2011 Lincoln MKZ Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality

Like the Ford Fusion that shares its basic body shell, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ doesn't have an excess of room inside. It's still large enough for four adults to occupy in comfort, and once inside, they'll be pleased by the high grade of materials that grace the seats and the controls.

Other critics have complained that the MKZ's mix of materials looks alternately high-dollar and low-rent. We're not in that camp: the MKZ's at least as satisfying inside as the Buick LaCrosse or the new Chrysler 300 or Lexus ES 350. Some switches and controls--on the steering wheel, for example--aren't the right shape for the task at hand, but not many surfaces inside the MKZ would look out of place in an entry-level Lexus. Its Bridge of Weir leather seats would be a big step up from the hides in those other sedans, too.

More compact than the usual luxury suspects, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ still spreads out plenty of room for adults, and layers on plush leather to boot.

In terms of raw space, the MKZ acquits itself well up front. The chairs prove comfortable over long-distance drives, and because the driving position is relatively low, there's plenty of leg room under the dash. The center console does touch inboard knees without rubbing uncomfortably.

The rear seats are a bit more confining. Entry and exit are easier by far than in, say, the Cadillac CTS, but leg room is a bit less ample than in those other luxury-leaning American sedans. It's good enough for two large adults in long-trip comfort.

The trunk is especially large--it's on par with the larger Lincoln MKS, with a much more cargo-friendly opening. Interior storage is ample, though the trunk in the MKZ Hybrid is downsized because that's where its battery pack lives. The battery pack also means the elimination of the fold-down talents of the rear seats.

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