Test Drive Diary — Lincoln MKZ

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(Ford photo)

(Ford photo)

jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

The MKZ is a nice improvement from the previous version, and–for the most part–a very nice car. But–unlike the Cadillac CTS–it’s not likely to pull people away from the BMW 3 series.

The vehicle has a beautiful styling, and a very nice interior. It has a ton of new technology, most of it is pretty nice…but there some exceptions.

My Lincoln Touch remains buggy. Sometimes the Sync system took my phone call, other times it reverted to the hand set. I also never got used to having the shift buttons on the instrument panel.

The safety technology is very worthwhile, including blind spot and cross traffic warning. However, the system that powers the brake in advance of a crash is too sensitive, and almost stopped me too fast when I just wanted to slow down.

The 2.0 EcoBoost engine was great, very smooth, and nice acceleration.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Sharp looking, head turning, one nice looking vehicle.

You need a way to get in the trunk, without pulling out the key fob.

It feels less like an upscale Fusion than the previous model, however, it’s not necessarily full on luxury.

The Lincoln slide controls for volume and some other things are not as easy to use as good old fashioned knobs.

EXPERIENCES

I’m not a fan of lane departure warnings, they tend to be too sensitive. This is a little less sensitive than most, and gives a less harsh warning.

I got quite the start when I had to slow down quickly when approaching a yellow light. It was a quick stop, but not a panic stop, if you know what I mean. But the Lincoln’s collision avoidance system treated it as one, and fully charged the brakes. That caused a very harsh slowdown, and–had somebody been following me closely–could have lead to an accident.

I easily connected by phone to Sync, and it worked fine for the first few calls I received. But then the system would tell me I had a call, but it would answer it as a private call on my phone. This caused confusion and distraction. It’s happened to me on Sync several times. Maybe it’s my phone, which is an iPhone 5.

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