The new Continental. I like it. So many don’t. At least, on social media. I am co-admin on a Facebook Lincoln and Continental group, and whenever someone posts a 2017-present Continental, the whining commences. Oh yes.
How so Klockau, you may ask. Well, you see, a lot of angry folks on social media tend to foam at the mouth whenever someone, like your author, posts a new Lincoln Continental. “Dagnabit, that’s NOT a Lincoln! A Lincoln should have suicide doors, a stand-up hood ornament, and crushed velour!
Well. Here’s the thing. Most of the folks who love to bitch about new Lincolns with front wheel drive and turbo fours or V6s-basically anything that is newer than a 2003-11 Town Car-have never, NEVER, purchased a new Lincoln. Late model, perhaps. Certified, pre-owned, perhaps. But new? Brand new? Special ordered at the dealer, new? Nope! Never.
Ford Motor Company knows this. So they ignored the angry old folks who have never bought a new Lincoln in their life, and did modern luxury the way they wanted to. And let me tell you, the results are nice. Last Thursday, after work, I drove over to Strieter Lincoln, my local dealer, who has most satisfactorily maintained my two Town Cars since 2013, and asked to try out a new Continental. And Peter Clarke, my favorite salesman, a veteran of Brougham sales for nigh on thirty years, happily acquiesced.
True, I had previously driven a Continental at Napleton Lincoln at an LCOC event in October 2016, with a friendly salesman and my Brougham partner in crime, Jim Smith, in Chicagoland. But it was one of those fun but short drives, with a chaperone and no real chance to floor it and have some fun. It was fun, but, ya know, not FUN.
My short test of the 2017 Continental, though, was positive. Was it a Town Car? No. But it was nice. Silent, smooth, and nary a squeak from it while driving over railroad tracks at 40 mph. But I wanted more. I wanted some time. And I got it.
My local dealer, Strieter Lincoln of Davenport, Iowa, has been great to my Town Cars. And I’ve tested several cars there that have appeared on this fine site. So last Thursday, after work, I drove over there and asked my favorite salesman, Peter Clarke, to try out a new 2018 Continental thoroughly before the snow entered stage left.
He delivered in spades, handing me the keys to the showgirl of the lot.
Sitting right out front on Kimberly Road, a Ruby Red metallic Continental Reserve with every option, stickered at $67,995. And with a mere 9.3 miles on the clock.
I hopped in and fired it up. Gold-toned gauges appeared on the LCD cluster. It took a moment for me to find the parking brake release (automatic, no lever, sitting on the instrument panel to the left and below the steering wheel), but once I did I pressed ‘D’ on the push button transmission adjacent to the radio/GPS screen and got underway.
It was smooth. Quiet. The 2.7L twin-turbo V6 advanced the new Continental with authority. My test car was an AWD Reserve, with 17 city and 25 highway mpg ratings. Said mill produces 335 hp at 5700 rpm and has 380 lb-ft of torque.
I found acceleration to be very good. Also available on new Continentals is a 3.7L Ti-VCT V6, with 305 hp. Or if you really want some motor-vation, the twin-turbo 3.0 V6, with 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Yes, really. All those angry old folks who want Lincoln to bring back the 2011 Town Car will easily have their doors sucked off by one of these Connies!
How was it? It was nice. Definitely a top-tier luxury car. Smooth. Silent. Plenty of oomph from the V6 under the mill, though you will understand I didn’t step on it too hard, as it was a brand-new car. I may review new cars for fun, but I’m not one of those free-trip shrimp-gulping fools who fly in on the manufacturer’s dime and wrap their great new car around a tree or retaining wall.
I did see a wreck almost after it happened though. There I was, rolling east on 53rd in Davenport, when at a light I saw a fresh accident. The Ford 500 was under the chassis of the Subie. The Subie’s front wheel was still rotating. It must have happened in the previous minute or so; no traffic was backed up yet. I moved my ruby red luxocruiser into the turn lane and got the hell out of there, posthaste.
And this really is a modern American luxocruiser. Is it a 1961 Continental? No. Is it a 1975 Continental? No. And it shouldn’t be. For all the old-timers on social media bitching about no rear-wheel drive, no suicide doors, no velour trim and no coach lamps on the current Lincoln Continental, it means nothing.
How so? Easy. All those old folks who want a new old Lincoln never buy new. Hey, I love old Lincolns. My grandfather, Bob Klockau, had a 1966 Continental sedan, a Mark III, Mark IV and Mark V. I love ’em. But you know what would happen if Lincoln did a retro Connie?
All the folks with money they were willing to plunk down would turn away and buy an LS460 or Cadillac CT6, and those aforementioned old folks would happily snap up the retro Connies-five years later, when they’ve depreciated 65% from their original MSRP. Now why in the heck would Ford Motor Company want to do that?
Okay, okay, maybe I wouldn’t mind a few nods to earlier Continentals. A four-pointed star on the C-pillar. Perhaps a ‘Continental’ script on the fine wood trim above the glove compartment. But overall, I like the new Continental as she sits.
It’s a large, comfortable and classy sedan. I had ample room up front, and although I didn’t sit in the back seat, it appeared to be even more roomy than the thrones up front.
About those front seat thrones: I loved them. This Continental was a Reserve, and as such, she was loaded. As my buddy Matt Smith up in Boston would say, fackin loaded, kehd!
How so? Well, how about 30-way-yes, that’s correct, 30-WAY power seats? With left and right side, individually adjustable thigh bolsters?
But wait, there’s even more! In addition to the 30-way seats, there were massaging seats. With several settings, driver and passenger, hi or low. I turned them on, and immediately was feeling no pain, was very happy, and accidentally drove the car an extra five miles north just to luxuriate in their most excellent rhythms.
So many buttons. And the chrome-rimmed knobs had a great tactile feel. Heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel. It was excellent.
So, what was my most favorite thing about the 2018 Lincoln Continental? Simple. It was a real American luxury car. No faux Autobahnen pretensions. Just smooth, quiet and comfortable. Was it as smooth and quiet and boulevardier-preferred as my Town Cars? Well, perhaps not. But it was unapologetically American.
It was plush. Smooth. Quiet. A dream to drive. Author-induced hyperbole? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I truly enjoyed my time behind the new Continental. It was a great car. Now I want one. I want those massaging seats! I want the silence, comfort and painless driving. Lincoln has a winner. Ignore the old folks who want a 2019 Town Car, identical to the long-lost 2011 TC. I want one. I will have one. Eventually…
I love my Town Cars, but ya know, there’s something to be said for keeping current. Try a new Connie, I guarantee you will like it! Those massaging seats, ohhhh man! Heaven. Check one out.