Lincoln Z test drive experience Who is the American sports luxury sedan really suitable for?

Lincoln Z test drive Who is this American sports luxury sedan suitable for?

【PhoneAuto Test Drive】In recent years, the development momentum of domestic independent brands cannot be underestimated, and their market share is also constantly rising, which is bound to bring considerable pressure to joint venture brands. Independent brands have also begun to make impact on the mid-to-high-end market, especially with the emergence of some new car-making forces, which have brought domestic prices into the range of 300,000 to 400,000 yuan. This price range used to be dominated by joint venture luxury brands.

Different from BBA, which is in the first tier of luxury brands, Lincoln, an American luxury brand under Ford, did not have a high presence in the domestic market before. However, in recent years, Lincoln has increased its promotion in the Chinese market and also brought some new models. Lincoln Z is the fourth domestically produced model launched by the Lincoln brand in the Chinese market and currently the only domestically produced sedan. This car was officially launched on March 12, 2022, with a price range of 252,800 to 3,408,000 yuan, positioned as a mid-size sedan, and mainly competing with BMW 3 Series, Audi A4L, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CT5, etc.

Recently, we had the opportunity to experience the Lincoln Z iCool Elegant version, which is the second highest configuration version of this model, with a price of 315,800 yuan. Let’s take a look at the charm and shortcomings of this Sino-US hybrid together.

The exterior color of the Lincoln Z iCool Elegant version is luminous white, which is one of the standard colors for this model. From the front, the Lincoln Z adopts a through-type headlight design, and the inside of the headlight assembly is composed of LED beads of different sizes. Lincoln’s glowing logo is very eye-catching in the middle. The front headlights will show a dynamic acceleration effect when starting up, and they are also very prominent when lit up at night. The front grille adopts the Lincoln brand’s iconic star net design, and the central chrome-plated decoration strip is also embedded with a Lincoln logo. The air intakes on both sides of the front bumper are treated with fangs-style smoke black, increasing the sense of sportiness.

From a side view, the Lincoln Z has very smooth and elegant lines. The waistline gradually slopes down from the headlights all the way to the taillights, forming a sleek coupe-style car shape. One of the main features on the side of the car is the integrated side emblem that extends from the front fender to the front door handle, giving it a dynamic and textured impression. Another feature is the hidden door handles, leaving a technological and simple impression. The door handles use electronic induction switches, so the door can be opened with a gentle touch, which is very elegant.

The Lincoln Z Cool Edition Elegant model is equipped with 19-inch aluminum alloy whirlwind wheels, paired with 235/45 R19 Goodyear sports street tires. The brake calipers are painted red and have a smoked black finish, giving it a sporty look, but the size is relatively small and not full.

From the back, the Lincoln Z also uses a through-style taillight design, which is one of the earliest design languages adopted by the Lincoln brand, but it has also been widely imitated by other brands, so its recognition is not high. However, in terms of detail, the Lincoln Z embeds the Lincoln English logo (LINCOLN) into the taillights, and uses a 3D suspended design. When it is lit up at night, it has a rich texture and a taste of luxury brands. The dual-sided black design of the tailpipes under the rear bumper corresponds to the air inlet on both sides of the front bumper, creating a sense of movement.

After entering the car, the most attractive thing is of course the 12.3-inch full LCD instrument panel and the 27-inch central control screen, with a total length of 1.1 meters. This 27-inch central control screen has 4K resolution and covers 82% of the color gamut, making it look delicate, clear, and vivid. Mechanical buttons with high-frequency functions are also retained below the screen for easy operation, which deserves praise.

This screen, which is over 1.1 meters long, is divided into three areas. The left side is the dashboard, the middle is the central control screen, and the right side is the co-pilot screen. The dashboard can display basic information such as speed, RPM, fuel level, and water temperature, as well as navigation, vehicle status, and driving assistance. The central control screen can display music, navigation, phone, air conditioning, and other functions. It can also access internet content through the Baidu CarLife system, such as Baidu Maps, Baidu Music, and Baidu Intelligent Xiaodu. The co-pilot screen can display entertainment, navigation, vehicle information, and other content. It can also be connected to the central control screen to achieve dual-screen collaboration.

The touch response of this screen is relatively smooth and not laggy. The voice control function also performs well. It can be awakened by saying “Hello, Lincoln” and can control various functions in the car through voice, such as turning on the air conditioning, adjusting the temperature, and navigating to the destination. However, the voice control currently only supports the front row, and the rear passengers cannot use it. Also, the voice control cannot have a continuous conversation. Each time you finish speaking, you need to wake up the system again, which is a bit inconvenient to use. Another drawback of the car machine is that the expansion of ecological content for this screen is relatively small. Apart from some Baidu applications, there is not much playability. If the system can be more open, it can bring more fun to drivers and passengers.

Overall, the continuous LCD screen of Lincoln Z gives people a strong sense of technology visually, but there is still room for improvement and optimization in terms of functionality. In comparison, the traditional separate dashboard and central control screen may be more in line with user habits and needs.

In addition to the full LCD screen, the interior of Lincoln Z also has some commendable features. For example, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has heating function, providing comfortable and warm touch. The shift lever adopts a button-type design and has a glossy black surface treatment, with excellent texture. The seats are made of leather and have heating, ventilation and massage functions, providing high comfort. The central armrest box and door panel are also covered with soft materials and decorated with stitching, with good attention to detail.

After discussing the exterior and interior, now we will introduce the driving experience of the vehicle. First of all, in terms of power, Lincoln Z is equipped with a 2.0T turbocharged engine, with a maximum power of 246 horsepower and a peak torque of 376 Nm, matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This power combination is relatively strong among cars of the same level, with an official announced 0-100km/h acceleration time of 6.8 seconds.

In actual driving, the performance of this engine is also very good. After starting up, the engine sound is low, without obvious turbo lag. When accelerating, the power response is timely but the output is smooth and linear, making it easy to control. The transmission shifts actively and smoothly, with almost no shift impact during acceleration.

Lincoln Z also provides three driving modes: sport, standard and energy saving. Different modes will cause changes in the dashboard, central control screen theme and overall atmosphere lighting. In sport mode, the engine speed will increase, the power output will be more aggressive, and the transmission shift logic will be more sensitive. In standard mode, the engine speed will decrease, the power output will be smoother, and the transmission shift logic will be more comfortable. In energy-saving mode, the engine speed will be further reduced, the power output will be more restrained, and the transmission shift logic will be more economical. After experiencing it, we found that the power performance of Lincoln Z is excellent, providing ample power support whether driving at low or high speeds, allowing drivers to feel the sporty genes of the Lincoln brand.

The Lincoln Z’s chassis structure is a front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link form, which is the mainstream suspension structure among models of the same level. The vehicle suspension is tuned to be sporty with clear road feel, and the support of the outside shock absorber during high-speed cornering is also very good. The electric power steering is stable in feel and can give people sufficient confidence during high-speed cruising. However, the Lincoln Z’s suspension performance is not ideal during low-speed driving. On bumpy roads, there will be obvious vibrations and noise entering the car, and the shock absorption effect is poor.

Overall, the Lincoln Z’s chassis tuning leans towards a sporty style, suitable for high-speed driving and cornering, but it is not comfortable and quiet enough during low-speed driving and on bumpy roads. Compared with competitors of the same level, the Lincoln Z’s chassis performance does not have much advantage. With the current trend of BMW 3 Series towards comfort-oriented tuning, this approach of sacrificing comfort for sportiness may not be very popular.

In terms of NVH, the Lincoln Z’s noise level at idle is 41.8 decibels, which is equivalent to the environment of a library and is relatively quiet. At a constant speed of 40km/h, the noise level is 54.1 decibels, which is equivalent to a normal conversation and is also relatively quiet. At a constant speed of 80km/h, the noise level is 63.4 decibels, which is equivalent to an office environment and is slightly noisy. At a constant speed of 120km/h, the noise level is 69.9 decibels, which is relatively high among luxury brands. The noise during high-speed driving mainly comes from wind and tire noise, which may be related to the vehicle’s sound insulation materials, window glass, tires, etc.

Overall, the Lincoln Z is a car model with a mix of Chinese and American characteristics. It has certain highlights and advantages in terms of its appearance, interior, and power, but there are also some shortcomings and gaps in terms of space, chassis, and NVH. Compared with its competitors in the same class, the Lincoln Z does not have significant advantages, and even has some disadvantages in certain aspects.

However, in terms of price, the Lincoln Z has a certain cost-effectiveness advantage compared to other luxury brand models. If you do not care too much about space, comfort, and other aspects of performance, and value the appearance, interior, and power performance, then the Lincoln Z may be a good choice.

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