A solid luxury car with a real fancy-pants rear seat.
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
At the front, Lincoln’s signature grille (with the cool Lincoln Star mesh) makes quite an impression and is flanked by premium LED head lights. My review car’s Blue Diamond metallic was very eye-catching and everyone who saw it liked it.
I loved some of the design touches, such as the flat plates the side-view mirrors are mounted on (they look like they are carved out of a solid piece of metal and exude quality and strength) and the E-Latch door handles that don’t move, but rather use a simple button to electronically unlatch (and latch upon closing) the door.
The rear end features an integrated LED tail light bar and those accentuated flanks that make the Continental look wide and hunkered down. The car certainly got a lot of looks on the road.
I am a big fan of the Continental’s cabin. Mine was done in Cappuccino. The fit and finish appeared to be flawless and the choice of materials is stunning. There are beautifully textured soft-touch surfaces everywhere and the open-pore wood accents are gorgeous.
A heated steering wheel boasts the same level of finishing as the rest of the interior. The heated and cooled seats – they are infinitely (well, 30-way) adjustable, offer an outstanding massage function and are as comfortable to sit in as they are nice to look at – are upholstered in Bridge of Weir leather.
When it comes to sound reproduction, I was very impressed by the Revel Ultima 19-speaker audio system, whose machined metal speaker grilles are works of art. I found this interesting, as I didn’t feel this way about the last Revel system I heard. There is plenty of driver assistance technology – automatic high beams, active park assist, 360 degree camera with parking sensors all around, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a heads-up display.
With this particular car, the rear seating situation is already something to write home about. It’s very spacious when it comes to head and leg room, and rates as perhaps the most comfortable rear seating area I have experienced to date. Notably, all passengers that rode in the Continental said the same thing.
But the real story here is the optional Rear Seat package, which adds a marvelous center console (which is actually the middle seatback that folds down). It contains a ton of stuff – cupholders, seat temperature, rear climate control, rear audio system controls and a screen to show you what’s going on with all of those controls.
The package also adds rear seat ventilation to the seat heating and those seats are more adjustable than many vehicles’ front seats. They recline, have lumbar adjustment and echo the front seats’ massaging function. Hello! Rear passengers also get a twin panel sunroof overhead and a rear sunshade (both of which they can control), side sunshades, additional air ducts on the B-pillar and inflatable seatbelts. Device charging is handled through two USB plugs and a 150W 110-volt household plug.
I’m having a hard time thinking of a better place to take a road trip. Mind you, that means you’d also need a driver and therein lies the rub. Who buys one of these cars and springs for the amazing rear seat package to enjoy it themselves? I’m not sure many people are being chauffeured around in Lincoln Continentals. Let me put it another way then – whoever your rear passengers are will be thrilled to spend time there.
There are several spaces to put things in the center console. A pop-up lid hides a big carpeted bin at the base of the centre stack, which features two USBs and one 12V plug. Farther back is a delightful scrolling lid (clad with that lovely wood trim) – underneath is a set of cupholders. And you’ll find a dual-level storage space under the armrest lid. The trunk is a good size and offers a ton of space.
Under the Hood
The all-wheel drive Continental I reviewed had the optional 3.0L twin-turbo V6. It puts out 400 HP and has 400 lb.ft of torque on tap at relatively low RPMS. This is all managed by a 6-speed automatic transmission – a few cogs short of what one expects in a range-topping luxury sedan these days.
The car has tons of power, and I never found a situation where it didn’t hustle effortlessly. I’m still not a fan of the push-button transmission, but the autobox itself is smooth and relatively intelligent. I never thought it wasn’t in the right gear and that is something. A few more gears would make things more efficient obviously.
The Continental rides very nicely but its adaptive suspension sits more firmly than you might expect. That’s a good thing. I appreciated that the car never wallowed around corners, and it actually handles quite well (although it’s not sporty). The steering requires significantly more effort than you might expect too, which came as another surprise.
As I had expected, the car was very quiet at all speeds.
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) was high. She loved the luxury within and thought it was easy to drive considering the size of the car.
The Continental is a very nice car. Lincoln gets so much right here. The interior is a delight, and the rear seating area is just something else altogether.
It’s interesting to see Lincoln quietly, slowly, purposefully sneak up on Cadillac’s territory. I like what they’ve done so far, particularly for the price. I look forward to see what the future brings for this brand.
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Lincoln Canada.
If you enjoyed this review, feel free to check out my other vehicle reviews under the car reviews tab at the top of my blog.
Pricing: 2018 Lincoln Continental
Base price (Reserve AWD trim): $61,650
Options: $3,000 3.0L engine; $5,500 Luxury Package; $750 30-way MultiContour seats; $5,000 rear seat package; $4,000 technology package; $150 floor mats
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $82,150