Though Lincoln released a "Z" model in the late 1930s, the MKZ is unrelated. First introduced to the on the market in 2005, this mid-size entry-level sedan has become a quick favorite in the Lincoln lineup. One of its least expensive models, the MKZ is currently priced around $29,950, making it an affordable alternative to higher priced luxury sedans. With its sleek exterior, ample interior space, and luxurious upgrades, the MKZ replaced the LS for the maker.
First referred to as the Lincoln Zephyr, the model took on its new badge in 2006. The four-door model is equipped with either a 3.0L or 3.5L Duratec V6. But with only a six-speed automatic transmission available, some buyers have sought more customizable models. With an all-new independent suspension introduced for the 2007 model year, the Lincoln MKZ became a fierce competitor in its category.
Though the MKZ has not seen many interior feature upgrades since its inception, it continues to have more luxury upgrades than most other models by the maker. A 17-speaker 600 watt THX audio system provides the MKZ with a clear, surround sound-type experience. A voice-activated navigation unit can be added, and power accessories like a moonroof.
The 2007 model year meant some minor tweaks for the Lincoln MKZ like the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels and a new chrome waterfall grille. The addition of the new front grille gave the MKZ an entirely fresh look that made it appear to be more luxurious and elegant. Recently, rumors have been passed around that the maker's parent company, Ford, plans to introduce a hybrid version of the model, which will put it into an entirely new category. However, Ford has yet to confirm or deny the gossip. Nevertheless, critics claim that without new hybrid technology, the Lincoln MKZ could quickly fall flat on the market. Other buzz indicates a possible revamp for the model in one of the upcoming model years; nevertheless, Lincoln has not released any information regarding a makeover for the model.
Though the Lincoln MKZ has not gotten as much press as some of the maker's other models, the vehicle has still seen its fifteen minutes of fame. Featured on the popular television gameshow The Price is Right, players competed to win both black and white versions of the model. Also, the recent release of the movie Crash and Burn garnered a bit of attention for the model, as it utilized the MKZ as a background car in the film.