The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.
The 2019 Continental returns in Premiere, Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims.
Review continues below
With a throwback look that sports chrome details, big, wide shoulders, and interesting touches like door handles integrated into the trim, the latest Lincoln Continental has enough visual panache to go along with the nostalgia its name evokes. Where other automakers have ditched chrome and high-gloss surfaces, the Continental fully embraces its heritage, and pulls it off swimmingly. The big, inviting cabin is both interesting and sophisticated, with the option for high-tech touches like a fully-digital gauge cluster and comfort features like the excellent 30-way adjustable front seats.
For power, the 2019 Continental is available in front- or all-wheel drive and with a trio of V-6 engines: one base, one mid-grade twin-turbocharged, and one high-performance twin-turbo. With 400 horsepower at the top end, this large barge can seriously scoot, though the 6-speed automatic feels archaic with such a potent powerplant.
Adaptive steering and shocks help ride and handling tremendously, especially with 20-inch wheels equipped on fancier models.
A long wheelbase and overhangs help increase both passenger and cargo space, and rear seat passengers should be plenty comfortable, even more so with the Rear-Seat Amenities package, which adds rear power lumbar support, inflatable seatbelt airbags, power reclining seats with massage, heating and cooling, and a sun shades on all windows.
A special “Coach Door” edition is also available for the 80th anniversary of the Continental, complete with 6 extra inches between the front and rear wheels, and the oh-so-cool “suicide” doors. Only 100 or so will be available, and they’ll likely all be spoken for already, unfortunately.
For 2019, all Continentals come with adaptive cruise control and Lincoln Co-Pilot360, a suite of active safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitors, and more. This should help bolster the Continental’s already-impressive safety record, which included a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS last year.
While big V-6 power is a plus, fuel economy suffers as a result, and no version of the Continental averages over 21 miles per gallon. With no hybrid or electrified version available yet, this is unlikely to improve in the near future.