2018 Lincoln MKZ 3.0L Reserve AWD

Have you seen those TV commercials with Matthew McSpellingdisaster driving a Lincoln Continental? He talks about sitting in the backseat just for the experience, moaning ‘maybe you should’, seemingly hoping for another catch phrase moment. Last year I wrote an article that takes his advice into the back of the Continental’s pretty sister, the MKZ. Most of the piece was written from the rear passenger’s perspective. Bottom line: the leathery luxury of the experience, while cossetting, was plenty roomy. Last month, I drove its twin, the 3.0L.

Bottom line? Stay up front!

That did say the MKZ 2.0L’s twin – but not beneath skin. The turbocharged V6 engine is capable of 400hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, and delivers an utterly different driving experience.

The chasm between these twins’ production is much more Jamie/Cersei than Mary-Kate/Ashley.

Stomp on the throttle and you’ll take a second to notice the difference from the 2.0L, but not because of any perceptible turbo lag. The active noise canceling tech baffles the bigger engine’s roar. Instead, what alerts you to its power is the blur of the traffic you’re overtaking. Even with the added weight of all-wheel drive, you feel deceptively light.

Twinned, so to speak, with a 6-speed automatic transmission, this bigger engine is a $4,500 upgrade – not cheap, but certainly worthy of testing if you’re in the market. You’ve spoiled those tagalongs in the back with heated seats, so why not treat yourself? Of course, the upgrade surcharge doesn’t end there. Even Lincoln tacitly acknowledges the effect at the pump could be near ruinous, listing on your window sticker a ‘partial gas fill’ at no charge with purchase. No judgment here – it must cost a bomb to put MM in the back or front seats.

Lincoln didn’t scrimp on the other options to this tester either. The driver package decks this sedate sedan with hints of good times: painted calipers, white accents amid an ebony interior, a bevy of drive modes on an unexpectedly sporty suspension. It also heats the steering wheel and rolls you out on 19-inch XL wheels.

The $5,500 package includes adaptive LED headlights and the multi-speaker Revel audio system, which turns the (remember, noise canceling) MKZ into a rolling concert hall with pin-droppingly clear acoustics.

Meanwhile, that distinctive panoramic roof lords it over you, bathing you in sunshine, something our gray corner of the world’s missed this long, cold, lonely winter. A single plane of tinted glass, it sexily retracts, revealing more open space than any other sedan. Bottom line: $2,000 more. Still, maybe you should.

Base price: $47,950
As driven with options, destination and taxes: $68,850

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