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.
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.
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!