Ace of Base: 2020 Lincoln Continental Standard
Long-time readers (thanks, all three of you) may recall a certain, erm, affinity at this site for vehicles from the old Lincoln-Mercury stable. Sajeev shed many bitter tears over various Cougars and Marks found in our nation’s junkyards, while your author freely admits he suffers an odd form of Stockholm Syndrome. And the world turns.
It’s difficult to pin down just how much time the Continental has left on this mortal earth, with the Blue Oval suits pulling the plug on everything with a trunk in Ford’s showroom. Production changes at Flat Rock surely spell its death by 2021 to make room for EVs, but, for now, it remains.
I won’t pretend for a minute that the Standard trim level is the best of Continental’s range, simply because that honor is reserved for the limited production Coach Door Edition. That one is priced well north of a hundred grand, so let’s see what the $46,305 model has in store.
Continental is offered with a selection of three different engines, a decision which surely counts against it when flinty-eyed accountants examine just how much this thing is costing the company. Entry level models are equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 making 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. That’s nothing at which to sneeze, especially since a $13,000+ walk to the Reserve trim and its 2.7L EcoBoost only brings an extra 30 ponies. Those turbos bring a lot more torque, though.
Front-wheel drive is standard at this price, a configuration sure to enrage purists such as your author who still misses both his Mark VII and LS V8 cars. Continental’s styling doesn’t totally belie its drivetrain, but it does do an acceptable job of making the dash-to-axle ratio big enough that those not familiar might not know the difference. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. Every trim gets the model’s too-cool set of door handles, designed to disappear into Continental’s beltline like a lizard disappears into the forest. In practice, it looks great and works well.
Inside, the entry-level Conti does give up a few features to its more expensive brothers, including rear seat climate control and kit like Active Park Assist (which your author only gets to work 50 percent of the time anyway). A Lincoln Premium Audio system with 10 speakers is on board, as are 10-way heated front seats and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. A lane keeping system and forward sensing technologies help to keep calamity from finding its way to your door.
The natty Blue Diamond paint shown here is a no-charge option, though those of us who like red will be dinged $695 for being a show-off. Less tasteful are the acres of burl wood in the Standard’s interior, a personal preference with which not all will agree. An option for silver or simple black trim would be welcome. Your author doesn’t understand all the hate for Lincoln’s push-button gear selector, as it frees up space and fits well next to the infotainment system. This view goes for just about all button-based PRNDLs, including ones much maligned at other brands. I like ‘em.
So, best of the line? Nope; as I said at the top of this post, that medal is reserved for the Coach Door trim. As a sub-$50,000 sedan compared to its more expensive showroom mates, though, it checks enough of the correct boxes to get a nod.
Just send me some replacement interior trim, ok?
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.
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- Oberkanone Priced too high though not by much.
- FreedMike Looks VERY niche to me. But that's not necessarily a bad thing - this might serve nicely as a kind of halo model for VW.
- SPPPP Point: It's the only EV minivan around. Counterpoint: It's too expensive for a minivan, heavy, ugly, and has bad ergonomics. To me, a PHEV like the Sienna or Pacifica seems like a more sensible solution.
- Oberkanone Were I able to get past my distrust and loathing of VW I'd want a 2 row ID Buzz. Pricing is about right for the current marketplace. Will it sell? Demand will exceed supply. After two years in the marketplace the novelty may be gone and demand may drop like an anchor.
- Sam Who do I sue when the car doesn't do what I want it to and that action of the car being autonomous caused the crash?
One of the few "luxury" cars that actually look duller in real life then in pictures $46,305? So, about $35K out the door then
I wanted to like this car, I thought it looked pretty sweet when it came out. I sat in one at the car show and that was it for my interest. Not very spacious for the driver, felt hemmed in. I am 6'3" 235lbs so a bit bigger than avg. But my 2017 accord had more room for the driver. A lincoln is supposed to be spacious.