Gallery: TEST DRIVE: A Quick Drive Around Manhattan in the 2013 Lincoln...

 
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.

The new 2013 Lincoln MKZ is offered with three engine options, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, a 3.7L V6, and the 2.0L hybrid system. The MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that is matched with an electric motor and CVT transmission. The system puts out a total 188 horsepower and is rated at 45 mpg in the city and on the highway. Ford also says that the MKZ Hybrid has the ability to travel up to 62 mph in EV mode, which is perfect for the city, where speeds are usually around half that fast.

Lincoln challenged us to see how close we could get to the MKZ Hybrid’s 45 mpg rating. Initially the idea seemed pretty simple. If the MKZ Hybrid could travel up to 62 mph in EV mode and you can barely travel over 30 mph in Manhattan, then it seemed like a no brainer that we would get excellent gas mileage, since the 2.0L engine would barely even turn on. After the first mile or so on the route, I realized this was not the case. As with any car, the EPA ratings will differ based on factors like climate, speed, driver input, etc. It’s summer in NYC and that means that driving with the A/C on is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, with the A/C on the MKZ Hybrid’s powertrain was less willing to stay in EV mode no matter how slow I pulled away from a stop. I found it a bit frustrating and wished that the system had an EV override button like other hybrids.

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