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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    "Aviator? What Aviator? "

    What, you don't know that Lincoln makes an Explorer based SUV called the Aviator? :confuse:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    "What, you don't know that Lincoln makes an Explorer based SUV called the Aviator?"

    What, you don't know that they KILLED the Aviator back in July and are no longer making them? :confuse: :cry:
  • Boy, Nav89, you stepped right into that one.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    The main problem with the Zephyr, as it is currently configured, is that it is only a differently trimmed Fusion. The Fusion is a good car, but Lincoln charges many thousands more for a Fusion/Milan with some upgraded interior trim. The seat cooling option is the only unique feature, but even that does not come standard.

    When you start comparing the Zephyr to other cars, the surface glitz doesn't hold up. How can Lincoln promote a near luxury car these days, with no electronic stability program, no brake assist, not electronic brake force distribution, no nothing (to set it apart from Camrys, Accords, etc.)?

    The 2006 Hyundai Sonata offers all those things STANDARD, plus better mileage, more power, more room, same quiet interior for $10,000 less. Of course the Sonata does not pretend to be near luxury, like the pretend Lincoln.

    Looking at true near luxury competition, use Lexus as an example. The IS 3.5 has more power, far more electronic drive controls, similar quiet, good mileage, more power, and the more expensive-to-build rear wheel drive. The ES330 is similarly priced and better equipped, although certainly a more boring car than the Zephyr.

    The reason why Zephyr looks so good to some people is that the Fusion is good--and Lincolns in general are so mediocre (the LS excepted). The best Lincoln is the LS, but Lincoln has ignored it. Although it is balanced, powerful and well-sized (only 3" longer than Zephyr), it has never been promoted properly and should have had a re-skin and new and classier interior for 2006.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    To be fair the Zephyr does have many luxury features not available on Fusion/Milan that you didn't mention in addition to the cooled seats:

    HID headlamps
    THX Stereo
    Navigation system
    Memory Seats
    Dual-Zone automatic HVAC
    Keyless entry Keypad
    Chrome wheels
    Upgraded Leather (sat in both and there is a big difference)
    Upgraded sound insulation
    Upgraded interior (granted it's not a huge upgrade)

    Yes, it should have the 3.5L V6 but that will happen next year. The best direct comparison is the ES330, not the sporty RWD IS.

    Whether it's worth the price difference is a matter of personal preference. And most people buying this type of car won't care much about HP.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    OK, you have a point. However, most of those features could and should be available on the Milan. There are lots of folks who will buy the Zephyr. Most of them will not have driven the comparable Acura, Lexus, Infinity, Audi, etc. There is nothing in the Zephyr that sets it apart or even puts it on a par with the others, equipmantp-wise. And I beg to differ about the all new 2006 Lexus IS. Yes, it is sporty, but it is also luxuriously equipped and garners the respect of the auto press. Zephyr will not get that until it has a better engine, a manumatic, all wheel drive and perhaps ESP, EBD, and brake assist. Hopefully, these improvements won't come too late.

    FoMoCo is short of engine choices across the line. Compare the options between the F150 and Silverado, or 500 and 2006 Impala. Even with one engine choice, Ford is outgunned usually (Navigator v. Escalade, Town Car v. DTS). They simply must do something about that. Putting a 3.5 in the Zephyr is a start, but then that engine will also likely go into 500, Montego and who knows what else? What's coming after the 3.5? Does Ford have a clue yet?
  • I waited a few days before posting any messages because I wanted to review the latest zephyr chatter to prove more than a few points....let me first digress and address the gentleman who had a problem with all caps...ahem...

    Marketing does not equal a localized New York city advertising blitz campaign although after reviewing some messages I admit the brainwashing of the public with Lexus ES330, Acura TL, Mercedes, etc. is almost impossible to overcome...step outside of the box of limited space and time and realize many are brainwashed by the imports. All Lexus, Acura, and the like, are, deressed up versions of Toyota, Honda, Volkswagon, etc...and quality cutting corners of the same (to save money) that effect performance are proven (by empirical evidence)not only in expert opinion reading/magazines but in reliability, dependability, and test driving as well...yet it is this so called expert trade magazine and media reviews which stay in business with/by corporate payment and backing with mind controlling promotion and endorsement. All these so called superior vehicles are not what they used to be...also they cost an arm and a leg to maintain and repair properly...(remember the Acura Legend...now that was a true winner in its day)...remember they do not make them like they used to...the RL can not touch that car...Also addressing the chatter about limited options, engines, etc....too many choices, too much product, and over manufacturing leads to cost over runs, consumer indecision, and compromised production quality...and poor management decisions.. then the government is queried to help the industry out...the market is too segmented as it is...and in the mean time while the so called upper echelon has cut corners...the domestics are constantly improving...kind of like Nissan...marketing means perception...which is accomplished by brainwashing...just keep reading the internet chatter of the so-called "pin-heads"...and I do not mean this term in any negative connotation...we are who we are...keep an open mind despite the odds." The Zephyr is a great car and for the money I would buy one!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Akirby, problem is, the new ES is scheduled to bow in less than 8 months. For the majority of its lifetime, THAT Lexus is the one with which this Zephyr will compete. And if Lexus prices the ES (expected with the corporate 268 horse 3.5L V6, perhaps tuned slightly higher than that) as agressively as they have the new IS, its going to be tough.

    ~alpha
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Maybe, but the current ES330 is about $3K more than the Zephyr similarly equipped. The ES may have a few more things standard but not much. And I seriously doubt they'll be dropping the price if they put in a new engine. And the Zephyr will get the 3.5L duratec with about 270 hp for the 2007 model year (about 11 months from now). It will also have optional AWD.

    Rumor is there will also be an auxilliary jack added to the stereo and I'm guessing Sirius satellite will also be available.

    They are purposely introducing new things slowly to ensure a quality and recall free launch and will be adding things as they go.

    Supposedly there will be an AWD Fusion ST next year with the 3.5L duratec.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Howard, really! My point, if I may have one, is that although platform sharing happens across the board in the auto industry, the Zephyr shares more than a platform with the Fusion. It shares the windshield and all window glass, the doors, all substructure and mount points, most of the steering wheel, switchgear and trim knobs, the engine, the transmission, etc. etc. It IS essentially a Fusion with a different trim package. That does not make it bad. The Fusion is a good car. What it does not make it is a bargain. Lincoln charges a chunk of change for this gussied up Fusion. The fact is Lincoln could not have reasonably charged any more for it if it had bothered to give the Zephyr a unique roof or doors or other body panels.

    Now, look at what Toyota does with the ES300 and Camry. They do not share a single body panel or even the roofline. Or the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S Type (no one could tell they share a lot underneath just by looking at them). Even GM, though its cars are not selling like hotcakes, completely differentiates the alike-underneath Chevy Impala, Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick LaCrosse. They don't even share window glass.

    Lincoln needs more differentiation from its sister divisions to justify the prices. The Mark LT is the most egregious example. It IS an F150 with more chrome. They didn't even change the front facia--only the grill insert.

    Lincolns are not bad vehicles. Sales would jump if they readjusted prices downward to highline Mercury levels--which is what Lincoln is now (the soon-to-be-killed LS excepted).
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Wow, I really didn't know that until I researched it now. I was on vacation in July, maybe that's why I never noticed.

    It's sad that Lincoln lost the Aviator. It has always been a person favorite in that class. Now Lincoln's lineup is now 5 cars, with the LS near it's end and the Mark LT's demise can't be too far away. That new Mustang based coupe better hurry, 2009 seems too far away to go on with such a limited lineup. :cry:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Well, Lincoln does have the new Aviator coming in 2007...I hope it is like the concept of a few years ago, and not watered down. There is also a plan for two new sedans. I hope they are Lincoln-esque and not Lincoln grills grafted onto Ford models.

    Lincoln really missed the boat (as Ford did by not marketing the 427 concept) by not bringing the Lincoln Continental concept (reminiscient of the '61 Lincoln) to market. As the new Mustang shows, if you do heritage well (very current but respectful of the original design), everyone loves it. If you don't do it well (new Thunderbird), it flops. The two sedans will be front-drive....unfortunate as the rest of the luxury industry gravitates toward RWD. Still, if they do them right, like Audi, the AWD versions could shine. Plus, there is that 2009 Lincoln Mustang. Remember how differentiated the 1980s T-bird and Marks were? It could happen again.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The new Lincolns won't be Fords with new grilles - they'll be Volvos with new grilles. Actually, you won't be able to tell that they're based on the Volvos or the Five Hundred just like you don't see anything Mazda6 about the Zephyr, Milan or Fusion.

    And they will only be offered with AWD and at least an option V8. FWD is only for the Zephyr.
  • Just imagine...close your eyes...open them...look at the back/rear of the Zephyr...there is a Lexus symbol...not a Lincoln symbol...now what does your brainwashed mind think of the car?
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    I didn't know there was a new Thunderbird. Thought the old one was phasing out without a replacement. It was anything but a flop, and like the Lincoln LS, the only problem is FOMOCO leaving what was a great car a few years ago, without any updates to keep it alive. That seems to be the case far too often with Ford these days, I love my Freestyle, but they decided to make it something completely different after only a couple of years. My new in July of 99 2000 LS V8 was one of the best buys on the road, and a truley great car, but sadly enough the 2006 models are virtually the same car. Good, but not great for 2006. :confuse:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    He was talking about the "old" thunderbird that was just killed.

    The LS didn't die from lack of marketing. It died because Ford decided not to sell them in Europe and also decided not to make any new vehicles from the dew98 platform. It's too expensive (ok for jag since they're considerably more expensive) and can't use the corporate 4.6L V8s. Without european sales and more models to share the platform costs plus the one-off 3.9L V8 and all aluminum suspension it became too expensive to keep. And it wasn't that rigid - the thunderbird had to use cross braces behind the seats which made it impossible to use for the new mustang convertible since it had to have a back seat.

    I think closing Wixom was also part of the long term plan. Why waste advertising on a car that loses money? I love mine but it just doesn't make sense to keep it from a business standpoint.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Howard, I don't care for Lexus ES330 styling and wouldn't buy one. However, it does have more content, quality and engineering than the average near luxury car. It's not the badge, man. It's the content and forwaard thinking. Ford doesn't need to just keep up, the ccompany needs to lead with something terrific. When I look at the Zephyr, I see a Fusion with a Lincoln-esque grill (a la Versailles relationship to the Granada) and a rear end that is slightly different--ok, but not a standout. That is where the Zephyr is for me...not bad styling (and I could say the same about the Accord or Sonata), but no standout, like some of the Lincolns of the past. Further, why not buy the loaded Milan or Fusion? Same room, handling, drivetrain and you save some of the awful depreciation Zephyr owners will see.

    As for the LS, platforms can be modified. The Mustang platform is a derivative of the DEW98. So is the new Jaguar XJ sedan. If Lincoln had chosen to keep developing it, there could have been a new Town Car and/or Continental (for cost sharing) built off a modification of it. But what do I know? ;) It's dead regardless, and Lincoln is making the dubious decision to go front drive with all their sedans when the rest of the luxury car industry seems to be staying with or moving to RWD. Maybe it will work for them. We'll see.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Will you please get your facts straight?

    The only part of the mustang platform that is even remotely related to the DEW98 is the floor pan and fuel tank. That's it. Everything else is new, stiffer and cheaper.

    Lincoln is not going FWD with all their sedans. Only the Zephyr will be FWD - the 2 new D3 sedans will be AWD only. And I bet the Volvo/500 D3 platform cost a fraction of what the DEW98 platform would have cost, especially if you factor in the cost to convert to AWD.

    And there is just as much (or as little) difference between a Camry and an ES330 as there is between a Fusion and a Zephyr. The grilles and rear ends on the zephyr and fusion are totally different. The Camry/ES330 are almost identical.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    You are right about the DEW98 platform. But my point, again if I am allowed to have one, is that (like Ford) Lincoln could have started with the DEW98 and made it cheaper (or more ubiquitous)--or even used the Mustang platform (which started as the DEW98 but of course ended up as something very different) as a base for a longer wheelbase 4 door. They didn't. End of story.

    I have to disagree with you about the Camry and ES 330. Although they share a platform and lots of other things, they do not share a single body panel in common. They even have different versions of what is essentially the same engine with different hp ratings. On the other hand, the Lincoln and Ford have the same windshield opening, same rear window opening, same door skins, same window glass openings, same roof, exact same engine...I could go on, but maybe you get the point. It is little more than badge engineering, which was the way of doing things between strapped divisions some years ago--not now.

    The grills and rear ends of the Fusion and Zephyr are different. However, every body panel is different between the Lexus and Camry and this has been so since the two were separate models back in the 80's. All I expect is that Ford make the same effort to differentiate their divisions as other companies do.

    BTW, I prefer Fusion/Zephyr styling to the Toyota cars. I am merely wishing Lincoln would give us something unique--like the difference between the S-Type and the LS, or the difference between the Mazda6 and the Fusion.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Oops...I forgot another point. Lincoln's forthcoming AWDs are all FWD with AWD added (sending power to the rear wheels as Audi does). The difference is that you cannot take a FWD converted to AWD, and cut off the FWD to get a RWD. True RWD have to be engineered as such.

    That is why the Jaguar T Type has gotten its largely undeserved criticism. It started as a FWD Mondeo. What Jaguar ended up with is very different in character from a Mondeo--and arguably much better--but the fact remains that the platform is FWD with AWD added. The AWD Mercedes sedan is based on RWD, with front drive added. A Mercedes could not reasonably be converted to FWD only by disconnecting the RWD, but it could be easily converted back to RWD by disconnecting the front.
  • Hello everyone,

    been reading through all the posts here since I have recently purchased a Zephyr, just awaiting delivery (a few more weeks to go still). Found a lot of interesting info and thank you all for that, both the pro and against folks.

    Someone posted a link to the manual for the Zephyr a while back but even though the Ford fleet site had it labeled as the English version it was unfortunately in French, so just wondering if anyone has a link to the actual English manual?

    EDIT: I just checked again and now they have the correct English manual linked!

    There is no way yet on the lincoln.com site owner section to register 2006 vehicles so can't check there.

    Oh BTW this is what I got in my Zephyr:

    Tungsten Silver
    HIDs
    NAV (includes THXII)
    Heated/Cooled seats
    Standard rims even though I was offered the chromed ones, there's as much chrome as I like already on the car :)

    Now not sure if the handsfree bluetooth kit is available from Ford, neither was my dealer so he told me if not he would install an aftermarket bluetooth kit for me at no charge, sounds good to me :)

    Oh and I guess I am one of those 'young' people Ford wants as I'm a 30 year old IT pro. The more I looked at it the more I began to like the car, and there are some very nice videos and photos available if you sign up for the Ford media page.

    I was originally looking at an M45, but then I may be leaving the country (Canada) on work in the near future so wouldn't make sense for me to spend 70K on a car that I may have to get rid off on short notice, the Zephyr was a good compromise as it has many of the features I liked in the M, minus the engine and RWD of course, but at least it is a car that I can pass on to my dad if I had to leave and he could manage the payments on it.

    I also didn't want to go to the so cliched BMW camp (there are just waaay too many of them around here). There were no BMWs or Mercs that even offered as much as the M45 did for the money so why would I go and spend more to get even less :). Besides the Ford dealer that we deal with for our other cars has been good to us for the last decade so we know the service quality will be there. The first time I went to look at the M45 the Infinity guys didn't even come out and talk to us for ten minutes!

    And to all those arguing over the car.. in the end its just a car.. enjoy life ;)
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Wow! Congratulations on your purchase! :) Hope you post regularly to tell us about the car.

    I too like the Zephyr and don't find it to be just a dressed up Fusion. I'm glad you feel the same. Question - how much did you pay for your car?

    And FYI, M45's dont cost 70K. 55K is more like it, give or take some.

    Did you cross shop any competitors before buying this car? How did you feel they compared.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "The Mark LT is the most egregious example. It IS an F150 with more chrome. They didn't even change the front facia--only the grill insert."

    Ok, true enough, but the Cadillac Escalanch is so totally different from the Chevy Avalanch? Nope - it's the same truck, with a bigger engine (I think), and a different front end. Actually, the Mark LT has much more in the way of tacky add ons than the Cadillac does.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Just look at the front ends of the Camry/ES330 and the Fusion/Zephyr and decide for yourself how different they are.

    The only problem with FWD based AWD is that the engine is transverse which causes a weight shift towards the front. It's hard to get a 50/50 weight balance on a FWD based vehicle. And just like Audi, Lincoln's AWD will be rear biased (more torque sent to the rear than the front). I don't know of any full time AWD systems that allow you to switch completely to 2wd (that would be a part time 4WD system).
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    That's right...in the end it is just a car. And I've got into a game of splitting hairs over something I actually couldn't give two farts about. ;)

    Note to akirby: I agree that the front ends of the ES330 and Camry resemble one another more than the front ends of Fusion-Zephyr do. However, not only is every front body panel and trim piece completely different between the two Toyotas, every other body part is different, including the sides and greenhouse, and interior dimensions. The ES330 has more hp. The Camry has more room.

    As I've said too many times, the Fusion and Zephyr share the roof, entire greenhouse, doors, interior dimensions, engine...maybe it is just me, but if I am to pay 10K more, I want a little more effort at differentiation. I also know that this may not matter to the next guy, and that's OK.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    But my point is the average consumer would never look at those types of things. Most non car enthusiasts don't even know that the Mountaineer and Aviator are (were) based off the Explorer. The difference in front and rear styling and having a different interior is enough for most people, and it keeps the costs down. Maybe that's why the Zephyr is about $3K cheaper than the ES330?
  • haironghairong Posts: 153
    There was a guy in the Fusion/Milan forum, just like you, argued in vain that Zephyr and Fusion look too much like each other, much more than ES330 and Camry. It wasn't until he himself posted pictures of both camry and es330, did he shut up for good. If you are interested, search the other towhall forum for "es330". I think it's in July/August when those pics showed up.
  • Hi nav89, Yes you are right the M45 is 50-55K I should have clarified I live in Canada so that's 70K (well 71K for the M45 Sport I was looking at) in CAD$.

    Yes I will try to keep everyone posted once I get the Zephyr, I did look at the Maxima which while it has a better engine and a few more bells and whistles, just didn't quite do it for me. I like the look of the Zephyr, its not too brash, but its no old timers car either. I didn't even look at any Honda products, though they are fine cars, just the whole 'fanboy' attitude that some of the owners display turns me off them (besides they all look almost the same.. a 70K RL looks like a 30K Accord for all purposes, thanks but no thanks.. oh yeah and that's CAD$ :) ). No Toyotas appealed to me at all, and the lower end Audi's BMWs, Mercs etc just don't seem to give you much for the money. Granted the BMW's have driving performance on their side, but for that I'll look at something a little sportier down the road as a second car.

    It is leap of faith I guess since there were no Zephyrs at the dealers when we ordered so there was no chance for me to even see one in person or drive it, but it has a good foundation in the CD3 platform and from all I have read and seen it should be a good car.

    I am leasing mine and so all I know is the payments are at most CAD$720/month I'll have to dig up the actual final price of it haven't had much time to even look at it for the time being since the car is still a few weeks away. My dad did much of the negotiating since he knows the salesman for many years and is a regular Ford customer.

    Now that I got the manual and specs on the tires I should probably go look for some snow tires and rims for the winter :D

    Cheers.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    It's not just about platform/shared cars looking different, it's really more about the upscale version BEING different in superior ways. The Lexus is - the Zephyr is.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There's a few other vehicles coming from Lincoln that will inundate the showroom in the next few years. Next release will be the Lincoln Aviator Spring of 06, as a 07 model built upon the CD3 platform. (current one had to die since it was on the Explorer platform, and that was just redone). Then you have the more powerful AWD Zephyr joining soon after, then the Lincoln sedan(S) will come in next. Then there's the "people mover" arriving, and that's currently all in planning stages.

    Now for the "in the talks" programs, there's a Lincolnized Mustang, poissble convertible that is being talked about, and another small ute....
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