24350 W 12 Mile Rd.
Directions Southfield, MI 48034

  • Sales: (888) 337-6151
  • Service: (888) 356-1278
  • Parts: (888) 379-2802

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Lincoln MKZ vs Acura TLX


Star Lincoln

24350 W 12 Mile Rd.
Directions Southfield, MI 48034

  • Sales: (888) 337-6151
  • Service: (888) 356-1278
  • Parts: (888) 379-2802


  • Monday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 9:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 10:00AM - 3:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

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Acura has been fighting to become part of the pantheon of American luxury vehicles since their introduction in 1986, and while they have made valiant efforts, much of the Acura fleet continues to fail to nail down the true meaning of luxury.

Lincoln, on the other hand, has been providing American car buyers with the best in luxury for nearly a century. Sedans such as the full-size Town Car, the luxury Mark series, and the mid-size Continental were the premiere American luxury vehicles for their day. While the nameplates have changed, the high level of craftsmanship remains.


The Lincoln MKZ replaced the Continental, and carries on the tradition. Acura, meanwhile, has tried to dethrone the MKZ as the choice for luxury, by combining the TSX entry-level and TL mid-size sedans into the TLX. Like the rest of the Acura division, it makes a great effort, but ends up falling short of tried-and-true American luxury in the end.

 Don't Be Limited

Lincoln knows that powertrain choice is a big factor for many drivers, which is why the Lincoln MKZ is offered with three powertrains - a turbocharged four-cylinder, a turbocharged V6, and a hybrid edition. Acura only offers two engine choices, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6. Comparing the engines, the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost in the MKZ puts out 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, versus 206 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque in the 2.4-liter engine of the TLX.

There's a similar difference in the bigger engines, with the 3.0-liter in the MKZ making 350 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque in the front-wheel drive version and 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque in the all-wheel drive version. In the TLX, the 3.5-liter V6 produces a paltry 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque in both front- and all-wheel drive. This means the MKZ will be more responsive when you need it, more potent in the overtaking lane.


The kick on all this is that the Acura TLX only offers all-wheel drive when you upgrade to the six-cylinder engine. While the MKZ Hybrid is front-wheel drive only, the other two engines can be combined with front- or all-wheel drive as you see fit. Having that sort of option means you can find the right mix to fit your driving style and the conditions you tend to drive in.

Limited Room to Move

The exterior dimensions of the Lincoln MKZ and the Acura TLX are pretty close - the Lincoln is three inches longer, with a wheelbase that is three inches longer, as well as an extra inch in height. Climbing inside, you have to wonder if its feet, not inches, as the cabin of the Acura TLX is noticeably smaller all around. In the front of the MKZ, there is 44.3 inches of leg room, while the rear seat has 37 inches. Compare this to the TLX, which cuts these down to 42.6 inches and 34.5 inches respectively. That's a major reduction in passenger space, and your passengers will feel that on longer trips.


It's not just space for you and your passengers that is limited, but also for your cargo. While the MKZ Hybrid needs to make room for the battery pack, and offers 11.1 cubic feet, all other versions provide a massive 15.4 cubic feet, one of the largest trunks in the class. In the Acura TLX, you'll be limited to 13.2 cubic feet of volume, although if you pay up to the Advance package, you can increase it to 14.3 cubic feet - that's still a cubic foot less though.


"The Lincoln MKZ stands out from other entry-level sedans with sleek, distinctive styling and an optional 38-mpg hybrid powertrain. It also delivers a cushy ride without floaty, Town Car-like handling." - Left Lane News

 "The hub of all this technology is the dual-screen infotainment system, which has a touch screen with a display-only screen mounted above it. Unfortunately, the system is the lump of coal in your TLX stocking. The layout is complex and confusing because the two screens duplicate some functions and information. Some drivers will also have trouble reaching the control knob located below the touch screen." - U.S. News and World Reports

Excellent Interior and Exterior Offerings

Lincoln knows that you expect luxury and convenience from the ground up, and your car should be well equipped at all levels. Both the MKZ and the TLX offer memory adjustments for the steering wheel, driver's seat, and exterior mirrors, but only the MKZ provides for three drivers instead of two. Both have tilting and telescoping steering columns, but only the MKZ is power-adjustable. Both offer power outlets, but while the Lincoln MKZ offers 3 front power outlets and 1 inverter, the TLX only offers 2 front power outlets.

There is a vast difference between the audio systems on offer. The standard system in the Lincoln MKZ features 11 speakers, while neither of the available systems in the Acura TLX feature more than 10 speakers. On top of the base Lincoln sound system, the Revel audio systems offer 14 or 20 speakers, depending on whether you choose the basic or the Revel Ultima, and they include HD Radio technology.


Beyond the features, the Lincoln MKZ also offers more options for personalization inside the cabin. Five upholstery options and five accent trims are available in a number of combinations, whereas the Acura TLX only offers a single accent trim and only three upholstery options.

There's more of the same outside - the MKZ offers ten colors to choose from, while only seven are available on the Acura TLX. Both offer four different wheel styles, although the MKZ does not saddle its base model with bland 17-inch versions. Lincoln also provides the Lincoln Experience, with Approach Detection featuring illuminated exterior door handle pockets and a Lincoln logo welcome mat.


It's clear to us which is the superior choice - and best of all, comparably-equipped editions of the Lincoln MKZ ring up for hundreds or even thousands less than their TLX counterparts. It's one of those rare cases where you'll find better quality at a lower price, so there's no reason to pass it by.