AD #1747 – Lincoln MKZ Gets Continental Grille, Automated Parking Could Reduce Congestion, New Prius Driving Impressions

November 18th, 2015 at 11:57am

Runtime: 7:57

- New Lincoln MKZ Gets Continental Grille
- Honda Shows Production Civic Coupe
- HondaJet to Take Flight Soon
- Autonomous Audi RS 7 Tears Up the Racetrack
- Automated Parking Could Reduce City Congestion
- Toyota Adds Hybrid to RAV4 Lineup
- Driving Impressions: New Toyota Prius

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36 Comments to “AD #1747 – Lincoln MKZ Gets Continental Grille, Automated Parking Could Reduce Congestion, New Prius Driving Impressions”

  1. Bradley Says:

    Definitely like that new MKZ appearance. The MKZ didn’t work for me. It always looked “wanna-be”, this one sheds that.

  2. Lisk Says:

    #1 – i too like the new MKZ grille, especially the Lincoln logos in the grill texture. I never liked the vertical bars currently adorning the brand’s grilles.

  3. Tony Gray Says:

    Lincolns look like Jags. FoMoCo SUVs look like Land Rovers. Ford cars look like Aston Martins. Didn’t they SELL those brands??

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “It feels like a clutch is slipping until it finally grabs, or is that the CVT belt?”

    There is no CVT belt in a Prius, just gears and maybe a chain. That sounds odd that it would have a shudder like you describe. It sounds like they have a little work to do before the production ones arrive.

    I read on the AutoWeek site that the Prius lost a little back seat leg room, but I haven’t heard about the cargo room. I’m guessing that might improve a little, since the big battery moved forward, and the little battery moved from the right rear, to under the hood.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new MKZ looks a lot more generic than the old one, though it looks decent. Some people didn’t like the front of the old one, but it was, at least, distinctive. I didn’t like it originally, but grew to like it. I supposed it was time to “move on,” though. Will all of the other Lincolns be getting the new, more generic nose?

  6. Rob Says:

    MKZ; never liked the whale tail grills and glad to see that being phased out.

    Autonomus parking structures sounds good on paper as the ellimination of elevators, staircases and walkways makes sense. Move them to the top floors and keep traditional cars to ground level. Only bad thing would be in the case of a car fire with them parked close together many will be damaged and without a staircase fire fighters will need a small vehicle to fit into the structure.
    Will be fun for tow truck drivers too as cars are parked inches from each other.

  7. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I saw “Jaguar” (in the new MKZ) even before Sean mentioned it; really, I did. :) Also, as Tony mentioned in #3, a lot of Ford product is mimicking the ‘Brits’ mentioned in his post.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The autonomous parking will eliminate door dings, but probably replace them with major crashes when the software and sensors malfunction.

  9. Shan Says:

    It’s amazing Lincoln stubbornly sticks with confusing Model names, use “Continental”….even, “Alligator”, anything but MKZ, MKC, and MKX……what??

  10. MJB Says:

    I like the new MKZ aesthetics. But I’d respect that front-end much more if it weren’t taking huge bites off of both the Jag and Chrysler 300 grille and Audi headlamps.

  11. Maverick Says:

    New Toyota Prius: sounds like they finally made some handling improvements due to suspension engineering and wider chassis. Unfortunately, it’s even more visually “unique.” That means ugly to the average layperson. But I’m sure they will sell well. I just hope MY sun visor is big enough to block it out on the road! :)

  12. MJB Says:

    Did you guys see that autonomous Audi “back” into its parking spot in that video? Did ya? ;)

    That’s right, baby. Backing in is the way to go.

    (you know I’m going to toot that horn every chance I get – LOL)

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    #8 Best sarcastic automotive-related comment of the day, here or anywhere else!

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have to wonder how well these sensors are going to do in an everyday winter driving and the buildup of slush etc.Something to think about because not all driving is bright sunny dry days.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Backing into parking places is ok, as long as there are no human drivers nearby.

  16. Bob Wilson Says:


    The ‘average auto writer may not pick up’ (listen to this podcast) on how Prius owners have worked with Toyota to identify what needed to be fixed. My username link is the PriusChat area where Prius owners are discussing things that matter. But to address the specifics:

    1) Reflecting internal surfaces will probably result in NHTSA safety complaints and an early and simple fix. There are textured display covers (sold at office supply stores) that do not reflect sharp images and can diffuse reflected sunlight.

    2) Sun visors have always been too short so we just adjust our ‘grab me hat’ or sun glasses and drive on. But I’m trying to remember the last car that actually had a sun visor large enough to cover the side windows. Is there a specific example that gets +50 MPG?

    3) There is no ‘CVT belt’ in a Prius transmission. The acceleration ‘glitch’ may lead to a software tweak to smooth out maximum acceleration. Don’t feel bad, it took a couple of years before I finally figured out the Prius transmission magic . . . it is another thing the average auto writer might not pick up.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville AL

  17. HtG Says:

    Craig Cole, in his review of the new Prius also pointed out how short the sun visor is. Maybe it’s worse in this new model than would be expected. Blame the tumblehome?

    But man, that’s a neat Prius. At that price? What stops people?

  18. HtG Says:

    The opposite of tumblehome is flare.

    I’ll get back to work now.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I rarely use sun visors anyway, and only when driving into the sun in the morning or late afternoon.

    As long as the load floor of the new Prius is at least as long as in the old one, it sounds good to me, as long as they get that software worked out. As Bob said in #16, and I said in #4, there is no CVT belt in a Prius. There was something else going on with the car shown to the media.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Those things can only drive in clear, sunny weather, no rain, no snow, freshly painted dividing lines, pedestrians and cyclists who obey all traffic laws, in other words: Celebration, near Disney World in Orlando.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new Prius even has a CD player, a rarity in today’s new cars.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    A CD player is a must for me to have in a new car

  23. cwolf Says:

    How do these cars know where to park themselves and avoid parking in handicap spots? Also, when the car is picked up, how is it determined where to stop for the driver?

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    23 They don’t, this is sci-fi BS that’s all!

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 It seems that only mainstream brands are now “allowed” to use actual model names. MB and BMW had model designations that at least meant something, engine displacement, until recently. Now, they still have letters or numbers designating the body series, followed by some random numbers. I still like names such as Chevy Impala, even though the current one is much different from a ’65 convertible.

  26. Roger T Says:

    Lincoln designers borrowed a Jag’s grille, an Audi’s headlight and a Mercedes rear view mirror (unoriginal to my eyes)
    The Prius designers on the other hand had a guys night out, had too much tequila while watching the “predator” movie for inspiration. Jeez this thing looks like it will crawl into my garage and eat my Mustang to save the planet.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new Prius “in the flesh.” It sounds like they are fixing most of what is wrong with the current Prius, cabin noise at high speed, crappy handling, and unattractive interior. As far as styling, there are people who will hate the Prius, no matter what it looks like, just because it happens to be the ultimate transportation appliance, and thus, boring.

  28. Todd T Says:

    My theory on the “shudder” in moderate acceleration from a stop with the Prius was simply that the car attempts to launch in electric mode. When the ICE comes on there’s a shudder, it’s a bit odd feeling, but it felt to me like soft engine/transmission mounts causing movement of the powertrain as it comes on. I mentioned it to the chief engineer as well.

  29. MJB Says:

    #26. Priceless take on the Prius styling :) Of course, much that same could be said of some of the new Lexus SUV iterations too.

  30. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The new Prius, as well as some of the new Toyotas’ and Lexus’ are continuing that ‘snarky’ look, which to me is a turn off. I will yield to anyone that likes the look because I’m sure what I like isn’t universally acceptable to others. Prius did do the right thing by quieting down the cabin because my experience was definitely negative in riding in one (because of that said attribute). I’m sure it will continue to provide excellent livery to those who purchase and will continue as the hybrid leader.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ll reserve judgement on the appearance of the new Prius. Some cars come to mind that I didn’t like in photos, but I have liked pretty well “in the flesh.” The outgoing MKZ, and the Jeep Cherokee come to mind.

    I’ve had my gen 3 Prius for 5 1/2 years, and, in around town driving, the noise level is fine, but at 80 mph, it’s a little on the noisy side. It is very quiet on the highway, though, compared to a C4 Corvette.

  32. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Kit,have you driven the new C7 yet?

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Yep. It’s much more refined and quieter than the C4, and, of course, faster. It’s still not particularly quiet. I’m guessing the current Prius is quieter at interstate speeds, but the C7 is quiet enough to be a decent highway car. The base C7 handles small bumps much better than the Z51 C4 when cornering fairly hard. Also, the C7 I’ve driven was rattle-free, a big difference from my C4.

  34. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I used to own a C4 Corvette (it was a first year, ’84 model with the Z51 but I bought it used in ’96, I believe); my observations were that it was ‘buck-boardy’ on choppy city streets but I found it perfectly acceptable on smooth hwy roads. They did rattle a bit, and I would surely like to try out the new C7 (but out of my league/price range) at this point in my life.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 I suspect my last-year C4 is a little less “buck boardy” than an ’84, but it it much more that way than a C7. The C4 was quite a step forward at the time.

  36. Kate McLeod Says:

    “The center touch screen is positioned in a way that causes a blinding reflection from the sun in many situations. When it does you have to drive with your right arm outstretched, and try to block the reflection with your hand.”

    You have to wonder; did they test the vehicle in daylight? That’s just nuts.