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2020 Lincoln Continental Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.2

The 2020 Lincoln Continental has a decent but not thrilling base engine, uninspiring handling, and a choppy ride quality at times. The two optional twin-turbocharged engines are more potent and provide quicker acceleration.

  • "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-like and more akin to Mercedes-Benz or Lexus in its approach to driving. There's calm confidence in this car that German sedans lack." -- Autotrader
  • "Braking performance is strong, and the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 pulls hard off the line. The sedan begins to show cracks when it's driven with excitement. The steering is vague and inconsistent at speed, and the transmission sometimes shifts with a clunk. … This is a car best driven on a slow and steady cruise." -- Edmunds
  • "The Lincoln Continental is not a sporty sedan, but it can be quick. Unflustered yet rapid freeway progress is the Continental’s strength, and that’s with any one of the three engines available. Naturally, there are selectable driving modes, one of which is Sport (perking up throttle response, transmission shift points and suspension damping)." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Lincoln Continental comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower. A 335-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 is optional, as is a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Continental's standard engine has merely adequate power, and the transmission struggles to find the right gear. Both optional engines deliver better acceleration.

The base engine with front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is poor for the luxury large car class. With all-wheel drive, the Continental's fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

Models with the 2.7-liter V6 engine get 18/27 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 17/25 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive-only 3.0-liter engine gets 16/24 mpg.

  • "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." -- Autotrader
  • "Two twin-turbocharged V6 engines offer some excitement, but the Continental never feels comfortable in its own skin." -- Edmunds
  • "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. Occasionally it lurched into second gear as if the car were hiccuping." -- Car and Driver (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Continental has composed handling, but it lacks feedback from the road, and steering response is lazy. Ride quality is decent, though the Continental rides roughly over some surfaces. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "The suspension … hinders its luxury credentials. Comfort mode smooths over road imperfections, but the sedan sends a noticeable chatter into the cabin in any suspension setting. This lack of refinement is the car's biggest flaw when it comes to ride quality." -- Edmunds
  • "Driving enthusiasts won't find satisfaction in the Continental's cushy ride and isolated steering feel. The Lincoln performs well, but it's for luxury lovers, not g-force junkies. It cruises effortlessly. Its cabin is quiet and plush. And its overall driving character is relaxed." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The big Lincoln eats up highway miles like a proper large sedan, though the suspension occasionally struggled to soak up sharp bumps in the road. Our test car was fitted with 19-inch wheels, so expect increased harshness if you opt for 20-inch wheels." -- Motor Trend (2017)
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2020 Lincoln Continental

MSRP: $46,305 - $75,470

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