After a 10-11 mile loop around Manhattan that took us through lower Manhattan and then up the West Side Highway, my MKZ Hybrid test car averaged 38 mpg. This was a bit lower than the 45 mpg rating, but the stop and go chaotic streets of Manhattan are hardly representative of most areas in the country. Lincoln told us that at a similar event in Los Angeles, drivers were getting well into the 40 mpg range.
Besides the EV mode frustrations, the MKZ Hybrid had more than enough power to get ahead of the hundreds of taxis on the West Side Highway. It would have been nice to see how different the system felt compared to the standard four-cylinder MKZ. The MKZ Hybrid also had three different drive modes and its Smart Gauge with EcoGuide system was great at helping us figure out the best way to get the highest MPG possible. A cool EV+feature also remembers frequent destinations, such as your home and raises the threshold for electric-vehicle operation as you approach them.
One of the best parts about the MKZ in general is that buyers do not have to pay a premium to get the MKZ Hybrid over the standard four-cylinder MKZ. Hopefully more automakers will follow suit. One of the big questions at the event was about a possible plug-in hybrid version of the MKZ. Ford offers the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, which the MKZ is based on, but Lincoln told us that a plug-in version is not planned. A plug-in version of the MKZ would at least give Lincoln something to stand apart from its closest competition, the Lexus ES 300h hybrid, which is also not offered with a plug-in version.
At the end of the day, the MKZ Hybrid holds the title of America’s Most Fuel-Efficient Luxury Car. It’s more stylish than most people would expect from a hybrid and buyers don’t have to pay a premium to get the hybrid technology. Based on those principals alone it’s no wonder that half of all MKZ buyers are choosing the hybrid version.