2017 Lincoln Continental

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$44,720–$65,075 MSRP range
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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2017 Lincoln Continental. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Comfortable front seats
  • Impressive audio system
  • Upscale interior
  • State-of-the-art multimedia system

The Bad

  • Anonymous styling
  • Limited backseat headroom

Notable Features of the 2017 Lincoln Continental

  • Five-passenger large luxury sedan
  • Replaces MKS, becomes new flagship
  • Pushbutton door handles
  • Front seats with individual thigh support
  • Front- or all-wheel drive

2017 Lincoln Continental Road Test

Kelsey Mays
The Verdict:

The Lincoln Continental is, finally, the flagship car Lincoln so badly needs.

Versus The Competition:

Lincoln priced the Continental — a big, brash, gauntlet of a sedan — against reigning mid-size sedans from established luxury brands. But its elegance is unique, and its extra size lends undeniable value.

The Continental, which resurrects a Lincoln nameplate not seen since 2002, comes with front- or all-wheel drive in four trim levels (Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label), with three available engines. Compare everything here. We drove a Select with the base engine and a Reserve with the top engine, both with all-wheel drive.

Exterior & Styling

If the Continental signals the next chapter of Lincoln design, Ford's tiny luxury brand could chart serious growth. Gone is the veined, split grille that characterizes most of Lincoln's lineup. Instead, the Continental wears a bold horizontal unit that's as much a statement for Lincoln as it is a rejection of the industry's obsession with gaping, pavement-to-hood grilles.

Likewise, the Lincoln Continental doesn't adopt the rising beltlines of most sedans. Rather, Lincoln's flagship embodies a fresh, horizontal aesthetic from the lights to the profile. It all descends a bit in back, and some may find the tail too droopy, but at least it's different. Bravo, Lincoln. This is the brand's best-looking sedan since the early-2000s LS.

Oh, and it's big. Similar money buys a traditional mid-size luxury sedan — think BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS — all of which the Continental dwarfs. At 201.4 inches long, it falls closer to those brands' full-size sedans. That's all too apparent in the Lincoln Continental's turning circle, which ranges a great deal depending on driveline and wheel size. It can be as tidy ...

The Continental, which resurrects a Lincoln nameplate not seen since 2002, comes with front- or all-wheel drive in four trim levels (Premiere, Select, Reserve and Black Label), with three available engines. Compare everything here. We drove a Select with the base engine and a Reserve with the top engine, both with all-wheel drive.

Exterior & Styling

If the Continental signals the next chapter of Lincoln design, Ford's tiny luxury brand could chart serious growth. Gone is the veined, split grille that characterizes most of Lincoln's lineup. Instead, the Continental wears a bold horizontal unit that's as much a statement for Lincoln as it is a rejection of the industry's obsession with gaping, pavement-to-hood grilles.

Likewise, the Lincoln Continental doesn't adopt the rising beltlines of most sedans. Rather, Lincoln's flagship embodies a fresh, horizontal aesthetic from the lights to the profile. It all descends a bit in back, and some may find the tail too droopy, but at least it's different. Bravo, Lincoln. This is the brand's best-looking sedan since the early-2000s LS.

Oh, and it's big. Similar money buys a traditional mid-size luxury sedan — think BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS — all of which the Continental dwarfs. At 201.4 inches long, it falls closer to those brands' full-size sedans. That's all too apparent in the Lincoln Continental's turning circle, which ranges a great deal depending on driveline and wheel size. It can be as tidy as 35.4 feet or as boatlike as about 42 feet, by Lincoln's estimate. Make sure to test yours before buying.

How It Drives

The all-new Lincoln Continental's standard powertrain, a 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6, revs smoothly and offers spirited off-the-line power in the transmission's Sport mode, which quickens accelerator response and delays upshifts. (All engines use a six-speed automatic.) Two turbocharged V-6 engines are optional: a 2.7-liter EcoBoost with 335 hp and a 3.0-liter with 400 hp. We drove the latter, whose superfluous power gets intoxicating. By 2,000 rpm or so, a sustained right foot has the sedan hurtling forward with an urgency that rivals many sports cars. The six-speed automatic — free of the extra gears that thwart so many "advanced" transmissions — dispenses smooth upshifts and deft kickdowns, though one editor noted some hard shifts at low speeds. Forget the V-8; the next Ford Mustang GT should get this engine.

Get the Continental up to speed — it shouldn't take long — and it becomes a well-tempered cruiser. The standard adaptive suspension produces reverberation-free isolation, though I observed some floatiness over broken pavement in its comfort-oriented setting. A sportier drivetrain mode — which also affects the suspension — diminishes the float and firms things up noticeably, though it remains comfort-oriented overall.

Modest body roll and sloppy steering turn-in will keep you from attacking fun back roads, but the Continental holds its own in a pinch. Past the first few degrees, the steering wheel sharpens up to deliver lively feedback and quick directional adjustments. The chassis shows no signs of early understeer, and Lincoln's AWD maintains a degree of neutrality that reminded one editor of Acura's excellent Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.

EPA-estimated combined gas mileage ranges from 19 to 21 mpg, depending on drivetrain. That's thirstier than many competitors, but the Continental makes up some ground by recommending, not requiring, premium gas. Lincoln says premium will maximize performance, but the cheap stuff is acceptable. Given the increasing upcharge on premium in recent years, that's an important distinction versus the luxury cars that require it.

Interior

The Lincoln Continental's profile results in squat windows all around that sacrifice some visibility, which may have you wishing for taller glass. But the interior is an otherwise inviting place. Cabin materials are excellent, with upscale graining and soft-touch surfaces virtually everywhere — a consistency you don't always find, even at this price. Premium details abound, from chrome-ringed buttons to genuine leather-wrapped sections of the upper dashboard and doors. Even the steering wheel hub (not just the rim) comes draped in leather, and it looks stunning. From economy cars to luxury models, dashboard stitching is everywhere these days. Real cowhide is still a treat, and the Continental serves up plenty.

The base (Premiere) trim level has heated vinyl seats; higher trims get heated and ventilated seats with Lincoln's plush Bridge of Weir leather. Some may find the standard 10-way power seats too short on cushion length, but optional 24- and 30-way (yes, 30) leather seats rectify this. Our Reserve test car had the latter. We counted only 28 adjustments, something Lincoln reconciled via interesting accounting, but the 30-way chairs are still mighty comfortable, with integrated massagers to boot.

Legroom is abundant in back, with a comfortably high seating position and better headroom than the Continental's squat profile suggests. One caveat: Our test cars lacked Lincoln's optional panoramic moonroof, a feature that often sacrifices headroom. In a moonroof-equipped car at the Continental's auto-show debut, one editor deemed headroom limited.

Ergonomics & Electronics

The Lincoln Continental has a standard 8-inch touchscreen with Sync 3, an intuitive multimedia platform shared with Ford. It's a cinch to use and sits above an intuitive spread of physical buttons, with raised switches for the climate controls and must-have knobs for volume and tuning. Lincoln has thankfully thrown its disastrous MyLincoln Touch multimedia system and touch-sensitive controls into the landfill of automotive history, but in cars like the MKC and MKX, the replacement controls seem like an eleventh-hour design change. The Continental's buttons appear conceived from the ground up; they're functional and elegant — a high point in the cabin.

Satellite radio and Android Auto are standard. Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, HD radio and two Revel premium audio systems of ascending complexity are optional. We spent the most time with the top, Revel, stereo, and editors agreed it sounds first-rate.

Cargo & Storage

For reasons that still flummox me, in-cabin storage often takes a backseat in luxury cars. Not so with the Lincoln Continental, which stocks the center console with cubbies aplenty. Trunk volume, too, is a decent 16.7 cubic feet, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat with a small center pass-through — a rarity in big luxury cars — is standard. A power trunk lid is optional.

Safety

The Continental has not been crash-tested by the IIHS. A backup camera with front and rear parking sensors is standard, but forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is unavailable on the Premiere trim level; it's just optional on higher trims, though many rivals offer it standard — as do cars as plebian as the Toyota flippin' Yaris. It's an important crash-avoidance feature, and Lincoln needs to make it standard.

Full-speed adaptive cruise control, 360-degree cameras, inflatable rear seat belts and auto-steering parking are also optional. So are blind spot, lane keep and lane departure warning systems, the latter with corrective steering assist.

Value in Its Class

A front-drive Lincoln Continental Premiere comes reasonably equipped for a base price of around $45,500, while a decked-out Black Label with everything from a custom-leather interior to power rear seats tops out at more than $80,000. With that sort of range, the Lincoln Continental could appeal to everyone from luxury-value shoppers to the flagship-sedan crowd.

Lincoln doesn't appear to skimp on features and materials at the low end, which speaks volumes to the Continental's potential relevance for luxury shoppers of all stripes. But the fact that it can hold a candle — and a bright, shining one at that — to the reigning luxury flagships is most impressive. This is a big step forward for Lincoln. Luxury shoppers, take note.


2017 Continental Video

There's no shortage of luxury sedans that compete, and believe it or not, Lincoln's new flagship is one of the better ones. The 2017 Continental has classy styling, a handsome interior and it's comfortable - and powerful - on the road.

Latest 2017 Continental Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.9)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

One fine automobile

by Ron. K from Detroit MI. on June 26, 2018

This car rides great, looks great, the seats are the best, and the Revel sound system is on an other planet. great car all together. Read full review

(2.0)

Very Dissapointed

by Carlover from San Diego CA on June 24, 2018

It has been almost a year, good thing I leased it not purchased it. It started very good but I have had some issues: quality is not there, some of the interiors are extremely poor quality, the trunk ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Lincoln Continental currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 Lincoln Continental Premiere

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    unlimited months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Lincoln

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement for up to $45 per day, fresh oil and filter at delivery and certificate for your first complimentary oil and filter change

  • Limited Warranty

    6 years / 100,000 miles

    6 years from original new vehicle warranty start date or 100,000 miles. Comprehensive Limited Warranty from original in-service date. See dealer for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 200-point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Continental received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Latch or Latch system

A

Infant seat

A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A

Booster

(second row)

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker