2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 Chrysler 300

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

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 300 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 300 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the MKZ and the 300 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

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 Chrysler 300:

MKZ

300

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

125

131

Neck Injury Risk

28%

31%

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

280 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/333 lbs.

617/568 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 300:

MKZ

300

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

222

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

2 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

18 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.4/.3 kN

3.7/3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.63/.41

1.21/.58

Tibia forces R/L

1/1.2 kN

3/4.7 kN

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 Chrysler 300:

MKZ

300

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

268

302

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

47 G’s

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 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 300 was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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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 300’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 Chrysler covers the 300. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 300 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the MKZ have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the 300.

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 300 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 4 places higher in reliability than Chrysler.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the 300:

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ AWD 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the MKZ gets better fuel mileage than the 300:

MPG

MKZ

FWD

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

42 city/39 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/31 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

300

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/30 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

16 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the MKZ Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 300 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 300 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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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 Chrysler 300 (3). This means the MKZ produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 300 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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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 300 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The MKZ stops much shorter than the 300:

MKZ

300

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the 300 (245/45R18 vs. 215/65R17).

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 300 Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The MKZ’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the 300’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 300 Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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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 300’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 300 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The MKZ AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the 300 Limited pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Lincoln MKZ may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 250 pounds less than the Chrysler 300.

The MKZ is 4.7 inches shorter than the 300, 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 300 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 300 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the MKZ AWD is quieter than the 300S (75 vs. 80 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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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 300 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The MKZ 3.0 Turbo/Hybrid (except 2.0 Turbo) can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the MKZ can be unhitched and driven around locally. The 300 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Chrysler. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 60% lower rating, Chrysler is ranked 26th.

Ergonomics

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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 300, and is not available on all models.

The MKZ’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 300’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 300’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 300 can only close 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 300 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its SiriusXM Guardian can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 300 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its SiriusXM Guardian 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 300’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The MKZ Reserve offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 300.

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 300 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKZ Reserve’s 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 300 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the 300 because typical repairs cost much less on the MKZ than the 300, including $16 less for a water pump, $706 less for a muffler, $13 less for front brake pads and $579 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lincoln MKZ and the Chrysler 300, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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