The Lincoln Continental is a nice, large luxury sedan. Problem is, there are lots of excellent large luxury sedans and the Continental doesn’t really stand out. At the same time, it does offer handsome looks, a super smooth ride, lots of features and a comparably low starting price so it will appeal to some buyers.
The five-passenger Lincoln Continental was reintroduced for the 2017 model year as the flagship model for Ford’s luxury brand. It’s available in four trims: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label. Starting prices range from $44,720 to $63,075 which are among the lowest in this class.
Three engines are available. The base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 305 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque. There are also two turbo-charged engines: a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 335 hp and 380 pound-feet, and a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive available with the 3.7L and 2.7L engines. All-wheel-drive is standard with the 3.0L V6.
My tester has the 3.0-liter V6 which provides a boatload of smooth power. The Continental shines as a cruiser. It’s all about comfort and less about athletic performance, although there’s plenty of power for quick acceleration and passing uphill.
I drove the Continental on a round trip from the Portland area to Springfield, Oregon during a torrential downpour. The Continental stayed planted on the wet freeway and the cabin remained so quiet that it was easy to forget about the pounding rainstorm. The Continental is also a pleasant ride in busy city traffic and handles like a smaller sedan. You can choose from several driving modes that make the ride softer or firmer; still, the emphasis is on smooth comfort no matter the setting.
The Continental has below-average fuel efficiency for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19 mpg. I got 20 mpg during my week with a fair amount of freeway driving.
The cabin is attractive with high quality materials; however it’s not as opulent as some rivals. It is extremely comfortable and quiet. Passengers in both rows of seating will enjoy lots of legroom; taller passengers may wish for a bit more headroom in the backseat. The seats can be adjusted 24 or 30 ways so you can really tailor them to your liking. The massaging seats are a nice touch. I had the massage feature activated during most of my drives which made even mundane tasks like running errands less of a chore.
Standard features in the Continental include push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery,10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and voice recognition, front and rear parking sensors, park assist, and MyKey, which lets you set speed and volume limits when others drive the Continental—a great feature for parents with teenage drivers!
Options include premium leather upholstery, navigation, 13-speaker Revel audio system, 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated steering wheel, 24- and 30-way power-adjustable seats, heated and ventilated rear seats, massaging seats, rear-seat temperature control, twin-panel moonroof, two rear-seat USB charging ports, and MyLincoln Mobile which enables you to lock, unlock, and start the car from your smart phone.
Many driver assistance features are available including a 360-degree camera system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic braking, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and enhanced park assist,
The SYNC 3 infotainment system is pretty easy to figure out. The touchscreen can be controlled with swiping and pinching, like you’d operate your smart phone. Voice recognition technology worked great, getting the vast majority of commands right the first time. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Continental has less trunk space than many rivals at 16.7 cubic feet. The opening is wide so it’s easy to load larger items. A hands-free power trunk lift is available.
Lower starting price than most competitors
Super comfortable seats with optional massage setting
Lots of standard features and options
SYNC 3 infotainment system is user-friendly
Performance not as sporty as European luxury cars
Interior not as luxurious as rivals
Fuel economy less than average for the class
Less trunk space than most rivals
My tester starts at $56,075. White Platinum Met Tri-coat is $595. 3.0-liter GTDI V6 engine is $3,265. The Luxury Package is $5,000 and adds premium LED headlamps, single slot CD player, and Revel Ultima audio system with 19 speakers. Inflatable rear safety belts are $225. Perfect Position Seating with 30-way settings is $1,500. The Continental Technology Package is $3,105 and adds auto-dimming rear view mirror, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera, lane departure warnaing, and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection (uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead and if a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, provides a warning to the driver). The Continental Climate Package is $850 and adds auto high beams, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer and rain-sensing wipers. Delivery fee is $925 bringing the grand total to $71,540.
There’s nothing wrong with the Lincoln Continental but those wanting the most luxurious large car with sportier performance will want to look elsewhere. Still, with its relatively low starting price, smooth ride and long list of standard features and options, the Continental will appeal to buyers who want a nice luxury car that’s more budget friendly than many competitors.