Back in Black
Lincoln’s new sedan sports iconic name
Posted on Feb. 10, 2017
If you were to ask the average person to describe a Lincoln luxury automobile, the most likely answer would be the staid Town Car that shuttles people to airports or around town. Limo operators liked them too. They were big car bodies bolted to a steel frame with a V8 engine up front. However, the Town Car is now history. In the newly revised Lincoln lineup, an updated Continental replaces the MKS as the brand’s full-size sedan. But that’s where the similarities end. The new Continental looks and acts like an expensive luxury car.
Reviving a Refined Flagship
Since compact cars and pickups can be equipped with heated leather seats and dynamic cruise control, luxury flagships need to incorporate a few more surprise-and-delight features. The Continental adds electric aided door closures, a feature found on flagships from German rivals and even Bentleys. Leave the door slam to lesser vehicles.
Inside the nicely turned out cabin of our Continental Reserve model, the fully loaded Lincoln offered the driver and front passenger “Perfect Position Seats” that had 30 adjustments available. Three days wasn’t enough time to find every adjustment, but adjustable bolsters and headrest helped mold the seating to my comfort. For those chauffeured in the spacious rear, the seating is not only adjustable, but also heated or cooled for comfort. The Revel 19-speaker audio system rivals the very best around
Engine choices include a 3.7-liter V6, a turbocharged 2.7-liter version with more power and efficiency, or, for an additional $3,265, our test vehicle’s 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, 400 HP power plant. That’s clearly my choice for moving this big sedan with effortless acceleration when needed.
The Continental is not quite as athletic as some import and domestic rivals, but it’s well composed when pushed, the brakes grip nicely with good pedal feedback, and at speed, the cabin is serenely quiet. For executives who are not carving corners or taking it to the local racetrack, these are welcome attributes.
Getting behind the wheel of a new Continental is a selective process. Witt Lincoln San Diego is the sole Lincoln dealership in the county, and one of only about 30 in the entire nation to offer special Black Label Editions of the Continental as well as the MKC, MKZ, and MKX models.
Although the Continental we drove had nearly $20,000 of optional equipment, bringing the typical $55,915 base MSRP to more than $75,000, it is still quite competitive compared to its rivals. Bringing the Continental name back was smart, and perhaps Ford can consider that strategy with other storied models. Brian Douglas
Photography by Brian Douglas