Distinctive Lincoln styling helps the 2009 MKZ look modern and elegant, but there’s no side-stepping that its appearance is very conservative inside and out and likely not very appealing to young people.
The Lincoln MKZ carries a theme of “angular styling touches” throughout its sheetmetal and interior, with a boxiness at the back and a tall grille in front, Cars.com says. Edmunds agrees that the “exterior styling includes the familial Lincoln waterfall grille and tasteful chrome trim.” Kelley Blue Book remarks that the Lincoln MKZ has a "casual, confident and more understated design,” and adds, “with its bold waterfall grille, jewel-like quad projector-beam headlamps, judicious use of chrome trim, and low-profile tires on 17-inch, eight-spoke machined aluminum wheels, the 2009 Lincoln MKZ certainly looks the part of a credible midsize luxury sedan."
But a number of reviewers see the MKZ in a completely different, less positive, light. Car and Driver notes "the styling is plebeian," and the Washington Post finds that the Lincoln MKZ "looks dated, like something for little old people."
Inside, it’s a similar theme. Edmunds observes a “distinctive, retro-look interior design” for the MKZ, adding that its interior shapes "look like nothing from the European and Asian manufacturers, for better or worse." Cars.com reports the MKZ Lincoln features "satin nickel trim," while "the dashboard features electroluminescent gauges." Kelley Blue Book catalogs "generous portions of real wood, satin nickel and chrome accents."
The Washington Post simply states the Lincoln MKZ interior is "a work of squares and circles reminiscent of wooden geometric forms used to teach shapes to kindergartners," while Motor Trend notes there are “two interior treatments from which to choose: one looking clean and tech-like, with real aluminum inserts, and another, more traditional cabin treatment with maple trim that comes from actual trees.”