The 2020 Lincoln MKZ Is One Of the Best Luxury Cars For Under $40,000

With so many new luxurious midsize sedans available on the market today, it’s easy to overlook ones like the Lincoln MKZ. The Lincoln MKZ has earned praise for its performance and dapper looks. And this sedan’s starting price makes it even better.

Driving the standard 2020 Lincoln MKZ

A handsome, burgundy 2020 Lincoln MKZ parked in a driveway.
2020 Lincoln MKZ | Lincoln

The main appeal to luxury models is the promise of a refined driving experience, and the MKZ lives up to our expectations in this area. Base models feature a 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. This combination makes for an overall smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

Experts at U.S. News complement the standard MKZ as a “coddling ride” and recognize this variant as one of the best midsize luxury cars you can buy for under $40K. The starting price for the MKZ $36,750. What makes the base MKZ less impressive is its average fuel economy ratings; it gets a combined 23 mpg. Some critics also say that the base engine can feel underpowered at higher speeds.

Other performance options 

Lincoln MKZ is on display during North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center
The Lincoln MKZ | David Graff/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

If you’re willing to go slightly over the $40K threshold, you might be interested in either the Reserve or Reserve Hybrid trim levels. The Reserve trim gets its power from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. This engine produces 350-hp in front-wheel-drive models and 400-hp in all-wheel-drive models. Critics cite the V6 engine for providing the exciting experience in the MKZ, but it is also the least fuel-efficient model. 

The Reserve Hybrid variant is the best option if fuel efficiency is among your highest priorities. This hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Together, these two power sources create 188-hp. The Reserve Hybrid gets a fuel economy rating of 41 mpg and comes with a continuously variable transmission. You should also know that the hybrid version isn’t available with AWD.

One the inside of the MKZ

The Lincoln MKZ has a simple and elegant interior.
2020 Lincoln MKZ interior | Lincoln

Will Lincoln Listen to Dealer Demand for Sedans?

Lincoln matched the MKZ’s dashing exterior with a classy, yet understated car cabin. This Lincoln can seat up to five people, and its seats are supportive. The standard MKZ comes with handsome faux leather upholstery and intricately detailed trimmings. By upgrading with Lincoln’s Black Label theme, you get padded, quilt-like leather seats. 

As far in-car electronics go, the MKZ is pretty impressive here too. It comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, and Apple Carplay. A wifi hotspot and an 11-speaker audio system are standard too. It also comes with a suite of advanced safety features, including a pre-collision warning and braking system and rear-cross traffic alert. 

Reliability ratings 

The 2020 model year is the last you can buy new since Lincoln is killing off the sedan. But makes the MKZ a more appealing option is its above-average reliability scores. The MKZ’s consistently high reliability and high owner satisfaction ratings also make it a great option to buy used.