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Acura TL vs Lincoln MKZ

caliddcalidd Member Posts: 60
edited March 2014 in Acura
I'm trying to choose between a 2007 TL and a 2007 Lincoln MKZ. One big plus for the MKZ is that through employee discount I can get it for $6000-7000 less than the TL. I like the exterior styling of both of them about equally. And on the MKZ, I like the longer warranty, that it uses regular gas, that it has a spacious back seat, and that it evokes retro images. But I don't like its MPG, that is uses a stick rod to hold the hood up, that it has no stability control, and that it has no microfiber pollen filter. On the TL, I like its MPG, its Mustang-like 3/4 rear profile, its Consumer Reports rating and general reputation.

Can anyone tell me whehter the TL (not the S-type) is worth ~$6500 more than the MKZ? A few other questions: (1)the TL seems to sit much lower than the MKZ. What effect does that have on seat comfort? feel of road imperfections? (2) I read in Motor Trend (or Car and Driver) that the dash and door foot panel did not wear well (faded severely). Is that your experience? Has that problem been corrected? (3) is the grill on the 2007 TL (not the Type-S) chrome or plastic?

Help me out folks. Big decision here. Thanks.


  • pegasus17pegasus17 Member Posts: 536
    Sounds like you need to look at a few other cars. How about a loaded Camry or Accord (V-6) or you might be surprised by the Hyundai Azera. Check out their board on here and you will find many happy Azera owners with very few problems. just my .02
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,344
    If you can afford it, I think the Acura TL will be worth the extra money. It in part depends on whether you want a car with more of the feel of a sports car. My guess is that the TL wins there. As you know, Lincoln is in big trouble these days--sales have been on a downward slope for a decade. Acura is a successful brand that has grown over the last decade. In terms of reliability, I would put the Acura far ahead of any product by ford. I believe the MKZ is assembled in Mexico, whereas the Acura is made in Ohio. I'd prefer the Acura for that reason as well. I think the workers in Ohio are paid a lot more, and Acura is famous for caring about quality.

    The MKZ is no doubt a pretty good car, and you'd probably like it ok if you need to save some money, but I think it's pretty clear that the TL is a better piece of machinery that's likely to last longer and hold its value much better.

    Look at ads for 5 year old Lincolns vs 5 year old Acuras (or 10 year old models, for that matter). Even if you save now, I think you'll lose that money later with the Lincoln.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • ggesqggesq Member Posts: 701
    Assuming you are looking at the "regular" TL and the FWD MKZ, here is my opinion:
    The TL is the better buy and here's why IMHO:

    Better resale
    More standard options
    Better reliability
    "Manumatic" auto transmission
    Better gas mileage
    Better looks- interior and exterior
    Warranty is exactly the same

    Is it worth the extra money? To me- yes. If you decide on the TL wait a little bit- the deals will get better.
  • jvettejvette Member Posts: 70
    I looked at both before purchasing one for my wife about a week ago. I have to say there were many other cars that were in line ahead of the MKZ. Matter fact the MKZ would have been about our last choice. For our money the TL was a much better buy. I don't like the Premium gas but the gas milage is very good for a sports sedan. The MKZ felt larger inside and was a very nice car but as stated I felt the resale wouldn't have been very good. The salesman I talked to about the MKZ is a customer of mine and he told me they weren't selling very well like most Lincoln products. If you can purchase this car for $26 grand than it may be a good buy but if it is $30 or $32 grand I would buy the TL
  • cg205cg205 Member Posts: 34
    You mention MPG. I will admit that I'm not getting quite as good mpg on my MKZ as I had expected, but there might be several reasons for that. Mine is AWD, and I've not had it in for the first service yet. I'll ask that the computer be reflashed and see what that does. My mileage isn't horrible, though, I'm averaging about 19 in rural driving, very mountainous, and virtually no true highway driving. Also, remember that if you choose a car that requires premium fuel, you will need to get about 4 more mpg on average to compensate for the extra fuel price.

    One big consideration of mine, which helped eliminate Acura, Lexus, or Infinity, was the availability of service. MKZ owners can get warranty work or any service done at any Ford, Mercury, or Lincoln dealership. In my case, any foreign make would mean at least a 50 mile trip for service, and finding service when traveling would also be much more dicey. I once had the experience of having to have a Toyota put on a car carrier and taken 100 miles for a simple electrical repair.

    You mentioned Consumers Reports ratings. Just got my automotive issue the other day, and was surprisingly pleased to see that the MKZ/Milan/Fusion overall reliability rating of very good (the best rating possible) beats many models of Toyotas and other makes with great reliability reputations.

    Also, I was glad to find an American car which was both smaller and yet luxury oriented. We absolutely love the interior of our Z, and the optional sound system is the best I've ever experienced in an automobile. We often find ourselves taking the long way home, just to enjoy the music and quiet ride.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Member Posts: 2,437
    The Japanese cars I have owned since 1989 have needed no special service. The regular maintenance stuff can be done at any tire or oil change outlet. Anything more (which hasn't happened to me), would be covered by warranty. I don't go to the dealer for anything other than recalls. And those aren't common occurrences. I would expect the MKZ to be more or less about as reliable.

    The MKZ is a decent, reliable ride, but nondescript. If you want some attention for the dollars you spend (admittedly a totally nonrational want), you won't get that much with the relatively anonymous MKZ.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    benjaminh has it exactly right - How long fo you plan on keeping the car?

    Lincolns depreciate like crazy. As do basically all American brands, compared to Acura. If you plan on keeping the car 8-10+ years, then depreciation isn't as much of an issue, since both will be worth a fraction of a new car price. If you plan on keeping the car 5-6 years or less, I'd be willing ot bet the Acura would be worth MORE than the up front difference in price over the Lincoln.

    Also, even if resale is not a factor when you keep the car a long time, maintenance and repairs are. I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima that has 155k miles on that I refuse to sell because it has been so reliable and virtually repair free. A friend with a 1995 Ford Taurus spen over $8k in repairs before dumping it 5 years ago with only 80k miles. That's just one anecdotal example, but I would bet that the long term durability of the TL would be far superior to the Lincoln - not to mention it's fit and finish would hold up better.

    The Tl is a value leader. The Lincoln may be cheaper in price, but it's also cheaper in quality and resale.
  • cg205cg205 Member Posts: 34
    You mention the MKZ being nondescript, which is true. Most cars are, nowadays, and sometimes that is a good thing. I'm a retired cop, but like many people, I like to push the speed limit somewhat much of the time. I'm much more comfortable doing that in the Lincoln than in my other car, a Victory Red C6 Corvette convertible. Especially when the top is down, I'm VERY careful about speeding in that thing. Sometimes it feels nice to have all eyes on your car, but often it doesn't.

    I feel the same way you do about returning a car to the dealership, I've had the Vette almost a year, and have not gone back to the dealer for anything. But over the years I've had enough things arise requiring a trip to the dealership that I'm leery of buying any car which doesn't have a dealer network covering almost everywhere. About 10 years ago I had to stay overnight in a strange area, while awaiting a a new alternator for a Chevrolet, but when I needed the aformationed electrical repair on my Toyota, the car spent a week at a dealer about 100 miles from my home. I've owned 3 Toyotas and a Nissan, but that was when I lived in a large metro area, and they weren't my 'travel' cars.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Member Posts: 1,046
    I've got 2 Lincolns, an LS and a Navigator. They are both excellent reliable vehicles. Both made in USA. Consumer Reports hates em, but I've not spent a nickle on either except for oil and wear items like tires in a combined 120,000 miles. (Knocking wood)

    All that said, I don't like the direction Lincoln is taking now. They've turned the Navigator into a rolling chrome factory and put guages in it left over from a 70s' era Granada. They've picked letter names that are totally meaningless and are basing their car designs on cheap Japanese cars (Mazda) rather that sharing platforms with Jaguar (LS) AND the last straw for me is, they're building (some of) them in Mexico, namely the emm kay zee. Nothing against Mexicans, but I'd rather American workers get my money, even if they are democrats.

    As for the specific comparison, gotta say I've driven neither but sat in both. To me the Z interior, even though it has won awards, is designed for the AARP, especially the idiotic D-L shifter. I do think the exterior of the MKZ is more attractive than the Acura, and it is a bigger car inside and out. And u can get AWD. And you can get a huge discount.

    Assuming you drive both and that's a wash, IOW you like the way they ride/handle, my humble opinion is IF you don't care about the D-L shifter OR the fact that it's made in Mexico, I'd go for the Lincoln because of the money difference. That's a lotta bucks to save. Even with higher depreciation, the Acura will still cost more money in the long term. And you can get a lot more suitcases in the trunk of the Z and go on a nice vacation with the $$$s u save.
  • goodegggoodegg Member Posts: 905
    Having driven them both (actually the Zephyr - my aunt's) a lot and owning one of them (an 06 TL) I'd say the only real comparison between the two is that they both have 4 wheels and 4 doors. The TL seems like a machined turbine to me whereas the Lincoln is more like a nice taxi. Acura's fit and finish blows away Lincoln's, the TL's presence at high speeds is sturdier and more refined, Lincoln's D-L thing is so ancient as well as the funky guages, etc etc etc.

    The Lincoln is a nice car but can't hang with the Acura. Buy the Acura.
  • jvettejvette Member Posts: 70
    Funny isn't it that our beloved Lincoln MKZ is made in Mexico and the Acura TL is made in Ohio with a US made engine and Transmission. Something just ain't right!! So with my Acura purchase I SUPPORTED the American worker. The Lincoln MKZ purchase sends my money to Mexico.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Member Posts: 1,046
    You're so right. It really brings to light the failure of the American auto industry on all levels. The UAW of course is probably the hugest influence on the cost of American made vehicles because of their insisting that folks who put lug nuts on wheels for a living ought to make the same money as doctors and be coddled all the way to the grave. Not to be outdone, management has so totally screwed the pooch as to be chargeable with crimes. They happily dole out huge bonusses to each other while the quality of the goods they sell goes straight into the toilet. Should Japanese vehicles achieve the dismal quality records that Ford regularly does, why there'd be a lot of bloody swords protruding upward thru the prone bodies of auto executives in Tokyo. American management tries to blame shoddy quality on suppliers, workers, the weather? anything but their own greed where to save $5.00 per car is a thing to be admired, even if it makes the car more prone to roll over, catch fire or not be able to stop in a reasonable distance.
    Meanwhile, the Japanese plug ahead improving year after year on their basic vehicles, actually giving the consumer a choice (compare Toyotas' model lineup to Fords' for instance - more models, more choices, more hybrids, better mpg, actual choice of transmissions - auto or manual, let alone Drive or Low, etc etc.) and now they're making them here in America with the saving grace of not being saddled with the anchor of the UAW, an organization that outlived its' usefullness probably 50 years ago at a minimum but which hangs on and is bent on not only self destruction, but the destruction of the very companies on whose teats it has been suckling for what, 100 years?
    Oh well, whattyagonnado. Life marches on. I've always been a buy American guy, as you all probably know. But that point in favor of Lincoln is now a point against them, as they have become nothing but a Japanese car made in Mexico. And I've seen the error of my ways in other occurences as well for example the UAW refusing to allow a US Marine recruiter to share "their" parking area because the Marine had a GW Bush sticker on his car. Still, I want and hope Ford will hang in, but I won't give them points for being American anymore. As if there really is an America anymore.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    As if there really is an America anymore.

    There is. Boeing makes the best planes in the world. GE makes the best locomotives. Both with (or in spite of) union labor.

    Unfortunately, you hit the nail on the head with your prior assessment and the UAW and Big Three managment are really the bottom of the barrel in both categories. Thank goodness guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born in the USA or we'd be sending even more of our money overseas.

    They is nothing "patriotic" about supporting extreme mediocraty or worse. It's the UAW and Big Three that are being unpartiotic by not giving most Americans what they deem to be an acceptable choice. Shame on them.
  • 06zephyr06zephyr Member Posts: 32
    The quality gap between American and foreign cars is certainly narrowing. Do you any of you read the various forums of the cars you tout so highly. They all have the same issues whether it be Acura,Toyota,BMW or Mercedes. In fact Toyota had the most vehicles recalled last year of all the car manufacturers. It is now a matter of perception that the American car manufactureres have brought upon themselves. Lincoln now ranks near the top as far as quality of the vehicles is concerned, so why the constant bashing.
    Trade in value after 5 or 6 years and 100k miles should be of little or no concern when looking for a vehicle. It is all what you are comfortable in and what you feel is the best value for your dollar. If you really want to get into it read the various forums of the cars you are interested in and then make a somewhat educated decision. Dont go by the word of mouth of others.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Here we are comparing the TL to the MKZ. Let's try to stick to the topic and leave the broader American and foreign debates to the appropriate discussions on the Automotive News & Views board.
  • bigtbigt Member Posts: 412
    I owned the Zephyr and purchased the MKZ and love it! I especially love the fact that I purchased every option they have and still spent only 35k for it. It rides great, quiet, THX sound, touch screen Navigation system, power moonroof, chrome wheels, etc. The AWD has been great so far this winter. No issues, no noises, no complaints either car. So the Zephyr to a friend it is the best car they have had also. So I would recommend the MKZ over the Acura.
  • tiger16tiger16 Member Posts: 54
    The only comparison is that they both have 4 wheels and 4 doors? The Lincoln is more like a nice taxi? These comments are absolutely ridiculous and obviously written by someone that, in some capacity, gets a paycheck from Acura. I doubt he has even driven a Zephyr. If you hate the car so much, why are you driving your Aunt's car, and as you say, a lot?
    I own an 06 Zephyr and as everyone can attest, I have been extremely critical of Ford's blunders and there are some flaws with the Zephyr/MKZ. However, it is still a nice car and excellent value for money. I have over 24,000 miles on mine and it has NEVER been in the shop for any repairs. Also, this thing is rock solid at high speed (I travel I-95 everyday and have no complaints with handling).
    Criticism here is welcome. But, let's keep it intelligent criticism. Otherwise, you have no credibility. This post by Leadfoot is pure dribble.
  • displacedtexandisplacedtexan Member Posts: 364
    Choices. I really dislike the "buy everything or nothing" packaging Acura offers (or did 3 years ago when I bought my LS). At least with the MKZ I can configure it the way I want. Maybe I don't want a moonroof? No choice in the TL. With the MKZ I can leave that off the list.

    Frankly, the interior design of the TL turns me off, as I've expressed elsewhere around here. I just think it's trying too hard and looks too neon. Too many surfaces and materials not blending in a way aesthetically pleasing to me. Since I sit in the car and have to look at it, how I respond to the interior design is important to me. The dash layout obviously is designed with the nav system as priority, at the expense of placing the radio controls too low on the dash. Another dislike of mine about Acura products. I happen to like the MKZ's dash design and layout.

    As for the ride, I thought the TL's ride too harsh, too, and this coming from someone who used to drive a Volvo. The ride in the TL did not strike a good balance between road feel and smoothness. To me it felt jittery and unsettled.

    I also will not patronize our local Acura dealer. Very snotty.

    One big point in the TL's favor, though, is that it's made in the USA, not across the border. That is a huge point in its favor.
  • ggesqggesq Member Posts: 701
    "The dash layout obviously is designed with the nav system as priority, at the expense of placing the radio controls too low on the dash."

    Interesting. The way the interior of the MKZ is the same way except the radio controls are up top and the A/C buttons are on the bottom.
    I guess you prefer the radio controls higher and the A/C controls lower?

    On the TL, you can control the radio from the Nav screen. Additionally, certain functions (like the radio and A/C) can be controlled via Voice Recognition even if you don't have the Navi.

    As for the "harsh" ride- chalk that up to the TL being a sporty sedan and the MKZ being more of a luxo cruiser like the ES 350.

    IMHO, the (aging) interior design, layout, fit and finish of the TL is one of the best in the segment.

    RE: the way Acura packages the TL. That's either a hit or miss with folks and I can see how some won't like that. I priced out a MKZ with everything but Navi and the moonroof compared to the TL w/out Navi and it is about a 2k difference in MSRP.

    Of course, resale value between the two is a totally different story...
  • goodegggoodegg Member Posts: 905
    Dribble? Because you like the Lincoln and I don't as much (this is a Zephyr/MKZ vs. a TL thread - period). I could assail you for your ridiculous, self-serving pro-MKZ statements.

    I did say the Zephyr was a nice car. Am I not allowed to try her car out? I would think this DOES qualify me to state my opinion of her car vs. my TL.

    Afraid of the competition? Apparently.
  • bigtbigt Member Posts: 412
    On the TL, you can control the radio from the Nav screen. Additionally, certain functions (like the radio and A/C) can be controlled via Voice Recognition even if you don't have the Navi.

    You have total control of the Radio, CD, and SIRUS from the MKZ Nav touch-screen.

    I was in Florida the other day and a buddy of mine used the MKZ cool seats versus the air conditioner. Another great feature!
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Member Posts: 170
    Is it so hard to believe that leadfoot can drive the Zephyr fairly often but not be enamored with it?

    I drove the Zephyr once and thought it was OK. But OK doesn't cut it when there are cars like the TL and the G35 out there.

    The Zephyr/MKZ suffers from funky control layout, a weak shifter option ( D or L only), aweful chrome vents blaring at you, sub-par safety features.

    Compared to the TL the MKZ has a way to go to compete. Visit the Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans thread and catch the comments of the Lincoln vs. the world over there.
  • ggesqggesq Member Posts: 701
    Kudos to Lincoln, Lexus and any other company offering ventilated seats. I think they belong on any car in this class.

    Kudos also to Lincoln for allowing users to access the "radio, CD and Sirius" from the MKZ Nav Screen.

    I was merely pointing out to the "displaced" one that even if in his opinion the radio controls are ackwardly placed on the TL, the radio and other things can be accessed from the Navi screen. ;)
  • ggesqggesq Member Posts: 701
    There is no amount of money one can spend on a MKZ to a get a manual tranny option w/ LSD either.
    Albeit, you need to fork out about 2k extra for the TL-S to get a manual tranny but you get a more powerful engine. At least, more powerful than what Lincoln is offering in the MKZ. ;)

    In all fairness, there is no amount of money that one can spend to get AWD on the TL i.e. until next year when the 4G TL comes out.
  • displacedtexandisplacedtexan Member Posts: 364
    Interesting. The way the interior of the MKZ is the same way except the radio controls are up top and the A/C buttons are on the bottom.
    I guess you prefer the radio controls higher and the A/C controls lower?

    I do prefer the most used controls, for me the radio rather than the autoclimate, to be higher on the dash - shorter distance from the view forward to looking at the radio.

    On the TL, you can control the radio from the Nav screen.

    Can you control the radio from the screen up top if you don't have Nav? Even if you can, I still prefer the more tactile feel of buttons and knobs than a flat screen.

    Additionally, certain functions (like the radio and A/C) can be controlled via Voice Recognition even if you don't have the Navi.

    Yes, that was a very impressive demonstration when I looked at the TL 2 1/2 years ago, and it's too bad the Lincoln doesn't offer it even now. The Bluetooth and voice recognition is a piece of worthwhile technology with definite safety benefits - no taking hands off the wheel or eyes from the road. Plus it has a very cool "Star Trek" feel to it. It along with "made in the USA" would be another point in the TL's favor.

    Actually, I think I'm talking myself into taking another look at the TL when the time comes. :surprise:
  • bigtbigt Member Posts: 412
    The MKZ has several controls (radio/temp) on the steering wheel also.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    I purchased a 1999 Mercury Cougar. It was an enjoyable vehicle, designed in Europe and sold in Britain and Germany as the Ford Cougar. HOWEVER, Ford never advertised it in the USA and killed it after three model years. That was just wonderful for resale value for us owners with the orphan nameplate. I wrote the bigwigs at Mercury/Ford to express my disgust with the way that they treated Cougar owners.

    Last year, Ford resurrected a historic name and put the Lincoln Zephyr on the road. Think of all those buyers who now have an orphan after only ONE YEAR of production. Great for trade-in value.

    No thanks. I wouldn't buy an MKZ because I don't trust these guys to not dump the new (I believe poorly chosen) name in a year or two.
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