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Despite slipping sales, we think the Continental is the epitome of American Luxury.
Plenty of useable features and options, attractive styling, powerful V8 engine.
Lack of refinement, unsupportive seats.
The Continental receives additional safety features, including side airbags, an emergency trunk release, child seat-anchor brackets and Lincoln's Belt Minder system.
It's not easy to find a rear-drive, luxury car built in America, and Lincoln's Continental is no exception. Making the jump to front-wheel drive in 1988, the Continental has been with Lincoln since 1940 but is fully modernized and features a potent 275 horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. This engine also makes 275 foot-pounds of torque at 4,750 rpm. Gas mileage remains in the acceptable range with a 17/25 mpg rating for city/highway driving.
A fully independent suspension and gas pressurized shocks come standard on all Continentals, but a check on the driver's control package option adds three-way adjustable, semi-active suspension for plush, normal or firm ride control. There's also an Alpine audio system option group for audiophiles, a luxury package with upgraded interior and exterior trim pieces, and a personal security package with a low tire-pressure warning system and a programmable garage door opener. For the ultimate in secure travel, a RESCU package is available with Lincoln's Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit to call for assistance and transmit the vehicle's location within 100 feet via a global positioning satellite (GPS) network.
In addition to the new standard side airbags for 2000, the Continental receives many of the same safety changes that Ford has implemented across most of its model line. The emergency trunk release allows people who are trapped in the trunk to release the hatch. The child seat-anchor brackets in the back seat provide parents and caregivers an improved method to buckle in their child safety seats more securely. The system secures child safety seats using tethers that attach to the anchor brackets, in addition to traditional safety belts. The Belt Minder system consists of a chime and an indicator light to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up.
The Continental's exterior remains unchanged for the 2000 model year. The wide front grille is retained, as are the dual exhaust outlets and the swoopy hood line. This gives the Lincoln a .32 coefficient of drag which, as luxury sedans go, is fairly slippery. If you really want to set yourself apart from other Continentals, the optional six-spoke chrome wheels can add to the car's classic look.
The Lincoln Continental is a roomy, competent, attractive sedan. It faces tough competition from Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes Benz. The new 2000 Lincoln LS will be another vehicle to consider. Many of the vehicles from these manufacturers offer high levels of ride and handling refinement without resorting to gee-whiz gadgetry like the Driver's Select System.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.