Luxurious Flagship Sedan: 2017 Lincoln Continental

By Matthew Keegan

2017 Lincoln Continental

A new flagship sedan for Lincoln.

2017 Lincoln Continental Black Label AWD.

One of the most storied model names in autodom is back, as in Continental by Lincoln. The all-new model and flagship sedan provides a much-needed boost for a marque that once claimed top-selling status amongst luxury brands. In more recent years Lincoln has languished in eighth place, trailing all three German and three Japanese luxury brands as well as its American adversary, Cadillac.

The 2017 Lincoln Continental replaces the forgettable MKS, supplying a longer wheelbase for upholding what’s nothing less than a dignified canvas. The Continental advances a new design language, also evident on the smaller MKZ and soon to appear on the 2018 Navigator. A new one-piece grille, with a signature Lincoln logo honeycomb mesh, amplifies the current expression.

The 2017 Continental offers few surprises as it maintains the silhouette of the concept Continental introduced at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. That concept was the most discussed Lincoln products showcased in at least a generation. The one design change made since then was a significant one — the elimination of suicide doors (front-hinged first-row doors; rear-hinged second-row doors). Figure that safety regulations and/or insurance considerations influenced that change.

Bringing the Continental name back was a stroke of marketing genius and timed perfectly. Continental is a name familiar to mature Americans — its reappearance comes as Lincoln celebrates its centennial this summer. Last found on a Lincoln product in 2002, the name is synonymous with full-size luxury, although the Town Car was the brand’s de facto flagship until its 2011 demise.

2017 Lincoln Continental

Through the intervening years, much of Lincoln’s product line offered a series of models with a three-letter designation, with the first two M and K. That was Lincoln’s way of aligning its naming convention with what other luxury brands were doing —deemphasizing individual models, while drawing full attention to the make.

But Lincoln’s methodology has always been confusing, especially to Lincoln loyalists who never understood the change. Resurrecting Continental suggests that the three-letter naming convention will gradually disappear. In any case, at least Lincoln now has Continental and Navigator to lead the way down a trusted and established path, with MKC, MKT, MKX and MKZ models following.

A stretched version of the platform underpinning the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ powers the Continental. Here, Lincoln added about six inches between the wheels to provide excellent legroom front and back. Thus, the Lincoln offers a slightly longer wheelbase than an Audi A6, but is shorter than the Audi A8L. Other models to compare, include the BMW 5 Series, Genesis G80, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volvo S90, Lexus GS, and the Cadillac XTS.

2017 Lincoln Continental

The 2017 Lincoln Continental is available in four grades: Premiere ($44,720), Select ($47,675), Reserve ($54,075) and Black Label ($63,075). Add $925 for the destination charge. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available as a $2,000 option. My test model was a 2017 Continental Black Label all-wheel drive carrying a near-$80,000 price tag.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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