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2019 Lincoln Continental: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/18/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked next to a body of water: 2019 Lincoln Continental© Ford Motor Company 2019 Lincoln Continental

The 2019 Lincoln Continental is relegated to the bottom half of our competitive luxury large car rankings because it doesn't impress in any notable areas.


The 2019 Lincoln Continental is ranked:

Is the Lincoln Continental a Good Car?

The Lincoln Continental is an OK large luxury car. It serves up a massive back seat and straightforward tech features. The interior quality is nice, but not as elegant as what some rivals deliver. Powerful optional engines are offset by low fuel economy and a transmission that can be clunky at low speeds and shift at inappropriate times. The Continental has a decent size trunk, but its shallow depth limits utility.

Should I Buy the Lincoln Continental?

The main appeal of the 2019 Continental is its price and value. At a little more than $46,000, it's the least expensive car in the class, though it comes with a lot of standard amenities, including heated seats, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. New for this model year, the Continental comes standard with several driver assistance features, including blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

These plusses, however, can’t hide the fact that many of the Continental’s rivals are simply better. Some of their interiors are more upscale, their technology is more cutting edge, and their powertrains are much more refined. Both the Cadillac CT6 and the BMW 5 Series are fun to drive and have potent engines. Though they cost more than a Continental, both are well-rounded choices.

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln Continental?

Ford resurrected the Lincoln Continental for the 2017 model year. The 2018 model saw no major changes, but the 2019 Continental added more standard driver assistance and active safety tech, including blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. These features were options in earlier models, so you may find 2017 or 2018 models equipped with them. Going with a used Continental will likely save you thousands of dollars, and you'll get a car that's very similar to the new Continental. We recommend going for a used model, unless you have your eye on the special 2019 Continental Coach Door Edition, available in limited numbers and by special order only.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Continental and 2018 Continental reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 23 Lincoln Continental reviews – along with performance specs, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Continental is the right new car for you. This 2019 Lincoln Continental review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lincoln Continental Cost?

The 2019 Lincoln Continental starts at $46,145, which is the lowest starting price among luxury large cars. The Select and Reserve trims start at $49,945 and $59,710, respectively. You can outfit any of these three Lincoln Continental vehicles with all-wheel drive for another $2,000. The top-of-the-line Continental Black Label starts at a about $70,000, which is still a relative bargain for the class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Lincoln dealer.

Lincoln Continental Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln Continental or Cadillac CT6?

The Cadillac CT6 places in the middle of our luxury large car rankings, and though it costs several thousand dollars more, it's a better choice than the Continental. This Cadillac has dynamic performance, with engaging handling and a lineup of muscular engines. Additionally, it gets better fuel economy numbers than the Continental. Both cars have lots of passenger room and a good, but not great, interior quality. The Lincoln has one notable advantage over the Cadillac: price. With its many standard advanced safety features, the base Continental is a better value than the standard CT6.

Which Is Better: Lincoln Continental or BMW 5 Series?

The BMW 5 Series is a luxury midsize car with a starting price that's about $7,000 more than the Continental's. If you have the room in your budget, choosing the 5 Series is a no-brainer. This BMW pairs athletic handling with a posh ride, and it has a stable of a half-dozen available engines. You'd be hard-pressed to find a high-end luxury car that's more fun to drive than the 5 Series. Inside, the 5 Series' cabin is full of elegant materials and user-friendly tech. You'll get a bigger trunk with the BMW, though not the rear-seat space you’ll find in the Continental. There are few reasons beside cost to go with the Continental instead of the 5 Series.

Continental Interior

How Many People Does the Continental Seat?

The Lincoln Continental sedan seats five people. Accommodations are excellent whether you're in the front or back seat. Standard 10-way power-adjustable front seats make it easy to find a relaxing position, and you can opt for 24- or 30-way multi-contour front seats. Heated front seats are also standard, and both upgraded configurations include ventilation. The front seats provide day-long comfort, but the cabin design makes this area feel smaller than it is.

There's lots of second-row legroom, so even taller adults can stretch out and not worry about hitting the seat in front of them. Headroom is sufficient, but taller people will find themselves pinched. You can upgrade to heated and ventilated, power reclining rear seats with four-way power lumbar adjustments.

Continental and Car Seats

The Continental has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connections on the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has a dedicated tether anchor, and it can borrow lower anchors from each side, but doing so renders the side seat useless for a car seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Continental's LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for overall ease of use. The organization's only gripe is that the lower anchors are set too deep in the seat cushion.

Continental Interior Quality

This newest iteration of the classic Continental nameplate mostly lives up to the car's reputation for class and refinement. Though there are some plastic surfaces and pieces, everything is soft to the touch and nicely textured. Metal and wood trim accents enhance the luxury feel. One point of contention among critics is the general build quality, or fit and finish. Some think the car feels solid, while others note that it's subpar.

Continental Cargo Space

The Lincoln Continental has 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is good for a large luxury sedan. That beats the 15.3 cubic feet in the Cadillac CT6 but falls short of the 18.7 cubic feet in the BMW 5 Series – a midsize luxury car.

The Continental's trunk opening is wide, and the cargo hold is long and open. However, there's not a lot of space between the trunk floor and the top of the trunk.

Continental Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Continental's list of standard features is typical for a luxury sedan. The standard touch-screen SYNC 3 infotainment system comes with satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The interface is easy to use, with simple menus and quick processing times. There are also lots of physical buttons on the center stack for volume, tuning, and climate controls.

Other standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, and remote start. Optional amenities include tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, HD Radio, a 13- or 19-speaker Revel premium stereo, two second-row USB ports, and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

Continental Performance

Continental Engine: Trio of V6s

The 2019 Lincoln Continental gives you a choice of three V6 engines. The standard offering is 3.7 liters with an output of 305 horsepower. It's good enough for daily driving, but it won't throw you back in your seat when you hit the gas. For more authoritative acceleration, look to one of two twin-turbocharged V6 variants. The midrange power plant is 2.7 liters and puts out 335 horsepower, while a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 makes 400 horsepower.

All three engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that does little to enhance their performance. The transmission sometimes lurches between gears, and it feels unrefined and inconsistent.

Continental Gas Mileage: Need a Lot of Fuel to Cross the Continent

With its standard naturally aspirated V6, the 2019 Continental gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are low for a luxury large car. This Lincoln gets its best fuel economy with the smaller twin-turbo V6, coming in at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Gas mileage drops to 16/24 mpg city/highway with the all-wheel-drive versions of the base engine and the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6.

Continental Ride and Handling: Prim and Proper

With its lack of steering feedback and little feel from the road, the Continental is not particularly sporty. Despite its size, however, you can easily maneuver it in tight spaces. The Continental absorbs most pavement imperfections, but the ride quality feels a little stiff over harsh bumps and impacts.

Continental Reliability

Is the Lincoln Continental Reliable?

The 2019 Lincoln Continental belongs to a generation that typically earns above-average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power, though ratings for 2019 aren't yet available.

Lincoln Continental Warranty

Lincoln covers the Continental with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Continental Safety

Continental Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Lincoln Continental a five-star overall crash test rating, with five out of five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

Continental Safety Features

The 2019 Continental comes loaded with driver assistance and advanced safety features. You'll get everything from a rearview camera and parking sensors to automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The Continental also comes with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

Optional safety features include automatic parking assist, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera.

Which Lincoln Continental Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Lincoln Continental comes in four trims: base, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. Your powertrain choices differ by trim, but the Select model is a good choice for its combination of features and value. It builds on the base model's long list of standard amenities with comforts that you expect in a luxury vehicle, like leather seats and navigation. The Select trim also gives you access to a couple option packages.

Lincoln Continental

The 2019 Lincoln Continental starts at $46,145. It comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional for $2,000. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, and the MyKey driver monitoring system.

The standard SYNC 3 infotainment system features an 8-inch touch screen, a 10-speaker stereo, and satellite radio. Standard driver assistance features include front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

Lincoln Continental Select

For $49,945, the Continental Select comes with the same powertrain as the base model but adds leather upholstery, a hands-free trunk, power-closing doors, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, two second-row USB ports, and navigation.

The Continental Climate package costs $795 and comes with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. You can also add a twin-panel moonroof for $1,750, a 13-speaker Revel premium stereo for $1,130, and ventilated, 30-way power-adjustable multi-contour front seats for $1,500.

Lincoln Continental Reserve

The Lincoln Continental Reserve, starting at $59,710, comes with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. A 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine adds $5,265 to the base price, but all-wheel drive is included in that upgrade. Additional features in this trim include 24-way power-adjustable and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, HD Radio, a 13-speaker Revel stereo, automatic parking assist, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera.

The $3,000 Rear-Seat Amenities package adds ventilated, power-reclining, and four-way power lumber adjustments for the rear seats, as well as sunshades and a special center console. The 30-way power-adjustable front seats and a 19-speaker Revel stereo are also optional.

Lincoln Continental Black Label

The range-topping Lincoln Continental Black Label retails for $70,045. It has the same standard and optional powertrains as the Continental Reserve. The Black Label trim comes standard with the 30-way multi-contour front seats, upgraded leather, and the 19-speaker stereo. The Rear Seat Amenities package is available in this trim, as are several design packages that upgrade the look and feel of the cabin.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lincoln dealer.

The Final Call

The 2019 Lincoln Continental is an appealing choice for a luxury large car if only for its below-average starting price. However, that and its other positives, including a spacious cabin and a straightforward infotainment system, aren't enough to justify buying it over a wide selection of higher-ranking rivals.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Lincoln Continental review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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