Never Upstage The Star: The 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Lincoln MKZ
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ.
The striking face you see in the picture above is the new look of Lincoln---debuting on this year's much-awaited Continental.  The Continental is meant to establish that the days of Lincolns being gussied-up Fords are now over.

Which is why putting that face on the mid-size MKZ the very same year as the Continental's launch is a monumental error.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Lincoln MKZ
2017 Lincoln MKZ.
The MKZ would wear the new face soon enough---it is the new Lincoln identity, meant to replace the waterfall grille of the past few years---but for the Continental to have the proper impact, it alone should have had the new nose.  Now people are seeing it attached to a car that they've been seeing on the street for almost four years.

That is not to say the MKZ is not a fine car in and of itself.  The 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission move the car quickly and return an EPA-estimated 21 city/31 highway.

While it is more closely related to the Ford Fusion than its eventual successor will be, Lincoln has done a fine job of disguising that fact.

Interior view of 2017 Lincoln MKZ
2017 Lincoln MKZ interior.
Our test vehicle was the MKZ reserve.  The base price of $39,670 brings with it ten-way heated and cooled power perforated leather-trimmed front seats with four-way power lumbar, driver's seat memory, rear seat AC vents, the new SYNC 3 11-speaker audio system with voice-activated navigation, reverse sensing, genuine wood trim, blind spot information system with rear cross-traffic alert and quite a bit more.

Our car was treated to optional equipment, including a panoramic roof, the MKZ Technology, Climate and Luxury packages, LED adaptive headlights, a further upgraded Revel Ultima audio system (which sounded spectacular), multi-contour seats, rear heated seats and a heated steering wheel. which took the as-tested price to $51,175.

Again, a fine car, a fine choice.  The new nose does enhance the MKZ.  Our only concern is that it upstages the star of the show---the new Continental.