2018 Acura ILX vs. 2017 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors, smart airbags in the ILX deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The ILX’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The MKZ’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The ILX has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The MKZ doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the ILX and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

ILX

MKZ

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

28%

Leg Forces (l/r)

57/324 lbs.

167/333 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

211

254

Neck Injury Risk

40%

52%

Neck Stress

166 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

40 lbs.

50 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

ILX

MKZ

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the ILX’s reliability 13 points higher than the MKZ.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 8 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura ILX is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

ILX

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the ILX Auto gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ FWD turbo 4 cyl. (25 city/35 hwy vs. 21 city/31 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura ILX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Acura ILX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

The ILX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The MKZ doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the ILX’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:

 

ILX

MKZ

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

The ILX has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The MKZ’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the ILX’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (36.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Acura ILX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 1050 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

The ILX is 12 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the ILX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the ILX easier. The ILX’s trunk lift-over height is 28.7 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the ILX offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

The ILX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

When the ILX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The MKZ’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the ILX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the ILX will cost $785 to $6270 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

The ILX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the ILX will retain 42.47% to 45.5% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 37.07% to 38.82%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ILX is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the ILX than the MKZ, including $493 less for a water pump, $25 less for front brake pads, $18 less for fuel injection, $343 less for front struts, $895 less for a timing belt/chain and $505 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura ILX will be $8316 to $18984 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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