Most Reliable Lincoln Models: Sedan and SUV

Most Reliable Lincoln – In the realm of automotive excellence, Lincoln stands as a timeless emblem of American luxury. While it might not dominate the headlines as frequently as other brands, Lincoln vehicles continue to evoke a sense of classic opulence that resonates with discerning drivers.

If you find yourself contemplating the idea of owning a pre-owned Lincoln sedan or SUV, a crucial question naturally arises: can these vehicles truly be counted upon?

Is the allure of a Lincoln accompanied by a track record of reliability substantial enough to validate a used car investment?

Most Reliable Lincoln

Today, we embark on an exploration of the Lincoln brand, delving into the heart of its vehicular offerings to uncover the truth about its dependability.

Often, Lincoln’s name conjures associations with classic American luxury, embodying a sophisticated charm that transcends mere transportation.

Yet, amidst the allure of lavish interiors and elegant designs, the practicality of daily reliability remains an essential consideration for any vehicle purchaser.

Whether you’re an aficionado of classic luxury or a pragmatic driver seeking a dependable companion for your journeys, this exploration into the world of the most reliable Lincoln cars and SUVs is tailored to pique your interest.

So, embark on this enlightening journey with us as we unravel the intricacies of Lincoln’s automotive excellence and guide you toward the most reliable choices the brand has to offer.

Your path to sophisticated, dependable driving experiences begins here.

Lincoln Reliability: Are Lincolns Reliable?

When it comes to the realm of luxury cars, Lincoln, the prestigious division of Ford, stands as a contender against the likes of General Motors’ Cadillac.

Lincoln Reliability

As with any car brand, Lincoln’s fleet comprises both commendable and less favorable models.

The pressing question on the minds of potential buyers and enthusiasts alike is: Are Lincolns reliable?

Reliability Rating and Ranking

To begin, let’s consider RepairPal’s reliability rating for Lincoln. The Lincoln brand received a reliability score of 3 out of 5, positioning it as the 24th brand out of a total of 32 car brands.

While this ranking isn’t the lowest, it does indicate that Lincoln’s reliability falls below the industry average.

It’s worth noting, however, that the luxury car segment, to which Lincoln belongs, is not universally renowned for its reliability, often prioritizing opulence and performance.

Cost of Ownership and Repairs

Owning a Lincoln, beyond its initial purchase price, can entail substantial costs. The average annual repair cost for a Lincoln is approximately $879, which places it on the higher end of the spectrum.

In comparison, the average across all car models hovers around $652.

While these figures may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that luxury cars generally come with higher maintenance costs due to advanced features and intricate designs.

In terms of frequency, Lincoln owners can expect to make repair visits approximately 0.4 times a year, positioning it in the middle of the pack.

Read Also: Lincoln MKT Years To Avoid

Additionally, around 15% of Lincoln visits are classified as severe repairs, surpassing the industry average of 12%.

These statistics highlight the importance of factoring potential repair expenses into the overall ownership experience.

Consumer Reports and J.D. Power Studies

In 2021, Consumer Reports bestowed the title of the most unreliable car brand upon Lincoln, placing it second only to Tesla in terms of unreliability.

This recognition marked the second consecutive year that Lincoln had received this unfortunate accolade.

Comparatively, some of Lincoln’s market rivals, including Acura, Audi, BMW, and Cadillac, fared considerably better in terms of reliability assessments.

However, a contrasting perspective emerged from J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study of the same year.

In this evaluation, Lincoln found itself positioned among the top ten most reliable brands.

Notably, the Lincoln MKZ, a compact car model, earned recognition as one of the most reliable vehicles in its category, alongside esteemed contenders such as the Lexus ES and BMW 4 Series.

Interpreting the Discrepancies

The variance in reliability assessments between different sources necessitates a discerning perspective. Notably, J.D. Power’s reliability study focuses solely on the first year of vehicle ownership.

This approach may not capture potential issues that emerge beyond the initial ownership period, possibly accounting for the discrepancies observed between the assessments.

Read Also: Lincoln MKC Years To Avoid

Luxury cars often prioritize performance, comfort, and cutting-edge features, sometimes at the expense of absolute reliability.

What Are the Most Reliable Lincolns?

When considering the reliability of automobiles, the Lincoln brand invariably enters the conversation.

Renowned for its legacy of luxury and refinement, Lincoln has crafted vehicles that resonate with discerning drivers.

What Are the Most Reliable Lincolns

However, the question often arises: What are the most reliable Lincolns?

Let’s explore the brand’s landscape to uncover the models that stand as beacons of dependability, making them ideal choices for used car purchases.

2020 Lincoln Navigator: A Stellar Transformation

Most Reliable Lincoln models and years

The 2020 Lincoln Navigator emerged as a pivotal turning point for the brand’s reliability narrative. This robust SUV deftly balances power, comfort, and interior spaciousness, cementing its status as a luxury behemoth with enduring appeal.

Notably, J.D. Power bestowed a Quality and Reliability rating of 84/100 upon the 2020 Navigator, a classification categorized as “Great.”

This accolade underscores the vehicle’s robust reliability, making it a prime candidate for those seeking both opulence and dependability. With the 2020 Navigator, Lincoln marries luxury and value, a combination that speaks to the desires of discerning drivers.

Read Also: Lincoln Navigator Years To Avoid

2016 Lincoln MKX: A Testament to Lasting Luxury

Most Reliable Lincoln models and years

For those intrigued by older Lincoln SUVs, the 2016 MKX emerges as a sound investment. This luxury midsize SUV strikes an elegant equilibrium between a refined ride and sumptuous interiors.

Garnering slightly above-average reliability ratings across multiple facets, the 2016 MKX proves its mettle in the realm of dependability.

J.D. Power recognizes its standing with a commendable rating of 74/100, a testament to its ability to endure the test of time with grace and reliability.

Read Also: Lincoln MKX Years To Avoid

Honorable Mentions

  1. 2019 Lincoln MKT
  2. 2020 Lincoln Continental
  3. 2020 Lincoln Aviator
  4. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Navigating Away from Reliability Concerns

While Lincoln has produced stalwart models that exemplify reliability, it’s also prudent to consider vehicles that may not share the same reputation.

Here are some models that might warrant a more cautious approach:

2008 Lincoln MKZ: A Rough Patch

Most Reliable Lincoln models and years

The 2008 iteration of the MKZ lineup serves as a reminder that even esteemed brands can experience off years. This particular model stands out for the wrong reasons, marked by over 300 NHTSA complaints and five recalls.

Notably, a prevalent chrome peeling issue, along with other concerns like water pump leaks, harsh shifting, and coolant leaks, underscore the challenges faced by this model.

Read Also: Lincoln Town Car Years To Avoid

2003 Lincoln Aviator: A Troubled Debut

Most Reliable Lincoln models and years

The inaugural version of the Aviator leaves much to be desired in terms of reliability.

Riddled with severe issues spanning powertrain, body/paint, and leaky valves, the 2003 Aviator stands as a cautionary tale.

Notably, it amassed the highest number of complaints across its model years, cementing its reputation as a problematic release.

Read Also: Lincoln Aviator Years To Avoid

Dishonorable Mentions

  1. 2004 Lincoln Aviator
  2. 2018 Lincoln Navigator
  3. 2006 Lincoln Zephyr
  4. 2015 Lincoln MKC

In the realm of automotive reliability, the Lincoln brand paints a multifaceted picture. While the 2020 Navigator and the 2016 MKX stand as steadfast symbols of dependability, it’s crucial to approach other models with an understanding of their potential challenges.

What Are the Common Lincoln Problems?

Even esteemed brands such as Lincoln are not immune to encountering issues that require attention. As a discerning car owner or potential buyer, understanding the common problems that Lincoln vehicles may face is essential.

What Are the Common Lincoln Problems

Let’s explore some of the most frequently reported problems associated with Lincoln models, shedding light on potential challenges and their resolutions.

1. Peeling Chrome Wheels: Aesthetic Issue with Safety Implications

One of the noteworthy concerns reported by Lincoln MKZ owners revolves around peeling chrome wheels. While this might initially appear as a cosmetic annoyance, it unveils deeper safety implications.

According to data from, the peeling chrome rims have been linked to the loss of tire air pressure. This not only detracts from the luxury image of the vehicle but also poses a safety risk to drivers and passengers.

Replacing the tires afflicted by this issue can be an expensive proposition, averaging around $1,230.

This common problem underscores the importance of vigilance when it comes to seemingly minor aesthetic flaws that may escalate into more substantial concerns.

Read Also: Lincoln LS Years To Avoid

2. Body/Paint Problem: Manufacturing Defects and Cracks

The 2003 Lincoln Aviator reveals another common issue that has sparked numerous complaints – a body/paint problem. This issue, which seems to stem from a manufacturing defect, has garnered considerable attention due to the substantial number of complaints.

Owners have reported cracks developing in the rear panel below the tailgate window.

Intriguingly, these cracks have manifested despite proper usage and care, suggesting a fundamental issue with the vehicle’s construction.

This example underscores the significance of investigating recurring issues that multiple owners encounter, potentially revealing larger manufacturing or design flaws.

3. Slipping and Hard Shifting: Transmission Troubles

A prevalent issue experienced by Lincoln vehicle owners revolves around slipping and hard-shifting transmissions. The 2006 Zephyr model is particularly susceptible to this problem, with its automatic transmission exhibiting concerns as the vehicle accumulates miles.

A potential solution for lower mileage vehicles involves a powertrain control module (PCM) software update.

However, in more severe cases, a complete transmission rebuild or valve body replacement may be necessary.

This issue serves as a reminder that even established luxury brands can grapple with mechanical challenges, necessitating comprehensive solutions.

Read Also: Lincoln Continental Years To Avoid

4. Rust Damage on Running Boards: Structural Instability

Owners of Lincoln Navigator models have encountered a concerning problem related to rust damage on the running board panels. Rust buildup on these components can compromise the support structure, leading to potential instability.

The repercussions of such damage could extend beyond aesthetics, affecting the overall functionality and safety of the vehicle.

Depending on the extent of the damage, solutions could range from replacing brackets to the entire running board. It’s important to address this issue promptly, given that neglecting rust-related problems can exacerbate the damage and drive up repair costs.

What is the best used Lincoln car?

When considering the best used Lincoln car to invest in, the Lincoln MKZ series stands out as a top choice. Specifically, the 2015 MKZ model distinguishes itself with its exceptional blend of safety features, reliability, and comfort.

If the prospect of a new Lincoln vehicle stretches beyond your budget constraints or if you’re drawn to the timeless allure of classic luxury, opting for a used Lincoln, such as the MKZ, presents an excellent opportunity to embrace the world of luxury cars at a more affordable price point.

Is Lincoln a high-end Ford?

For those pondering the relationship between Lincoln and Ford, it’s important to recognize that Lincoln holds the distinguished status of being a luxury car brand that operates under the umbrella of Ford. This partnership has spanned several decades, with Lincoln serving as Ford’s luxury division since 1939.

While models like the Lincoln Continental and others were once cherished bestsellers, Ford made the decision to discontinue these offerings in the mid-2010s.

Read Also: Lincoln Nautilus Years To Avoid

So, if you find inspiration in the prospect of driving a Lincoln, you can be assured that it’s a premium luxury brand that has its roots firmly grounded within the legacy of Ford.


Exploring the realm of Lincoln vehicles unveils a spectrum of experiences, from the allure of classic luxury to the nuances of reliability and performance. The Lincoln MKZ undoubtedly emerges as a standout choice when seeking the best used Lincoln car.

Its 2015 model, renowned for its exceptional safety features, reliability, and comfort, offers a compelling proposition for those intrigued by the blend of luxury and affordability.

As the luxury division of Ford since 1939, Lincoln has etched its name in the annals of automotive history, offering a distinguished lineup of vehicles that encapsulate opulence and refinement.

In the journey to understand Lincoln’s identity as a high-end brand within the Ford family, it becomes evident that while certain models like the Lincoln Continental enjoyed great popularity, shifts in market dynamics led to their discontinuation in the mid-2010s.

Yet, the legacy of Lincoln endures as a testament to luxury and elegance, providing an avenue for those who seek sophistication and comfort in their driving experience.

From the sleek designs to the sumptuous interiors, and from the journey of reliability to the realm of luxury, Lincoln vehicles continue to captivate enthusiasts and drivers alike.

So, for those in search of the most reliable Lincoln that marries luxury with dependability, the path leads to a myriad of choices that embody the spirit of refined motoring.

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