By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve PIC1For 2018, the Lincoln MKZ premium luxury sedan Lincoln MKZ remains a handsome, imposing car both inside and out. The interior is also a standout with a better grade of plastic panels than before and the use of brushed aluminum trim with a unique feel and texture. The very fine Scottish Bridge of Weir leather upholstery, and the unusually high quality of the fit and fittings makes for a truly awe-inspiring interior ambience. Its looker too, with a big contemporary looking grill, and sleek handsome lines that are classic and unfussy. The MKZ is offered in select or an even more upscale Reserve trim level. AWD is now standard with the 2.0T engined version, while the Hybrid engine option we tested remains Front Wheel Drive. The 2.0T is rated at 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque while the combined system horsepower of the Hybrid remains at 188 hp comprising of a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder/electric motor. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo V-6 delivers an incredible 400hp! Transmission is via a six speed automatic with AWD or E-CVT in the case of the hybrid via Front wheel drive only.

Options on our beautifully finished Blue Diamond metallic Reserve Hybrid engined tester (Base priced from ($48,450) included: the huge panoramic sunroof, the upgraded technology package,  MKZ Magnetic package, 19- Inch polished wheels, the wonderful multi contour seats and the luxury package, LED adaptive headlights, and the High quality Revel Ultimate audio system. Price as tested with all options destination and delivery came to $62,500. Rather wonderful, luxurious cappuccino colored perforated leather sate finished off a very exquisite looking interior.

Inside, the MKZ still has its unique push-button gear selectors on the centre stack, but conventional knobs and buttons have replaced some of the touch-sensitive switches for HVAC. The eight-inch touch-screen interfaces with the latest SYNC3 infotainment system. This year’s upgrade featured an increase in the quality of trim materials – for example on the door panels and the increased use of very colorful customizable ambient lighting.

In terms of Technology: Lincoln’s excellent SYNC3 infotainment system is standard, and more comprehensive than ever. There are also features and animations that add to the usability and functionality. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now supported and proved very user friendly when hooked up. The very powerful audiophile quality Revel systems is a delight to crank up as loud as possible! Lincolns Reserve trim adds heated/cooled front seats, rear-seat and steering-wheel heaters, navigation, remote start and blind-spot/rear cross-traffic monitoring. And the seats are incredible; the multi-contoured seats feature Active Motion – a massage feature are just to die for! The MKZ Hybrid has a modern, cool look to the dash and a slightly different gauge cluster to the non-hybrid model and features clever displays that show the flow of power from the battery, gas engine and electric motor.

The MKZ is a highly impressive luxury cruiser on the road. There is the typical hybrids eerie smooth take off and near silent whine until the gas motor kick in unobtrusively. As with all Lincolns, the cabin is quiet and well insulated; unlike some luxury cars that have sporting pretensions, the Lincoln is far easier and relaxing to drive, thanks to its lighter steering and more predictive handling. The transition between hybrid electric power and the gas motor are seamless and it’s a very smooth driving experience. Combined with the continuously controlled damping system and well set up suspension system, the MKZ delivers a comfortable ride. The 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a superbly impressive premium luxury car, and the Reserve models features, and refinements ratchets up the car to the top in it segment. Inspired looks, superb detailing and a competitive pricing make this luxury sedan one to put on the list.

2018 Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid priced from $46,000. Price as tested $61,825 with options destination and delivery.