Finding #QuietLuxury in Ottawa with the 2017 Lincoln MKZ
The journey starts here.
The engine of the 2017 Lincoln MKZ for the road trip that I have always wanted to do. I wanted to feel that little bit more rooted with our country. A trip to our nation’s capital a year before it’s grand Birthday of 150 years. I wanted to get a before glimpse, before the crowds, before the excitement and celebration. I would like to see the before and after.
Even though Ottawa was the destination, the journey to Ottawa had a lot of places that we wanted to enjoy too.
Left Toronto and headed to our first ONroute stop and was surprised to find little to no driving fatigue compared to other cars I’ve driven. Nice and quiet. So quiet in fact that it, it allowed you to gather your thoughts like their now famous Matthew McConaughey commercials.
Right off the bat, one of the best aspects of why the Lincoln MKZ is a great long distance car is their heated (or cooled) massaging front driver and passenger seats. This was one of the main reasons why I was fresh at every stop. It made me want to explore that new part of the city more and for longer.
What passed the time for me is talking with family. I can talk to my family and catch up with my brother on the other side of Canada and the trip will seem like it’s a taxi ride within the city. The 2017 MKZ has a great internal car system for that particular reason. The SYNC 3 software mixed with the Apple CarPlay built in to the car, was easy to use. I was able to jump between music, podcasts and quick talks with family and friends within a few taps. It’s intuitive and resembles a smartphone for your car, so you don’t need a manual to start getting the hang of the system. All hands-free too!
There is a lot of technology in the MKZ targeted towards both the drive AND the passenger. Usually, the console, knobs, dials and screens are all tilted towards the driver. But, in our experience, the passenger is just as motivated to take over the music as a deejay than the driver is. So, bottom line, I liked that centre-balanced console design. There is a slight bias towards the driver, but hardly noticeable when the passenger reaches over to change a setting for a feature of the car.
When I drove into Ottawa, the city was alive. I got in just before 10:00pm, driving past the Parliament Hill lit up with all sorts of colours for their Sounds and Light show. After seeing the Centennial Flame and getting our bearings for the city, it was time to plan out the weekend ahead of us. I checked into the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier. I enjoyed the classic, yet more modernized interior. It felt grandiose.
The morning was much of the same for last night, planning where to go, where to drive. Getting the bearings of the city. We made our research by talking to the locals, going on Instagram to see where the beautiful pictures and talking to our concierge at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. We had our list now of places to go.
On that list, I wanted to know what the golf was like in Ottawa. I went to the Marshes Golf Course, just outside of Ottawa. Great course and shared our experience with the friendly locals who had backstories as long as the putts they were sinking.
Editor’s Note: Ottawa was/is under a LOT of construction as it gears up for the 150th birthday of Canada. There were gates, pylons and construction sites surrounded by gravel filled up the streets. This made the entrance of the 2017 Lincoln MKZ on the city streets of Ottawa have many interruptions. In spite of many of the people looked or even stopped to ask us what the car was and more about the car itself. The response from the locals was impressive.
After a great round of golf, we headed back into the city for more exploring, and even more construction. How do you find #QuietLuxury in a place filled with construction? It was difficult but there were only a few situations in the city that supplied that level of quiet needed to enjoy the car.
We looked through different streets, different places, different areas for #QuietLuxury.
Yet to be found…until.
We realized something, Ottawa has these beautiful streets. But it’s the hustle and bustle of the city would make anyone feel like they weren’t allowing their brain to enjoy fully their surroundings.
So. I got up at the crack of dawn on our last day, and that was the best decision I made all trip.
Me, myself and the MKZ, 5:30am in Ottawa on a Sunday. Doesn’t seem like a lot of #QuietLuxury that goes along with it, but that’s when you are wrong.
Where I found #QuietLuxury in Ottawa
First, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, but that’s for another story.
But as for the car. This is where the hunt begins. Whether it was the Lincoln badge acting as a welcome mat or revving up the 245hp 2.0L GTDI turbocharged engine, it was the start of something beautiful. It was all part of that exclusive experience between you and the city.
Taking it out. Driving with ZERO traffic by Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal, over to Hog’s Back Conservation Area, heading up to Carleton University area and back down through the Gleeb and Landsdowne, was brilliant.
It was the #QuietLuxury we were looking for.
It was the nature, the bouncing of small waves through the low-walled canal, it was the elevation changes, the empty highways and the open city streets. It’s like you took away all the people in the city. And left you and the car.
The idea that we have to look for luxury in cars is one things, but enjoying the car uninterruptedly is the other.
Going from Ottawa and unlocking the way to enjoy the MKZ, we wanted to celebrate. But, it was a timely celebration. We were racing against the clock. And that clock said that sundown was approaching quickly. I left Ottawa to pick up and go to get to Sandbanks Provincial Park for our finale.
On the way to Sandbanks, it was a smooth ride, until an 18-wheeler’s tire EXPLODED covering the whole highway. We were right beside the truck. Tire debris shot across all the lanes and we booted the car, barely missing the full blast of the rubber shrapnel headed our way. The steady, non-dramatic MKZ wasn’t phased with this. It remained calm, precise and the speed was there when I needed it. Impressive.
Editor’s Notes: The next stop was Kingston to pay tribute to the great Tragically Hip. We drove by the signs, listened to the music through the car’s speakers and paid our respects to them. It was lively going through Kingston, I hope they continue to keep that weekend spirit alive.
After a short stop in Kingston, I made it to our destination with 10 minutes to spare. I have wanted to catch the sunset at Sandbanks Provincial Park, because it’s the ultimate icing on the cake for any Sunday of a jaunt to the east side of Ontario. Made it in time to see the sun go down and I left feeling quite accomplished.
The trip back was highway driving but it was enough time to realize the journey and bring brevity to the trip. It made me want to go longer, further and spend more time exploring new areas, pushing myself and enjoying more of the ride.
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is not just a sedan, it’s a machine to get you there in the comfort you want. The technology, the customization of comfort and the comfort of knowing you can tune down to the horns of traffic and city sounds. Rush hour doesn’t sound like rush hour. Which limits the impatience that comes with it, especially when you have great experiences at your finger tips with the car.
This car is not for everyone, some people may find it a tad bigger than what they’re used to. Some people may want something faster, edgier, or more agile. But, for those who are looking for an all-around car that takes the problem with commuting out of the equation. All the bells and whistles this new 2017 Lincoln MKZ offers, it connects you with your car, and ultimate convenience of technology at your fingertips. Book a test drive and see for yourself.
Heck, drive it fully to Ottawa for an afternoon and you will see what I mean.
Learn more about the 2017 Lincoln MKZ here.