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Lincoln MKZ

If you’re looking for a luxury sedan, the Lincoln MKZ certainly fits the bill. But since Lincoln no longer produces this beloved luxury sedan, you’ll have to purchase one from the used car market.

But what does the Lincoln MKZ do that makes it such a popular choice and what exactly is out there for you to pick from? There’s a lot of information to sift through for this popular vehicle, which is why we came up with this guide to walk you through everything you need to know.

The First Generation MKZ

Lincoln first released what we now call the MKZ for the 2006 model year, but they released it under a completely different name – the Zephyr. Lincoln revived the Zephyr name from a 1930s line of vehicles they produced, and more recently, Mercury used the name for some of their vehicles in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, the Zephyr name didn’t stay long, and in 2007 they ditched the Zephyr name for the MKZ. It fits into the market as a smaller luxury sedan meant to complement the larger Lincoln K series vehicles. The MKZ replaced the Lincoln LS line, although the two lines ran concurrently in 2006.

Lincoln built the MKZ with the CD3 platform, which is the same platform Ford was using to produce both the Ford Fusion and the Mercury Milan at the time.

The first generation ran from the 2006 model year until the 2012 model year, with the second generation coming out for the 2013 model year.

Engine Options

If you’re looking for a first-generation Lincoln MKZ there are three different engine options out there, and it all comes down to what model year you get. The 3.0L Duratec V6 engine was only available for the 2006 model year. In 2007 they ditched the smaller engine in favor of a more powerful 3.5L Duratec V6.

Finally, in 2011 Lincoln released a 2.5L Duratec hybrid engine option that ran concurrently with the 3.5L engine until 2012. With the start of the second-generation MKZ for the 2013 model year Lincoln discontinued all the first-generation engine options for the MKZ.

Engine Size

Available Years

Fuel Type

Horsepower

Torque

3.0L Duratec V6

2006

Gas

221

205 ft-lb

3.5L Duratec V6

2007 to 2012

Gas

262

249 ft-lb

2.5L Duratec I4

2011 to 2012

Hybrid

191

136 ft-lb

Updates

The first-generation MKZ underwent three significant changes in the first generation before completely overhauling the platform for the 2013 model. The first update occurred with the 2007 revision, just one year after the initial release of the MKZ.

You can’t mention the 2007 model year revision without addressing the name change. While Lincoln officially released the MKZ in 2006, they originally called it the Zephyr. In 2007 that changed with Lincoln renaming it the MKZ to match other luxury auto manufacturers like BMW.

Changes starting with the 2007 model year include redesigned wheels, the option for an intelligent all-wheel drive system, a new 3.5L engine option, and optional upgrades to the THX audio system. Starting in 2008 Lincoln ensured that every MKZ came standard with perforated leather seats, a reverse sensing system, TPMS, and Lincoln SYNC.

While Lincoln revised the MKZ in 2007, they completed a facelift for the vehicle just a few years later in 2010. Exterior elements of the facelift included updating the front and rear fascia, revised taillights, and an option for 18-inch wheels.

There are also quite a few interior features that changed with the 2010 facelift too. Instead of faux wood and metal, the interior received real wood and metal, Bridge of Weir leather seating, and a reverse camera system. Finally, standard features also included rain-sensing windshield wipers, a cabin air filter, and adaptive HID headlights.

The final “update” for the first-generation MKZ is the introduction of a new option in 2011 – the MKZ hybrid. It featured everything you could find with previous versions, but under the hood was a far more fuel-efficient four-cylinder hybrid engine.

The Green Car Journal named the 2011 hybrid MKZ as a finalist for the Green Car of the Year award, although it did eventually lose out to the Chevrolet Volt.

The hybrid MKZ was a huge success in the line, making up over 20 percent of the MKZ sales in 2011. By 2014 the MKZ hybrid sales accounted for 29.5 percent of all MKZ sales.

The Second Generation MKZ

Ford decided to completely redesign the Lincoln MKZ for the 2013 model year, and this meant big changes right from the jump. There were three new engine models available with the second generation MKZ, and overall it shares the same CD4 platform that Ford used for the Fusion and Mondeo.

This created a whole new feel and look for the MKZ, although it does naturally create a resemblance to the Fusion since they share the same platform.

The second generation MKZ ran from the 2013 model year through the 2020 model year, with production ramping down significantly starting with the 2018 model year. After 2020 Lincoln discontinued the MKZ line.

There was no direct replacement for the MKZ, although Ford used the extra production space to produce the Ford Bronco and the Lincoln Corsair joined the lineup in 2020.

Engine Options

Starting with the 2013 model year, the Lincoln MKZ offered three different engine options. There’s a smaller inline four-cylinder engine, a four-cylinder hybrid engine, and a larger 3.7L V6 engine.

For the 2017 model year and on Lincoln dropped the 3.7L engine, instead choosing to go with a twin-turbo 3.0L EcoBoost engine that’s a bit smaller but pushes out significantly higher performance specs. Both 2.0L Duratec engines remained available from 2013 to 2020.

Engine Size

Available Years

Fuel Type

Horsepower

Torque

2.0L Duratec I4

2013 to 2020

Gas

245

275 ft-lb

2.0L Duratec I4

2013 to 2020

Hybrid

141

129 ft-lb

3.7L Duratec V6

2013 to 2016

Gas

300

277 ft-lb

3.0L EcoBoost V6

2017 to 2020

Gas

400

400 ft-lb

Updates

Just like the first-generation MKZ had several updates along the way, Lincoln wasn’t afraid to tweak things with the second-generation either. In 2017 the MKZ underwent a significant facelift that overhauled the look of the MKZZ in several key areas.

First, they completely redesigned the front grille and headlights for a more signature and sportier appearance. Furthermore, they dropped the 3.7L engine option for a smaller but more powerful 3.0L twin-turbo engine.

Other updates included changing the gear selector, going from a center console shifter to a knob on the center dash. Finally, starting in 2017 Lincoln released three new trim levels with special appearances, the Vineyard, Chalet, and Thoroughbred.

MKZ Sale Numbers

While the Lincoln MKZ never reached the heights of many other premium vehicle lines, it didn’t exactly struggle either. At the height of production in 2014 Lincoln sold over 34,000 MKZs, although production numbers dropped year-on-year in every subsequent year.

From its inception to its discontinuation, Lincoln produced and sold more than 385,000 MKZs, so there’s no shortage of them on the market today.

From 2006 to 2008 Lincoln sold more than 30,000 MKZs each year, although production numbers took quite a dip in 2009, dropping to just over 22,000 units sold. From there, numbers rebounded each year until 2014. They crossed the 30,000-unit threshold again in 2013, and they sold more than 30,000 units each year from then until 2016.

At that point Lincoln significantly ramped down production, selling fewer than 20,000 units in 2018, just over 17,500 units in 2019, and just over 12,500 units in 2020 before discontinuing the line completely.

The Future of the MKZ

2020 was the last year Lincoln produced the MKZ, and currently there are no plans to put it back on the market. Bolstering this is the fact that from 2014 to 2020 the MKZ sales numbers dropped each year, even after a 2017 facelift.

In 2014 Lincoln sold over 34,000 MKZs, but by 2020 those sales numbers dropped all the way down to just over 12,500. Of course, the sales numbers dropped in large part because Lincoln was slowly limiting the number of available trims through the years, and in 2020 Lincoln only offered the Base and Reserve trim levels.

Still, it doesn’t look like a new MKZ is on the horizon, so if you want to own one, you’ll need to check out the used car market.

Final Thoughts

Do you have questions about the MKZ or are you trying to track one down? The friendly team at Tim’s Truck would love to help. Not only can they help you find the exact MKZ you’re looking for, but they’ll answer any questions you might have about available features and what MKZ would fit your needs best.

From answering questions and finding the right MKZ to getting you behind the wheel, Tim’s Truck is your one-stop shop for it all!

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