2017 Lincoln Continental review:
2017 Lincoln Continental: The comforting return of an American icon
The 2017 Continental marks a welcome return to relevance for Lincoln. A serene ride and posh cabin blend with a powerful twin-turbo V6 to offer a uniquely American take on luxury.
It's all too easy to bloat the window sticker with expensive options, and rear seat headroom is surprisingly compromised. A full suite of advanced safety features are not available on all trims, and more of them should be standard equipment.
The Bottom Line
Not content to chase the Germans, Lincoln crafts a handsome flagship that bravely emphasizes coddling over dynamics.
The auto industry's definition of luxury is forever changing. Novel features constantly trickle down to models of lower price tags and status, so premium automakers are always on the hunt for The Next Big Thing. The heated/cooled seats and sleek glass showrooms of yesteryear have given way not just to 30-way massaging loungers, but to inclusive ownership experiences with butler-like services.
What's interesting is that in terms of performance, today's luxury sedan market is showing signs it's going back to the future, putting an emphasis on coddling performance over cornering prowess. That may not play well for marketers who love to show their cars hustling over Alpine passes or powersliding on dry lake beds, but it's probably more consistent with the way buyers actually drive, and it's certainly more in line with Our Autonomous Future. If not a total refutation of the sporty Germanic driving character that nearly all luxury automakers have been tilting at for decades, this change is at least a significant development. Need proof this trend has legs? Look no further than new cars like the Genesis G80 and G90, Volvo S90, and this car, Lincoln's reborn Continental.
Yes, Lincoln Continental. It's been a while since we've heard those two names together. In fact, it's been 15 years since Ford's luxury brand offered a Continental, and it's been much, much longer since the famed nameplate wasn't an embarrassing, tarnished mess. This new 2017 model not only aims to restore some luster to one of the great monikers in all of motoring, it's on a mission to make Lincoln relevant again -- not just here in North America, but in China, the world's largest car market, where the brand will have to succeed if it has any hopes of surviving at all.
Spoiler alert: The new Continental is a very nice car.
This $1,750 paint is called Chroma Elite Copper Metallic, and unexpectedly, it grows on you.
The chief thing that's been holding Lincoln back all these years is a profound lack of investment. If Ford's now-dead Mercury models offered Blue Oval cars with a bit more content, Lincoln's didn't do much better, slathering on a schmear of chrome frosting and little else. And while this new Continental doesn't ride on its own dedicated platform, it still feels like a clean-sheet execution.
Let's start with this Lincoln's curb appeal, because... it has some. I mean that literally -- the Continental's best, most distinctive view is its profile, the aspect you'd see when standing alongside one on the sidewalk. When viewed from the side, not only can you take in this Lincoln's vast scale, you can see its most unique design attributes: its startlingly clean sheetmetal and improbably enough, its door handles and mirrors.
The former are uniquely integrated into a band of chrome just below the windowline, a placement that necessitated using electric microswitches to activate the release (mechanical assemblies wouldn't fit). The handles look great and feel both substantial and appropriately cool to the touch. My only wish is that the back doors were rear hinged, so that you could pull open both handles like a big Sub-Zero fridge, or, more accurately, like a 1960s Elwood-Engel-era Continental, whose slab sides this new model tries to emulate. But suicide doors would've been a crippling engineering cost and crash-test challenge, so front hinges it is.
It's not often that mirrors are worthy of note, but the Continental's are almost sculptural in detail.
Read More www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2017-lincoln-continental/review/
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