The 2017 Lincoln Continental returns in name but is otherwise an all-new flagship luxury sedan. It arrives with sleek looks, a comfortable ride, nifty features and room to spare. In mid-$40,000 form and pitted against a Volvo S90 it's a good value, but that proposition wanes in upper-tier forms where its price can nearly double.
You'll Like The 2017 Lincoln Continental If...
Do you long for the days when sedans were equated with big boulevard cruisers and had names like Crown Victoria, DeVille and, well, Continental? Then get a load of this new Lincoln, which carries the spirit and cushy ride of its predecessor while packing today's technology and amenities.
You May Not Like The 2017 Lincoln Continental If...
While it offers powerful engines, the 2017 Continental is no sports sedan due to its front-wheel-drive nature and cushy ride quality. Conversely, while it can be loaded with nifty features and has a quiet cabin, the Continental still doesn't shine like a Lexus in its overall manners.
While the name might be familiar, the 2017 Lincoln Continental is an all-new full-size sedan, supplanting the little-loved MKS in the brand's lineup. If you're wondering, the Continental name has been around seven decades. The last one to wear this name was in 2002.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental has a roomy 5-passenger interior that more or less is well executed. On the "more" side are very comfortable front seats available with 10-, 24- or 30-way adjustment. And we do love the massage functionality (see above). Most controls are easy to see and use, and are button-intensive down to the transmission (press “P” for Park, “D” for Drive, etc.). On the "less" side, plastic bits are unfortunately intertwined with otherwise good-quality leather, such as in the rear-seat armrest. A CD player is available, but hidden below a center console door near the USB inputs.
The Lincoln Continental looks expensive. There's good reason why: Just take in that shiny honeycomb grille, the bulging hood, sleek sides and tapered rear. Its size itself makes a statement, living large at over 201 inches in length. Among the Continental's most notable design elements are the E-latch electronic door handles, situated in the beltline just below the windows and sitting stationary. Rather than pulling them, you simply reach and press a button to open. Optional is a feature that gently opens and closes the doors -- just like on a Rolls-Royce!
The new Continental has more than a familiar name. If you ever rode in a past version, you may remember its ride as being cushy or even floaty. That quality remains, which is good news if you're looking for a big, comfortable sedan. The Continental is also appreciably quiet most of the time, the caveat being that road noise intruded into our otherwise serene experience on stretches of rough road. Power is plentiful, especially if you pony up for the 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. But the power distribution in that top-end engine didn't feel uniform or linear, especially at lower speeds. The Continental is best for long and straight highway runs. The Continental has a Sport mode that livens the steering, suspension and throttle response, but the Lincoln isn't very satisfying when treated as a sports sedan.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $45,645 for a base model. At $48,600, we think the Select is a better bet. From there, prices zoom to the mid-$50,000 to mid-$60,000 range for Reserve and Black Label models, respectably. A loaded Black Label can kiss $80,000. At these prices, this full-size luxury sedan is more comparable to slightly smaller rivals like the Audi A6, Volvo S90, Acura RDX, Lexus GS and BMW 5 Series. We think the Continental's best value is nearer its base price. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Lincoln Continental's resale value is predicted to be only marginal.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental comes in four trims: Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label. A base Premiere model includes heated and 10-way-adjustable front seats, power-operated steering-wheel adjustment, universal garage-door opener, auto-hold brake system (convenient at stop lights), rearview camera and parking-aid system. The Lincoln includes an 8-inch capacitive touch screen and the Sync3 system that's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For around $3,000 more, we suggest the Select model, which adds leather interior, hands-free power-operated trunk, self-closing/opening doors, and the ability to add more option packages.
A Reserve model adds navigation, blind-spot monitoring, tri-zone climate control and the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6. In addition to more features like Venetian leather and other fancy bits, the Black Label model comes with exclusive services ranging from culinary adventures to vehicle pickup and delivery. Other goodies include the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, rear-seat package with recline function and heat/ventilation, the Revel audio systems, and active safety and driving aids such as dynamic cruise control, lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking. All-wheel drive can be had in lieu of the standard front-drive.
REVEL AUDIO SYSTEM
This premium audio system from Harman is available in two forms in the Continental, with 13 speakers or the 19-speaker Revel Ultima. Go with the top one and you'll be enveloped in crisp, precise, thundering audio bliss.
Lincoln has trumpeted much about the Continental's 30-way-adjustable front seats, but an aspect we like even more is their massage function. Activate and you'll get a thorough working on your back and rump. It's gratifying and even ostentatious, but relaxing all the same.
Under the Hood
A trio of V6 engines is available in the 2017 Continental. Standard is a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 3.7-liter V6. Optional are a 2.7-liter twin-turbo or 3.0-liter twin-turbo. The Lincoln Continental is front-wheel drive (FWD), but all-wheel drive (AWD) can be had on all three engines and is exclusive to the 3.0-liter. All use a 6-speed automatic transmission that does a fine job. The big Continental isn't especially thrifty with fuel, with all engines achieving about 20 mpg combined.
305 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 mpg (FWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)
2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6
335 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (FWD), 17/25 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
400 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm (estimated)
400 lb-ft of torque @ 2,750 rpm (estimated)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental is more than an all-new flagship sedan with an iconic name. Resurrecting the Continental nameplate is part of Lincoln's ongoing effort to reinvigorate its very brand. It's a bold bid that appeals to nostalgia while showcasing the brand's highest levels of luxury. At its best, the Continental allures with prestigious looks, a plush ride and nifty features like "magic" door handles and 30-way-adjustable front seats. As such, the Continental is a commendable full-size luxury sedan with a midsize starting price in the mid-$40,000 range. But gussied up as a $70,000-plus model, it faces stiffer -- and arguably better -- competition in slightly smaller rivals ranging from the Volvo S90 and Acura RLX to the Lexus GS and Audi A6.