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2013 Lincoln MKZ Delayed; Here Are Some Other Options.

June 15th, 2011

2011 Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln lovers who have had an eye on the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ will have to wait a little longer. Ford’s replacement for its Fusion-based midsize luxury sedan has been delayed from its original Q1 2012 release date, now targeting a “second half of 2012” date, Ford Inside News reports.

The reason for the delay centers around a scramble to further differentiate the Lincoln from the Ford model on which it is based. Here’s some top competitor’s offerings available right now and why they deserve your attention.

All the models below are categorized as entry-level luxury sedans and start at around $35k.

Option #1 | Acura TL: $35,605 – $39,155

2012 Acura TL

Like the Lincoln, Acura’s potent if controversially styled TL it is offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powertrains. The base model uses front-wheel drive and is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 making 280 horsepower. Upgrading to the 3.7-liter V6 brings 305 horsepower and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.  The TL also takes the nod for the best build quality and reliability in this group.

Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway (3.5-liter), 18 mpg city/26 highway (3.7-liter)

Option #2 | Infiniti G37 Sedan: $35,800 – $44,150

2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan

Infiniti took home one of the industry’s most coveted awards after being named the Consumer Reports Top Pick among 2011 sport sedans. That’s right, the G37 beat out the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Distinctly Japanese even in its luxury, the sedan comes in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with an excellent 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine.  It’s fit & finish trail the TL, but in terms of overall value, the G37 is tough to beat.

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway (RWD), 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway (G37x)

Option #3 | Lexus ES 350: $36,725

2011 Lexus ES 350

Unlike the Infiniti, Lexus’s ES 350 is more designed for sublimely comfortable trips than back-road carving. Though it is the only car on this list limited to front-wheel drive, its interior quality is unmatched among this set. The ES 350 is perhaps the Lincoln MKZ’s closest competitor, though its vanilla-styling leaves a void that’s tough to fill in a class such as this.

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway

Option #4 | Cadillac CTS: $35,345 – $51,165

2011 Cadillac CTS Sedan

The CTS has been around relatively unchanged since 2008, though it still is a compelling MKZ competitor. With the choice of two engines and either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the CTS can drive side by side with Germany’s entry-level luxury cars. Both engines offer nearly identical fuel economy, so go with the 304-horsepower 3.6-liter if price is not a top consideration.

Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway

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