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Lincoln presents new hybrid midsize sedan

March 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Environmentally-keen drivers can now add Lincoln to the growing list of car brands offering hybrid models.

The midsize MKZ sedan offers comfort, a degree of luxury and impressive fuel economy.

It's a close relative of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which has been a big hit on the Ford side. Now it's Lincoln's turn.

Since it's a true hybrid, the car can move at low speeds by electric power alone at up to 47 mph if conditions are right.

The payoff is exceptional numbers on the Environmental Protection Agency's mileage cycle - 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on highways. Lincoln says their hybrid is the most fuel efficient luxury model on the market today.

The base sticker price for the regular MKZ is $34,605 and the base sticker price for an MKZ hybrid is the same.

And that's quite a breakthrough. Typically, the hybrid version of a non-hybrid model ends up being several thousand dollars more expensive.

There is a bit of a downside to choosing the hybrid power system over the regular MKZ's V6. The hybrid has a less refined engine.

While the car is dead quiet in electric mode, the noise level goes up when the four-cylinder engine is called into play.

The MKZ is well insulated, so it is still fairly quiet inside even when it's pushed hard.

While the hybrid won't cost you a premium to buy, it will cost you in trunk space, since the hybrid battery is mounted behind the rear seat.

However, the car packs quite the luxury punch, especially if you're willing to fork over more money for the various packages.

A model crammed with almost everything climbs just past the $40,000 mark on the window sticker.

Hybrids keep getting more and more popular, and every brand needs something to make their hybrid stand out. So far, the Lincoln hybrid stands out by not asking you to pay more for it.