2019 Chrysler 300 vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 300 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 300 and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rear parking sensors 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 Chrysler 300 is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

300

MKZ

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

203

254

Neck Injury Risk

33%

52%

Neck Stress

143 lbs.

197 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 Chrysler 300 is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

300

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.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 300’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 300 has a standard 730-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 300’s reliability 31 points higher than the MKZ.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 300 third among large cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The MKZ isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The 300 has more powerful engines than the MKZ:

 

Horsepower

Torque

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

188 HP

n/a

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chrysler 300 V6 is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

300

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.2 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

121 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 300 V8’s fuel efficiency. The MKZ doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler 300 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The 300 has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Chrysler 300, 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 300’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:

 

300

300 V8/AWD

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

The 300’s standard brakes have 73% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the MKZ (474 vs. 274.5 square inches), so the 300 has more braking power available. The 300 V8/AWD’s brakes have 87% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the MKZ (513 vs. 274.5 square inches), so the 300 V8/AWD has more braking power available.

The 300 V8/AWD’s 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 300 stops shorter than the MKZ:

 

300

MKZ

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 300S/300C/Limited has standard 20-inch wheels. The MKZ’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the 300 can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The MKZ doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 300 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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 300’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the MKZ (120.2 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 300 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the MKZ.

The 300S handles at .85 G’s, while the MKZ Premiere AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 300S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the MKZ Premiere (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 300S is quieter than the MKZ AWD (39 vs. 44 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 300 a Large car, while the MKZ is rated a Mid-size.

The 300 has 9.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (106.3 vs. 96.6).

The 300 has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The 300 has a larger trunk than the MKZ (16.3 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

Towing

While the MKZ Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any 300 can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 300 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.

Ergonomics

The 300 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 300 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The MKZ doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the 300 with available tilt-down mirrors 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 300 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 300 will cost $800 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

The 300 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 300 will retain 40.97% to 42.9% 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 300 is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 300 than the MKZ, including $41 less for a starter, $152 less for fuel injection, $46 less for a fuel pump, $433 less for a timing belt/chain and $187 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler 300 will be $2173 to $5113 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chrysler 300, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Lincoln MKZ isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 300 third among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The MKZ isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Chrysler 300 outsold the Lincoln MKZ by over two to one during 2018.

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

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