For the past decade or so, Lincoln became a very forgettable brand in the realm of domestic cars. Sure, the cars were nice, but they didn’t go above and beyond in terms of performance, value, or luxury. They were just...there.

If you wanted a higher trim level Ford such as the Taurus, you’d look at the MKS. If you wanted an alternative to the Fusion Titanium, you’d look at an MKZ. If you wanted an alternative to the Expedition EL, you’d look at a Navigator. Although the cars were just as capable as their Ford counterparts, yet more luxurious, nobody outside of rental agencies or snowbirds in South Florida gave them a second look.

In 2017, that changed with the introduction of the all-new Continental, the return of Lincoln’s flagship sedan for the first time since 2002. Not only did the nameplate return, but it marked a new beginning for Lincoln along with the MKC’s introduction. Its design remained faithful to that of the 2015 concept. It replaced the aging MKS as the full size sedan in their lineup and did one hell of a job in doing so. Gone was the old barge in favor of a much sleeker car.

I personally think it’s the best looking executive sedan on the market today. Although it starts at under $50k, you’d think it costs twice as much based on its appearance. This Reserve model starts at $60k with the 3.0 EcoBoost V6 and all wheel drive, but this one costs around $70k as shown with the Continental Technology Package and the Luxury Package.

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The Luxury Package includes full LED headlights with Lincoln’s new corporate design.

The taillights are also LED and have a light bar running down the back.

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It also has LED fog lights as shown.

Although it was gone for 15 years, the design is unmistakably Continental. It evokes the design of the early 60s Continental, one of the best looking American cars to date.

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Just by looking at it, you’d never imagine you could get a base FWD 3.7 V6 model for only $45k.

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This specific one was also equipped with the optional Ruby Red Metallic paint for $695.

It’s been out for a little over a year now, and the Lincoln corporate fascia is definitely one of the best looking on the market right now, whether on the Continental, Navigator, MKC, or MKS.

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The Reserve trim level comes standard with 19-inch wheels with painted accents.

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Although most companies shy away from concept designs in their production models, Lincoln stayed very faithful to the 2015 Continental concept, or at least as much as regulations would allow them to.

One of the most interesting and unique features on the Continental is the door handles. In lieu of regular manual handles, it comes with integrated aluminum handles that are molded into the bright trim on the bottom of the windows. They use a touch sensor coupled with a smart key system to unlock when you pull on the handle to allow you into the car.

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If you look closely, the door handles aren’t the only things that flow with the lines of the car. The chrome trim also flows neatly onto the base of the side mirrors.

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From the back, it looks more like a full size European luxury sedan than a full size American sedan.

The boxy rear end is a nice throwback to the older days of Lincoln while retaining a modern and stylish look

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One thing that it does have is presence. You know it’s something special when you look at it.

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You get the feeling that it’s a step above the rest, which it is.

The side profile is more reminiscent of concept cars than any production cars I can think of.

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The full LED front lights only add to the air of elegance.

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With the 3.0 EcoBoost V6 making 400 hp and 400 lb ft. of torque mated to a 6-speed Ford 6F55 transmission, the Continental hits 60 mph in only 5.2 seconds with very little drama thanks to the all wheel drive.

The interior is a very nice place to be thanks to the sumptuous leather and the beautiful wood trim throughout the interior.

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The Continental comes with an elegant LCD screen as the instrument panel.

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Everything looks and feels twice as expensive as it is.

The 19 speaker Revel sound system looks stunning and also sounds great.

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Just as with every other full size luxury sedan, the rear has plenty of room for taller passengers and rivals German sedans such as the 7-Series and S-Class in terms of comfort.

Although it doesn’t come with a V8, you won’t miss it thanks to the 400 hp from the 3.0 EcoBoost V6.

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In a time where luxury sedans keep raising the bar for the automotive world, the Lincoln Continental proves itself a worthy competitor in its class. It’s certainly the one I would take over the likes of Cadillac and Lexus.

As far as lap times, it posts a respectable 02.43.456, just 0.2 seconds off the highly acclaimed Kia Stinger GT on COTA GP.

Bonus sideways pic because this is Oppo.