As it's related to the Ford Fusion, the Lincoln MKZ's safety record isn't a long one so far, but crash-test data is quite promising.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has already scored the MKZ at five stars overall, with a five-star rating for frontal-impact protection, and four-star scores for both side-impact protection and rollover resistance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the MKZ and given it the Top Safety Pick+ nod, with the new model earning top 'good' scores in all categories, except for an 'acceptable' rating in the new small overlap frontal test (forgivable to still earn the top spot in 2013).
Standard equipment, along with the usual stability control and airbags, also includes Bluetooth. However, you'll have to choose the Select equipment package to get a rearview camera and parking sensors, the latter of which should be standard equipment in a luxury car, since it's now included on every Honda Civic. The MKZ Reserve package adds on blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts--they're a feature that offers enough useful information to earn our recommendation.
Other safety options are less necessary, in our view. That includes a lane-departure and lane-keeping system that uses a camera to place the car in a lane, and to help correct its progress when it crosses the driving line. Adaptive cruise control isn't as much a convenience feature, we think, as it is a fuel-saver: on MKZ Hybrids, a tap of the resume button can be a big boost to fuel economy, and a more finely tuned input than the driver's foot.
Lastly, the MKZ offers rear-seat, outboard inflatable seat belts. Ford claims the new belts can reduce injuries to back-seat passengers, but as of yet, it's the only company using them.