2014 Lincoln MKZ Walk Around

The split-wing grille is by now familiar, giving Lincolns a distinctive face, but the rest of the Lincoln MKZ is a departure from yesteryear and arguably the best looking car to emerge from this division since the original Zephyr, back in 1936.

Although the hoodline is a bit higher, a concession to pedestrian safety, the production car is otherwise generally faithful to the 2012 concept, a graceful sweep from end to end in the four-door coupe idiom. Lincoln characterizes the LED headlights as class-exclusive, though LED lighting in various configurations has become common across the entire industry. The LED taillights lend a unique look to the MKZ's going-away view, and the aluminum alloy wheels, 18-inch standard, 19-inch optional, fill up the wheel wells, lending a sporty touch to the package. And like other recent Ford Motor Company products, the fuel filler is capless.

Interior

Though it's clean and uncluttered, the Lincoln MKZ's interior somehow does not convey a sense of true luxury to its occupants. The materials are a little upscale from those that adorn top level editions of the Ford Fusion, with attractively subdued color schemes (though our test car was basic black), but are they enough to justify the higher pricing? The overall impression is premium, a la Kia Cadenza, Hyundai Azera, and Toyota Avalon, more than it is luxury.

Still, there are noteworthy features available: a 10.2-inch LCD instrument cluster, that vast moonroof, dashboard pushbutton shifting, inflatable rear seatbelts at the outboard positions, and one of the segments more orchestral audio options, by THX, 700 watts, 14 channels, 14 speakers.

On the love it or hate it side of the ledger, the center stack secondary controls in the 8-inch screen are all MyLincoln Touch. If you dislike this knobless system, as many do, Lincoln invites you to operate those controls via voice command. We should add that MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch continue to be a source of dissatisfaction with many owners.

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