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You are in the Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
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Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKZ, Sedan
#871 of 3084 Impression of 2006 Zephyr After 24 Hour Test Drive
Feb 26, 2006 (5:14 pm)
I was recently treated by a very courteous and professional Lincoln dealer to a 24 hour test drive of the new Zephyr and, in a nutshell, was most favorably impressed.
The Zephyr is overall a very, very commendable car. It is superbly crafted both inside and out. The interior is stylish and upscale without being ostentatious or gaudy. The contrast between light and dark bits is well executed. The ergonomics are excellent. The instrument panel and gauges are simple and logically laid out. The speedometer and tachometer are functional, tasteful, effective and their appearance at night, white on black, is highly visible. The addition of the Lincoln analog clock is elegant. The genuine wood trim is again very stylish and well done.
The HVAC works very well. I had no problem whatsoever with overly loud fan speeds. The heated and cooled seats work very well with the heating element being on the warm side and very effective in dispelling winter's chill.
The seat, both with the cooling elements and without, is comfortable and easy to adjust to a suitable angle. The seat without the cooling element is a bit more plush, not quite so firm as the one with the cooling element. The tilting and telescoping wheel further facilitates a suitable and comfortable driving position.
The car is sufficiently roomy both in the front and back seats. There is adequate room in the front for a five foot eleven incher, even with the sunroof. The back does not feel cramped in any dimension. The trunk is commodious at 15.5 cubic feet, 25% larger than that of the Acura TL.
At night the interior lighting is attractive, functional and generally very well done. The xenon headlights are grossly superior to halogens and provide even and uniform illumination of the road without the "hot spots" characteristic of halogens. For those of you who think xenons are an unnecessary luxury, think again. The xenons are the next step up in safety and performance and once you've experienced them, you will look at halogens as primitive and relatively ineffective. Lincoln was very wise to add them to the Zephyr as they add greatly to its appeal. IMO GM was foolish to omit them from their otherwise excellent Lucerne.
The handling of the Zephyr is exemplary, combining a desirable level of road feel and agility with just enough isolation so that potholes and pavement irregularities are virtually unnoticeable. The steering is again a highly suitable combination of light effort yet nimble feel. The car is extremely quiet at highway speeds with no wind noise, very little road noise depending upon the road surface, and just enough engine noise to make things interesting. The engine does get a little blustery under hard acceleration, however.
The THX sound system with its 600 watts and 14 speakers is easily one of the world's premium automotive systems. Combined with the car's quiet interior, listening to all types of music is a sheer delight. Again, Lincoln has displayed a high level of regard for the motoring public in providing such an excellent audiophile system in what is a very reasonably priced car.
The navigation system is also excellent. Its use is intuitive and much easier than many of its competitors. I found the navigation system to be highly accurate and feel it is becoming a "must have" on a new car. There is simply no comparison between the ease of use of the navigation system and paper or internet maps. If the navigation system has a weak point, it is that the female voice giving directions is a bit tinny and a bit too electronic-sounding but this is a relatively small point compared to the system's overall quality and usefulness.
The engine power is adequate but not stellar. It needs a bit more low-end torque but is reasonable at highway speeds. The six-speed transmission is wonderful. The shifts are sure and smooth. The transmission does not "hunt" nor does it dangerously hesitate when instant power is needed, as in the case of the Lexus ES 330.
In summation, this is one very excellent automotive offering and ought to do extremely well in the marketplace. All it really needs is a bit more power and the upcoming 3.5L engine in the re-named MKZ should take care of that.
All in all, the new Lincoln offering complete with its generous warranty and prepaid four year maintenance should be a huge hit for Lincoln IMHO.
#872 of 3084 maintenance
Feb 27, 2006 (5:51 am)
Sorry, it's a 4 yr 50K mile warranty but only 12 months/12K miles of free maintenance. It used to be 3 yrs but Lincoln dropped it to 1 yr in 2003. I think they should go back to 4/50K and run concurrent with the warranty.
#873 of 3084 Re: maintenance [akirby]
Feb 27, 2006 (12:06 pm)
it's a 4 yr 50K mile warranty but only 12 months/12K miles of free maintenance
Wrong. In Canada it's four years and 80,000 km (50,000 miles) of free maintenance.
#874 of 3084 Re: maintenance [priggly]
Feb 27, 2006 (12:38 pm)
It wasn't "Wrong" - both of our statements were correct in our respective countries.
#875 of 3084 Re: maintenance [akirby]
Feb 27, 2006 (1:05 pm)
And the definition of "is" is what, exactly? Are you sure your last name isn't "Clinton?"
#876 of 3084 Re: maintenance [priggly]
Feb 27, 2006 (1:09 pm)
What I meant was if you add "In Canada" to your post and "In the U.S." to my post they're both correct.
#877 of 3084 Re: Impression of 2006 Zephyr After 24 Hour Test Drive [priggly]
Feb 28, 2006 (6:36 am)
I was also suitably impressed with my test drive of the Zephyr and posted a positive review 3-4 months ago. The light-wood interior with crhome accents is classy. The THX sound is quite good, though they need to offer built-in satellite radio and bluetooth support in this segment. BTW.. in hot weather, the cooled heats are spectacular. I think that feature is one of the greatest luxury innovations of the past 50 years. In terms of comfort, this is a big win, particularly for those who live in areas with hot/humid summers.
That said, the upcoming 3.5L and GM/Ford 6-speed auto are keeping me from pulling the trigger at this point. Even if the performance of the 3.0L and Aisin 6-speed are good, it would drive me crazy to spend this much now only to have a brand new next-generation of powertrain/transmission be introduced later in the same year. This is similar to the Caddy CTS which launched with the Opel 3.2L, only to be eclipsed by the new 3.6L engine, except in this case, both the engine and tranny are making a leap.
On a related note, what I'm hoping is to be able to have both the upgraded MKZ and the redesigned Caddy CTS available in the Fall... It'll be good to have two no-excuses US entrants in the entry-lux market.
#878 of 3084 Considering the Zephyr until . . .
Feb 28, 2006 (3:43 pm)
I read Car and Driver Magazine today and I was very surprised to read comments about the Lincoln Zephyr that were so negative.
In response to Lincoln's attempt to attract younger drivers with the Zephyr, C&D responds, "Younger than whom? Alan Greenspan? Phyllis Diller?"
"Here is a sedan that is exactly as stimulating to drive as a nice sofa."
They went on to criticize the handling and power and then the interior. . .
". . . attributes seem better conceived for senior citizens than young affluents. . ."
Overall, the review was very negative. Obviously one review is no death sentence, but if this is a pattern, then I think I'll have to scratch this off my list of cars to see. Usually "good" cars get good reviews overall.
Feb 28, 2006 (4:13 pm)
Wait a minute. Although *I* very much agree with their review (I found the handling of Zephyr only slightly better than that of the Queen Mary), you owe it to yourself to test drive the car. Who cares what reviewers think? It's YOUR money and YOUR car to like or not like.
For the record, I adored the Fusion. I just think FoMoCo went much too soft and floaty on the Zephyr suspension. You, on the other hand, might find it quite wonderful. Peoples' perceptions can and do differ. You'll never know what YOU think of it if you pass on even trying it.