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In this ongoing series, Boston.com talks with automotive authorities about why you should consider driving — or avoiding — a specific model.
2017 Lincoln Continental
The once-iconic Lincoln Continental is returning to the market after being absent for more than a decade. The Continental was once the ultimate symbol of American luxury and the vehicle of choice for presidents. It was discontinued in 2002, but earlier this year, Lincoln debuted its newest incarnation of the Continental at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Continental starts at $44,560 and offers a 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway and includes several impressive safety features, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection that can help the vehicle avoid a potential catastrophe. It also has available adaptive cruise control that can automatically slow the car down in bumper-to-bumper traffic and resume normal speed again once congestion eases up.
What the experts are saying
Editor’s note: The experts consulted here have not yet driven the 2017 Lincoln Continental. They are sharing their professional opinions from their various fields of expertise on the Continental’s reliability, safety, and suitability for New England living.
A reliable reputation, but new design raises questions
“Although it’s pretty much all new, I think it’s pretty tried-and-true technology. I don’t suspect there’s going to be any unusual maintenance and repair issues with it. … I remember the car had a sophisticated door opening mechanism, a button hidden in door handle. That can always be [a problem], especially in the Northeast where cold weather can be an issue.” – John Paul, AAA’s “The Car Doctor”
Can it meet a high bar for safety performance?
“Since the Continental is based on a modified [version] of the platform used for the Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion, we expect it to do well in our crash tests because both the MKZ and Fusion get Top Safety Pick+ designation. … The Lincoln brand currently has two Top Safety Pick+ vehicles, the MKZ and MKX. … As a new luxury model, we expect the Continental to have state of the art safety performance.” – Russ Rader, senior vice president of communications at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Plenty to offer New Englanders, but will they want one?
“With the availability of all-wheel drive, it’s definitely competitive against cars like the Audi A8. I think it represents a solid choice for New Englanders. … The interior is as nice as anything an American car company has turned out. They’re fabulous inside, and if you’re going to be stuck in traffic a lot, this car may well appeal to you. … It checks the right boxes for the New England driver. But you’ll need to decide if it’s a sedan you’re interested in, or a luxury crossover that sells well here and sells well for a reason.” – Craig Fitzgerald, president of the New England Motor Press Association / editor-in-chief of BestRide.com
For more information on the 2017 Lincoln Continental visit a Lincoln dealership near you.