Many buyers are looking at vehicles based on budget and basic size, meaning mid-sized sedans can go toe-to-toe with larger sedans if they mean the best buy for drivers. When you're considering the 2017 Lincoln MKZ and the Volkswagen CC, that's exactly what's happening. These two vehicles, which both began around the mid $30K, offer impressive interiors and performance, but which is the better buy? Take a look at our comparison guide for more details.
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ isn't quite a coupe, but it is a midsize sedan with coupe ambitions. A slightly sloping roofline gives it a sportier stance and its styling is handsome. Though it echoes the Fusion, the Lincoln MKZ definitely has a more upmarket feel and greater presence.
The CC is billed as a "four-door coupe" but for all intents and purposes it's a Passat with a lower and sleeker rear roofline. It's an attractive design that's definitely sportier than the bigger-selling Passat, but it's also an aging design that was a lot more appealing and eye-catching when it was launched. This first round therefoer has to go to the more premium Lincoln MKZ.
Looking at the Lincoln MKZ, impressive fuel economy ratings probably wouldn't be what most buyers would expect to be a part of its appeal. The standard engine is rated at 21 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined, while the optional V-6 returns as good as 18/27/21 mpg. The ace up the sleeve though is the hybrid, which can deliver a seriously impressive 41/38/40 mpg. Either way, your MKZ does well on the road.
The only engine option for the Volkswagen is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined with the dual-clutch transmission, while the manual sees those numbers come in at 21/32/25 mpg. The Lincoln MKZ offers more choice between overt performance and outright fuel economy.
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ offers a certain air of effortless performance, and a new high-end engine option really does deliver on that promise. The new, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 develops 350 horsepower, which is 50 horsepower more than the old 3.7-liter V-6. The standard engine is also excellent, and the hybrid has a lot more to it than just great fuel-economy too.
There's no disputing the fact the Volkswagen CC looks as though it's going to be pretty rapid, but unlike the Lincoln MKZ it doesn't quite deliver in anything like the same way. Despite its looks, the CC is more about refinement than performance, but even then, the 200 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder is far from convincing. It's another win for the Lincoln MKZ then.
The Lincoln MKZ is a more luxury option than the CC, but it comes with more room for passengers and cargo. Even by midsize standards, space is generous inside the Lincoln MKZ, although the finishes and interior falls in between genuine prestige and mass-market.
Interiors are always a strong point for any Volkswagen, and the CC is no exception. Although it doesn't pretend to be a luxury model, the interior is of a very high build quality and higher trim levels do start to look good when compared to similarly high-spec versions of its rival. This is a win for the Volkswagen CC, by a very narrow margin.
While the Volkswagen CC and the 2017 Lincoln MKZ are unique in their own right, they serve a price point that's of interest to many buyers. Overall, the Lincoln MKZ is a better vehicle and much better value for money. With better styling, more engine choice, and performance, it's hard to beat the Lincoln.