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2017 Lincoln Continental Review - Riding in First Class By Larry Nutson +VIDEO

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2017 Lincoln Continental
Riding in First Class

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

“This interior is really nice” said my wife shortly after getting comfortable in the front passenger seat of the all-new 2017 Continental I was driving.

The 2017 Lincoln Continental is all about the interior and providing lots of luxury and comfort for the driver and passengers.

Lincoln calls the Continental’s seats “Perfect Position,” offering a personalized comfort experience with available massage and enhanced adjustability, up to 30 ways. I experimented with their many adjustments that include changes in curvature and support of the backrest.

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My octogenarian mother-in-law happened to be visiting. She commented on the ease of entry through the wide rear doors. And, she liked the gentle push of a button on the armrest being all that was needed to open them. The doors have a power close feature and the inside door button as well as the beltline-mounted outside handle simply are microswitches to actuate the electronic locks.

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There’s a lot to like about the interior of the Continental. It’s quiet. The design elements are clean and the materials top class. It’s plush and comfortable. It’s no wonder Ward’s named it to their 10 Best Interior list for 2017.

To quote Ward’s, “the Continental is much more than comfy seats. Its interior design is fresh and invigorating, a reminder of what made Lincoln an iconic brand of American style so many years ago. It refuses to emulate other luxury marques.”

Just like we live inside our homes, we drive inside our cars and that’s where we need to be happy, relaxed and comfortable.

Following a number of rides in the Continental my wife said “I could drive this car. I won’t say I love the outside, but it’s OK. However I do love the inside.”

We had been driving the 2017 Continental Reserve all-wheel drive model priced at $55,915. The 400HP 3.0-L twin turbo V6 added $3,265. A $5,000 Luxury Package, $1,500 for those 30-way seats, and $3,105 for technology that included active park assist (my mother-in-law was amazed to watch this work), adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera and more good driver-assistance safety features brought the total to $70,405 with shipping.

Premier and Select models are offered, in addition to the Reserve. There’s also a Black Label top of the line to consider with three designer themes – Rhapsody, Chalet and Thoroughbred.

There also two other engine offerings, a 305 HP V6 and a 335 HP twin-turbo V6. Each of the three engines have quite similar EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings in the range of 19 to 21 mpg combined. I got in the neighborhood of 15.5 mpg in my gentle around town drives that compared well to the EPA test-cycle rating of 16 mpg city.

There’s a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive and each of the three engines use a six-speed automatic with a push-button gear selector to get power to the wheels.

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The driver has a choice of three drive settings – comfort, normal and sport – adapting steering and suspension settings to tailor ride and handling. I guess this is a nice-to-have feature even on a luxury sedan. If I was driving to my mountain retreat I might want some tighter control. I did wonder what type of Continental driver would use the shift paddles.

I drove the Continental as it was intended -- gradual accelerations; gentle, smooth stops; moderate speeds.

The Continental and all its room for five passengers and their luggage is long at 201.4 inch. Sometimes I wished I was in the backseat and I had my own driver.

The Chinese market is important for Lincoln and many of the design elements, size decisions and features were taken to meet that market’s needs. Often is the case that the car owner in China is indeed riding in the back seat with his or her private driver at the controls. Rear passengers enjoy limousine-like comfort with their own audio and climate control, adjustable sunshades, and reclining, heated, cooled and massaging seats.

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From the outside the nice flow of lines and broad rear shoulders evoke confidence. The front grille with its Bentley-look is attractive.

A good part of enjoying any car is the ownership experience. Lincoln offers standard Pickup and Delivery Service. With this exclusive service, a Lincoln Valet will pick up a customer’s vehicle at an agreed location, provide a complimentary Lincoln loaner vehicle, and then take the vehicle to the dealership for service or maintenance. Once service is complete, customers arrange for their washed and serviced vehicle to be returned to them at the location of their choice.

As an extension of this service, launched first in Miami and now San Diego, the Lincoln Chauffeur service provides a trained driver to escort customers to appointments, run errands, and refuel and wash the vehicle while the client isn’t using it. The service is a pilot program and costs $30 per hour, though customers participating in the pilot get $250 in complimentary service, which amounts to about eight hours of free service.

The Continental is built in Michigan with prices starting at $44,560. More information and specifications can be found at

Lincoln closed out 2016 with about a ten percent increase in U.S. sales. For the first quarter of 2017 sales gains continue.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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