2019 Acura ILX vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available 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:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

57/324 lbs.

167/333 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



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:





Into Pole


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.


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 48 points higher than the MKZ.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the ILX first among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The MKZ isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 7 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.


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



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 gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ FWD turbo 4 cyl. (24 city/34 hwy vs. 20 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.


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:




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).


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 11.7 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.


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 $320 to $5940 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 45.56% to 47.4% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

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 $697 less for a muffler, $25 less for front brake pads, $735 less for a timing belt/chain and $495 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 $6048 to $16104 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

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

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