Lincoln is betting big on the all-new Continental luxury sedan, reviving what is perhaps its most celebrated nameplate in an effort to restore a much-needed luster to its brand. Although the production version of the Lincoln Continental doesn’t have quite the same gravitas as the flashy Continental concept from the 2015 New York show, there’s plenty of unique features and flair that make Lincoln’s new flagship a significant step forward. Here are the six coolest features we’ve experienced on the 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve.
1. The Continental greets you with sleek lighting and an illuminated welcome mat
Well before you come within arm’s reach of the brassy new four-door, the key fob in your pocket signals the car to wave hello. LED lighting flows from elements in the headlights, daytime running lights, and taillamps, segueing into a bright white signature lighting design that flashes underneath the front door handles. There’s no question the technology is a little gimmicky, but the reaction from passengers and lookers-on in parking lots has been, in our experience, overwhelmingly positive.
2.The door handles add a little something special
Like the concept, the production Continental is fitted with a new E-Latch system. The handles are integrated into the beltline rather than the doors, and all it takes is a light press on the button inside the handle for the doors to gently pop open. We’re as skeptical as anyone, so we investigated a failsafe in the event this system goes on the fritz; if you remove the tiny prod-shaped key inside the fob, you’ll find it fits into a small square access point on the driver’s side fender badge. The Continental also opens using an electronic button from the inside, but there’s a failsafe latch inside the door as well.
3. Power cinching mean you never have to slam the door
There’s something rather satisfying about watching the Continental’s doors close themselves with just a high-pitched whirr of little electric motors. This feature is handy when parking in tight spaces that don’t offer the necessary room to thwack the door shut — just push it into position and the car takes care of the rest. It does make one wonder what these motors might cost to fix if they ever break, though.
4. Massaging seats make the commute a bit more placid
Optional 30-way adjustable “Perfect Position” seats are well worth the $1,500 cost of entry. The seats are both comfortable and supportive for longer trips and allow for individual thigh bolster adjustment. A press on the touchscreen or on the button integrated into the door activates the massage function, with multiple levels of intensity and customization for back and butt massage. Even the highest intensity is fairly mild, but it definitely helps relieve some of the stiffness and tension that comes up over longer journeys.
The rear seat package ($4,300) adds a center armrest console with a digital display, sun blinds, reclining heated and cooled seats, and four-way adjustable lumbar support. Taking a page from the Bentley book is also the ability to move the front passenger’s seat forward to allow for extra legroom.
5. Revel audio provides some of the best tunes in the business
As part of the Continental’s $5,000 Luxury Package, you’ll get Revel’s Ultima 19-speaker audio system, which comes standard on Black Label models. The system has truly lifelike bass vibes and clear-as-a-bell highs with no nastiness or harshness. In our previous test of in-car audio systems, the Revel system placed second among the eight high-end audio packages we tested. Even better is that the Continental uses real knobs and buttons instead of a touch system, so you can fiddle with the radio and volume without taking your eyes off the road to tap incessantly on an unresponsive screen.
6. The massive sunroof really opens up the Lincoln’s cabin
The two-panel sunroof spans almost the whole length of the roof, and comes with the rear seat package. Only the front panel slides back, but the feeling of spaciousness is still a nice advantage for rear-seat passengers. The sunroof includes a fabric-covered, power-operated, full-length shade as well, keeping the interior nice and cool on hot days where you don’t want your luxury chariot feeling like a greenhouse.