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Hybrid or Hellraiser? - 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vs. 2014 Chevrolet SS

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On: Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 12:43PM | By: Teddy Field

Hybrid or Hellraiser? - 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vs. 2014 Chevrolet SS

In this week’s episode, we look at two similarly priced cars that have absolutely nothing in common. The 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a fashionably green hybrid (faux) luxury car that costs around $40k, and can tiptoe for about 40 miles on each gallon of go-juice. The 2014 Chevrolet SS is also priced around $40k. But it doesn’t give a sealion’s behind about the environment, fuel economy, or being ‘fashionable’. It’s a tire-shredding muscle car from the land down under, and it’s ready to party. Should you happen to have $40Gs burning a hole in your pocket, do you choose the pretentious vegan, or Crackodile Dundee? Well, let’s find out…

2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
The 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is like every single Lincoln made in the last 40 years. It’s a near-luxury car that could’ve been better... if it wasn’t designed by a committee of accountants. From 10 feet away it looks pretty good. Nice flowing lines, cool wheels, and a swanky cabin design. Climb inside, however, and you’ll suddenly understand the concept of ‘meeting cost targets’. Everything you touch feels like it was rejected by the Dixie Cup quality inspectors. But in fairness, $40k isn’t a lot of money in luxury car parlance. And it is a hybrid that can realistically average 40 mpg... which ain't bad at all.

Gripes aside, the 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is pretty good at being a hybrid. You get the same 188hp gas/electric powertrain found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid (2.0L gas-4; 70kW electric motor; lithium-ion battery pack; CVT transmission), and it can lazily propel the MKZ to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. This earth-friendly setup also allows for an accountant-friendly fuel economy rating of 41 city/39 hwy/40 combined. And there’s even something called EV+ Mode that activates when the car notices that you’re nearing one of your usual destinations (it “learns” this... which is scary), at which point the drivetrain attempts to stay in EV mode as much as possible (this is the automotive equivalent of cooking a carrot souffle with solar power).

Fuel economy is really the main feature of this car, but it comes with a lot of standard toys too. There’s automatic LED headlamps/tail lamps, a backup camera, heated chairs, keyless ignition, and an adaptive suspension. Options include a self-parking system, a glass roof, upgraded interior leathers, ventilated/massaging thrones, and lots of self-driving safety tech that can keep you from wrecking your battery-powered Lincoln.

With a nicely equipped 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid starting around $37,125, you’re definitely going to stand out from all those Camry Hybrid drivers at the Vegan Thai Fusion Bistro.

2014 Chevrolet SS
Okay, if you think that okra and tofu are the names of Kim Kardashian’s kids, then you might want to check out the Corvette powered 2014 Chevrolet SS. It’s based on the Australian-built Holden Commodore, which GM just started to import in 2014 (gently used 2014 SSs sell for $38k-$42k). This car is actually an evolution of the Commodore-based Pontiac G8, and it still uses a 415hp version of the 6.2L LS3 V8 that used to power the base C6 Corvette.

If the 2014 Chevrolet SS is starting to sound a bit… “old school”... you’re right. That Chevy big block dumps 415 lb-ft of twist on the rear axle, allowing you to use your right foot to “stee it like a maine” (imagine a Crocodile Dundee accent). They also added a beefed up suspension and Brembo brakes to make heroic tail slides nearly effortlessly. And when you add in the LS3’s high-pitched V8 roar, you’ll just love wasting gas.

The EPA says the 2014 Chevrolet SS should do 14 city/21 hwy/17 combined. But you don’t buy a car like this for practical reasons. You buy it because it makes you feel good inside. And that’s something you can’t put into a spreadsheet.

Tofu salad anyone?


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