Lincoln Cars

Lincoln is an automaker with a long history of building upscale vehicles for the American market. A division of Ford, Lincoln differentiates its vehicles through additional luxury features, more powerful engines and unique styling. The automaker's lineup includes cars, pickups and SUVs.

Lincoln Continental

Lincoln Continental Accessories Overview

The most recent generation of the Lincoln Continental luxury sedan got its start in 1995. This version distinguished itself from its predecessor with a sleeker, more upscale exterior designed to shed some of the sedan's stodginess and attract younger buyers. Other changes included a new suspension and a more powerful 4.6-liter V8 engine. Sometimes luxury meant not having to worry about petty details, like, say, selecting a trim level for your mansion-on-wheels. Lincoln kept things easy for buyers by offering the Continental in just one trim level, which came with standard features like keyless entry, leather upholstery, full power Lincoln Continental Accessories and an AM/FM/cassette audio system. The options list allowed drivers to raise the level of coddling with features like Alpine audio, heated seats, auxiliary steering-wheel audio controls, a CD changer and a power sunroof.

Literally keeping up with the Joneses wasn't a problem, thanks to the Lincoln's capable engine -- its 4.6-liter V8 brimmed with 260 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Sending this power to the front wheels was a four-speed automatic transmission. The Lincoln Continental also featured an air-spring suspension and an available Driver Select System that came with variable-rate steering assist and electronically adjustable shock absorbers that could be set for plush, normal or firm ride control. The air springs are known to wear out, so pay particular attention to the car's suspension during inspection.

Lincoln Continental PartsLincoln gave the Continental a few useful tweaks during these years. A 1998 refresh gave the luxury sedan a more streamlined look, with smoother lines, wraparound headlights and a new grille. This refresh also gave the Continental a nicer cabin, set off by elegant bird's eye maple wood trim. Audiophiles should choose models made in 1999 or later, since these Continentals were endowed with an improved sound system. The V8's output also increased slightly this year to 275 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Safety took a step up in 2000, when Lincoln's sedan gained standard side airbags, along with an emergency trunk release and child-seat anchor brackets. In 2002, its final year, the Continental got an optional (and now defunct) Vehicle Communications System that included hands-free cell phone communication.

Our editors appreciated the fact that this Lincoln offered a wealth of gadgets and features to use and enjoy. Strong acceleration was another impressive point. Still, this big car had its flaws. In reviews of the Lincoln Continental, we criticized its lack of maneuverability and dearth of interior storage. The sedan's gravest shortcoming, though, was its lack of refinement relative to its competitors. Though the Continental was perfectly adequate, cars in this price range from Germany and Japan offered a driving and ownership experience that was more polished and engaging.

The previous-generation Continental ran from 1988-'94. The car was less grand than later-model Continentals -- not surprising, since it shared some design cues with its platform-mate, the humble Ford Taurus. As this generation drew to a close, power was provided by a 3.8-liter V6 good for 160 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque, with two trim levels being offered -- the Executive and the top-of-the-line Signature. Those looking for trademark Continental opulence are advised to skip this model for more recent versions of the sedan. Unfortunately, this move to front-wheel drive eventually doomed the Lincoln Continental as it progressed through the end of the 20th century. Late-model Continentals didn't exactly crackle with the same desirability as that very first model, as consumer tastes had moved away from the soft-riding big-car brand of luxury that was the Continental's stock in trade. Even more notably, foreign rivals such as BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz had eclipsed the car in performance and refinement and had become top choices for shoppers in this segment. Dogged by weak sales, Lincoln's big sedan was retired in 2002.

Lincoln Continental Road Test