New MKZ turn­ing Lin­coln brand around

FIRST DRIVE

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS - Story and pho­tos by Jim Robin­son

HAL­I­FAX, NS: It’s time for a change at Lin­coln and the 2017 MKZ is lead­ing the way.

Con­ceived in the 1930s as a counter to Cadil­lac, the brand has had mo­ments of glory, but never quite the great­ness of its GM neme­sis.

The Lin­coln brand was bought by Ford in 1922 and has had its ups and down ever TJODF TVDI BT UIF lSTU $POUJOFOUBM JO

which re­sulted in 1956 Con­ti­nen­tal Mark 11, still to my mind, one of the loveli­est de­signs of the post WW11 pe­riod.

Af­ter that, Lin­coln re­ceded into the lux­ury car shad­ows with prod­ucts such as the Town $BS XIJDI GVFMFE UIF MJNP mFFU NBSLFU GPS

years but did lit­tle to heighten the brand im­age.

The harbinger of change is the 2017 ver­sion of the MKZ which comes with a num­ber of im­prove­ments, start­ing with the grille that does away with the pre­vi­ous but­termZ EFTJHO JOTQJSFE CZ UIF QSF XBS -JODPMO

Ze­phyr.

First seen ear­lier this year on the Lin­coln Con­ti­nen­tal Con­cept, the grille is an ovoid shape, not un­like the Jaguar XKF, but with a prom­i­nent Lin­coln badge in the mid­dle, sim­i­lar to the Maserati Qu­at­tro­porte.

An­other prob­lem was the slider con­trols for the cli­mate and au­dio con­trols, which were im­pos­si­ble to use with gloves on and re­quired tak­ing your eyes off the road to lOE

Now it has proper knobs and tog­gles it works far bet­ter and I rarely had to avert my at­ten­tion from the road ahead dur­ing the drive.

In the in­te­rior, the stitch­ing on the leather seats and door pan­els is laser straight plus lOJTIFT XFSF DIPTFO UP CMFOE XJUI UIF BMVminum trim. The seats have Bridge of Weir leather from Scot­land that is brand mark, and im­per­fec­tion, free.

A knock­out op­tional fea­ture is the seg­ment ex­clu­sive fully re­tractable panoramic sun­roof.

There are two mod­els, the MKZ and the MKZ Hy­brid and two trim lev­els – Select and Re­serve.

In­ter­est­ingly the MKZ and MKZ Hy­brid 4FMFDU NPEFMT BSF CPUI QSJDFE BU BOE

the MZZ and MKZ Hy­brid are both priced at XJUI B TIJQQJOH GFF The MKZ is pow­ered by a 2.0-litre sin­gle UVSCP JOMJOF GPVS DZMJOEFS QSPEVDJOH IQ

and 275 lb/ft of torque, which is al­most the same torque as the 3.7-litre V6 in the out­go­ing model.

With trans­mis­sion all-wheel-drive with and man­u­ala six-speed­shift mode,au­to­matic GVFM DPOTVNQUJPO JT SBUFE BU -

km city/high­way.

The Hy­brid is equipped with a 2.0-litre Atkin­son Cy­cle in­line four-cylin­der pro­duc­ing 129 hp and 188 hp when com­bined with the elec­tric mo­tor/bat­tery. Avail­able in fron­twheel-drive and a CVT trans­mis­sion, fuel rat­ing is 5.7/6.1L/100 km.

Com­ing later will be a twin turbo 3.0-litre 7 XJUI "8% BOE B QPUFOU IQ BOE

lb/ft of torque. $BSHP WPMVNF JT MJUSFT DV GU PO UIF .,; BOE MJUSFT DV GU PO UIF )ZCSJE Driv­ing from Hal­i­fax up to the Northum­ber­land Strait was done in the rain and what * OPUJDFE XBT UIF MBDL PG UJSF hTJ[[MFv TPVOE

which comes from tread on a wet paveNFOU TIPXJOH UIF -JODPMO FOHJOFFST SFBMMZ

worked on audi­ble in­tru­sion into the cabin. This is partly due to ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion tech­nol­ogy.

A seg­ment of Lin­coln Drive Con­trol is an adap­tive sus­pen­sion damp­ing that mea­sures speed, steer­ing an­gle and body move­ment to con­tin­u­ously ad­just damp­ing to re­quire­ments. 8FJHIJOH JO BU LH MC UIF )Zbrid Re­serve’s per­for­mance was more than ad­e­quate, but pass­ing had to be well planned.

How­ever, on the way back with the AWD, the MKZ Re­serve tracked well on the com­bi­na­tion of two-lane black­top and Trans Canada High­way with plenty of power for all sur­faces.

Sight lines are good in spite of the high­ish

win­dowsill line. 5IF RVBMJUZ PG UIF QBOFM lU JOTJEF BOE PVU

is ex­cep­tional.

Both testers had the op­tional 20-speaker Revel Ul­tima Au­dio Sys­tem that has to be heard to be ap­pre­ci­ated. I noted the doors were spe­cially de­signed to house the speak­ers.

Stan­dard on the MKZ is the SYNC 3 in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with op­tional voice-ac­ti­vated nav­i­ga­tion.

Newly avail­able to SYNC 3 are the Mul­ti­con­tour front seats with Ac­tive Mo­tion. Th­ese heated and cooled seats has cus­tom­iz­a­ble air cush­ions ad­justable for chang­ing seat and back shapes or – get this – a gen­tle lum­bar mas­sage and di­aled in by us­ing the SYNC 3 cen­tre touch­screen.

There is no doubt Lin­coln is on the road to SBJTJOH JUT QSPlMF UP UBLF JUT QMBDF XJUI PUIFS

pre­mium lux­ury sedans with the 2017 MKZ and MKZ Hy­brid lead­ing the way.

The 2017 Lin­coln MKZ Hy­brid (Re­serve model shown) is in­dis­tin­guish­able from the stan­dard MKZ.

The cen­tre stack has been re­done on the 2017 MKZ with knobs and tog­gles for the cli­mate and au­dio con­trols re­plac­ing the slid­ers in the out­go­ing model.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.