2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: MoVernie Auto Review

This was my third time travelling to Vancouver. In the past two visits, either my friends drove me around the city or I took the Sky Train to sightsee this beautiful west coast Canadian city. So…for my third visit, I had decided to experience this city by getting a car and drove around the city. I wanted to learn and experience this city from a different angle. With a car, I got to drive around the city and suburbs much more at ease.

Lincoln/Ford Canada had kindly provided me with this gorgeous 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The moment when I saw it’s exterior, I was in love! The alpine white body paint contrasted nicely with the big black retractable panoramic sunroof. It gave this car a futuristic, modern and sleek look. Looking at this car from the front, side and rear, there was no flaw in the entire design. Every angle was beautiful. In the front, it comes with the signature Lincoln dual grills, the LED lights gave this car “LIFE” when the engine was on. The rear end was more angular and the rear glass stretches from the roofline all the way to the rear end of the trunk. I got to say, there isn’t many models in the market that have such an unique design. I think Audi A7 is the closest car that resembles something similar to the MKZ.

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To be honest, I am a very stylish guy and the first thing that I look for is the exterior design. The Lincoln designer could have went with a more traditional boring way and finished the rear end of the car with a typical sedan trunk. Instead, they decided to stretch the roofline that reaches all the way to the back of the rear end, giving the MKZ a more unique hatchback feel. And I think Lincoln designer did an excellent job with it and it was a worth-while risk, taking a more creative, out-of-the-box approach.

The MKZ not only had an amazing exterior styling but the interior design was also impressive. There were whole lots of goodies and high-tech features that were found in this vehicle. First off, digital bright dashboard that had all the gauges to communicate to the driver. In particular, gauges to show the driver the usage of the battery motor and the fuel consumption. Back up camera was extremely useful as I parked in tight spaces around Vancouver parking spots. Vancouver is a city that rains a lot but luckily, during my stay, it was all sunny. I love sunroof and MKZ has an extremely large retractable panoramic sunroof that covers lots of areas. In many other car models that carry a panoramic sunroof, not many of them can open the roof up. For MKZ, the entire glass opened and stretched all the way to back so the rear passengers could also get a piece of the sunlight and fresh air. That was my favourite feature of them all. Other luxury features included leather seats, seat warmers, seat coolers and navigation system. Let me tell you, when I am not familiar with the Vancouver areas, the navigation system was my saviour. It was so easy to use, you can either use the touch screen or you can use your voice to activate the navigation (which ever method suits you more).
I am sure you have seen many other car models where there are tons of buttons at the centre console and you couldn’t really figure what each button is all about? Fear no more, Lincoln has decided to allow you to control the volume of the stereo and the control of the ventilation by having you swipe along a grid with a tip of your finger. Imagine you use your index finger, swipe from left to right on a thin metal grid and the volume of the radio turned louder. Same as controlling the ventilation. Although it took me a while to get the hang of it as I sometimes over swipe the gird and blast the music too loud. But after a few tries, my finger got a hang of it.

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Speaking of audio, MKZ has one of the best stereo system in the business. Bass was top notched. It doesn’t matter which seat you took, you could hear the surround sound.

This was my very first time driving a hybrid so I didn’t know what to expect. I heard rumours that driving a hybrid is boring, they lack power or they just not as fun as a regular engine. After I drove this MKZ around, I can tell you that, the rumours were false. This MKZ had very good pickup and acceleration. Obviously, we can’t expect it to go on the fly in split seconds like a sports car, but the power and acceleration were quite quick the moment you needed to make a lane change.

This vehicle was powered by a 2.3L EcoBoost Engine, that produces 188hp. Most of the time though, if I maintained the car at a constant speed, the engine didn’t even have to kick in. The car could impressively reach up to highway speed all with a use of an electric motor. Gas prices were relatively higher in Vancouver than Toronto, so saving the environment by burning less fossil fuel while saving my wallet with awesome mileage made me super happy!

Another feature that impressed me is the push-button shift that was located on the left side of the centre console. Unlike a conventional vehicle where you have a stick shift on the centre console or near the steering wheel, all the shift buttons were located on the left side of the centre console that were easy to see by my driver’s eye view. To start the engine, I didn’t even need to slot the key fob anywhere, as long as I am carrying the fob around me, the car sensed the key and when I pressed the brake, and began to select my shift button, the engine is on and I am ready to get to my next destination.

Did I mentioned this car also have a SYNC system that sync my Smartphone with the car? Once I synced the phone, I could talk to my friends while having both of my hands on the steering wheel, that’s a nice safety feature! The remote trunk release could open and close itself. Imagine you are full of grocery bags? You will appreciate this feature a lot.

Although this vehicle is great, there were two minor things that I think Lincoln can improve on. One common thing that drivers need to get use to is how quiet the hybrid engine is. Since the key fob doesn’t need to be slotted anywhere within the car, it’s quite possible that you may be absent mind and left the car while the engine is still on. It’s that quiet! It would be great if Lincoln could have some alarm on the key fob to signal to the driver that the car engine is still on if the key fob senses the driver is moving farther and farther away from the vehicle while the engine is on. Another minor item was the long retractable panoramic sunroof, if you stretched it all the way out, 1/3 of the sunroof could actually block the view of the rear window, which you may not be able to see the vehicles behind you. Most often, my work-around was to push the sunroof up a bit, sacrificing the entire sunroof from being fully opened, instead, I ensure the tip of the sunroof isn’t blocking my rear view window.

Other than these two minor suggestions, I really enjoyed the Lincoln MKZ. One of my reasons visiting Vancouver was to attend my buddy’s wedding. The moment I arrived with the MKZ in style, a crowd of 10+ friends crowded around and wanted to check out this luxurious ride. They all couldn’t believe that this MKZ was made by Lincoln. They all thought Lincoln was always a grandpa’s ride and old school and all the boring stuff. But the moment they saw this sleek, modern and high-tech MKZ, they were blown away.

In recent years, I know Lincoln has been working very hard to erase the old school image from potential customers and wanted to attract the young professionals and I think they are moving in the right direction and are doing an excellent job in developing great products that can compete with other competitors such as BMW, Audi, Acura, Cadillac, Lexus and other luxurious brand on the market. The moment when I returned this MKZ back into the parking lot, I saw a beautiful, sculpted cherry red Lincoln Cross-Over SUV called “MKC”. I can’t wait to give that ride a spin and I think Lincoln has finally hit all the right notes with all these exciting and fun models to the market. Not going to lie, I missed the MKZ already and I plan to request another MKZ to drive around in Toronto.

Until next time, check out which ride MoVernie is going to be on the MOVE with! Stay tuned! And MoVernie is outta here!

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Express Fashion Pre-TIFF Event

Last night, I got invited to an exclusive fashion event that was a great kick off to a Pre-TIFF party. More fitting were displays of womenswear and menswear of Express Clothing lines that showcased the various fashion style and combination that are perfect for people goers who are attending TIFF Events.

Express is the official sponsor for TIFF 2014.

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Meet Me in Africa – Charitable Event (@ SpeakEasy21)

Meet me in Africa is a charitable program supported by the Public Relations Agency VOCAB Communications, which is based in Toronto, Canada. In 2012, Founder Chrissy Newton Was on a charitable media trip with MTV Canada and Life Momentum looking to support a local Tanzanian youth based program. Through her travels, Chrissy was introduced to an orphanage in Arusha,Tanzania.

Chrissy has developed a great relationship with the teachers and children in Arusha and her “Meet me in Africa” was born. Every year, Chrissy and a team of volunteers will visit the orphanage and work directly on construction, education and agriculture.

Last night, a group of supporters purchased tickets, showing their support with this charitable and meaningful program at SpeakEasy21, which is a nice hotspot restaurant located in the heart of the financial district. Rain or shine, nothing stopped people from supporting this event, especially SpeakEasy21 provided a patio with a rooftop that protect the patrons even sitting at the patio. Lots of musicians, artists and dancers came out to perform and showing their support at this event. It was a fun and meaningful evening and we hope this charitable event raise lots of money for such a meaningful program by Chrissy Newton.

Want to know more about “Meet Me in Africa”, click here.

Want to know more about SpeakEasy21, click here.

Check out the photos below:

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Want to Win Tickets? – The Beat Down 2014 Hip Hop Dance Competition

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Want to win something? This is why you follow my MoVernie Lifestyle BLOG.

The Beat Down 2014 Hip Hop Dance Competition is happening this Saturday on August 9 at 6pm. The event will be held at the CNE Grounds.

MoVernie and The Beat Down are collaborating to give out a pair of The Beat Down Dance Competition Tickets to a lucky winner. This pair of tickets also include your chance to meet some of the well-known hip hop dancers that travel from Los Angeles and other places.

HOW TO WIN?

You just need to do the following:

1) “LIKE” MoVernie Facebook Group page by clicking here.

2) In “The Beat Down 2014” photo, like the photo and tell us “Why you like hip hop? What attracts you?”

It’s that simple! You have to do BOTH steps for a chance to win!

NOTE: A winner will be announced during my MoVernie LIVE in Studio this Wednesday at 6pm! Want to know if you a a winner? Tune in on Wednesday to find out by clicking this link.

Good luck! Follow me @MoVernie on Twitter & @RealMoVernie on Instagram for more upcoming goodies, contests, giveaways and cool events!

VELD 2014 – Day 1 (EDM at Downsview Park)

As you know, MoVernie is always on the MOVE. This time, with his crew, covering one of the hottest events of the summer. After it’s successful inaugural event from last year, VELD is returning again this weekend, with an even stronger lineup of performers including the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Iggy Azalea, Zedd, Calvin Harris, just to name a few.

Rain dropped a bit during the early afternoon but it hold up for the rest of the evening. Crowd got bigger and bigger and having a great time in the open field at Downsview Park. That’s what I like about VELD, it created a “Tomorrow Land” type of feel to it because the big main stage was built from scratch and in the big open field. Baccardi Tent was awesome as well, providing a second stage for performers to enjoy the beach sand type of atmosphere.

Here are the photos that was taken yesterday. VELD Round 2, are you ready for more?

If you are staying in the city and have nothing to do, it’s never too late to purchase VELD Tickets. Click here to check for ticket availability.

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Win “The Zero Theorem” DVD – MoVernie Contest/Mongrel Media

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Do you like to win something? Do you love movies?

MoVernie & Mongrel Media collaborate to give you a chance to win “The Zero Theorem” DVD, starring David Thewlis, Melanie Thierry, Lucas Hedges, Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon. Click here to view the movie trailer.

HOW TO WIN?

You just need to do the following:

1) “LIKE” MoVernie Facebook Group page by clicking here.

2) In “The Zero Theorem” photo, like the photo and tell us “what is your meaning of life”?

It’s that simple! You have to do BOTH steps for a chance to win!

NOTE: A winner will be announced during my MoVernie LIVE in Studio this Wednesday at 6pm! Want to know if you a a winner? Tune in on Wednesday to find out by clicking this link.

Good luck! Follow me @MoVernie on Twitter & @RealMoVernie on Instagram for more upcoming goodies, contests, giveaways and cool events!

Smashfest 2014 – Ping-Pong Tournament With NHL Players & Celebrities (Charity Event)

Yesterday evening, me and my crew attended and covered one of the hottest events of the summer called Smashfest. This was the third year Smashfest had been running and it will continue to get bigger and better every year. Smashfest is an exclusive party that brings together NHL stars and other celebrities for a ping-pong themed night in downtown Toronto, being held at Steam Whistle Brewery’s historic Roundhouse.

Guests who paid for the tickets got to mix and mingle with a number of past and present NHL players. Foods, wine and SteamWhistle beer were provided throughout the night. Some selected lucky guests also got to play in a ping-pong tournament with the NHL players, playing to win the Smashfest Trophy. Defending champion, Minnesota Wild Stephane Veilleux defended his title again against Vancouver Canucks Alex Burrows. Smashfest was hosted and organized by New York Rangers, Dominic Moore who wanted to raise awarenss and funding to support two very important causes: concussion, as well as rare cancer research.

For more information about Smashfest and how you can purchase tickets for next year, click here!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MoVernie or on Instagram @RealMoVernie! See you in the Social Media World!

Below are photos that my crew had taken during yetersday’s Smashfest event:

Photo Credit: Jensen Adam Lee

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Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Practice Session – Behind-the-Scene

The Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team began its summer program practice session at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. They were preparing for a tight packed four weeks of practices and games against top teams in Europe.  First off, Team Canada will have three days of practice in Toronto, then they will fly in Venice on Wednesday to begin a tour of friendly exhibition games against teams from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Slovenia, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine and Angola before returning to Toronto on August 13. Although the young exciting NBA players such as Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson weren’t available at the practice session, other guys such as Andrew Nicholson, Kevin Olynyk, Corey Joseph, and among others  attended the practice session. GM of Team Canada Steve Nash, Team Canada Coach Jay Triano and Corey Joseph addressed to the media about their goals and objectives with the practice sessions and the this Euro tour.

Here are some of the actions taken at the practice session at the Air Canada Centre, Raptors Practice Court, courtesy by photographer, Marcena Lau.

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Adam Lambert + Queen Concert – Toronto

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Moments after Germany became the World Cup Champion, I drove to downtown to get ready for my round 2 of my events of the day. Thanks to one of my sponsors, my buddy and I, (both know the sponsor very well) got tickets to see the Queen and Adam Lambert Concert at the Air Canada Centre.

My buddy and I showed the usher our tickets, to our surprise, our seats were top notched and we were sitting at Row 1, right in front of the stage. No one in front of us will block us and we have ample of leg room at our seats. I couldn’t believe it! I was pumped.

The Queen & Adam Lambert ROCKED the ACC the entire night. Adam has a powerful and amazing vocals. And the Queen? Queen is Queen, doing their best with a number of their hits after hits, bringing the place down. It was an unbelievable experience. The Row 1 seats were by far the best I ever sat for any concert. Special shoutout to my sponsor, you know who you are! I am forever grateful and cherish every moment as always!

Here are the amazing photos that I took at the event from my row 1 seats. Enjoy!

Follow me @MoVernie on Twitter for more amazing Adam Lambert and the Queen photos!

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The Goal Witnessed Around The World 2014

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What an amazing match!!

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The 2014 FIFA world cup comes to an end with Germany as the winner.

You and I both know what the Argentines were doing leading up to the final match…

They were rehearsing.

And rehearsing well…

Rehearsing how they’re going to react to losing :D

Nah just kidding

These two teams are a power house.

Both teams are extremely dangerous

For much of the FIFA tournament it seemed the Argentines relied heavily on Messi to bring them through.

Meanwhile Germany competing as a team rather than relying on a hero.

For this reason alone it seemed Germany was going to take the world cup.

18K Gold

18K Gold

And win they did.

No matter how hard Argentina prayed for Messi to score that goal it didn’t do a dam thing at winning the cup.

Let this be a lesson kids…one man CAN NOT make a difference…

Because there's only one Jesus

Because not everyone can be Jesus

No hard feelings on either side of the teams though

The nature of the game is a winner and a loser.

Good game guys…good game

Alright…I was routing for Argentina and lost a bet…I’m gona go have 3 Burgers to my face as the loser

Enjoy the awards ceremony