NEWS

2017 Lincoln Continental: First Impressions

img1010995485 1452612025831 jpg 2017 Lincoln Continental | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — Whatever one thinks of the 2017 Lincoln Continental’s styling, one can at least agree that Lincoln’s designers were able to keep the look of the production car close to the concept — even down to the massive multispoke wheels.

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Although Lincoln wasn’t letting anyone sit in the cars on the displays at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, I managed to poke my head through the window up front and briefly park myself in the big backseat.

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The front seats look quite impressive, with some new features that set them apart such as individually adjustable thigh extensions. Visually it’s as understated inside as outside, with a dashboard and console that looks elegant in brushed metal, but a little less impressive in wood.

The backseats have plenty of legroom, but headroom is a concern. The roof is low, and the moonroof eats into available headroom for backseat passengers. Some taller people found their heads hitting the roof, yet others had no problem. My head most definitely hit the roof, but the seat was in a fully reclined position, with the car not powered up to allow for adjustments. We’ll have to reserve judgment on the backseat accommodations until we can fully test a production model on the street.

img1016536611 1452612029548 jpg 2017 Lincoln Continental | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Technologically, the Continental has some interesting tidbits, such as the fixed door handles that operate electrically via a button on the underside. They have a soft close function too, like more expensive luxury brands feature. Sync 3 is present, done up in an elegant brown color, but the font doesn’t seem to be any different for Lincoln, a change from how Ford used to differentiate between its mass-market and luxury-brand offerings.

At a show where a half-dozen other flagship luxury cars were shown in either production or concept form, the Continental was simply underwhelming. The Continental as it sits is likely to do well in markets like China, where Lincoln doesn’t have any baggage associated with its brand, and it can craft its image from whole cloth.

img1011919006 1452612026475 jpg 2017 Lincoln Continental | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

 

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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