What Did We Buy?
Over the last couple of decades, many of Lincoln's products have been modestly upgraded Fords. Sure, the Lincolns had different names and a few unique features, but even the most casual shopper could tell that a Navigator was just a fancy Expedition or the MKZ was a Ford Fusion in different clothes.
The new 2017 Lincoln Continental doesn't follow that formula. It not only revives a classic name, it gets Lincoln back into the game of making its own unique cars again.
More importantly, the Continental is the kind of car that Lincoln built its reputation on. It's a big, powerful sedan, but it's not trying to be a better BMW. The ride is forgiving, the cabin is quiet, and there's plenty of passenger room in every direction. It has plenty of modern technology, too, all of which we intend to test over the next 12 months.
What Options Does It Have?
When it comes to the new Lincoln Continental, there's a broad price gap between the base model and the top-of-the-line Black Label versions. We wanted to get a well-equipped model so we stepped up to the Reserve trim, which sits just below the top-shelf Black Label models.
We also wanted to test the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that's exclusive to Lincoln. It requires a switch from front- to all-wheel drive, a change that makes sense given that the new engine develops 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It's hard to send that much power through the front wheels without affecting the steering feel.
From there we added the Luxury package, which is mainly a stereo and headlight upgrade, along with the Technology package that bundles together various safety features such as a 360-degree camera, pedestrian detection and lane departure warning.
The new "perfect position" seats, which adjust in 30 directions, are a stand-alone option as is a twin-panel moonroof. Our car had both, along with the Climate package that adds heaters for the seats, a heated steering wheel, auto high beams and rain sensing wipers. Finally, we insisted on the optional 20-inch wheels. Why? The standard wheels on the Reserve trim make it look like a rental car. We couldn't imagine staring at them for a year.
All in, our car had a sticker price of $72,905. After a little back and forth with Santa Monica Lincoln, we settled on a price of $70,432.
Why We Bought It
This is Lincoln's best chance to convince luxury shoppers that it deserves a place alongside not only Cadillac, but Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It has all the right pieces, but it needs to prove that they are put together in a way that makes it feel special. And given its sticker price, it should feel special.
Over the next 12 months, we'll get a very clear picture how far Lincoln has come. Is this Continental merely a really nice Ford? Or is it the kind of car that will make you second-guess the need for a European badge on your next luxury car? Follow along on our long-term road test page to get the latest updates and impressions of this all-American luxury sedan.
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.