2019 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2019 Chevrolet Impala

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Impala doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Impala doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The MKZ has standard parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Impala doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The MKZ’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Impala doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the MKZ and the Impala have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 and available daytime running lights.

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

 

MKZ

Impala

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

229

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

30 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Lincoln MKZ is safer than the Impala:

 

MKZ

Impala

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

89

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.63/.41

.68/.32

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Lincoln MKZ is safer than the Chevrolet Impala:

 

MKZ

Impala

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

268

315

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MKZ the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Impala was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The MKZ comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Impala’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKZ 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Impala. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Impala ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The MKZ’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

The battery on the MKZ is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the MKZ’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Impala’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 3 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The MKZ has more powerful engines than the Impala:

 

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6 FWD

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6 AWD

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

Impala 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

197 HP

191 lbs.-ft.

Impala 3.6 DOHC V6

305 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Lincoln MKZ 2.0 Turbo is faster than the Chevrolet Impala 4 cyl.:

 

MKZ

Impala

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.6 sec

24.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.1 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

85 MPH

Top Speed

135 MPH

132 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Impala 4-cylinder (42 city/39 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the MKZ FWD 2.0 Turbo gets better fuel mileage than the Impala V6 (20 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the MKZ Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Impala doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The MKZ has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Impala doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lincoln MKZ higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Impala (3 to 7). This means the MKZ produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Impala every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Impala doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The MKZ stops much shorter than the Impala:

 

MKZ

Impala

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the Impala (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Impala’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The MKZ has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Impala’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKZ AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Impala LT pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The MKZ is 7.4 inches shorter than the Impala, making the MKZ easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the MKZ Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Impala doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the MKZ AWD is quieter than the Impala LT (75 vs. 77 dB).

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Impala doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

The MKZ’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Impala, and is not available on all models.

The MKZ’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impala’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the MKZ the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Impala doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The MKZ’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the MKZ detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the MKZ has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Impala doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the MKZ to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Impala doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The MKZ’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Impala LT/Premier.

The MKZ has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Impala, and aren’t available on the Impala LS. The MKZ also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impala.

The MKZ has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Impala LT/Premier.

The MKZ’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Impala doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $567 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the MKZ than the Impala, including $148 less for a water pump, $51 less for front brake pads, $99 less for a starter, $58 less for fuel injection and $26 less for a fuel pump.

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

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