In a quest to improve brand-wide fuel efficiency, Japanese and European luxury automakers have been equipping their vehicles state-side with myriad fuel-saving technologies and even hybrid options. These strategies are also being pursued by their American counterparts, who now offer several different options for the eco-minded premium customer. To see how well these American up market cars perform, we’ve scored the Lincoln MKZ and Cadillac ATS with our unique eRating system.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid earns top marks with an eRating of 176, benefiting from the same powertrain found in the new Ford Fusion and C-MAX hybrids. What’s striking about the approach is that Lincoln customers can choose either a conventional or hybrid powertrain at essentially the same sticker price. The price premiums seen in other brands for the batteries, electric motors and other extra technology required for hybridization can into the several thousands of dollars.
For non-hybrid configurations, the Cadillac ATS beats out the conventional Lincoln with an eRating of 129 to the MKZ’s 112. While the two vehicles have the same EPA estimated mileage, the Cadillac weighs in almost 500 pounds lighter and benefits from cleaner than average tailpipe emissions. Both vehicles boost mileage through electronic power steering. The ATS squeezes out even more efficiency by using an increased compression ratio and technologies like a variable displacement oil pump and active thermostat.
The Lincoln MKZ and Cadillac ATS make strides towards offering consumers luxury, power and fuel economy. Even more efficient offerings are on the horizon for these American luxury manufacturers, notably the upcoming Cadillac ELR. The company is now gearing up production for this suave-looking coupe that shares the Chevrolet Volt’s plug-in hybrid powertrain and is due to hit the classy showrooms in early 2014.
|Make and Model||$MSRP||Specs||MPG|
(City / Hwy / Comb)
|Lincoln MKZ Hybrid||36,820||2.0 L 188 hp 4 cyl.,|
|45 / 45 / 45||176|
|Cadillac ATS||33,990||2.5 L 202 hp 4 cyl.,|
|22 / 33 / 26||129|
|Lincoln MKZ||36,820||2.0 L 240 hp 4 cyl.,|
|22 / 33 / 26||112|