2019 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2019 Kia Cadenza

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the MKZ and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 front parking sensors.

Warranty

The MKZ’s 5-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Cadenza runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 9 percent more Lincoln dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the MKZ’s warranty.

Reliability

The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

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 Cadenza’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The MKZ’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The MKZ’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 produces 60 more horsepower (350 vs. 290) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The MKZ’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 produces 110 more horsepower (400 vs. 290) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (42 city/39 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the MKZ gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza:

 

 

MKZ

Cadenza

 

FWD

2.0 Turbo/Auto

20 city/31 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

AWD

2.0 Turbo/Auto

20 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MKZ Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop 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 Cadenza 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 Kia Cadenza (3). This means the MKZ produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cadenza 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The MKZ stops shorter than the Cadenza:

 

MKZ

Cadenza

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKZ’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cadenza doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The MKZ Premiere AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKZ uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Cadenza doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

The MKZ’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Towing

The MKZ has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Cadenza has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 34% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The MKZ has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MKZ’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cadenza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Cadenza 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 Cadenza’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The MKZ offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Lincoln MKZ outsold the Kia Cadenza by over three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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