Last post on Nov 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM
You are in the Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
What is this discussion about?
Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKZ, Sedan
#2985 of 3083 Re: Yet another review [akirby]
Dec 07, 2012 (2:22 pm)
This is not a world beater - just a significant improvement over the old model that should increase sales considerably and should at least stop the "rebadge" references.
Agreed. However, it again underscores the slow learning at Ford about Lincoln. Each vehicle issued in the 2000's was designed to perk up Lincoln. The MKZ, MKX, MKS, MKT all failed to grab imaginations, and the Navigator just rotted.
The new MKZ has more of a chance, simply because it is not homely like the MKS, not ugly like the MKT, not non-descript like the former MKZ, and not a Ford with different front and rear clips like the MKX. This MKZ could have been the Kia Optima-type change of this class, given the seven year model year run of the previous iteration.
A world beater is what they ought to build to save the brand, and they still haven't quite learned that part of turning things around. It is not enough that the car is as good or better than the ES350. The ES350 already has a large customer base.
Lincoln also mentions plans for unique engines, but has managed to deliver none so far. The hybrid and 2.0 liter are available in the Fusion for example, and the 3.7 is in the Mustang and the F150. Yes, GM does the same thing, but GM didn't claim they would do otherwise.
I don't understand how talking about what will be for the last dozen years has done anything for Lincoln. Surprise us. Do something unexpected. Stop with the "we plan to do this or that" stuff. Just do it.
#2986 of 3083 Re: Yet another review [gregg_vw]
Dec 07, 2012 (6:54 pm)
Once again you're confusing what's been said and done in the past with what's being said and done today. The current plan for Lincoln and the current management team has only been in place for 18 months. The MkZ styling was already set in stone with very little room for change. The new Lincoln specific drivetrains are still being developed.
You should give the new guys a chance to prove they can do something different. And they need a couple more years to do it. I don't see this new plan as anything like the old ones. I believe one reason they seem to be moving slowly is they're trying to do it right the first time (this go round at least) so they're being more methodical than some might like. I also think they were given a limited budget and resources to work within because at the end of the day Lincoln has to make money.
Am I making excuses? Maybe. When we see the new dealerships and the next 2 new vehicles we'll know for sure. In the meantime a little progress is better than none.
The MKZ is the best vehicle that Lincoln has produced in at least the last 30 years. They should get some credit for that.
#2987 of 3083 Re: Yet another review [akirby]
Dec 08, 2012 (7:43 am)
The MKZ is the best vehicle that Lincoln has produced in at least the last 30 years.
It seems to be a good vehicle and probably as good or better than the ES350. I will give them credit for that.
However, for its time, and put against other cars of its time, the 2000 Lincoln LS was arguably the best Lincoln in the past 30 years. It received very good press, and it won the Car of the Year award. It tested well against the competition and came in at a better price than most.
Even the 1993 Mark VIII with RWD, independent suspension, and DOHC 32 valve V8 (when the competition was still mostly marketing OHV V8s), was probably as good in its time as the new MKZ is now. The problem with the VIII (in addition to some long-term reliability issues) was that it was introduced at a time when grand touring luxury coupes--indeed, all sorts of 2 door coupes--were beginning to fall out of favor as the market moved toward other types of specialty luxury vehicles (SUVs, and sport versions of sedans).
Heck, the 1991 Town Car, with its superior styling, interior space, SOHC V8. dual airbags and anti-lock brakes was superior to the FWD deVille, Park Avenue, 98, and of course the New Yorker.
The new Lexus LS of that era was really in a class above, but was initially sold at a very low price for its class (that wasn't that much higher than the Lincoln) in order to establish sales, market share and reputation--a move that succeeded brilliantly. But I digress.
A little progress is better than none until it begins to feel like damning with faint praise. Therein the problem: Lincoln has screwed around with comeback plans and concepts and marketing ploys for the last dozen years and it isn't as if the auto press has not noticed. So skepticism is to be expected and weathered, because that skepticism was well-earned. Real damage was created when they tried to force something into place that should not have been there.
I do not believe the situation is hopeless. Lincoln needs to move out of its own way to get a clearer view. It is very hard to find what you don't know you are searching for.
One thing is clear: to begin to be a viable and respected luxury company, they have to set a goal of building the best cars in their class. Because a lot of their competition already have the same goal. Despite that goal, obviously all can't rise to the top. But those with that goal have a better chance of staying in the game.
#2988 of 3083 Re: Yet another review [gregg_vw]
Dec 08, 2012 (9:43 am)
The LS was the best handling Lincoln in 30 years and would maybe outhandle the MKZ (the electronic suspension might give it a slight edge even with the worse weight distribution). But it was nowhere near as good of a luxury car as the MKZ. Remember I drove a 2000 LS v8 for 6 years. The drivetrain was silky smooth but it only had 252 hp (later upped to 280 or so) - far short of the MKZ 3.7L V6. The LS had none of the luxury features that the MKZ has (or even the Fusion for that matter). MLT, adaptive cruise, park assist, BLIS, etc. etc. etc. And the interior materials are not even close. The LS was cheap. Nice but cheap. I had to put fake wood on the dash to cover the cheap black plastic. Don't get me wrong here - I really liked the LS overall. But as a modern luxury car there is no comparison.
I agree they need to build best in class vehicles - eventually. I just think they have a few years to get there.
#2989 of 3083 Re: Yet another review [akirby]
Dec 08, 2012 (10:47 am)
Oh, geez. You CANNOT directly compare a 13 year old car to one just released. Of course the MKZ is better from that standpoint, but that is saying nothing about the goodness or impact of the Lincoln LS in its time. Just like with inflation adjustments, you must look at what was available and possible at the time the car was created.
With few exceptions, all cars sold today are reasonably good to great. Compared to cars of the past, they have more equipment, better interior materials, greater safety, better tires, better sound insulation, better chassis rigidity, etc. The MKZ today being good enough or "better than a ES350" is hardly in the same league of goodness that the LS had in 2000.
The new MKZ, even FWD based, could have made the same impact, but does not. It's this ongoing thinking that they have a few years to get there that keeps Lincoln second-rate, despite having some good vehicles for sale.
Granted, the Zephyr was stop-gap for a starved brand back in 2005. For what little impact changing the grill a couple times and the rear end styling had over the seven years of the first iteration, they could have taken those funds and added them to the effort to create the very best car they could the second time around.
I just do not understand how such limited thinking professionals continued to get nice salaries and bonuses for so long while turning in such unremarkable efforts for Lincoln for so many years. Where were the car guys in this?
When I first saw the concept for the MKS years ago, I said, "Oh, no!, that would be a mistake...just look at it!" And who am I? Nobody. When I saw how they screwed up the MKT concept by modifying it into the whale of a station wagon it is today, I was like, "please don't!" The concept was edgier, prettier and more provocative. I remember protesting how they changed the Lincoln concept vehicle for the MKX into an Edge with a Lincoln clip, and you argued that the concept and the MKX looked practically the same and no one would notice.
Well, people do notice daring styling, and they notice when styling is bland, but daring usually has to come first to establish a foothold.
I repeat: to begin to be a viable and respected luxury company, Lincoln must set a goal of building the best cars in their class. Anything less is just wasted effort until they do so. Holding on to their little market share, or waiting until Lincoln itself generates enough profits to really introduce outstanding iron will not get them much further than it has in the past many years of tweaking things.
I have to believe the new new new Lincoln team has finally gotten the memo. But I also know that as more luxury offerings are being created worldwide, other models and makes will continue to go under. It is the nature of the business.
#2990 of 3083 Lincoln Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ
Dec 18, 2012 (7:47 pm)
I read in Car And Driver online that the MKZ does have some of its style influenced by the Mondeo/ Fusion. According to Car and Driver it shares roof line and belt line with the Mondeo /Fusion. Allthough One can say that the MKZ does not share sheet metal with the Mondeo/Fusion but that can only be expected as the MKZ is longer , higher and a little wider than the Mondeo/Fusion. But none the less,it still shares styling cues of the Mondeo/Fusion.
Another matter though is that the MKZ given to Edmunds to test on the road was rigged with Michelin Super Sport tires. According to a Ford spokesman, The tires would be agency or dealership offered if they even are offered. However,the tires didn't seem to impress the testers though as according to Edmunds and Car and Driver, the performance of the vehicle was middling at best. Retest the vehicle with the tires that the vehicle has been designed for and then determine how really good this car performs. But still one has to wonder why did Ford try to rig the results with using tires that are not offered on the vehicle.
#2991 of 3083 Re: Lincoln Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ [unitedkingdom]
Dec 18, 2012 (7:47 pm)
However,the tires didn't seem to impress the testers though as according to Edmunds and Car and Driver, the performance of the vehicle was middling at best.
Umm....I guess you missed the part where the slalom speed of the MKZ with the ringer tires (same as the M5) was faster than the M5 and only 1 mph slower than a Porsche 911. They were impressed with the performance but they were so upset about the ringer tires they couldn't bring themselves to say anything good about it.
All this "it's not good enough" without any actual objective comparisons to back it up is tiresome. It's not the best but it's not as bad as reviewers are making out.
#2992 of 3083 Re: Lincoln Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ [akirby]
Dec 18, 2012 (9:36 pm)
Test drivers still see cheaper Fusion performance that is why they are not impressed by it. Their reasoning is that the MKZ cost at least 9K US$ more than Fusion/Mondeo for Fusion/ Mondeo performance so one is actually purchasing a slightly differently styled larger more luxurious minded but still using cheap Fusion/Mondeo instrument switches and cheap plastic interior appointments vehicle. As far as testers bias ,these testers test hundreds of vehicles a year in the MKZ price range so they should know what the other vehicles in the MKZ price range are capable of and where the MKZ's capabilities are found wanting when compared even if the other vehicles are not being tested with the MKZ.
We will just have to wait to see how good this Ford platform is when the MKZ is pitted against its rivals in a real road test. As far as being faster than an M5 what type of G forces does the MKZ have versus the M5 when slaloming? Also , does the MKZ understeer ?It is inevitable that it does because of its fwd platform. Even moderately priced Audi and VW vehicles do so to some extent even with awd because of unequal weight distribution. BMW sedans, sport coupe and roadsters all are engineered for neutral steer. Al be it it's easier to do so with a rear wheel drive vehicle. It seem also that according to the road testers that the awd system on the MKZ is not oriented towards performance as are other vehicles' awd systems in the MKZ's price range but only for traction during inclement weather as according to the testers on dry pavement one really has to push the vehicle to its extreme limits to get it to engage.
The testers should have refused to test the factory rigged vehicles. The testers should have gotten one from an agency or dealership. One that consumers would have to purchase.
#2993 of 3083 Re: Lincoln Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ [unitedkingdom]
Dec 19, 2012 (6:57 am)
Yes, I noticed the sharing between Fusion and MKZ as well. Ford went ahead and gave them the same windshield, same front door shape and front door glass, and same roof panel back to the top of the rear glass. Another one of those nobody-will-ever-notice things, I suppose. That may be largely true, but over time, it unconsciously confers too much of a relationship between the two. This is unlike the old Taurus and Continental of the late 80s and early 90s, which shared architecture, but no glass or body panels, and were never perceived as the same car with different styling. Today, the Flex and MKT do no such sharing. Hopefully, this will be the last instance where Ford and Lincoln use such shortcuts.
#2994 of 3083 Re: Lincoln Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ [akirby]
Dec 19, 2012 (7:04 am)
"Slip inside the cabin and the new Lincoln MKZ feels special from the first. A high center stack sweeps down from the dashboard into the center console in one fluid form. The stack of controls itself is dominated by a large touchscreen interface with touch-capacitive faux-buttons.
At this point, we think the Lincoln MKZ is a better car than the Lexus ES, which is a big statement from us. It drives better, looks better and offers as much luxury, though the dealership experience is another thing, of course. Yet the midsize market doesn't end with the Lexus ES, as the comparative set includes the Acura TL SH-AWD, Audi A4 and Volvo S60 - three cars that deliver the same prestige, price and package size as the MKZ.
For those looking for something daring, dashing, and different in the midsize luxury segment, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is a genuine player. And so for Lincoln, the game begins."