The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The S80 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.
To help make backing safer, the MKZ’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The S80 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The MKZ has standard SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The S80 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the MKZ and the S80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.
Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKZ 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the S80. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S80 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The MKZ’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the S80’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
There are over 4 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MKZ’s warranty.
The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The S80 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.
The battery on the MKZ is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the MKZ’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The S80’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 17th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 18th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln third in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 24th.
On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the S80 T5 Drive-E (38 city/37 hwy vs. 25 city/37 hwy).
The MKZ has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The S80 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the MKZ 2.0 Turbo/V6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S80:
MKZ 2.0 Turbo/V6
For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the S80 (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The MKZ’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S80 (245/45R18 vs. 235/40R18).
The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S80’s standard 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the S80.
The MKZ has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The S80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The MKZ has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The S80 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The MKZ’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The S80 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The MKZ uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The MKZ has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room and 2 inches more rear legroom than the S80.
The MKZ has a larger trunk than the S80 (15.4 vs. 14.9 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk lid, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The S80 doesn’t offer a power trunk.
The MKZ’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S80 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The MKZ’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The S80’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left down on the MKZ the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the S80 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior keypad. The S80 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the MKZ has standard extendable sun visors. The S80 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the MKZ to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S80 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The MKZ offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The S80 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The S80 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The MKZ’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The S80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the S80 because typical repairs cost much less on the MKZ than the S80, including $27 less for front brake pads, $212 less for a starter, $111 less for fuel injection, $601 less for a fuel pump and $228 less for front struts.
Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lincoln MKZ will be $5402 to $8149 less than for the Volvo S80.
Both the Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S80 won an award in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the MKZ first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S80 isn’t in the top three in its category.
The Lincoln MKZ outsold the Volvo S80 by almost 17 to one during 2013.