DEARBORN — The Lincoln MKZ was named this year’s best compact premium vehicle in the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study reflecting the high marks owners give the vehicle for exterior styling, intuitive technology, seat comfort and storage.
“Completely redesigned for 2013, the Lincoln MKZ is the most appealing compact premium car, according to its owners, ranking higher than the Audi A4/A5 and the BMW 3 Series,” commented J.D. Power. “Buyers can choose a turbocharged four-cylinder, a V6, or a hybrid powertrain; options include all wheel drive and a retractable glass roof.”
The APEAL study examines how rewarding a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes. The 2013 APEAL study is based on responses gathered between February and May of 2013 from more than 83,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year cars and trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership.
“We are encouraged by these results and look forward to continuously improving our performance going forward,” said Matt VanDyke, director, Global Lincoln. “Our all-new Lincoln MKZ – the first of four all-new vehicles as part of our reinvention through 2016 – continues to draw conquest customers from other premium brands, with the hybrid conquesting at nearly 60 percent.”
VanDyke also said that as result of the popularity of the MKZ Hybrid, Lincoln will double 2014 MKZ Hybrid model production from 20 to 40 percent of volume.
He indicated Lincoln’s industry-first online concierge is transforming the shopping experience and Lincoln dealers have embraced the Lincoln Academy, lifting the customer experience in the dealership.
“In addition to a strong reception for the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid,” he said. “Nearly 3,000 customers have ‘dated’ the brand, with more than two-thirds never having owned a Lincoln in the past.”
Lincoln also is looking forward to launching in China, providing an unprecedented growth opportunity for the brand.
“As we have consistently said, Lincoln’s reinvention will be measured in years, not months – and we are very pleased with the progress so far,” said VanDyke.
In total, Five Ford Motor Company vehicles finished in the top three of their segments, with Ford F-250 Super Duty ranking highest in the large heavy duty pickup segment and Ford Mustang named best in the midsize sporty car segment.