Saturday, August 2, 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

County unveils Solano economic diversification study

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Fairfield, Vacaville face off at Solano fair

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Reports close books on Solano DA race spending

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Commune with your neighbors on National Night Out

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
In brief lull, Gaza’s displaced survey devastation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Congress backs Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Poll: Public ready to close book on 2 wars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Israel pounds Gaza as it searches for soldier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Last ex-city official sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California prisons alter treatment of mentally ill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court gives new life to California high-speed rail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lightning sparks dozens of new California fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Attorney in deadly bank robbery requests records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Report disputes mom’s claim in school altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Ebola moving faster than control efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Stolen WWI gas mask found in pawn shop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Perspective needed on Gaza conflict

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Vogelsong stifles Mets in Giants’ 5-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball Notebook: Vanden grads Negron, Aplin making their mark

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raul Ibanez homers to carry Royals past A’s 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants RHP Cain needs surgery to remove bone chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Expos stop Shockers, stay alive in state tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Redskins WR Jerry Rice Jr to have shoulder surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs sign Tony Parker to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns’ Gordon meets with NFL on appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods, Mickelson paired together again in a major

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
George suffers serious leg injury in US exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya interested in running The Double for Penske

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anaheim Ducks to retire Selanne’s jersey Jan. 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats still alive in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Sergio Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Goodell defends NFL’s 2-game suspension of Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Packers unveil statue for the Lambeau Leap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Marco Dawson leads 3M Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

PGA Tour refutes report Johnson suspended

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaine Gabbert learning 49ers system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Lester ready to help lead A’s back to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hunter-Reay tops after early Mid-Ohio practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Larson wins 1st career pole at Pocono Raceway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Bergstrom adding center to his resume

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Rare summer relief for gasoline prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

US auto sales sizzle in July, helped by discounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Microsoft sues Samsung over halt to royalties

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
HP to pay $32.5M to settle Postal Service dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marjorie Lee Myrick

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Alice Marion Brown

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Enid Mary Vesci

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 08/2/14

Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3