As we said, the Continental is a work in progress. Some of the basic ingredients are there, including the design, the surfeit of modern amenities such as the fully updated Sync 3 infotainment system—alas, still lacking a center control knob, so inputs are touchscreen or voice control only—and a variety of powertrain and driveline options to suit many needs. It just needs polishing, a process that has taken Cadillac and Audi, two other reinvented luxury marques, some 20 years to pull off. At least Lincoln has finally taken its first steps.
In real-world driving situations, the 2017 Continental does a mostly good job of living up to its quiet luxury moniker. The engine is imperceptible most of the time, but it emits a nice and muted growl at wide-open throttle. The six-speed automatic proved to be the powertrain’s weak link, at times hesitant with the downshifts. The big Lincoln eats up highway miles like a proper large sedan, though the suspension occasionally struggled to soak up sharp bumps in the road. Our test car was fitted with 19-inch wheels, so expect increased harshness if you opt for 20-inch wheels.