With entry level vehicles now getting luxury features like heated and ventilated seats, it’s harder and harder for luxury vehicle manufacturers to create something new and exciting. With the 2017 Lincoln Continental, they hope by adding some different touches it’s able to stand out from the rest.

It takes a lot more than just making it bigger and adding chrome to win the hearts of potential buyers with luxury vehicles. It needs presence, and when pulling up to a hotel it will make the valet think, wow, maybe someday.

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With the Continental, there’s no doubt that it’s something special. Shaped unlike others in the market with a big chrome grille and hidden door handles, it’s something to behold.

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These beautiful pieces are the door handles, integrated neatly with the car’s beltline they blend in with the body creating a distinctive look. One pull will activate these soft closing doors to pop open with ease.

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And just in case if you missed the big chrome badge up front, there are projector lenses under the wing mirrors that will illuminate these Lincoln emblems on to the side of the vehicle.

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A look inside and you will be surrounded by luxury. With illuminated door sills, door cards, and pedals, it’s truly inviting.

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For the model we have here it features these ultra comfortable front seats. With heated, ventilated and massaging features as well as 30 different ways to adjust the seats, it’s can get a bit difficult to find a comfortable position as every minor adjustment feels even better than the last.

000_4259All of it can be adjusted either on the door or via the touch screen in the centre.

000_4234With so many different ways to adjust the seats, it’s handy to have three presets you can save for the perfect driving environment. Also, notice how there’s no door handles, doors can be opened via a little button and in the event of power loss, there’s still a manual door pull by the cubby on the driver’s door.

For the back seats, there’s also tons of room to move around and be comfortable. Our tester doesn’t have the $5000 rear seat option that adds sunshades, cooled seats, and power adjustable backrest. But it does have the all important panoramic sunroof option. But most importantly it has a little bubble above the rear passenger to maximize headroom.

000_4160Sometimes it’s all about the details, such as these ambient lights, on the doors which change to red when the door is open to let the occupants be aware.

000_4248To keep the Continental up to date with its competitors, the dash is not some pathetic sweeping analog dials. It had to be an LCD display. A bit on the smaller side, it is user configurable to show different information such as navigation, all-wheel drive, fuel economy, and even boost levels.

000_4261The navigation is a nice touch, the only problem is it works with the built in Sync system only. While using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay it won’t display directions.

000_4262On the centre console, the HVAC controls are styled beautifully with chrome and nicely backlit buttons.

000_4239Similar to some other automakers, when the car’s off the buttons are hidden and looks like blanks.

Below, features a nice slab of wood. The cup holder cover is elegantly crafted with the grain matching all the way down.

000_4236Speaking of elegant, check out these speaker covers! These are exquisite pieces, and there are 8 pieces around the car to give it a touch of luxury. Just don’t get them dirty, would hate to imagine cleaning these.

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Not only does the audio system looks distinct but it also sounds amazing, powered by Revel Ultima the sound is clear with minimal distortion.

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Behind the wheel the Continental it’s actually quite enjoyable. With the 3L turbo 6, and making 400hp and 400lb-ft of torque it’s enough to hustle this 4555lb vehicle in a hurry. However it’s not all good, the 6-speed transmission seems a bit dated with today’s 8-9 speed counterparts. Worse yet the 2nd to 3rd shift can be rough during light throttle.

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With this amount of power, and lack of gears fuel economy can suffer. It’s rated at 14.4 in the city and 9.7 on the highway. With the week with the vehicle, it was capable of achieving 11-12L/100km in the city in Sports mode with the use of paddle shifters, however, leaving the transmission to shift by itself the logic isn’t as refined as it could be as it tends to shift around 2-3000rpm even on light throttle.

000_4218With what Lincoln calls Continuously controlled Dampers, there are three levels of adjustments. From Pillow soft of comfort to a solid normal which makes the car less floaty and behave like a car should and Sports mode where body control is kept in check with less roll, dive, and squat.

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Even with these suspension controls, there’s one thing it lacks. Brakes. While it has big discs all around, on paper it’s fine. However during heavy braking shutter can be felt through the pedal. With only 8000km on the clock, it already shows signs that the brakes are not sufficient enough for the chassis.

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Overall the Continental is a gorgeous vehicle, however, it lacks a certain sophistication that found in other luxury cars. Although it has a lot of the needed features like touch screen and LCD cluster, it seems that it’s not as refined as it can be. However priced at $80,000 it’s a lot of car for the money. Comparing to its German rivals they don’t even come close to the same equipment for the money. However, the Genesis G80 and the Cadillac CT6 is and both of them are worthy rivals.

000_4149Big thanks to Ford Motor Company Canada for letting us drive the Continental.