We've just taken delivery of two 2013 Lincoln MKZs for our test program. Why two? We bought one of the standard, 231-hp EcoBoost four-cylinder models, as well as the 188-hp hybrid version. We're curious to see how Ford's upscale Lincoln brand is approaching luxury with a green twist.
You'd think that treating yourself to a shiny new $42,000 upscale sedan would be enough of a gift. But some car companies now give you a present at delivery—one that you pay for. So, do you want a black walnut presentation box or an iPad?
If you're still thinking that the latest new cars are all about styling, features, horsepower, and fuel mileage, think again.
While car brand reputation can be a strong influence on purchase decisions, such perceptions can be misleading. The reality is, every brand offers models that perform across a spectrum, with some are clearly better than others.
The Lincoln brand has been in trouble for years. Lincoln models have been too similar to their Ford counterparts to make it as credible luxury cars, and no amount of cosmetics and feature enhancements have made them feel all that special. Ford's latest gambit is renaming its luxury division The Lincoln Motor Company. There needs to be more than a name-change to turn Lincoln's fortunes around. It will take product.
Automakers routinely loan vehicles to media outlets for evaluation, leaving magazines, newspapers, and websites trusting that the cars are production representative. It turns out, so-called press cars can vary, as can their test results.
Just because a model is reliable, doesn't mean it is recommended by Consumer Reports. Two out of the top 10 most reliable vehicles don't perform well enough in our tests for us to recommend them. The opposite happens as well--some vehicles that score well in our testing are not recommended because they have below average predicted reliability.
We've never liked MyFord Touch, Ford's high-tech control design that is spreading to more models across the company's lineup. Our recent experiences have convinced us it's high time to detail how the system works and why it's so distracting.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just introduced an additional test, a frontal crash that simulates just a small overlap between the front of a car and an object or vehicle it hits.
The Lincoln MKS was modestly freshened for 2013--along with its Ford Taurus twin--receiving new styling details, a marginally larger trunk opening, and minor mechanical tweaks, but overall it remains the same: a pricey and only slightly posher version of the Taurus. We paid just over $50,000 for our well-equipped MKS, including options.
Car owners were more satisfied with independent shops for maintenance than dealerships, according to the last annual auto survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey found that owners of all makes were equally satisfied with the timeliness and courtesy of the maintenance service at the dealership, where the majority turned for this routine work.
Ever since Lincoln gave traditional car names the old heave-ho a few years back in favor of designating all their models MK something or other, it's been more of a challenge to distinguish one Lincoln from another. Comparing notes with various gearheads and other auto journalists, there seems to be some real bewilderment. If car enthusiasts and people who make our living getting this stuff right are getting confused, what about everybody else? How can buyers tell which is which?
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: