Events — 14 March 2013
Manhattan Lincoln Hosts Dine & Drive with Chef Marc Murphy’s Benchmarc for 2013 MKZ

Blog: Dine & Drive

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Under normal circumstances, it’s never a good idea to drink and drive. But dining and driving on the other hand, is another story. With that in mind, LocalBozo.com made our way over to the West Side’s Manhattan Lincoln dealership on Wednesday evening for their 2013 “Dine and Drive” event, celebrating the recent release of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. Backed by the beats of DJ Hannah Rad, guests were invited to imbibe a bit, grab some small bites, and parade around the showroom floor of the Manhattan Automobile Company, housing the likes of Land Rover, Ford, and Lincoln models.

The two hour event kicked off promptly at 7pm, graced by some prospective car buyers and others invited to spend a few hours eating and drinking in the unique setting. Interestingly enough, the pressure was off from the salesmen on this night- the beats and eats made for a hands off, care free experience checking out the room full of cars. With cocktails like the ‘Naked Mojito’ and ‘Lemon Ice’ being effectively mashed and mixed behind the makeshift bar, the event was catered by Benchmarc Events, bistro style fare curated by chef Marc Murphy (Ditch Plains, Landmarc). The tasty comfort foods included passed around plates filled with hot dogs topped with macaroni and cheese, tasty mini-chicken pot pies, bite sized crabcakes, vegetable spring rolls, and savory sliders. Meanwhile, two in-house chef stations were also on hand, doling out samples of mouthwatering grilled shishito peppers with a chipotle drizzle and an ornate display case of oyster shooters, coupling vodka, horseradish, and tabasco sauce with the fresh shellfish. Needless to say, it wasn’t your run of the mill evening at the dealership.

Before we slugged down too many glasses of prosecco however, we made sure to sneak in a test drive of the pristine 2013 Lincoln MKZ. Our test car was ruby red metallic and from the outside, the car’s style speaks for itself. The lines are sleek and the newly redesigned front grill is aggressive but not overly so. When you first get inside and close the doors behind you, what’s striking is actually what’s missing- notably the gear shifter. Gear selection is accomplished by pressing a button located on the center stack, just to the right of the steering wheel. The touch screen, which controls the car’s climate, entertainment, and navigation features, all responded quicklu and there were no mis-touches during our test drive. The screen was clear and vivid and the rear camera worked well when we returned to parallel park.

As a $2995 option, the panoramic sunroof is by no means cheap. However, it is a must have and one of the most unique features for the MKZ, which plays in one of the most competitive segments in the industry as most cars have recently incorporated electronic steering to help reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency. The result is a loss of some steering feel, but to be fair, the MKZ handles better than any Lincoln in recent memory. Acceleration in normal driving mode was a little more sluggish than expected and the engine growl also seemed a bit muted. It’s important to note however that New York City is an especially difficult place to properly test acceleration, but overall the ride was still smooth and the cabin was quiet despite the noisy city outside. In this regard it was clear that despite an attempt to rejuvenate the brand with a sportier style, Lincoln has not completely abandoned its roots to keep comfort a priority.

The bottom line is that the MKZ is more than just a souped-up Ford Fusion. With a sleek styling all its own combined with the unique panoramic sunroof, the MKZ is definitely worth a look if you’re shopping in the entry level luxury sedan segment. The smoke quartz metallic model with the optional roof and 19’ wheels was particularly striking. Make no mistake however, although the MKZ has a base price of just under $36k, when properly optioned it can quickly become a $50,000 car. At least it looks the part.

- Jane Van Arsdale & Tony Bullitt

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