2019 Cadillac CTS vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The CTS’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The MKZ doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lincoln MKZ has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the CTS and MKZ have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The CTS has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The MKZ’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The CTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKZ doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The CTS Premium/V-Sport has a standard Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKZ only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the CTS and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, 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 Cadillac CTS is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

174 lbs.

200 lbs.

Neck Compression

7 lbs.

24 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

26 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 Cadillac CTS 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.


The CTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MKZ’s (6 vs. 5 years).


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the CTS has a standard 730-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.


The CTS has more powerful engines than the MKZ:




CTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

268 HP

295 lbs.-ft.


335 HP

285 lbs.-ft.

CTS V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

420 HP

430 lbs.-ft.

MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

188 HP


MKZ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac CTS 2.0 Turbo is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:



MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

8.8 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

16.7 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.5 MPH

84.9 MPH

89.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CTS gets better fuel mileage than the Continental:








2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy



2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy




2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/31 hwy



2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CTS non-turbo V6’s fuel efficiency. The MKZ doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CTS has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CTS has a gallon more fuel capacity than the MKZ AWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 18 gallons).


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac CTS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CTS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:



CTS V-Sport

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

The CTS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MKZ are solid, not vented.

The CTS stops much shorter than the MKZ:





70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CTS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MKZ (255/35R19 vs. 245/45R18).

The CTS’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MKZ’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CTS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The MKZ doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CTS’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the MKZ (114.6 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

The CTS V-Sport handles at .97 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CTS V-Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.1 seconds quicker than the MKZ Premiere (24.5 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CTS V-Sport’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (36.7 feet vs. 39 feet).


As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CTS V-Sport is quieter than the MKZ AWD (41 vs. 44 dB).

Passenger Space

The CTS has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom and .9 inches more rear headroom than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the CTS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MKZ. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With an 11% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.


The CTS Premium/V-Sport Premium has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MKZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CTS 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 CTS 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CTS is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the CTS than the MKZ, including $136 less for fuel injection, $436 less for a timing belt/chain and $407 less for a power steering pump.


The CTS V-Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The MKZ has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CTS as their 2014 Car of the Year. The MKZ has never been chosen.

The CTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The MKZ has never been an “All Star.”

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

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