2019 Dodge Charger vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Charger 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Charger offers optional ParkSense which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKZ doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Charger and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 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 Dodge Charger is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

Charger

MKZ

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

96

254

Neck Injury Risk

33%

52%

Neck Stress

155 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

42 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 Dodge Charger is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

Charger

MKZ

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 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 Dodge dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Charger’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Charger 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 Charger’s reliability 61 points higher than the MKZ.

Engine

The Charger has more powerful engines than the MKZ:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Charger 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Charger 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

Charger R/T 5.7 V8

370 HP

395 lbs.-ft.

Charger R/T Scat Pack/Daytona 392 6.4 V8

485 HP

475 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.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Charger 6.4 V8 is faster than the Lincoln MKZ turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Charger

MKZ

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113.8 MPH

89.4 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Charger 6.4 V8 is faster than the MKZ Hybrid:

 

Charger

MKZ

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113.8 MPH

84.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Charger 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 Dodge Charger, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

The Charger R/T Scat Pack’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The MKZ doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Charger SXT

Charger R/T

Charger Scat Pack

Charger Daytona 392

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

The Charger SXT’s standard brakes have 91% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the MKZ (523 vs. 274.5 square inches), so the Charger has more braking power available. The Charger Daytona 392’s brakes have 170% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the MKZ (740 vs. 274.5 square inches), so the Charger Daytona 392 has more braking power available.

The Charger GT/R/T/SXT 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 Charger stops much shorter than the MKZ:

 

Charger

MKZ

 

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Charger’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MKZ (275/40R20 vs. 245/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Charger R/T has standard 20-inch wheels. The MKZ’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Charger 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 Charger’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the MKZ (120.2 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Charger is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the MKZ.

The Charger R/T Scat Pack handles at .92 G’s, while the MKZ Premiere AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Charger R/T Scat Pack executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the MKZ Premiere (25.3 seconds @ .8 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Charger’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.7 feet vs. 39 feet). The Charger AWD’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

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

The Charger has 8.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (104.7 vs. 96.6).

The Charger has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Charger has a much larger trunk than the MKZ (16.5 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Charger 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 Charger’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MKZ does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Charger 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 Charger 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 Charger 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 Charger owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Charger with a number “1” insurance rate while the MKZ is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The Charger will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Charger will retain 47.3% to 55.65% 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 Charger 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 Charger than the MKZ, including $48 less for a water pump, $40 less for a starter, $171 less for fuel injection, $145 less for front struts, $545 less for a timing belt/chain and $763 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Dodge Charger outsold the Lincoln MKZ by over four to one during 2018.

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

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