Sedans & Coupes

Lincoln Is Finally Putting the MKZ Out of Its Misery

While there are some models so great that they stick around for decades, many cars get discontinued eventually. The modern Lincoln MKZ was released for the 2005 model year as the Zephyr, but it was rebadged one year later. The automaker announced that the MKZ is joining the ranks of the many other cars that won’t see 2021.

The list on U.S. News also proves that even popularity won’t save a car from its eventual demise. A few other popular cars, like the Honda Fit, are also being discontinued. However, in the case of the Lincoln MKZ, lack of consumer appeal definitely contributed to its demise.

What to know about the Lincoln MKZ

When you think of a luxury cabin, you usually expect plush seats and a stylish appearance. The MKZ’s cabin isn’t bad, but you could find an equally nice interior in a car that’s much cheaper. Critics have found plenty of creaking, peeling, and even misaligned components inside the Lincoln MKZ.

This midsize sedan can seat up to five passengers, but only the front seat riders will be able to stretch out. Taller riders may even have to hunch over in the backseat due to the limited headroom. Still, at least the MKZ has a deeper trunk compared to many of its rivals.

There are plenty of powertrain options for the Lincoln MKZ. The standard motor is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 245 hp, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Most drivers will prefer the available twin-turbo V6, which accelerates with fewer complaints than the standard engine. This optional engine can make up to 400 hp.

A hybrid version is also available, which runs on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. It’s capable of 188 hp and comes paired with a CVT. None of the engines make the Lincoln MKZ overtly sporty, but the ride is smooth in each model. 

Why the Lincoln MKZ was discontinued

RELATED: It’s Time to Give the Lincoln MKZ a Chance

Newer models of the Lincoln MKZ have failed to make much of an impact on critics. Car and Driver gave it a low rating due to sluggish shifts and unavoidable torque steer on V6-equipped models. The Lincoln MKZ also has the lowest rating in the midsize sedan category on U.S. News.

However, Consumer Reports gave the Lincoln MKZ high marks on its road test and an above-average reliability rating. It also had average sales numbers in 2019, but even those were far surpassed by Lincoln’s SUVs.

Better alternatives to choose from

The Lincoln MKZ is a decent luxury sedan, but you can probably do better with cars like the Lexus ES. This sedan has a roomier backseat and critics have nothing bad to say about its interior quality. It gets slightly worse gas mileage, but reviewers say that it’s more fun to drive.

The BMW 5 Series also has a reputation for being one of the sportiest luxury sedans. It has several powerful engines on tap, like a 4.4-liter V8 that can make up to 617 hp. The base engine is still fairly powerful, plus it’s easier on gas than the Lincoln MKZ’s standard offering.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is also a pretty expensive option, but you really can’t beat it in terms of interior quality. It also has high-powered engines, a smooth ride, and even an optional air suspension. It may not offer a hybrid version, but the E-Class wagon has earned both critic and consumer appeal.

The Lincoln MKZ is one of the cheapest luxury sedans, which is great considering its vast array of standard features. However, considering all its other shortcomings, its discontinuation is probably for the best.