Lincoln MKZ rated at 45 mpg

Ford’s effort to turn its low-selling Lincoln luxury brand around may just be getting off the ground, but it can already claim best in class in at least one category.

The upcoming $36,800 MKZ Hybrid sedan has been given an EPA fuel economy rating of 45 mpg city, highway and combined. This beats its closest hybrid competitor, the Lexus ES300h by 5 mpg city and 8 mpg highway.

It’s the latest high efficiency effort from Ford, which already has the most fuel efficient hybrid sedan on the market. Both the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan and C-Max Hybrid crossovers are rated at 47 mpg across the board using the same hybrid powertrain as the MKZ. A plug-in hybrid version of the C-Max has an EPA fuel economy rating equivalent to 100 mpg and can travel up to 20 miles on battery power alone.

When the MKZ goes on sale later this year it will also be available with a conventional 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine for the same price as the hybrid model. A more powerful V6 version will also be offered, but pricing has not yet been announced.

Quick Spin: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid