The 2017 Lincoln Continental has a heck of a pedigree. There was a time when owning a Continental was a status symbol. It was the epitome of luxury and showed the world that you had arrived. That was then, but this is now. Lincoln doesn’t have the same cache it once did and the Continental disappeared from the roster ages ago. Now, it’s back and it brings with it a bit of Lincoln’s glory days.
This is a big, American luxury car in every way from its bold exterior to its luxurious interior. There is nothing subtle about the Continental, but it’s not a brash, flashy car either. This thing has some style and harkens back to a time when a full-size sedan was everyone’s car of choice.
There is ample room for five passengers along with a trunk big enough to hold everyone’s luggage. It is grand and spacious and incredibly comfortable. There’s room to lounge in back and even three adults can easily fit without being squished. Legroom, headroom, and shoulder room are enough for even the largest adults.
Standard features on the 2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve ($70,945) we drove included ambient lighting, heated and cooled front seats, a leather and wood steering wheel, and a rear window sunshade. Options piled on the luxury with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel, windshield wiper deicer, inflatable rear safety belts, and premium LED headlamps.
There are three available engines, which are all paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. We drove the most powerful option, which is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. All that power takes what is a heavy car and makes it more light on its feet. Press the gas and the Continental responds in kind, but it still feels like a large car.
Its six-speed transmission is its sore spot. This is supposed to be a luxury car and despite having all the appropriate trappings, the transmission needs more gears to keep it smooth no matter how hard you’re accelerating. Not that the Continental is rough, just that a few extra gears would make it more refined.
The Continental handles well, but steering has something of a floaty feel. The end result is a smooth, effortless drive, but one with very little road feedback and a relaxed responsiveness that those who crave a more performance feel will find disappointing.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental lives up to its reputation as it returns to the Lincoln lineup. It provides the big American sedan experience with a heavy dose of luxury that coddles driver and passenger alike.