The Continental has been one of Lincoln’s longest-running vehicles in its lineup, becoming a flagship luxury vehicle that set a standard in the segment. After many decades in and out of production, the Lincoln Continental is back in its spot as the luxury brand’s flagship sedan. But does being one of the oldest-running models mean the 2020 Lincoln Continental is stuck back in its golden age?
Bringing a classic into the modern age
The name “Continental” evokes a certain feeling within the automobile world. It all began in 1939 when Edsel Ford (President of Ford Motor Company) commissioned a convertible to be built as his own personal vehicle. After seeing the potential of selling it as a luxurious vacation vehicle to American buyers, the Lincoln Continental was set into production.
The Lincoln Continental debuted as a 1940 model year, quickly becoming considered “the most beautiful car in the world,” according to Hagerty. Using European “Continental” styling elements, it would become the country’s first real luxury family hauler.
Though the Lincoln Continental has disappeared and reappeared many times, it’s been back in the luxury lineup since 2017. But does the Continental’s “continental,” classic styling still work in a modern segment?
Can the 2020 Lincoln Continental win over experts?
Lincoln brought the 2020 Continental into the modern age with newer styling, while still maintaining much of the car’s iconic motif. Though many dismiss a namesake over its age, the Lincoln brand offers some of today’s best-rated, most-popular luxury vehicles.
Consumer Reports experts rank it as the fifth-best overall luxury midsized car, but out of 16 models in the segment, this places the 2020 Continental near the top. With an overall score of 80 (out of 100), it receives only nine points less than the top-ranked in the segment. And where the Lincoln Continental excels most is its luxury.
Consumer Reports gives the new Continental a good predicted owner satisfaction rating of four (out of five), predicting that at least 85% of owners will be completely satisfied with the driving experience and 90% will be satisfied with its styling. And as to be expected from a modern luxury car, the 2020 Lincoln Continental impressed Consumer Reports experts, earning a decent score of 83 (out of 100) on the road test.
It receives more perfect scores in the comfort/convenience category than any other, earning scores of five (out of five) for its ride, noise level, rear-seat comfort, climate system, and interior fit and finish.
The best parts of a more modern Lincoln Continental
According to Consumer Reports’ road test, the Continental’s namesake may be old, but the 2020 model is “a thoroughly modern sedan.” Though not without its faults, it’s “a compelling luxury car.”
Lincoln maintained the Continental’s ornate design and its stance still commands presence on the road, with liberally-placed chrome accents and eye-catching front-end. The standard six-cylinder engine has “no problem” pushing the big Continental comfortably down the road, paired to a smooth transmission.
On the inside, the 2020 Lincoln Continental truly shines, “full of bright chrome and wood trim.” Its leather seating is super-comfortable, complete with 10-way, customizable front seats.
Even small details like felt-lined bins and soft-closing doors add elegance. Launched into the 21st century, the new Continental comes with fully-digital gauges and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice-command, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.
According to Lincoln, the 2020 Continental also comes standard with its Co-Pilot 360 suite of safety and driver-assist features. Also available on the Continental is a high-tech, head-up display, ambient lighting, rear-seat climate/audio controls, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities for up to 10 devices, and a hands-free trunk lid.