2018 Lincoln Continental

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MSRP: $45,160 - 67,415

2018 Lincoln Continental Review

The 2018 Lincoln Continental finishes near the bottom of our luxury large car rankings. With its somewhat lackluster interior and rough-shifting transmission, it fails to stand out among most rivals.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Strong turbocharged engines
  • Outstanding front seats
  • Comfortable ride
  • Lower starting price than rivals
  • Rivals have nicer cabins, more up-to-date tech, and larger trunks
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • Unimpressive transmission

Is the Lincoln Continental a Good Car?

The Lincoln Continental is a decent car, but there are better choices in the luxury large car class. It has a powerful engine lineup, a comfortable ride, plush front seats, a long list of standard and available features, and an above-average predicted reliability rating.

However, many rivals in the class deliver more agile handling, stronger engine options, or better fuel efficiency (and in a few cases, all three). You can also find competitors with more advanced tech features and nicer cabins.

Should I Buy the Lincoln Continental?

If you’re shopping for a big luxury sedan, the Continental shouldn't be your first choice. Unless, of course, your budget is a little tight. If that’s the case, you may like the Continental for its lowest-in-class starting price. Still, there are many rivals out there that provide more bang for your buck or are all-around better cars.

The Cadillac CT6 and Volvo S90 are both more expensive than the Lincoln, but they’re also better options. They have the posh interiors you'd expect from a luxury vehicle, along with solid driving dynamics. The Lincoln MKZ will save you lots of money over the Continental – just note it is a smaller vehicle.

Compare the Continental, CT6, and S90 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lincoln Continental?

Lincoln resurrected the Continental as an all-new model for the 2017 model year. The Continental saw no changes for 2018, so if you're open to driving a used car, you could likely save money and get a nearly identical car with the 2017 Continental. To do more research about a used model, check out our review of the 2017 Lincoln Continental. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for information on incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 Lincoln Continental »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 23 Lincoln Continental reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2018 Continental is the right new car for you. This 2018 Lincoln Continental review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our editorial team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our reviews are unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or incentives from car companies, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Lincoln Continental Cost?

The Continental’s base (Premiere trim) price is around $45,000, which is one of the lowest starting prices in the class. There are three higher trims (Select, Reserve, and Black Label), with the top-of-the-line Black Label starting at around $69,600. That’s still lower than some competitors’ base prices.

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

Lincoln Continental Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lincoln Continental or Cadillac CT6?

The Cadillac CT6 has arguably the nicest interior in the class, and it stays quiet inside even at highway speeds. While both the Continental and CT6 have comfortable and spacious front seats, the Cadillac offers more rear headroom for taller passengers. The CT6 also has one of the longest features lists in the class. Like the Continental, the CT6 offers several engine options, but its base engine gets better gas mileage than any of the Continental's powertrains. The Cadillac's highest trim also has a more powerful engine than anything in the Continental's lineup. While the Continental is tuned for comfortable cruising, the CT6 exhibits more agility when driving. All things considered, the CT6 is a better buy than the Continental.

Which Is Better: Lincoln Continental or Volvo S90?

The Volvo S90 is a well-rounded luxury midsize sedan. It retails for just a few thousand dollars more than the Continental. For your money, you'll get loads of high-tech features and technology, including many semiautonomous driving functions. The S90 is also incredibly refined inside and offers ample space and comfort wherever you sit. Both cars have solid engine options and composed handling, but the S90 has better acceleration due to its lighter weight and supercharged engine. The S90's trunk is a bit smaller, but overall the Volvo is the better bet.

Which Is Better: Lincoln Continental or Lincoln MKZ?

The Lincoln Continental and Lincoln MKZ have a lot of similarities, including features availability, interior quality, and ride comfort. As a luxury midsize sedan, the MKZ costs a lot less than its larger sibling – but you’ll also sacrifice some cabin space. Those who prioritize fuel efficiency should check out the MKZ's available hybrid powertrain, which gets significantly better mileage than both the Continental and MKZ base engines. If you need extra cargo and passenger space, go with the Continental. Otherwise, save some money by getting the MKZ.

Compare the Continental, S90, and MKZ »

Continental Interior

How Many People Does the Continental Seat?

The Continental seats five and is easy to get into and out of thanks to its large doors. The intuitive E-Latch exterior door handles operate electronically, providing a soft open and close. The front seats are among the best in the class. The rear seats have plenty of legroom, but headroom is tight for taller people.

Continental and Car Seats

This Lincoln has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors are easy to find and identify, but the lower anchors are set a little too deep in the seat. Other than that, the anchors are easy to use.

Continental Interior Quality

The Continental has a quality interior and uses high-end materials in general. However, there are a few spots where materials quality is lacking, leaving this Lincoln a notch below the competition.

Continental Cargo Space

The Continental’s trunk has 16.7 cubic feet of space, which is smaller than some rivals’ trunks. The available hands-free power trunk lid is a nice feature, and the trunk’s opening is nice and wide. The liftover height is low as well. Unfortunately, because of the trunk’s shape – wide but not that deep – you might not be able to fit bulky items. Still, nearly 17 cubic feet is plenty of room for several sets of golf clubs or more than a dozen shopping bags.

Continental Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Continental’s standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and voice recognition. Available features include tri-zone automatic climate control, two rear-seat USB charging ports, two Revel audio systems, and navigation.

There’s no shortage of technology available in this Lincoln, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system lets you control things from a user-friendly touch screen. There are even physical controls for many functions if that’s more your speed. But it’s worth noting that many rivals have more advanced tech features than the Continental.

Read more about interior »

Continental Performance

Continental Engine: Go for Turbo

You have three V6 engine choices in the Continental sedan. The base engine puts out 305 horsepower and has adequate power for daily driving – but not much else. The 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged engine delivers plenty of power and acceleration, but it also costs the most. The best choice is the 335-horsepower turbocharged V6, which has quick acceleration and feels nearly as strong as the 400-horsepower engine.

All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that will likely disappoint you with its erratic, rough shifts.

Continental Gas Mileage: Not This Lincoln’s Strong Suit

With the base engine, the Continental gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which are below-average ratings for a luxury large car. The 335-horsepower engine gets the best ratings (18/27 mpg city/highway), though they’re only slightly better than what the base engine gets.

It’s worth noting that the Continental takes regular gasoline, whereas many rivals require premium. Still, the Continental will cost you a little more each year in gas money than the Cadillac CT6. It will save you about $250 per year compared to the Mercedes-Benz CLS, though the Mercedes-Benz does have a V8 engine.

Continental Ride and Handling: Take a Cruise

The Continental’s soft ride and composed handling make it a great cruising vehicle. It’s not the most athletic car, but it maneuvers well despite its size and has sturdy brakes. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

Continental Reliability

Is the Lincoln Continental Reliable?

The 2018 Lincoln Continental has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D Power. Three is considered average.

Lincoln Continental Warranty

Lincoln covers the Continental with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. These are good warranty terms for a luxury large car.

Read more about reliability »

Continental Safety

Continental Crash Test Results

The 2018 Lincoln Continental sedan earned five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was also named a 2018 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+, which is the organization's highest honor. The Continental received that distinction after earning a Good rating in all six physical crash tests and its headlight performance, as well as a Superior rating for its forward crash prevention systems.

Continental Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include front and rear parking sensors, park assist, a rearview camera, and MyKey, which lets you set speed and audio volume limits for others driving your car. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pre-collision automatic braking, pedestrian detection, enhanced park assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system.

Read more about safety »

Which Lincoln Continental Model Is Right for Me?

There are four Continental trims, and all feature one of three V6 engines. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all trims are available with all-wheel drive for an extra $2,000.

Unless you must have the premium luxury features, the Select trim is a great choice. It has a lower starting price than many other cars in the class, and it’s available with plenty of comfort and convenience features.

Lincoln Continental Premiere

The Continental Premiere has a starting price of around $45,160. It comes with the base V6 engine, and it doesn’t offer anything notable beyond the standard features.

Lincoln Continental Select

The Continental Select starts at around $49,370. In addition to the base features, the Select comes with a hands-free power trunk lid, two USB ports for rear-seat passengers, and navigation. The Select is available with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 for $2,250. You can add a moonroof for $1,750 and 30-way power-adjustable massaging front seats for $1,500. The Climate package ($850) adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. You can also add a 13-speaker Revel audio system for $1,130.

Lincoln Continental Reserve

The Continental Reserve has a starting price of $54,785. It comes with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine, 24-way power-adjustable front seats, ventilated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The Technology package (about $4,200) adds lane keep assist, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, a 360-degree camera, and many more features. The Rear Seat package ($4,300) includes heated and cooled rear seats, power-reclining rear seats, a twin-panel moonroof, and more. You can also add the Climate package, the massaging front seats, the moonroof, and a 19-speaker Revel audio system as standalone options.

Lincoln Continental Black Label

The Continental Black Label starts at $69,630. It comes with upgraded leather upholstery, HD Radio, the 19-speaker Revel audio system, and a heated steering wheel. It offers the same option packages as the Reserve trim.

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

See 2018 Lincoln Continental specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Lincoln Continental is a good car, but it finishes near the bottom of our class rankings because many rivals are simply better vehicles. The Lincoln has powerful available engines, rides smoothly, and is comfortable inside, but it’s not a class leader in any of these areas. If you’re looking at luxury large cars, there are better options that provide more value.

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

  • Lincoln introduced its new Continental just last year. The result is an undeniably handsome car with expansive rear legroom, a full suite of optional technology upgrades and a quiet, comfortable interior. Unfortunately, the Continental straddles a price range where it has trouble competing. In lower trims, the rather unimpressive standard engine and lack of certain standard features make the Continental a slightly less appealing value. In higher trims – which can get up to almost double the Continental's base price, at least from an an-new MSRP perspective – the Lincoln is priced against some of the best luxury sedans on the market, and simply can't match their refinement." -- Edmunds
  • But on the broader automotive stage, the Continental is a small step forward for a brand that needed a leap. Ultra-comfortable seats, fancy doors, and powerful engines only go so far. There's nothing wrong with Lincoln's 'quiet luxury' mantra, and there's room for a brand that's about a traditional American luxury approach. But a flagship Lincoln needs to get the details right and improve on the little things before it can enjoy more rarified air." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • As we said, the Continental is a work in progress. Some of the basic ingredients are there, including the design, the surfeit of modern amenities such as the fully updated Sync 3 infotainment system—alas, still lacking a center control knob, so inputs are touchscreen or voice control only—and a variety of powertrain and driveline options to suit many needs. It just needs polishing, a process that has taken Cadillac and Audi, two other reinvented luxury marques, some 20 years to pull off. At least Lincoln has finally taken its first steps." -- Car and Driver (2017)
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