The evolution of luxury continues with the latest entry-level addition to the Lincoln lineup — the 2010 Lincoln MKZ.
This newest mid-size Lincoln builds on the foundation of a taut CD3 platform shared with the Mazda6 and, although the MKZ stems from Zephyr lineage, it takes its styling and design elements from its earlier-released big brother, the full-size Lincoln MKS.
Both cars share common ancestry, tracing their design inspirations back to a much lauded MKR concept that debuted at the Detroit show in 2007.
With significant changes inside and out over the previous mid-size model, the MKZ bolsters its updated design with both cosmetic and dynamic improvements along with a slew of new available technologies.
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ starts with a brand new face. Lincoln’s classic waterfall grille has been replaced with a split-wing grille. A new, more aggressively open front fascia and thinner wraparound headlamps emphasize a wider, sportier look.
Character lines edge to the rear where a new decklid and wider LED tail lamps also accentuate the width of the car.
Dipped in white, as tested (a simple and elegant colour choice that’s starting to grow on me), highlighted with chrome and handsome from any angle, this is definitely a break away from the old float boats of bygone years, part of the new Lincoln philosophy that blends edgier sport performance with the expected posh lux appointments.
And the best way to accent sportiness is with an aggressive stance on big wheels — 17-inch aluminum or chrome rims or an upgrade to available 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, part of a Sport Appearance Package with sport-tuned suspension on my tester.
Inside, the MKZ cabin has been refined. Genuine wood accents are available but I thought the aluminum of the Sport Appearance package blended particularly well with the dark textures and chrome highlights on dash and doors.
The seats in my tester added a sporty élan, charcoal black buckets with cashmere tuxedo seams and contrasting piping along the edges for an almost nautical look and feel.
If I was shopping for a mid-size, I confess I’d check out the new Ford Fusion first, the sibling to the MKZ that has become pretty refined in its own right, while keeping to a lower starting price.
But for those customers looking to broach the Lincoln marque and the elegance and quality that the brand represents, the 2010 Lincoln MKZ is a good place to start, combining entry-level luxury with new levels of technology and amenities.
2010 Lincoln MKZ
Type: Five-passenger, mid-size, entry-level luxury sedan
Price: from $37,899
Engine: 3.5-litre V6 Duratec (263 hp, 249 lb/ft)
• Plenty of technology and amenities