In some ways, the 2017 Lincoln Continental, the brand's new flagship luxury sedan, remains true to the image of the big, fancy four-door that so effectively burned its name into your subconscious over the past half-century or so. It's a roomy sedan with clean, elegant lines, luxurious trappings and an emphasis on comfort-oriented motoring.
All that said, this new Continental isn't a retro throwback. For starters, there are three available engines, including a twin-turbocharged, 400-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 that could scarcely have been imagined when they were designing the previous generation of this venerable nameplate.
These engines also manage to be fairly fuel-efficient, with EPA ratings ranging from 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway) for the midrange 2.7-liter engine with front-wheel drive to a still-respectable 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway) for the high-performance 3.0-liter mated to all-wheel drive. Availability of all-wheel drive gives the Continental an advantage in climes where the driving conditions can turn iffy with little warning.
There are four distinct trim levels offered, ranging from the well-equipped entry-level Premiere to what might be considered the top-of-the-line Reserve. Naturally, there are a number of options of which to partake, including a Climate package that bundles extras such as automatic high-beam headlights, automatic wipers, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. Springing for the Technology package gets you a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control, an automated self-parking system, lane keeping assist, and a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking.
The final step up, known as the Black Label, includes still more standard features, while also allowing you to access Lincoln's concierge-like services that include a mobile showroom that comes to you, premium maintenance services including pickup and drop-off, complimentary anytime car washes and annual detailing, and more. The 400-hp 3.0-liter V6 is also offered as an option on Reserve and Black Label models.
Now, in a crowded field full of excellent top-shelf luxury automobiles, the real question becomes what separates this new Lincoln Continental from its many worthy competitors. Though it's true some of those European and Asian rivals have a few select options that aren't even offered here, chances are they're not anything you'll really miss. Instead — and most importantly — the biggest differentiator is the bottom line, which you'll find to be many thousands of dollars less than those of some other new high-end sedans. If Lincoln's new Continental sounds like your kind of car, use Edmunds to help find the perfect one.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.