invisible ceiling lamps, and look at the cool front clip LED lighting. Note to Lincoln: ALL OPEN MKZ's AT ALL AUTO SHOWS NEED TO BE POWERED ON!!
    • I was pretty harsh regarding the MKZ seats in my prior post. But the power being on in this car allowed me to adjust the seats and, eureka! Backrest forward here, moved up there, and some lumbar dialed in and, lo and behold, the MKZ seats DO have good comfort and support after all! Big difference to be able to move the seats. Again, POWER THEM UP AT SHOWS, LINCOLN!
    • I have to say, some free advice to Lincoln for the 2013.5 or 2014 MKZ, a few quick emergency fixes. First, ditch the Focus/Fusion turn signals in the MKZ. It's the most cynical element in the car. How Lincoln could do all that work on the interior and then pluck econocar stalks, which the driver touches EVERY DAY, is just infuriating. Quick, right now, Lincoln must design some bespoke Lincoln turn/wiper stalks. Also, same goes for the hybrid gauge cluster, which I really don't like. It's the same as used in every other Ford hybrid. This might actually be a deal breaker for me on the Hybrid vs the 2.0, since the non-hybrid gauge cluster in the MKZ looks so cool in videos. The MKZ hybrid's make me think of a 2010 Fusion. Please, Lincoln, design a bespoke hybrid gauge package.
    • The Lincoln reps, oy vey. I know they were getting to the final minutes of the show and looked tired, but... When I asked about the rear inflatable seatbelts, one rep told me I could go see one on a Fusion. Another old me I could see the massaging seats on a Taurus. Gotta work on that special Lincoln feeling, folks...

    MKZ vs ATS:
    I sat in both back to back a lot. As I said, they were almost nose to nose. The ATS looks and feels much smaller, but much sportier, like old BMW's did once upon a time. The dash materials and stalks (those stalks again!) feel higher quality in the ATS, especially the fake leather stitching on the dash, but the rest of the interior is about equal. The rear space is MUCH smaller in the ATS. Roughly equally optioned, the ATS is also about 5-7K more expensive, but this example with the HUD feels it. Not that I think these two will be cross shopped that much, but if space and passenger comfort are key for you, the MKZ is absolutely the way to go. If you want the absolute most driver oriented cockpit in the class and top quality materials (and HUD), it's the ATS without a doubt.

    MKZ vs Avalon:
    The Avalon I sat in at this show had a different interior than the last one, a much better color scheme. The fake stitching again looks good here. It's aiming for usability, though, not style. The MKZ wins in design and interior materials.

    MKZ vs Azera:
    Had a lot more time here with it than before. I'm totally not into the Battlestar Galactica Cylon theme that it's got going on the dash. I think it will age fast. There's something about it's interior materials that feel cheap in comparison with both the Avalon and especially the MKZ. That said, one well equipped example was 33K, so there's a cost difference here...

    MKZ vs Fusion Titanium:
    There was a drop dead gorgeous white hybrid Titanium there. Let me tell you. If I didn't care about badge, it would be a tough decision given this loaded example (with many of the MKZ features) was 36K. I don't care what the reps say, the Titanium seats are IDENTICAL to the MKZ ones, just with different headrests and coverings. They feel the same, the controls are the same... They're the same. Gauges are the same too. See above, that's not good...

    Focus ST:
    Unlike in Boston, this car was open in Providence. Wow, what a machine. Recaros feel great, fabulous short throw shifter that makes the one in the CTS-V feel like a tractor unit. Less than 29K. A few nitpicks: When you close the drivers side door, it makes a terrible sound and the trim shakes... Not good, Ford. Also, the gauge font in this and all Foci is just soooo cheesy. Not sure I could look at it every day. Ford really doesn't do a good job with this detail, touchy feely stuff, huh?

    Taurus/MKS:
    I still think the interior packaging of these models is possibly some of the worst in modern automotive history. They both feel claustrophobic, cramped, and bloated. Fast, leather lined coffins...

    C-Max:
    What mileage! What space! What style! What price! Very impressive. I read this is selling like hotcakes, and it's easy to see why. Some cheap trim detail in the interior, though, more than even the Focus. Nevertheless, quite possibly my wife's next car in Energi guise in a few years...

    Nissan Sentra:
    I came of age car-wise in the 1980's and the first car to grab my imagination was my father's new Topaz blue 1992 Nissan Stanza hatchback. Everything about it seemed cool. The Nissan name itself was brand new, the switches were (for their time) high precision items, and the gauges were backlit! Amazing things. I was VERY into Nissan as a kid. There was a Sentra then, which always seemed to play second fiddle. Fast forward to 2013, and little about the second fiddle nature of things has changed, but it brings me back to my childhood in a nice way to see a Sentra badge on a new car. Thanks, Nissan, for the warm memories... What car does this for you?

    And finally:
    After sitting in tons of seats at multiple autoshows, good to know my 2008 Saab Turbo-X seats are still the best in autodom... Quick, someone go buy those seat designs from NEVS....

    Thanks folks!
    Last edited by Iiari; 02-03-2013 at 08:13 PM.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    thanks for the updates.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    I used to go to the Prov auto show all the time. I had free tickets but I moved 4 months ago so I am not there anymore. Surprised you could sit in the MKZ! Usually Prov auto show is behind on that kind of stuff. Thanks for the updates
    Current Car: 2004 Lincoln LS V6 Luxury Cashmere Tri-Coat 3.0L Duratec V6 5 Speed Automatic with SST
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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Did you mean the Fiesta ST? I sat in a Focus ST recently and the doors, like other Foci, were like a sealed vault shutting. Show cars get a work out......chalk it up to a lot of door slammers and at the end of the show.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Iiari AND anybody else...
    while at an autoshow, did anyone ask Lincoln representatives about the Bespoke Program?
    (think it'd be good to "plant a seed" that people are paying attention AND WAITING! (also see below))

    Quote Originally Posted by Iiari View Post
    MKZ vs Avalon:
    The Avalon I sat in at this show had a different interior than the last one, a much better color scheme. The fake stitching again looks good here. It's aiming for usability, though, not style. The MKZ wins in design and interior materials.

    Focus ST:
    Unlike in Boston, this car was open in Providence. Wow, what a machine. Recaros feel great, fabulous short throw shifter that makes the one in the CTS-V feel like a tractor unit. Less than 29K. A few nitpicks: When you close the drivers side door, it makes a terrible sound and the trim shakes... Not good, Ford. Also, the gauge font in this and all Foci is just soooo cheesy. Not sure I could look at it every day. Ford really doesn't do a good job with this detail, touchy feely stuff, huh?

    C-Max:
    What mileage! What space! What style! What price! Very impressive. I read this is selling like hotcakes, and it's easy to see why. Some cheap trim detail in the interior, though, more than even the Focus. Nevertheless, quite possibly my wife's next car in Energi guise in a few years...
    the Avalon has an unusual dash design imho...which I really liked!
    'layers' with an upholstery-color sorta-upright panel, don't think there's anything else quite like it
    Our little show actually had a Focus ST too (tho no 'regular' one) and if you thought the speedo font was worth commenting on, I'm surprised you didn't mention how TINY* the font is on the C-Max
    tho WOW is that thing HUGE inside, seems MUCH more spacious than the Escape
    (* the Verano also had 'tinyfont', "radial" too! - maybe that's ok for those with bifocals? wink)

    miscellaneous stuff:
    • not something I made a point of checking but the VW CC is only car where I noticed the moonroof was far enough forward to be really usable for the DRIVER, Passat does NOT.
    • imho the Malibu's rear seat room is perfectly OK - tho I don't remember the previous model's
    • spent a good amount of time with the ATS cool aluminum trim with patterns in it, kinda reminiscent of auto-racing flags. Also had perfectly usable rear seat room. Rep showed me Que, which I later played with by myself (first year I remember them have cars powered...quite a few Brands did) Only quirk for me was the "brushed metal" grille right next to the sparkly+chrome headlite trim...
    • Toyota Venza had leather so weird I had to check the monroney just to see WHAT the upholstery was made of
    Genesis sedan had yucky dash trims (plural)
    Dodge Dart was a mixed bag of impressive available features (+ storage under seat cushion) but parts of its interior came across too plain
    • they had a 1937 Cord 'Beverly' sedan we could SIT in!
    • in general I'm having steeringwheel 'shock' over how small they are now
    • & figured out my claustrophobia largely has to do with everyone raising the firewall/base-of-the-windshield - - THAT's why I can't see the hood on most cars anymore
    • BMW didn't have a 6er coupe this year, just the Gran Coupé - which had adequate rear seat room & the rep (nice lady) claimed the 2-door wasn't much smaller ...still like Panamera better - - in fact BMW's are starting to look boring to me. Think they need a new designer to shake things up...just Not another Bangle please!!
    Volvo STILL have my favorite seats - just feel 'right'
    &
    • Last stop was Acura, which I'm glad I didn't skip...Not because of the ILX whose interior *did* impress me, BUT
    because I spoke with a rep who, when he told me they were also adding Infiniti soon,
    I "planted-a-seed" by suggesting they also add LINCOLN and gave him a short spiel on how they're starting to really change.
    ...it'd be a *trip* if that short convo leads to having a Lincoln(MERCURY) dealer here!!
    Last edited by 2b2; 02-10-2013 at 06:52 PM.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    One thing I noticed in the MKZ, is that when getting in, or sitting in the car, you cannot see the pass through under where the stick was. You would have to really bend down low to notice it, and it isn't that impressive.

    The interior had too much of a Fusion look, but for some reason, it felt more cramped. Rear seat headroom was noticeably less than Fusion too. It felt as tight inside as the Caddy ATS, but was much more comfortable.

    Compared to the Lexus ES, the MKZ had a nicer interior, but the Fusion did as well.

    The exterior of the MKZ just didn't impress me much. Looking at the grill in person, and comparing it to the MKS beside it, I have to say I liked the MKS better. Last year, I dissed the MKS grill, but it must be growing on me. I would love to see the MKZ front pre-Max changes.
    The early bird gets the worm..but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Quote Originally Posted by Logans Run View Post
    One thing I noticed in the MKZ, is that when getting in, or sitting in the car, you cannot see the pass through under where the stick was. You would have to really bend down low to notice it, and it isn't that impressive.

    The interior had too much of a Fusion look, but for some reason, it felt more cramped. Rear seat headroom was noticeably less than Fusion too. It felt as tight inside as the Caddy ATS, but was much more comfortable.

    Compared to the Lexus ES, the MKZ had a nicer interior, but the Fusion did as well.

    The exterior of the MKZ just didn't impress me much. Looking at the grill in person, and comparing it to the MKS beside it, I have to say I liked the MKS better. Last year, I dissed the MKS grill, but it must be growing on me. I would love to see the MKZ front pre-Max changes.
    It's very subjective. Personally, although I do think the MKZ interior is a bit bland, I don't like the Fusion's better at all and I think the front is better than the MKS which is starting to look dated to me.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    At the Chicago Auto Show, going on now, Ford and others offered test drives. Since I drive an '11 Explorer with 4wd and the 3.5L V6, I took out an Explorer Sport with the Ecoboost 4wd system to compare. In my short spin I learned quickly that the twin turbo V6 had a lot of power but from a dead stop the first 2000 rpm didn't feel any different than mine. From there up to redline, it pulled hard. Passing power was great.

    As for the MKZ vs. Fusion comparison, I'd go with the beautiful Ford every time. And you're right about the Taurus & MKS - they are too small on the insdie for such large cars. The previous version Taurus/Sable had much roomier interiors and much larger trunks. What happened??

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Quote Originally Posted by T'Cal View Post


    Taurus & MKS - they are too small on the insdie for such large cars. The previous version Taurus/Sable had much roomier interiors and much larger trunks. What happened??
    Taurus and MKS were actually much better than newer mid-sized cars for rear seat headroom.

    I am 5' 11", but I am taller than many people I know who claim to be 6' or more. I have a tall torso, but shorter legs, so I sit tall.
    I sat in a lot of back seats, and for mid-sized the worst were the Camry and sonata. The new Altima and Accord, MKZ and ATS were also poor. My head would rub the headliner. The Fusion was better, only because I could shift slightly to the middle and not rub my head. The Mazda 6 and passat were the best.

    For large cars, the Taurus/MKS, Chrysler 300, Caddy Xts and Infiniti M45 were best. The Avalon, Azera, Lexus ES were very disappointing.

    For small cars, the worst were Civic, Prius, Prius c, Sentra. (There is no way I could ride in the back row of the first 3) Focus Sedan was somewhat better. The best were mazda 3, Jetta, Focus 5-door, C-max.
    The early bird gets the worm..but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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    Re: Sat in the MKZ AGAIN at a different auto show...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    Iiari AND anybody else...
    while at an autoshow, did anyone ask Lincoln representatives about the Bespoke Program?
    (think it'd be good to "plant a seed" that people are paying attention AND WAITING! (also see below))
    I didn't. I did ask them about "customization," and they just pointed me to the standard options...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    the Avalon has an unusual dash design imho...which I really liked!
    I liked it too, not as much as the MKZ, but somewhat unique and more "in your face" than current Lexus/Hyundai/Toyota design that dominates the industry. Not as revolutionary as the Toyota folks think it is, though. Still prefer the MKZ.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    I'm surprised you didn't mention how TINY* the font is on the C-Max
    tho WOW is that thing HUGE inside, seems MUCH more spacious than the Escape
    The font didn't bother me on the C-Max, although I don't love *any* Ford brand fonts right now. Maybe because I was looking for my wife, I wasn't being as picky. It is indeed HUGE inside, though. My folks have an Escape that they will be replacing in a few years (which itself replaced a PT Cruiser) and this looks perfect for them too... Hope it sells well.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    not something I made a point of checking but the VW CC is only car where I noticed the moonroof was far enough forward to be really usable for the DRIVER, Passat does NOT.
    VERY interesting point. I've never driven a car where I've noticed the sunroof/moonroof at all from the driver's seat. I open and close the shade to my sunroof all the time and never notice its status... It's for the passenger/back seat occupants.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    spent a good amount of time with the ATS cool aluminum trim with patterns in it, kinda reminiscent of auto-racing flags. Also had perfectly usable rear seat room.
    Those little aluminum "flags" have been slammed by reviewers, who call them "cheesy" (I love them, it's part of Caddy's new brand motif). The rear space is perfectly fine, but the MKZ is larger and, unlike someone who posted here, I find the ATS interior feels MUCH smaller...
    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    they had a 1937 Cord 'Beverly' sedan we could SIT in!
    WOW!!! VERY cool whoever did that. I'd love to see one.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    in general I'm having steeringwheel 'shock' over how small they are now
    Great observation. That is definitely true. Small wheels were once reserved for sport models like BMW M models, SVT's, etc. Now everything has them. My Saab's wheel feels positively giant compared to what's out there now, and it was smaller than standard wheels of its time (all the way back in '08) due to the fact it was a performance model!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    figured out my claustrophobia largely has to do with everyone raising the firewall/base-of-the-windshield - - THAT's why I can't see the hood on most cars anymore
    Do what I do and crank up those power seats as high as they'll go! Presto! Instant '88 Honda Accord sightlines...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    Volvo STILL have my favorite seats - just feel 'right'
    Second to the Saab seats in all of autodom in my opinion. Volvo S80 seats may be the most comfortable in the biz, that car's only reason to exist, in my opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
    the ILX whose interior *did* impress me
    Huh, I didn't think it was all that at all. Felt 8 years old to me. What impressed you?

    By the way, what did you think of the MKZ????? Otherwise, great report!!!

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