2002 Lincoln Continental Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of useable features and options, attractive styling, powerful V8 engine.
  • Large size hurts maneuverability, unsupportive seats, minimal interior storage, lack of refinement.
List Price Estimate
$1,318 - $2,929

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you are looking for an alternative to a Cadillac DeVille, then this is your car. But move quickly. The Continental is dead after 2002.

Vehicle overview

If you are looking for an alternative to a Cadillac DeVille, then this is your car. You can even specify six-passenger seating. But move quickly. The Continental is dead after 2002.

The only front-wheel-drive car in Lincoln's lineup, it's equipped with a 4.6-liter V8 that makes 275 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 275 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm. In both size and output, this V8 is very similar to the V8 in Cadillac's big car lineup, though it lacks the marketing push that Cadillac gives its Northstar engine.

A fully independent suspension comes standard on all Continentals. The rear suspension has a load-leveling feature that automatically maintains ride height regardless of passengers or additional cargo. Additionally, Lincoln offers an optional Driver Select System that includes an adjustable shock damping system. It can be set for plush, normal or firm ride control. The Driver Select System also comes with a memory feature that allows two separate drivers to adjust seat and exterior mirror settings to their individual tastes.

On the road, the Continental gives a comfortable and stable ride, which is what you should expect out of a large front-drive luxury car. Power from the V8 is more than enough for passing and general highway cruising.

Inside, the Continental's cabin is quiet. Control layout is logical, though the overall ambience is somewhat bland. Storage space is lacking, and the cupholders are not adjustable.

In terms of upgrades, there's an available audio system and six-disc CD changer from Alpine for audiophiles, bundled with a power sunroof at no charge for 2002. A luxury appearance package with upgraded interior and exterior trim pieces is available, as well as a personal security package with a low tire-pressure warning system and run-flat tires. For the ultimate in secure travel, an optional Vehicle Communication System offers safety and security assistance, voice-activated information services, route guidance and a hands-free voice-activated Motorola Timeport mobile phone. You supply the Sprint PCS contract.

The Continental's exterior remains unchanged for the 2002 model year. The wide front grille is retained, as are the dual exhaust outlets and the swoopy hood line. 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.

For 2002, all Lincoln models continue to receive complimentary maintenance. This program covers all routine maintenance -- from oil changes to wipers to shocks -- for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles. In addition, the basic Lincoln warranty of 4 years/50,000 miles remains in place.

Until the LS debuted last year, the Continental used to be Lincoln's smallest offering. It is now mid-pack, sandwiched between the LS and the larger Town Car. Though a competent and reasonably attractive package, the aged Continental appeals mostly to a dwindling supply of traditionalists; the type of buyer who likes Vogue wheels and dealer-installed carriage roofs. Which explains why it dies at the end of the year.

2002 Highlights

The Continental remains relatively unchanged for 2002, its last year on the market. One new exterior color debuts, and an optional Vehicle Communication System (with portable analog-digital phone) is now offered. Available at no charge are a power moonroof, a six-disc changer and an Alpine audio system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Lincoln Continental.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A luxury car for the budget conscience
Ray P,06/22/2016
Luxury Appearance 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
There's no denying that the auto industry has introduced a lot of new features on cars since 2002. Still, the Continental has all the features I could possibly ever want short of Bluetooth and an iPod interface. Some of you may long for a computerized interface such as MMI or iDrive but for me I've always found these interfaces to be highly annoying not to mention expensive to repair (they will eventually break). The Continental is great for those who don't want to spend much money for a reliable, safe, comfortable car. The 4.6L V8 is as solid as they come although some might find the engine a bit unrefined by today's standards. Then again, I only paid $4,500 for my car two years ago with 76K on the clock and have had zero problems! I can deal with just a bit of "unrefinement" which is laughable because this is a really comfortable quiet car. We love all the room, the trunk is YUUGE (yet my wife finds a way to fill it), the seats are very comfortable and the climate control system is the best of any car I've ever owned. We appreciate the driver memory feature that adjusts the seat position for each driver. Helps keep for a happy marriage. The car is also great in the snow being front wheel drive. There is a bit of torque steer when you really romp on it but this is to be expected with 275 HP going to the front wheels. MPG isn't bad for such a big, powerful car. I get about 22 on the highway (calculated) driving at 75-80 MPH while running on mid-grade. The engine doesn't object to this at all even though premium fuel is specified. One downside you should consider is the cost to replace air suspension parts which can be an expensive proposition. The air pump in my car now runs every time I start the car which means the rear air struts are leaking and will likely soon fail leaving the rear of my car practically dragging the pavement. Not a great situation to be in if out of town. I will soon be replacing the struts with a conversion kit that installs standard coil springs for an out the door cost of $1,200. Once in place I won't have to worry about any other air suspension issues (such as the air pump failing). All in all, this is a great car for a budget conscience individual who desires a comfortable, quiet car with good performance. True, the gas mileage isn't the greatest but the overall cost of ownership (inexpensive to purchase, insure, maintain, repair) adds up to quite a comfortable bargain.
Super Sedan
Has been and excellent car. Purchased as a Lincoln corporate vehicle with 20000 miles on the odomenter. Now 80000 miles. 20mpg city and 25 to 28mpg highway at 70mph. 80000 miles with only recent tire replacement and new battery. LS was a poor replacement, should have continued to build and I would have purchased another.
High Quality and Value
Purchae from Ford Executive coming off 2 yr. lease. Front wheel drive with traction control is better than on the Saab 9-5 I owned before. 24 mpg highway, 19-20 mpg in town...not bad for a big V-8. Comfortable in town or on the expressway. Maintained by a local Ford dealer with no surprises. Love the electronic ride control, too. Better than a Caddy at a lower price! Too bad they quit making them.
My Baby
I have owned many cars to include muscle cars, but have never had a nicer car than my 2002 Continental. We almost made the mistake of purchasing a Towncar. The car is bullet proof, although I suppose parts will fail someday, like the air ride and air conditioning, as it continues to age. I will repair everything but the engine and will continue to drive it. We're over 122,000 miles and going strong. I admit we've looked at replacing it, but with what?? A heavy car with a beefed up V-6 that won't last for more than six years? Ford needs to bring this car back with rear wheel drive and a hefty V-8. Oh, and if you do, Henry, throw in a little more sound proofing.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2002 Lincoln Continental features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 Lincoln Continental

Used 2002 Lincoln Continental Overview

The Used 2002 Lincoln Continental is offered in the following submodels: Continental Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Luxury Appearance 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Driver Select 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), and Personal Security 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Lincoln Continental?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Lincoln Continental lease specials