While Lincoln is doubling down on its utility (crossovers and SUV) offering with new products such as the Lincoln Corsair, Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator, Ford’s luxury division still sells two rather compelling sedans; the Lincoln Continental and the MKZ.
The former is by far the most interesting of the two since it’s responsible for having rebooted the entire Lincoln brand almost three years ago, with sixties-era-inspired styling, a wide variety of powertrains and a slew of innovative features to enhance its premium aura. While it’s nowhere close to being the brand’s sales king, Lincoln admits that the Continental remains its flagship vehicle, even if it’s currently focusing on SUVs.
We had the opportunity to spend some time with a Lincoln Continental press unit for a week, during which we were able to sample the Continental’s performance, comfort, and impeccable road composure. We conclude that, even two years after it was first released, the rear seat in the current Continental remains one of the most comfortable places to spend time in a car.
We’re saying this because the entire rear seat area of the Lincoln Continental is on par with European sedans costing well over the $100,000 mark. Meanwhile, a fully-spec’d Black Label Conti stickers at $76,950, comes with all-wheel drive, and the top-shelf twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine. It’s good for a claimed 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
While the Continental shares its CD4 platform with the Ford Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ, its wheelbase was stretched 5.7 inches, making it the longest-wheelbase Lincoln sedan currently on sale. This stretch inevitably leads to an observably spacious rear seat where even the tallest of passengers feel right at home.
Back there, the seats can be reclined to one’s liking, with both lower and upper massaging features. Flip down the center arm-rest, and one is exposed to a plethora of neat features, all controllable via a console and screen integrated within the center armrest. From there, rear seat occupants can open or close the rear sunshade or the sunroof visor, turn the audio system on or off, adjust the volume, or select radio stations.
It’s even possible to control the climate, and those rear seats include both heated and cooling functions, with three levels of intensity. It’s a very presidential place to be in, all at a much more affordable price point than European rivals such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Audi A8.
When the current-generation Lincoln Continental was released for the 2017 model year, Lincoln sold over 12,000 units in the U.S. and Canada during its first year of production. That number dropped to just under 9,000 units the following year.
It is assumed that the high demand for premium-level utility vehicles at the expense of their sedan counterparts is threatening the existence of full-size sedans like the Continental. Unfortunately, Ford will likely ax the Lincoln Continental due to declining sales, which is a real shame – since it remains one of the most polished luxury sedans currently on sale.