$33,487 - $55,157

2019 Lincoln Continental Performance Review


Performance: 7.4

The 2019 Lincoln Continental has a trio of capable engines, but its transmission leaves something to be desired. The Continental also gets unimpressive fuel economy for its class. Handling prioritizes comfort and confidence over agility.

  • "The Continental can be a competent performer, but it varies depending on the trim level and configuration. The Reserve — fitted with the optional turbo V6, AWD and adaptive suspension — offers strong acceleration and stable if numb handling. Other Continentals will be less impressive." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite its big horsepower numbers, available all-wheel drive and low and hunkered-down stance, the 2018 Lincoln Continental is not a sports sedan. It's quick and it can cruise comfortably at 100 mph all day if you bought up the Mojave with your lottery winnings, but driving enthusiasts won't find satisfaction in the Continental's cushy ride and isolated steering feel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "More than any Lincoln I've sampled in years, this feels like a proper luxury car, easily competitive with established luxury players in its powertrain and chassis refinement." -- Cars.com (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The 2019 Continental comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower. It gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive, which are low estimates for the class. With all-wheel drive, that engine gets 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. A 335-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine is optional. It earns 18/27 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 17/25 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. Also optional is a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, which gets 16/24 mpg. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base V6 engine has sufficient power for daily driving, but the optional twin-turbocharged variants are much more potent. The six-speed automatic delivers imprecise shifts and struggles to find the right gear.

  • "In typical driving, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 feels confident and authoritative and sounds strong. It's aggressive off the line and through the midrange but runs out of grunt and shifts early at 6,000 rpm. … The transmission is mostly smooth, if a little slushy, but it occasionally shifts with a palpable, disruptive clunk at low speeds. Paddle shifting isn't as quick or direct as in rivals." -- Edmunds
  • "The new Continental has three different engines. We spent time in a Reserve model equipped with the most powerful engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo making 400 hp. This is an excellent engine that delivers an urgency you wouldn't expect given the stylish exterior. There are 2.7- and 3.7-liter engines offered as well. The 2-wheel-drive models are pulled by their front wheels, leaving us to recommend AWD for those who prefer a more performance-oriented driving experience." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "… the car rockets off with the gas pedal pushed barely a third of the way into its short stroke. And that's in the standard drive mode. Select the Sport mode by pushing the S button, located below D on the console (this sport setting being the only other drive mode offered), and the throttle jumpiness becomes downright annoying. There's no way to be subtle in the Continental, no way to merely waft past a slower car. … The six-speed automatic transmission proved another rough spot. It can shift at odd times, and often it doesn't work transparently, especially on mid-throttle roll-offs from the line." -- Car and Driver (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Continental comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. Handling is poised and stable, but the car lacks steering feedback and athleticism. The Continental has a generally good ride quality over most surfaces, but it feels more unrefined than some rivals.

  • "The Continental is a competent handler, but the steering makes it harder to trust. … The adaptive suspension offers several modes. While Comfort mode is a bit bouncy and floaty, it does ease larger road imperfections. Sport or Comfort, though, you can feel the high-frequency chatter of the suspension working on uneven pavement. It's not as refined as similarly priced competitors." -- Edmunds
  • "The Lincoln performs well, but it's for luxury lovers, not g-force junkies. … Its cabin is quiet and plush. And its overall driving character is relaxed. The Continental does have a Sport mode that livens its steering, suspension and throttle response, however, which does make it a bit more fun to drive, but the Lincoln is best for long and straight highway runs and when used as an isolation chamber in the hustle and bustle of the urban sprawl." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "On the road, the Continental is quiet and powerful. There's a hint of sportiness, but this isn't an all-out performance sedan. It's less BMW and more Mercedes-Benz/Lexus in its approach to driving. There's a calm confidence to this car that German sedans lack." -- Autotrader (2018)

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