2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Lincoln Canada

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Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2010 Lincoln MKZ

It might be time for Lincoln to call George Frayne.

For those not up on their discography, Frayne is better known as Commander Cody, who along with his Lost Planet Airmen, provided music history with one of the most memorable versions of ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’. Frayne still tours a smidge, when he’s not selling his Americana-infused pop art. If the good Commander can re-invent himself, why not the MKZ? The issue for many would be the lineage to the Ford Fusion, which in its current form needs little apology. I know what you’re thinking; why would anyone pay a sizable premium for a mid-size sedan that has gone to finishing school? Simple; people have been paying for that privilege since the dawn of motoring.

Take the latest Ford Techlapalooza media event in Dearborn, Michigan. What struck me was the Blue Oval game plan for the next five years: the co-mingling of chassis platforms will continue. It’s a strategy that has played a big part in Ford’s current business health report. The tricky part is the re-invention of luxury. Leather, high-end audio systems, even heated seats are now available on vehicles with nameplates like ‘Hyundai’ and ‘Suzuki’. Lincoln thinks that Bridge of Weir hides and THX-driven audio will be some of the scale-tippers for the MKZ, which appears this week in AWD trim with an MSRP of $49,779. (Prices shown do not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD. Click image to enlarge

It may not seem like much of a departure from other Ford-corporate four-spoke steering wheels, but the MKZ unit is almost bordering on ‘sportish’. The inward angle of the audio/cruise/voice command/phone tabs is the first clue, followed by prominent thumb locators. The column provides manual adjustments for tilt and telescope. The gauge cluster includes sweeps for tachometer, engine coolant temperature, and a manual gear selection display for the six-speed automatic. (The manual gate is at floor level, with no steering wheel-mounted paddles currently available.)

Driver’s information is accessed by a switch bank on the centre stack. The IP display screen provides fuel economy averages, oil life percentage, and the operating status of the Blind Spot and Cross Traffic Alert systems. Visual and audio alerts occur accordingly, with a serious back slap for the Cross Traffic Alert during parking lot reversals. Add this to the rear camera display, and you’ve got it made in the backwards shade.

The driver’s door provides full-Auto panes for the driver and front passenger. Two memory positions for the driver’s seat include exterior mirror adjustment, with the toggle found on the A-pillar. While the exterior mirrors do get puddle lamps, and driver’s-side auto-dimming, what they don’t receive is breakaway capability. Speaking of lamps, the headlamp switch includes the all-important auto setting, with the trunk release, IP dimmer control, and the Lincoln derivative of the MyColour ambient lighting splash system nearby. As ambient lighting systems go, the MKZ system is everywhere, even under the door pulls. The colours can be subdued, with a specific dimmer control. Front passengers are also greeted by backlit signature door sills.

2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD
2010 Lincoln MKZ AWD. Click image to enlarge

Over at the stack, a clean layout is found for the HVAC and audio head unit controls. The SYNC system is still a fave of mine, especially with its spoken and screen prompt tutorials to aid the driver. I had occasion to speak with Kelly Taylor, my Co-Host from The Roadtrip on CJOB in Winnipeg, while his Apple iPhone was paired to the SYNC system. Voice quality was best described as acceptable, though definitely not at the level expected for Lincoln.

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