Lincoln Continental: It's the Real Deal

By Frank A. Aukofer, June 3rd, 2017

The Ford Motor Co. resurrected a storied luxury nameplate with the 2017 Lincoln Continental. It didn't happen without controversy.

Manufacturer photo: Lincoln heralds the return of its flagship -- the Continental -- an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the most discerning customers
Manufacturer photo: Lincoln heralds the return of its flagship -- the Continental -- an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the most discerning customers

When the concept was introduced, the chief designer at Great Britain's Bentley accused Lincoln of copycatting the Bentley Flying Spur, a luxury sedan which, curiously enough, was built off the same platform as Bentley's own Continental, a high-performance coupe and convertible.

But Bentley could not gripe about the name because Lincoln had an unassailable prior claim, having introduced its Continental in 1939 -- also as a coupe and convertible. It carried on through 10 generations of sedans, coupes, and convertibles, with arguably its most beautiful and famous the Continental coupe of 1956-57.

Lincoln discontinued the Continental in 2002 as superfluous because it already had the big Town Car and the LS model, which did double duty as the British Jaguar S-Type at a time when Ford owned Jaguar.

Now with the livery-centric Town Car gone, the 2017 Continental reigns as Lincoln's pinnacle in a competitive fleet of luxury cars and crossovers, as well as the full-size body-on-frame Navigator sport utility vehicle. The new Continentals are starting to turn up as classy for-hire conveyances.

Manufacturer photo: Lincoln heralds the return of its flagship -- the Continental -- an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the most discerning customers

Regardless of any resemblance to the Bentley Flying Spur, the new Continental looks the part of a classic luxury car, though it sells for less money than most of its competitors, some of which break into six figures. The model tested for this review, the top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive Reserve came with a starting price of $57,000 and -- with full safety equipment and a complement of optional convenience and luxury features -- topped out at $75,020.

For luxury car fans, this is one to salivate over. It has a comfortable, even cushy, ride without inducing motion sickness like some of the big luxury sedans of yore. The tested Continental even had built-in massage therapy for the driver and front passenger, including settings to knead both the back and buttocks.

Three engines are available, each linked to a six-speed automatic transmission: 245-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6, a 305-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, and the top-of-the-line 400-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 on the tested Reserve model.

Though the Continental is nearly 17 feet long and weighs 4,547 pounds, it is not a slug in urban traffic and exhibits relatively nimble handling. The all-wheel drive incorporates dynamic torque vectoring -- a system that selectively applies the rear-wheel brakes to ease handling around corners. Yet it's not the sort of car you'd use to chase sports cars or even small sports sedans on curving mountain roads.

As a premier luxury car, the Continental comes with state-of-the art safety and convenience equipment. They include a twin-panel glass sunroof, backup camera with a 360-degree overhead view, pre-collision detection and warning, three-zone automatic climate control, and electronic door latching and opening. Inside or outside, merely touching the button opens the door.

Manufacturer photo: Lincoln heralds the return of its flagship -- the Continental -- an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the most discerning customers

strong>One caution: Don't mess with the entertainment and information systems, including the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, without a thorough briefing or detailed reading of the owner's manual. Trying to access some of the obtuse functions without instructions can be infuriating.

The Continental's forte is as a boulevardier around the city and suburbs, and as a long-distance road car. Settle into the soft leather seats, tune in the satellite radio or your choice of music from your own smart phone, set the adaptive cruise control, and make sure the lane departure warning is activated. You're in for a pleasant, quiet trip without fatigue.

Specifications

Base price $57,000 (as tested: $75,020)
Curb weight 4,547 lbs.
Displacement 3.0-liter
Engine type 24-valve twin-turbocharged V-6 w/GDI
Epa mileage rating 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 19 gal.
Horsepower (net) 400 at 5700 rpm
Overall length 201.4 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 400 at 2750 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger AWD large sedan
Ford EcoSport: Small Entry-Level Ford Crossover

08/11

Ford EcoSport: Small Entry-Level Ford Crossover

The Ford EcoSport is a small four-door crossover sport utility vehicle that's actually an international vehicle. Though the version sent to the U.S. comes from India, the EcoSport also is manufactured Romania, Russia, China, Thailand, and Brazil.

BMW X4: All-New for 2019

08/04

BMW X4: All-New for 2019

I really don't get the appeal of a four-door crossover SUV with a coupe profile. If you want an SUV, get an SUV. If you want a coupe, get a coupe. This design mutation of a coupe-like-SUV does nothing for me, however, the all-new 2019 BMW X4 does look a lot more pulled together when it is compared to its predecessor.

Lexus ES 350: Elegant Sedan is All-New for 2019

07/21

Lexus ES 350: Elegant Sedan is All-New for 2019

The all-new 2019 Lexus ES (for Elegant Sedan) not only brings a more dynamic exterior, it's also the introduction of the first-ever ES F Sport.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2018 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
Latitude 4dr SUV
2018 Audi A4 2.0T ultra Premium
2.0T ultra Premium 4dr Sedan
2018 Toyota RAV4 LE
LE 4dr SUV
2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty XL
4x4 XL 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB Pickup