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Motoring: 2017 Lincoln Continental: A luxury car that's worth the luxury price tag

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

The 2017 Lincoln Continental may be a bit on the pricey side, but it's a luxury car worth driving and worth spending your time and cash on.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | February 27th, 2017




When William (Bill) Ford Jr. took the reigns of the Ford Motor Company towards the end of 2001, among the first things he did was to axe the Continental model from Lincoln’s line up. The reason cited for this decision was lack luster sales for the ninth-generation model of the Continental.

At the time, Lincoln kept the Town Car model as its premium luxury offering, and felt that was enough. However, as the years rolled by, the Town Car had aged, and Lincoln didn’t plan its direct replacement, thinking that the Lincoln MKT crossover and the MKS sedan would fill the void. They didn’t.

The MKT is quite possibly the worst selling Lincoln model in the company’s history, even though, it is quite a good vehicle, while the MKS never really caught on, because buyers just didn’t know where to place it, it’s not big enough to be a proper luxury car and it is just way too soft to be a sports sedan.

Lincoln’s other offer, the MKZ has style on its side and plenty of features, too, but it’s neither great to drive nor is efficient nor as comfortable as it should be.

With the MKS getting to the point that it has to be replaced, rather than come up with another MKS, Lincoln decided to look at a name plate from its past and resurrect the Continental badge. Now both Lincoln and Bentley both have a Continental model and the latter has previously accused the former for copying styling cues from their Flying Spur model for the 10th-generation Lincoln Continental, but I don’t think that has any real merit at all.

Copy or not, there is no denying that the new, 2017 Lincoln Continental is a stunning looking vehicle from all angles. They got the luxury car design just right.

The most talked about exterior detail are its chrome door handles, which adds to its charm.

Open the door and you’re greeted by the best interior I have ever seen on a mass production American automobile. The design details are spot on, everything from the speaker covers to the cup holders look special and as for the seats, this new Continental has the best seats of any car I have ever come across. They adjust in more ways than you can imagine and on the top model, they even massage you.

On top of that, the cabin has a lot of space, both front and back, which provides its occupants in an environment that cossets and pampers. This car is remarkably silent and comfortable. It’s an ideal car to cover distances in, but what’s it like to drive?

Well, it isn’t sporty, but then it’s not pretending to be a sporty sedan either. I think Lincoln did the right thing by making the new Continental into a proper luxury car and not a Sedan that wants to break lap records at the Nürburgring. The new Continental just wafts along, all the while reducing your stress, hence it has active lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

While power in a car like this is not the most important thing, I should tell you what’s under the hood. In Canada, we get to pick between two engines, a turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 that produces 335 horsepower and 380 pound per foot of torque or a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 that produces 400 horsepower and 400 pound per foot of torque, both ratings are based on 93-octane fuel.

All Canadian Spec Continental models have all-wheel drive as standard, and the only transmission offered is a six-speed automatic.

My tester, had the 3.0-litre motor, but even in sport mode, it never really felt as fast as 400 horsepower would suggest. This new Continental is not about handling either, but again, I think it has good body composure in the bends and its active all-wheel drive system works quite well. It is especially clever to play with its torque on each rear wheels, helping it go around corners sharper than you’d expect it to.

The area I think that needs most improvement is the gearbox. It’s neither as smooth nor as quick as you’d like it to be, and since it only has six gears, it isn’t as fuel- efficient as you’d want it to be either. I averaged 13.1-litre per 100-kilometre in my test week. So, it’s not cheap to run, but it is not as expensive to buy as most of its competitors either, base price on the 2.7-litre model is $56,900, while my well-equipped 3.0-litre model was listed at $75,000.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical about this new Lincoln Continental, and thought it’d be quite disappointing.

After a week with it, I was totally smitten by it. Sure, it cost me quite a bit to run it, but I enjoyed every kilometer in it, and in the end, that’s all I look for from a car. Keep the ball rolling, Lincoln, let’s see more products like this 2017 Continental.
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