2017 Lincoln Continental — Road Test

Posted on Jan 13, 2018 by
2017 Lincoln Continental
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  • Rated 4 stars
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AEDAED325,000 (as tested)
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Review Summary:

The 2017 Continental is a strong comeback effort and is likely to breathe new life into the Lincoln brand. And while it outpaces its domestic rival, it's still no match for the Germans.


Great ride, good fit and finish, feels like a Lincoln and not a thinly-veiled Ford.


It's expensive; the same money would get you a or a Maserati Ghibli.

Lincoln’s latest crack at the luxury saloon market is a strong comeback effort, but is it enough to unseat the Germans? Text: Amit Benjamin. Images: Amit Benjamin and supplied

2017 Lincoln continental review

So, this is the sedan that’s supposed to bring back Lincoln’s glory days? Is it up to the task?

To be honest, in the past decade or so any attempts at luxury by American carmakers have been something of a disappointment. Peer into new Cadillacs or even Lincolns, preceding the Continental, and you will see what I mean. Yes, they have leather and wood, but they undeniably lag way behind anything from Germany, including sub- brands such as Volkswagen, when it comes to quality of materials and fit and finish.

The Continental though is a different ball game. Relatively speaking, of course. It’s not going to shame a BMW 7 Series or even something like the new in terms of tech or quality, but it is easily the most luxurious American car out there.

The leather is supple and the wood is beautifully finished — there is a definite air of quality in everything you see and touch. The seats are supremely comfortable, the ride quality is impeccable and rear space is more than adequate for a vehicle of this size. Lincoln has successfully managed to conceal the Ford-ness of it all from plain view and that is perhaps the Continental’s biggest achievement; it feels like a Lincoln. It feels different from the rest of the Ford stable.

2017 Lincoln continental review

Is it well kitted?

It’s nothing like the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class when it comes to technology, but there is a decent amount of kit in there. You have your usual array of adaptive cruise control, park assist, 360-degree vision camera etc, but there is no standout technology that would make you go “Wow!”. The new BMW 5 Series, for contrast, gets things like a key with a touchscreen and gesture control, so the Conti does not feel as cutting-edge as its German rivals. It’s more limo-ish than them, though. It’s all about laid back luxury and big comfy seats more than computers and sensors in here. The 30-way adjustable seats are available with massaging function and the cabin is serene with superb sound insulation. It feels like a proper luxobarge on the move. Throughout the test drive, every person who sat in the car, complemented the quality of the interior and the ride quality.

2017 Lincoln continental review

How does it drive, then?

The 3.0-litre V6 Ecoboost engine is a peach. In my opinion, it is quite possibly the best American engine fitted to any car right now. It’s smooth and powerful, with 400 horsepower and 542Nm of torque, and the grunt is channeled to all four corners with remarkable civility. The engine is almost on a par from what you would find in a similarly powered BMW or a Mercedes.

In Sport mode, it feels urgent and the clever all-wheel drive system keep things nice and stable but it’s no 5 Series dynamically. On the flip side, it rides way better. Overall, this is a car that soothes your brow and encourages you to cruise rather than charge every where like you’ve just discovered your mop is on fire.

2017 Lincoln continental review

Should I buy this over a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

That is a tricky question, because at 5,115mm it longer than the 5 Series, but it’s shy of the 7 Series’ 5,098 length. Power-wise, it sits somewhere in the middle, too. To be brutally honest, there is no way the Continental could upstage the 7er, in fact, with a price tag of AED325,000 as tested it sits perilously close to the BMW 540i, too, and you would have to be a die-hard fan of American cars to consider this over the Teuton. You could even get a Maserati Ghibli for that money. It is a very strong effort and it does bring Lincoln back in the reckoning, but the more appropriate question would be if it outperforms its eternal rival the Cadillac CTS, specifically the V-Sport model? And the answer is an emphatic yes. It feels more special inside and out than the Caddy and that’s its first big win. Lincoln is back, and this time it means business.

2017 Lincoln continental review





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