"a Lincoln MKZ (a Fusion with $20,000 tacked on.) "
You don't have to bargain very hard to pick up a new 2009 MKZ for $30,000, particularly with the new 2010 models soon to be here. Just check the new car ads in the newspaper. But getting a Fusion for $10,000 might be a bit of trick. At that price, I think want to buy two!
According to Consumer Reports Spring 2008 Buyers Guide, dealer invoice pricing for an MKZ is $28291 (MSRP is $30790)
Dealer invoice pricing for a Ford Fusion SEL V6 is $20937. Adding the options to bring it match the standard equipment on an MKZ will add $2391, for a total of $23382.
So as close as you can compare an MKZ to a Fusion, the price difference is $5063.
One thing the MKZ has that you can't get on a Fusion in 2008 and 2009 is the relatively new 3.5 Liter V6, instead of the Duratec 3.0 Liter V6 that dates back to the mid 1990s (although they have made many improvements to that engine). But I think the 3.5 L will be an option for the Fusion in 2010.
Comparing what CR says for acceleration, the MKZ 0 to 60 time is 6.9 seconds, versus 8.0 seconds for the Fusion. But I think CR tested an early model Fusion with an early transmission software and the real acceleration is a bit better. The better acceleration makes merging into freeway traffic easier and maybe is a bit more fun sometimes.
Braking distances are a few feet bit shorter in the MKZ, I would suppose because of the better Michelin tires it gets.
Only available on the MKZ, and most significant to my wife, are the cooled leather seats. She is a doctor and has to drive between hospitals in the middle of the day. In her old car in the summer, the air conditioner worked well, but the seats are still hot. So her back and bottom would be all sweaty when she got to the next hospital. She hated how her clothes got clingy and looked awful and too revealing when she was ready to see the next set of patients. But with the cooled leather seats, that problem is gone and she gets to choose her summer clothes more freely. That is one of those things that when you buy it, you don't think it is going to be important. But then you find out later that it is one of the few things about a car that can actually make a difference in your life.
The other thing that makes a big difference is the integrated cell phone (Sync). It works great. It makes work much easier as she can coordinate with other doctors and nurses as she is driving between hospitals. It is on the Fusion and MKZ both.
The car magazines make it sound like the ride is noticeably better on the MKZ, but the handling is noticeably better on the Fusion. I don't know first hand how true that is, but I tend to believe the car magazines exaggerate small differences just to write an interesting story.
If you like the Fusion, by all means buy one. It is a really good car. But don't be scared to go look at an MKZ too -- they don't cost that much more.
"According to Consumer Reports Spring 2008 Buyers Guide, dealer invoice pricing for an MKZ is $28291 (MSRP is $30790) "
The original window sticker on my mom's MKZ was $43,826. (it has every conceivable option, most of which she will never use). Of course no dealer gets that for a new one. As for the ride, now that we've had both for a while I have to agree that car magazines DO tend to exaggerate tiny (almost unnoticeable) differences. We love BOTH cars, and mom has always been a very big fan of Lincoln. Her MKZ suits her to a "T". We like the Fusion, and as a mechanic and car enthusiast I plan to do some custom work (grill, wheels, etc.) when this recession starts to let up a bit.
I just went to the Lincoln MKZ website and added every option I could on a 2009 MKZ. With Navigation, THX stereo, all wheel drive, heated and cooled seats, chrome wheels, remote start, Sync, Midnight Black paint, HID headlight and other stuff it the MSRP came to US dollars of $40490 before a $1500 rebate. The latest version of the website is quite a bit worse than the one they had just a few months ago. Very confusing now. I could have missed something, but I think I got it all piled on. Anyway, I was really checking to see if the 2010 models were out yet. It doesn't look like they are.
The upgraded floormats are $75. That is what my wife got me for Christmas and I am quite pleased with them. I was wondering what I would do with the old ones, and it turns out the obvious answer is -- put them in the trunk and that toughens things up back there a bit.
Maybe the 2008 MKZ listed higher (Ford may have dropped the price in 2008 due to the low sales volume). I did check again and there were two "dealer options" listed on the original invoice sheet. This is typical of dealerships trying to inflate costs to get financing and to make customers think they are getting a better deal. At any rate, no one ever PAYS the invoice price, so I guess it is a moot point. I wasn't implying you were incorrect or untruthful, so accept my apologies if it appeared that that was the case.
We took our 2.3 Fusion on a trip this weekend that included a long stretch of basically deserted divided highway that is virtually never patrolled. Having read derogatory reports about how slow and puny the 4-cylinder Fusion is, I decided to see how "slow" it is. gently nudging the accelerator at 100mph resulted in an immediate and smooth downshift to 4th. The speedometer quickly swung past 115 (still in 4th) before I let up (just in case a cop WAS nearby). This car would have easily pegged the speedometer in 4th gear. If the engine didn't have a limiter, it would no doubt easily top 135.
Slow?? I don't think so. The acceleration is likewise not sluggish by any means. This car will easily keep up with my modified Grand Am, which has cold air induction and several other engine mods.
I drove a 2010 Fusion Sport 3.5L and a 2008 MKZ. Yes the MKZ has a nicer ride, but the handling is nowhere near as good as the Fusion Sport. This is the price you pay, hard to have both in one package.
Since my family owns both an MKZ and a Fusion, we are in a good spot to compare the two cars. For my money there is not enough difference to justify buying the MKZ. My wife has a Fusion and mother chose an MKZ. The Fusion handles slightly better, but the MKZ has a slightly softer ride. The MKZ has a more powerful engine, but the extra power is barely noticeable. I'd bet that if you were blindfolded and taken for a ride in each you could not tell which was which. I personally prefer the styling of the 2010 Fusion to the MKZ. To me it has a sportier look.
I am the person who posted the original review.
I now have 30,000 kilometres on the car and it is still working perfectly (14 months after the purchase).
It has been more than a year since I bought it and if I had to do it again there would be no changes made. This is one GREAT car.
I do some driving for work and my best fuel mileage (all highway) has been about 7.5 litres per 100 km. In mixed driving I see about 9.5 litres per 100 km.
I still get a kick out of the good handling, and my wife (who has a Taurus) gets envious every time she drives it.
If I have a choice I will NEVER have a vehicle without Sync again. It is one good infotainment system!