With regard to front drive, we had an ice storm warning here tonight, and my wife had to go to work. She had a choice between taking our GMC Envoy or our front-drive Fusion. She didn't give it a second's thought. She grabbed the Envoy keys and took off. Our rear drive Envoy runs circles around both of our front-drive cars and my rear-drive sports car on slippery roads. Nothing we've owned in years handles as well on snow or ice. Our front-drives flop around like a fish out of water.
The MKZ is definitely geared toward older, more affluent buyers. Mom LOVES hers. On the other hand, younger people often prefer the more practical Fusion. We opted for a Fusion because it offered what we were looking for at a reasonable price. Mom drove Lincoln Town Cars from 1984 until she was talked into a Volvo in 2006. She is very happy to be back in a Lincoln, and I'm glad she is enjoying it. It really is a very attractive, quiet and smooth car with more than adequate power.
After living with both the MKZ and the Fusion for several weeks now, and driving them on the same roads, I've reached the conclusion that the ONLY way to buy an MKZ is as a used (preferably rental) car. Mom saved $17,000 by buying hers with 19,000 miles on it. She paid roughly the same for it as a brand new loaded Fusion SEL. Frankly, most of those who have ridden in our Fusion and the MKZ can't tell ANY difference. I notice just an ever so slightly smoother ride in the MKZ, but it does not warranty an extra $20,000 new over a Fusion SEL. I'd definitely recommend the loaded Fusion SEL over the MKZ unless you have a really fragile ego and an extra $20,000 sitting around gathering dust.
I agree with the conclusion that an MKZ is a just a nice Fusion. That is what I tell anyone who asks me how I like my 2009 MKZ. I always tell them it is a really nice Fusion. But the $17,000 dollar price difference cited is a bit of an exaggeration. I see brand new MKZs advertised for $30,000 real price paid (not MSRP) and I don't really believe anyone is getting fully loaded Fusions for $13,000. For comparison, my friend who is a Cadillac dealer says they sell CTS's for $30,000 all the time too. But I do think it is a great country where people can buy such a great car as the Fusion that has so much in common with an MKZ.
When I bought my MKZ, I was in a position where I had some extra cash and I was looking for something somewhat nicer than average for once in my life, and before I get too old to enjoy a new car with a lot of power (268 HP in MKZ versus 220 HP in Fusion.)
$25,000 gets you a really nice car from a lot of companies. But in my case I had a budget of $40,000 and I was hoping to get something significantly nicer. The others cars I test drove were BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Audi A6 and Volvo S80. And I talked to a lot of people who had more expensive cars. What I learned was that, in general, there are no cars available from anyone that are significantly nicer for just $15,000 extra money. They've all got four wheels and a steering wheel. And if the car had better handling, you paid for it in how rough the ride is.
The thing I have been surprised by moving up to a Lincoln over the Fords I have always driven, is the number of people who tell me how nice it is, how they have heard it is a really great car. That is kind of a new experience for me. The perception of others of Lincoln versus Ford is certainly different.
Be very glad you got the MKZ. Mom's last car was a Volvo S60, and our family has also had 2 5-series BMW's.
The Volvo was a terrible disappointment. It was neither sporty nor luxurious, with bland looks comparable to a Camry or Accord.
The BMW's were OK, but not as smooth, quiet or luxurious as mom's MKZ and cost thousands more.
The MKZ's 268 horsepower is better than most competitors, but of course my mom will never use 40% of its potential.
I have to agree that the MKZ and Cadillac CTS are both exceptionally good cars. The new 300+ horsepower MKZ should really be awesome (provided Ford doesn't opt to cancel it).
"The Volvo was a terrible disappointment. It was neither sporty nor luxurious, with bland looks comparable to a Camry or Accord."
Surely that's not the real or whole story. You family knew how sporty and luxurious the Volvo was prior to purchase. So what actually happened with the car? Was it unreliable? Was it a pre-Ford model? Did you just become tired of it??
There were zero problems with mom's 2006 Volvo S-60. Mom only put about 18,000 miles on it. What none of us liked was the fact that it was neither sporty NOR luxurious. It had the look, feel, interior quality and styling of a bland, inexpensive midsized car. The ride was worse than our Pontiac Grand Am and the handling was no better than our Fusion. The interior was nowhere near as nice as her current MKZ. It was no quieter or smoother than a Fusion. It just seemed to be nowhere near the car it should have been for the money. My wife's Fusion is both sportier and more luxurious at half the cost. I read several reviews on the S-60 and they seemed to agree pretty much with my impressions.
There are HUGE differences between the Fusion and the MKZ. The ENGINE! The MKZ is a 3.5, 263HP V6 while the Fusion has a 3.0 221HP V6 or a 2.3, 160HP 4. This would make up most of the difference in price.
One is a Lincoln and the other a Ford... so again better service, better materials and as you state more insulation. The Lincoln has thicker glass, more supportive seats, better grade of leather and carpets as well as more available options than the Fusion.
While both are very nice cars, there is really no comparison between the Fusion and the MKZ.
Frank the Ford Fan.
Dear Fusion owner.
Need I remind you of the little issue of the Granada/Versailles controversy of the seventies? (Lincoln's Versailles was just a Ford Granada with a nice grille and a Continental Kit)
Ford, (as well as GM and Chrysler) have been making similar tweaks on their vehicles, making basically the base model thousands less than its more opulent twin for the past 30 years. I mean Mark's were basically ThunderBirds, Cadillac's were Impala's with fins, and the Super Bee was a Dodge Charger. The concept of customers purchasing vehicles and paying for the "name" of the vehicle is nothing new.
Sure, the higher marques have better materials, maybe more trim, and different engine choices, but deep down they're the same car. I'm quite surprised you haven't picked up on this before now...