Saturday, December 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Top luxury sedan in mileage is a Lincoln

By
From page C1 | June 06, 2014 |

Despite the common perception that Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, are best in fuel economy, it is the gasoline-electric hybrid version of Lincoln’s 2014 MKZ that ranks as the top luxury car in fuel mileage.

The 2014 MKZ Hybrid, which is rated by the federal government at 45 miles per gallon in both city and highway travel, also has a quiet interior, comfortable ride, an odd, push-button gear shifter and a surprising base retail price, including destination charge, of just $36,085.

The price is noteworthy because it is the lowest base retail price of any gas-electric hybrid luxury sedan sold in the United States.

It’s also just $1,000 more than the $35,086 price for a non-hybrid, turbo four-cylinder-powered, 2014 MKZ whose combined city/highway mileage rating is 42 percent less, or 26 mpg.

Plus, the base MKZ Hybrid mid-size sedan, which earned five out of five stars in government crash tests, is well-equipped.

Power comes from a 141-horsepower, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor capable of generating 88 kilowatts of electricity, so the maximum output from the hybrid system is 188 horses.

A fuel-saving, continuously variable transmission that a driver operates like an automatic is the only tranny.

The MKZ Hybrid has the usual standard features such as power windows and door locks, dual-zone, automatic climate control, push-button start, keyless entry and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

But some standard features aren’t always found on competitors. These include Sync voice and touchscreen control for ventilation and the audio system, active noise control for the interior, leather-trimmed seats, 10-way, power-adjustable and heated front seats, power and heated outside mirrors, 18-inch wheels and light-emitting diode headlamps and taillamps.

Still, the base 2014 MKZ Hybrid does not include a rearview camera for drivers to see what is behind the car as they back up.

To get this feature, buyers must upgrade to a package that adds $1,145 to the price, for a total manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $37,230.

By comparison, the 2014 Lexus ES 300h has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $40,410 and carries a federal government fuel economy rating of 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

The base ES 300h has more power — a 200-horsepower gas-electric powerplant linked to a CVT. But front seats in the base model are not heated, wheels are 17 inches in diameter and seat covering is Lexus’ NuLuxe faux leather.

The base ES 300h includes a standard sunroof that is not on the MKZ, but there is no rearview camera on the ES 300h unless a buyer adds a $4,177 option package.

Another competitor, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid sedan, has a starting retail price of $45,305 and is rated at 29/36 mpg by the U.S. government. The Q50 Hybrid uses a 302-horsepower V-6 mated to an electric motor for a total horsepower of 360.

In contrast to the MKZ and ES 300h, the Q50 Hybrid sports a seven-speed, automatic transmission.

The front-wheel drive, four-door MKZ is, by far, the top-selling Lincoln. Sales this calendar year through April were up 58 percent from the year-ago period, to a total of 12,272.

Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid which is also made by Lincoln’s parent company Ford Motor Co., the MKZ Hybrid has a distinctive look that’s an acquired taste to some, with its “winged” grille shape and thin, horizontal line of tail lamps.

The MKZ is unique in other ways.

It is oh-so-silent during most starts. The engine stays off but electric power that’s generated onboard and stored in the lithium-ion battery pack is ready. So a car icon illuminated bright green in the instrument cluster tells the driver the MKZ is on and ready to go.

That’s when the driver has to forget about using a gear shift lever. Instead, the MKZ Hybrid has a vertical line of buttons showing “P” for park, “R” for reverse, etc. on the side of the center stack in the dashboard. An MKZ Hybrid driver must press the brake pedal and press one of the buttons to “shift” into gear.

It takes some getting used to, but it worked fine in the test car.

This is not the first push-button shifter. Chrysler had a push-button shifter in several of its cars starting in 1956, and Ford’s doomed Edsel also featured the mechanism in the late 1950s.

The MKZ Hybrid offered a stable ride and had decent power to merge into traffic and keep abreast of others in city traffic and on country roads.

On the highway, the 2-liter, double overhead cam four cylinder could get buzzy as it worked hard on long uphill climbs.

The MKZ Hybrid averaged 34.5 mpg without the driver trying to maximize fuel mileage. While this is lower than the government rating of 45, it translated into a driving range of 465 miles on a full tank of 13.5 gallons of regular gasoline costing $52.

MKZ back-seat legroom and headroom of 37 inches and 36.6 inches, respectively, felt a bit tight in the tester. Trunk space in the MKZ Hybrid is a two-level arrangement, because of the location of the battery pack, and tops out at 11.1 cubic feet.

The 2014 MKZ Hybrid had a safety recall involving 7,153 cars which might be shifted out of park without the driver depressing the brake pedal.

2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid FWD

BASE PRICE: $35,190.

PRICE AS TESTED: $45,800.

TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, mid-size, gasoline-electric hybrid sedan.

ENGINE: 2-liter, double overhead cam, Atkinson cycle, inline four cylinder with iVCT mated to 88-kilowatt electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

MILEAGE: 45 mpg (city), 45 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 194.1 inches.

WHEELBASE: 112.2 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 3,828 pounds.

BUILT AT: Hermosillo, Mexico.

OPTIONS: Hybrid preferred group (includes rearview camera, reverse sensing system, 19-inch, polished aluminum wheels, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, navigation system, upgraded, premium leather seat trim with cooled as well as heated front seats) $5,375; technology package (includes lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, active park assist) $2,250; single panel moonroof $1,200; White Platinum exterior paint $695; rear-seat, inflatable seat belts $195.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $895.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Suisun Valley celebrates appellation’s anniversary

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun museum adds Japanese-American internment exhibit

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Girl’s selfless act boosts Suisun Wildlife Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Beer for 1st butterfly of year challenge returns

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield firefighters save Christmas for family

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

SF Giants championship trophy coming to Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fire damages Fairfield home

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Car rolls over on Highway 113

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield man killed after family gathering in Napa

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

USA Weekend magazine ceases publication

By Glen Faison | From Page: B6

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
 
.

US / World

California braces for first widespread frost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California gears up for migrant driver’s licenses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Inmate breaks out of jail through ventilation duct

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
People slide down bedsheets to escape motel fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Man shot to death in struggle over officer’s baton

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

4 dead in fiery Northern California car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police officer shoots woman in leg in Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Bodies of woman, 3 grandsons found in burned home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Truck crashes into home; 93-year-old resident dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Baby ostracized by other gorillas will switch zoos

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands attend 8-hour wake for slain NYC officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Dog not gone: Rescue in the Columbia Gorge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Can GOP shatter ‘Obama coalition’ in 2016?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
GPS used to track some immigrants caught at border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Sony hack is reminder of broader Sony dysfunction

By William Pesek | From Page: A8

 
A proud man, a good honorable man

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Remember, caregivers need some care attention, too

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Cow that fled slaughterhouse in 2006 has new home, again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Cleveland reaches 50 years of sports futility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Games to Remember from 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Suns outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Anthony Davis, Roman meet over tweet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Arizona’s Lindley back at starter, Stanton has infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prep JV boys basketball: Vanden gets win in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Could Watt be 1st NFL MVP from defense since Taylor in 1986?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dan Uggla joins Nationals for minor league deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Georgia’s Richt: RB Todd Gurley heading to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping New Jersey Devils fire coach Pete DeBoer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Louisville resume rivalry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders rookie CB makes most of opportunity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High-scoring offenses create longer college games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Globetrotters’ Robert ‘Showboat’ Hall dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl to cap turnaround year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rutgers beats North Carolina in Quick Lane Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
La. Tech beats Illinois 35-18 in Heart of Dallas Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Weather for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Missouri 1st to see average gas price below $2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Holiday deliveries improve but hiccups continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 12/27/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage edges up slightly

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2