Lincoln Continental is truly an iconic luxury car name. So the brand made quite a splash, when they unveiled a new Continental concept at the New York International Auto Show back in 2015; but that excitement quickly escalated when they announced that they were actually going to build it. Well, we’ve finally gotten our hands on one to see if the hype and wait were worth it.
For 2017, Lincoln unleashes an all-new, flagship, Continental sedan. An imposing four-door unlike anything from the brand since the 1990s. But really, you’d have to go back much further to find a Lincoln truly worthy of the Continental name.
There’s a trio of V6 engines to choose from, starting with a 305-horsepower naturally-aspirated 3.7-liter. Next step up is a 380-horsepower 2.7-liter EcoBoost; both of those front-wheel-drive with all-wheel-drive available.
Top tier, is a 3.0-liter EcoBoost; which comes with all-wheel-drive only. Output here is 400-horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque; all working through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Continental is by no means a sport sedan, but it’s sportier than it probably needs to be for target buyers. More importantly, the ride quality is exquisite; with continuously controlled damping it levitates down the highway like a modern luxury sedan should.
The adaptive steering takes a little time to get used to, feeling overly heavy at times, touchy-light at others; while the pedals also seem overly sensitive, requiring smooth inputs.
There is Lincoln Drive Control with multiple driving modes; but if you chose anything other than comfort, you’re kind of missing the point of the car.
There’s a wide open space inside, with not much of a cockpit feel. The front seats offer a wealth of adjustments and are supremely comfortable.
In the rear, seats feel more cozy with some adjustments of their own. There’s still lots of room, though if you add the Rear Seat Package, you can go with more of a 2+2 motif after folding down the huge center console.
The integration of technology throughout is done very well, with plenty of real controls remaining; though some of the buttons are quite small.
Lincoln has done a masterful job of disguising the Ford Fusion bones that lie below the surface. The interior is leaps and bounds above any Lincoln in recent memory.
IP and door treatments are quite nice to the eyes and touch. Our only “but” is the uninspired pebble grained dash top pad. So, great environment, if still a little short of what some other premium brands such as Volvo are achieving.
A sizable trunk, holding 16.7 cubic-ft. of cargo, features a very easy to find release.
The Continental displays a very stylish grille; it is very sleek and posh; with just enough of a 60’s Lincoln vibe to go along with the modern Bentleyish presentation.
19-inch wheels are standard here in Reserve trim, and add a sporty flair; base models ride on 18s with 20s optional.
On the street, it’s easy to forget it’s such a big car, but at the test track it surely reminds you the whole way through the cones. There’s a little give as you enter the corner, but the car sets up quickly, almost fully eliminating the body roll you think is surely coming.
With all-wheel-drive, there was also a commendable level of grip, while steering was quick with good on-center feel.
There was top-notch traction for a firm hole shot as well, springing to 60 in just 5.4-seconds.
The engine gets a nice growl to it, it pulls quickly through 1st and 2nd gears; then things taper off once you hit 3rd, but we still made it to the end of the ¼ in just 13.7 seconds at 105 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the all-wheel-drive 3.0-liter are 16-City, 24-Highway, and 19–Combined. Our mixed-driving average was quite good, at 23.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
That’s an average Energy Impact Score of 17.3-barrels of oil use per year with CO2 emissions of 7.7-tons.
Lincoln seems to have a Continental for everyone, priced at just $45,645 to start; but wants to be sure people know it is a true luxury sedan and have priced top Black Label trim accordingly at $64,000. Look at spending around $75,000 for a highly optioned Reserve model such as our test car.
Like the 20-15 MKC crossover, the 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan is very well-conceived and executed. It is also possibly the best Lincoln ever. But, despite strong sales at the outset, it still faces an uphill climb towards rekindling lasting interest in the brand. That said, the new Continental is unmistakably a revival of classic Lincoln values, but with a major dose of modern driving attributes. A car that cements the solid foundation for the brand to build upon.
Engine: 3.0 liter
Torque: 400 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 13.7 seconds @ 105 mph
EPA: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 17.3 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 7.7 tons/yr