2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Lincoln MKZ

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 2020/10/20

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Lincoln MKZ doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The MKZ doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and MKZ have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The MKZ’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The MKZ doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The MKZ doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKZ doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKZ only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the S60 and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The MKZ last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MKZ’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKZ.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S60 has a standard 800-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

© 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 2020/10/20

The S60 has more powerful engines than the MKZ:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid

188 HP

n/a

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

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 Car and Driver the Volvo S60 is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

S60 T5

S60 T6

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4-cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

5.2 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

6.1 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

13.8 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

103 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

131 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/20

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ Hybrid (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 42 city/39 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ:

MPG

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

MKZ

FWD

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

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The MKZ must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regardless of its engine, the S60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKZ Hybrid.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo S60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

The S60’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 S60 stops shorter than the MKZ:

S60

MKZ

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the MKZ Premiere (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.1 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The S60 is 6.5 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S60 Momentum is quieter than the MKZ AWD:

S60

MKZ

At idle

42 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

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The S60 has .2 inches more front hip room and .6 inches more rear headroom than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S60 easier. The S60’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MKZ doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MKZ doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The S60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the MKZ’s (2000 vs. 1000 pounds).

While the MKZ Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any S60 can tow a minimum of 2000 pounds.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the MKZ, the S60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MKZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 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.

Consumer Reports rated the S60’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the MKZ’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The S60’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MKZ doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the S60 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MKZ doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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The S60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S60 will retain 40.05% to 43.62% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 37.02% to 37.95%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the MKZ, including $408 less for a muffler, $74 less for front struts, $701 less for a timing belt/chain and $875 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/20

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium 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.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 14% during 2019.

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

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