Used Continentals are now incredibly cheap.
With the introduction of the fourth generation Navigator, Lincoln has seemingly regained its mojo and recaptured some of its former glory. Lincoln's upcoming SUV, the Aviator, also looks like it will cater perfectly to luxury car buyers' needs. Lincoln's sedans, on the other hand, aren't exactly winning the sales race.
When we last tested the flagship Continental, we found it a bit rough around the edges. Lincoln managed to sell over 12,000 Continentals in 2017, though we assume a good majority of those came from fleet sales - hence why you see so many of them at limo services. Although the Continental has plenty of faults, we believe it may be an excellent used purchase.
Through two models years (2017 and 2018), Lincoln has sold the Continental in four trims: Premier, Select, Reserve, and Black Label. The base Premier trim starts at a reasonable $45,000 while the Black Label starts at nearly $70,000. Depending on which trim you choose, engine options include a 3.7-liter V6 with 305 horsepower, a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 with 335 hp, or a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp. All of the engines can be had with front- or all-wheel-drive, except for the 3.0-liter engine, which is AWD-only.
Don't worry if those prices sound a bit expensive because used examples have already become incredibly cheap. Even though the Continental is only two model years old, used Premier and Select trims with the base V6 can be found for less than $25,000. We even managed to find fully-loaded Black Label models with certified pre-owned warranties starting at around $40,000 for the 2.7-liter engine and around $46,000 for the larger 3.0-liter V6.
Used pricing will vary drastically based on whether the car includes a certified pre-owned warranty. Lincoln's original warranty lasts four years or 50,000 miles and the powertrain warranty lasts six years or 70,000 miles. Since the Continental came out in 2016 as a 2017 model year, most if not all of them will still be under their original warranty (at the time of this writing).
Lincoln also has a pretty good certified pre-owned program, which includes a six-year 100,000-mile comprehensive warranty from the start date of the original warranty. On a latter 2017 model, this means you could be getting a car with a warranty until 2023.
There's a reason why the Continental is commonly used for limo duties - it's extremely comfortable. For the same price as a mildly optioned mid-size sedan, you could be rolling around in a massive luxury barge. The Continental's single best feature is its optional 30-way adjustable seats. Along with heating, ventilation, and massage function, these are some of the most comfortable seats in the auto industry at the moment. Of course, you will have to buy one of the higher trims to get the massage seats, though there are very few competitive new cars on the market which offer massaging seats for under $50,000.
The rest of the interior is also quite nice, though some trim pieces can feel a bit flimsy. Depending on which interior color you opt for, the car can look very elegant, or very cheap. Instead of just offering a choice of color, Lincoln offers interior "themes." After looking at several pictures of used models, the Thoroughbred Theme with the black leather trim appears to look the most beat-up after extended use. Opt for a car with either the Rhapsody Blue or Chalet Theme for a more elegant look.
The Continental may come with niceties like massaging seats, but some people may question the car's FWD architecture. Yes, true luxury cars are typically RWD, though we doubt the majority of buyers ever push their luxury sedan hard enough to notice the difference. The Continental, especially the twin-turbocharged V6 version with FWD, will likely chirp the tires with any deliberate press of the throttle. Just opt for one of the AWD models, ideally the 400-hp twin-turbo version, and the Continental shouldn't disappoint.
Often times, when we recommend a used car over a brand-new one, there can sometimes be a sacrifice of features. Not so in the Continental. Although the Continental lacks the self-driving prowess of Cadillac's SuperCruise, it does pack plenty of safety and luxury goodies to keep a techy satisfied. Despite some of the Ford-sourced buttons and switches feeling a bit cheap, we love Ford's Sync3 infotainment system.
The touchscreen controls are easy to use, there are plenty of physical buttons surrounding the screen, and Android Auto and AppleCarPlay come standard. There is also a secret mode in the system, which allows you to change your Continental's screen into one of several cars from Ford's lineup - including cars like the Shelby GT350R and Ford GT.
The Continental has a truly good-looking design and Lincoln has clearly evolved and applied this to the new Navigator and upcoming Aviator. Looks are subjective, though we believe Lincoln should be given credit for turning its design language around in a major way.
With used prices ranging between $25,000 and $70,000, we think there is value to be had with a used Lincoln Continental. Lincoln, like most companies, has realized how much more profitable SUVs are and will likely focus on building more of them from now on. The Continental may not last beyond 2020, so if you are the type of person who prefers sedans to SUVs, now is the time to buy one at a huge discount while it is still a fairly new car with a great warranty.