Used 2002 Lincoln Continental Review

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.

What's new for 2002

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.

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.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.