For a softer ride
It seems that over the years the auto makers have forgotten about those individuals that really enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride. The kind of ride that soaks up many of the bumps and dips we encounter every day. Well Lincoln has answered their wishes with the new Continental. This car is big, comfortable and has a smooth ride that few cars can rival today.
My ties with the Continental go back to a 1964 model my friend had in the mid-70s, in fact it was the first car I ever drove after I obtained my temporary driver’s licence. Having driven many Lincolns, I will be the first to say that this new Continental is a lot like but genuinely better than its predecessors.
The test car I was given was the Continental Reserve – the upper model in the two car line-up. The car lists for a reasonable $60,500 but once you start to add all the extras, this Continental creeps up to $80,450 minus sales tax. I have almost forgotten how much luxury and comfort features you can put into a full-sized car.
On the outside the Continental looks stylish without looking like an old man’s car. The lines are nicely sculptured to give the car a presence but not overdone and nothing harking back to Continentals of old. The glass roof even allows the rear passengers a sky view.
Where the Lincoln engineers really did their work was inside the car. Hear you find big comfortable seats that adjust to almost every body type. The seats in my car even had a massage feature – something those on long trips would greatly appreciate. This Continental has the biggest back seat area I have seen short of a limousine. The car has two prominent seats that are about as comfortable as they come in a back seat configuration. The optional aft sound system controls make sitting in the rear as much better than almost any other car of this class. Now, if needed the center console will fold up to allow
for a middle passenger.
Topping off the luxury features is an innovative electric push-button inside the door handles. Just press with your thumb while holding the handle and the door pops open, and yes it takes a little getting used to, as we have all been conditioned to pull a handle to exit.
All these options come with a price, and that is weight. Powering this full-sized Continental is a 400 horsepower with a 3.0-liter twin turbo all aluminum V6 engine. As you might expect, add 400 lb-ft of torque and you have a car that is very quick. As well, you can shift this all-wheel drive (AWD) six-speed automatic with paddle shifters if the urge hits you.
Even though the Continental can soak up the bumps, handling is very good. In and out of corners the car grips the road well and the added benefit of the AWD aids when the roads are wet or snow-covered. Accelerating and passing on the highway are also very respectable, making any long distance touring relaxed.
The Continental is just a little bit different from the trend for fast, good handling cars with stiff suspensions. It bucks the trends by offering the driver a softer ride without sacrificing good handling. I have to admit I was impressed with this car’s quality and good road manners. How people react to this new kind of ride will determine whether the other manufactures will follow suit in the future.
Motor: 3.0-L twin turbo V6
Torque (lb-ft): 400
Layout: Front engine all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 14.4 L/100 km city 9.7 L/100 km highway