Lincoln is setting its 2013 MKZ base price at $36,800, which is $800 below the price of the Lexus ES 350. The cars are similarly sized, but Lincoln claims its MKZ has more features in the base model. The new trim lines, with names redolent of luxury, will be Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Preferred; the top Preferred model adds around $8,300 to the price. Buyers can choose a hybrid powertrain, which is likely to continue to use technology licensed from Toyota, without a surcharge.
The base engine is a turbocharged two-liter four-cylinder rated at 240 horsepower, with gas mileage of 22 city, 33 highway. A 300 horsepower V6 is rated at 300 horsepower, with gas mileage of 18 city, 26 highway (significantly lower than that of the larger Chrysler 300 V6).
The Lincoln will have standard active noise control, a push-button automatic transmission, and rear seat belts with miniature airbags to avoid injury to passengers.