The hallowed name “Continental” conjures up memories of V12 cabriolets from the 1940s and the stately presidential sedans of the 1960s. After a 15-year absence, the Continental returned to Lincoln’s model line for 2017.
Though not as august as past Continentals, the latest edition stays true to its American luxury-car roots. Unlike cars from Cadillac, Lincoln’s American rival, and European sedans from Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, and the like, the new Continental invites relaxed rather than spirited driving. The suspension is biased toward a plush ride rather than zipping through corners. The top-of-the-line engine, a 3.0-liter V6, is smooth and quiet, but it doesn’t feel rip-roaringly powerful.
Except for beautifully sculpted door handles, there’s nothing exceptional about the exterior. The interior is easily Continental’s strong suit, with oodles of lovely leather and polished timber; amazing 30-way adjustable front seats with a massaging option; a limo-like rear seat with reclining seat backs; and doors that shut tight by themselves.
Many of these goodies are extra-cost options. Add them to an AWD option and a suite of the latest driver-assistance safety features and the price tag balloons upward of 70 grand. For 2019, some features—notably advanced safety features—that had been optional become standard.
Model years: 2017–2019
Vehicle layout: Midsize 4-door sedan, 3.0-liter V6 (400 hp), 6-speed automatic, AWD
MSRP: $47,150 (base); $72,500 (well equipped)
MPG, city/hwy/combined: 16/24/19
Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall. IIHS: good (all ratings), Top Safety Pick Plus
Basic warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
Spare tire: Compact temporary
Final assembly: United States
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