Test Drive Notes Library
- Tom and Ray used to ask, if you’re an up-and-coming mobster, what are you going to drive, a Ford Taurus? No, you’ve got to have a Lincoln Continental. And even though it’s hardly the Continental of yore, Lincoln has brought back the Continental as an updated luxury car, with plenty of nods to its past.
- Comfortable. That was always the signature of Continentals; they were big and pillowy smooth. And the new Continental is indeed comfy. Bumps and potholes are quickly and quietly absorbed. It’s a bit on the floaty side, but that’s the Continental brand. Despite being tuned for comfort, it doesn’t handle badly. When you hit a highway depression, it’ll float up and down a few times before settling. And when you make a sharp turn at city speeds, the body will lean up front. But it no longer rides on a suspension of jello. Lincoln shot for a softer, European-style luxury with the Continental, and it basically got there: Soft, but not at all incompetent.
- Large. We used to measure Continentals by how many bodies you could put in the trunk. The trunk’s a little smaller than in the old days, but the back seat is still copious. There’s a terrific amount of leg room back there. Room up front is good, too. This is a large car.
- Quiet. It’s hush-hush inside. Even on the highway, there’s a nice quiet, calm vibe. It’s got a luxury car interior, with soft touch materials, and in the case of our fully-tricked-out “Reserve” test car, 30-way adjustable front seats. We tried to count the adjustments, but ran out of fingers and toes. I think you can adjust the seat bottom separately for each butt cheek. Good for luxury car buyers with asymmetrical butts. These optional seats also have massage features. It’s not a little buzz. It’s a full-on Shiatsu. It’s actually kind of distracting to drive with it on. You’re in a luxury car that eliminates all of the road bumps, yet there are rocks pushing you out of your seat. We quickly turned it off.
- Powerful. There are several engine options on the Continental. Our AWD Reserve model had the most powerful; a 3.0 liter 400hp V6. It gives the Continental truly impressive power at all speeds. We’ve driven the 2.7 liter, 335hp V6 in other Lincolns— also a modern, powerful engine — and that should be plenty for most people, and can save you a few bucks (see below). The six-speed automatic transmission is a bit behind the times, what with most competitors using seven- and eight-speed automatics. But it performed well and was unobtrusive.
- Safety features. All of the safety features we want are there; automatic emergency braking, pre-collision warning, pedestrian detection. But they were part of the optional $3,000+ Technology Package, and, unfortunately, only available with the two upgraded engines.
- Sync 3 Infotainment System. We used to complain bitterly about the old Sync system. So we need to give Ford Motor some credit here. The system worked perfectly for us.
- Looks. In a nod to the Continental of yesteryear, it’s on the bling-y side. You can take the Continental out of the mobster, I guess, but…. It’s nice looking from some angles. Yet, not as sharp looking as the concept show car from which it’s derived. And it’s got a lot of chrome and some odd, cringy touches (the door handles built into the chrome door trim, some of the turbine wheel options). But it’s got heft.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Price. The price of our test car was rather outrageous. Granted, it’s fully loaded. But the list price was nearly $75,000. That’s into BMW 7 Series/Lexus LS territory. The Continental can’t really compete in that stratosphere. The Continental models start between $45,000 and $55,000. But you probably don’t want the base model, with it’s aging 3.7 liter V6 and no advanced safety features. You can get a nicely loaded Continental with the 2.7L engine for high $50s-low $60s. You’d still have other good options at that price point. But if you’re top priorities are blingy, quiet, roomy in back, and comfortable, the Continental could make its case at that price.
- Driving feel. It drives like a front-wheel drive car. You can feel the torque coming through the front wheels, even though our test car was all-wheel drive. That makes it feel a little more run-of-the-mill than the true luxury car it wants to be.
- Different to be different. Lincoln is sticking with its push-button gear selector that’s mounted on the console, to the left of the touch screen. You can’t shift gears by feel with it, and it’s not hard to hit Neutral when you’re aiming for Drive. I hope they give up on it soon. Along the same lines, when you want to get out of the car, you push a button on the door that’s down near your thigh, and the door pops open. Is that really any better than a fine-quality door handle? At the very least, you’ll have to answer the question “How do I open the door?” every time you give somebody a ride.
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