Inside the Lincoln MKZ and Continental

For 2017/2018, Lincoln has two premium luxury sedans in its lineup: the MKZ and Continental. Scroll below to take a look at what these standout cars bring to the table.

Over the course of its history, Lincoln has produced a long list of impressive vehicles including these two offerings. While the midsize Lincoln MKZ is the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, the full-size Lincoln Continental offers an especially plush driving experience.

2018 Lincoln MKZ

With an attractive MSRP of $36,000, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ is clearly among the top bargains in its class. Not only is the new MKZ packed with innovative technologies, but it also delivers a smooth performance on the road. Impressive crash-test scores also make the MKZ a highly recommended family vehicle.

Meanwhile, updated front-end styling gives the new model an even more refined appearance than before.

Performance Specs

The 2018 Lincoln Continental gives you two turbocharged engines to choose from. Rated to produce a solid 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, the base four-cylinder will deliver enough performance for most drivers. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard.

For the folks who need a bit more muscle under the hood, Lincoln offers a boosted V6 engine. It pumps out an exhilarating 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. As soon as you step on the accelerator, you will immediately notice the extra power. When tested, the turbocharged V6 model clocked a blistering 0-60 time of around 5.3 seconds.

While the standard adaptive suspension system delivers a remarkably smooth ride, an optional sports-tuned suspension dramatically improves handling. All-wheel drive remains a worthy upgrade for the drivers who must travel in the snow.

Fuel Economy

Drivers concerned about getting the best possible fuel economy should stick with the base engine. According to the EPA, front-wheel-drive models should return a competitive 21 mpg in town and up to 31 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the more potent 3.0L EcoBoost engine lowers the sedan’s EPA rating to a combined 21 mpg.

Fortunately, all versions of the new MKZ run perfectly fine on regular unleaded fuel.

Safety and Entertainment Features

You will find plenty of advanced safety technologies inside the new MKZ. Rear parking sensors and a backup camera come standard on the base Premier model, which will help you to safely maneuver around crowded parking areas. Meanwhile, blind-spot monitoring is available on all of the higher trim levels.

If you demand a greater sense of protection, upgrade to the Technology package. It includes advanced driving aids such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

Impressive standard features help make the 2018 Lincoln MKZ a legitimate bargain. Boasting a high-resolution touchscreen, Lincoln’s Sync 3 infotainment system gets high marks for its clear graphics and simple smartphone integration. Some of the other standard goodies include an 11-speaker audio system, dual USB ports, and heated seats. Available as an option, the 20-speaker Revel Ultima sound system will leave your passengers in awe.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

The 2018 Lincoln MKZ competes against other luxury sedans such as the Cadillac ATS and the Lexus ES 350. While the Cadillac ATS easily matches the MKZ’s performance capabilities, it doesn’t offer nearly as much space for your rear-seat occupants. Meanwhile, sophisticated exterior styling and an optional AWD package gives the MKZ an edge over the Lexus ES 350.

Pros/Cons

There are plenty of reasons to like the new MKZ. The sedan’s new grille really takes its appearance to the next level. Although the MKZ offers a premium Black Label trim, the base Premier model is a strong value that some buyers will not be able to pass up.

While the new MKZ is a solid overall performer, it is not as sporty as sedans like the BMW 3 Series. Furthermore, the Lincoln MKZ’s backseat could benefit from just a bit more legroom.

2017 Lincoln Continental

In terms of performance and ride comfort, the 2017 Lincoln Continental easily competes with the top European luxury sedans on the market. You will also like the Lincoln’s elegant styling. Hidden electronic door handles give the sedan a remarkably smooth look. Cool upgrades, such as self-closing doors, will reward you with an even more luxurious driving experience. Prices start at a reasonable $45,645.

Performance Specs

Lincoln gives you three different V6 engines to choose from. Even the standard engine pumps out a hearty 305 horsepower. Like the rest of the lineup, it is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Featuring twin turbochargers, the optional 2.7L engine packs a bit more performance. It churns out a solid 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Atop the lineup sits the mighty 3.0L EcoBoost engine, which develops an inspiring 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The sedan’s crushing amount of torque enables it to clock a brisk 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

Although the Continental isn’t engineered to perform like a sports car, it does handle well for a large luxury sedan. A cushy ride makes the Continental an ideal sedan for taking long trips on the highway. The optional AWD system will provide the necessary traction during wintry conditions.

Fuel Economy

When equipped with the base engine, the Continental will return a combined 19 mpg. Fuel efficiency increases to a combined 20 mpg with the optional 2.7L EcoBoost engine. Unsurprisingly, the top-of-the-line engine causes fuel economy to drop. You can anticipate getting an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in town and 24 mpg on the highway.

Safety and Entertainment Features

Boasting a five-star safety rating, the new Continental proves to offer great crash protection. You also have access to several cutting-edge driving aids. A helpful backup camera and parking sensors come standard. Designed to detect a potential crash, the automatic emergency braking system will take control in emergency situations. Some of the other safety innovations include lane-keep assist, active cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring.

Although the base Premier model is the least expensive trim, it still rewards you with an extensive list of standard features. Everyone will love the standard Sync 3 infotainment system’s easy-to-use design. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give you access to all of your top smartphone apps. A powerful Revel sound system is offered on the higher trim levels, which produces thunderous bass. To experience top-notch comfort, upgrade to Lincoln’s 30-way Perfect Position seats. Aside from offering numerous adjustments, these plush seats can massage your body as your drive.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

Some of the rival luxury sedans in this class include the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In regard to cost, the 2017 Lincoln Continental has a much lower starting price than both of these competitors. Some drivers may also prefer the Lincoln Continental’s bold exterior styling.

Pros/Cons

If you are looking for a remarkably spacious luxury sedan that offers an abundance of elegant features, the 2017 Lincoln Continental will not leave you disappointed. A buttery smooth ride makes the Continental a great choice for taking a cross-country road trip.

Although the Continental has several great qualities, it does have a few shortcomings. Its overall fuel economy is a notch below the competition. The new Continental also does not offer especially sharp handling.

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