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Is The Continental The Car For Me?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   10mikeymike

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 10:43 PM

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and I thought this would be a great place for me to gather some information so I can form some opinions going forward. I'm currently driving a 2015 Cadillac XTS VSport. This is my second XTS as I previously had a 2013 Platinum model with a naturally aspirated V6. I like the looks of the Caddy, but in all honesty, I think I'm outgrowing cars that are designed for handling and performance over comfort. Both of my Cadillacs have been equipped with 20" wheels and 40 series tires. While some may like the looks of larger wheels and low profile tires, I don't particularly care for the look and I definitely don't care for the harsh ride they produce. In addition, I find that the tires GM puts on these cars are extremely noisy. A characteristic of my Cadillac and others I've driven, is that there seems to be too much engine/intake/exhaust sound that enters the cabin. To me, the interior of the car has the resonance of an empty room. It's as though all of these extraneous sounds are amplified within the car. The sound of every bump and expansion joint in the road is heard in the car as if it's coming through the speakers. I also have a 2016 F-150 Lariat with 5.0 V8 and this truck is remarkably quieter inside than my Cadillac. Furthermore, the muted V8 sound under normal acceleration comes across as much more refined than the raspy V6 sounds I hear when I step on the gas in my Cadillac. I've been an active street rodder for over 50 years and when I want to hear my cars I'll opt for one of them with an old fashioned American V8. I realze that modern V6 engines whether they be naturally aspirated or turbo charged are more efficient and produce far more horsepower and torque than their older V8 counterparts but unfortunately, they don't sound very good doing it. To me, a vehicle that is sold and promoted as a luxury car should be just that, luxurious, quiet and smooth riding. From everything I've heard and read, the Continental is meant for people like myself. I'm hesitant to visit a dealer as I don't want to start looking at or driving one until I'm actually ready to pull the trigger. In the meantime, I'd enjoy hearing from some of the owners on the forum as to what their take on the car is. Does it really bring back the quiet and smooth rides many of us were accustomed to in what's now becoming the distant past? Is there very much "V6" engine and exhaust sound that can be heard in the cabin? What about tire and road noise? Does the car absorb imperfections in the road or telegraph them through the suspension and steering wheel? I realize it sounds like I'm looking for a 1980 Town Car, but I didn't find anything wrong with the way they rode or sounded. Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing from you and becoming an active member on this forum      


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#2 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 02:28 PM

It is not always easy for different people to agree on what is a "good" ride. I have about 1000 miles on my Continental so I will share my impressions but you will really need to drive one and judge it for yourself.

I guarantee you that the Continental does NOT ride like an 80s Town Car! I say "thank goodness" for that. I would describe the ride of the Conti as velvety firm. It is not floaty or mushy at all. Even Car & Driver magazine wrote that it has "moves that approach sports sedan standards." The shocks are adjustable to Comfort, Normal or Sport. I use Comfort 99% of the time and find the ride to be excellent but, again, I prefer a controlled ride - not a floatmobile. Mine has the 19 inch 45 series Michelins and the ride is somewhat softer than models equipped with the 20 inch 40 series Goodyears. I suspect the lower level models with the 18 inch 55 series tires are softest of all.

The car is very quiet and the 3.0 twin turbo engine sounds very refined when pushed. Road noise is very well controlled but since there is so little mechanical or wind noise, you will hear the Michelins over broken pavement or concrete surfaces. I have never driven a car in which there wasn't some tire noise on those surfaces and I would say the Continental is among the best. Michelins are typically noted for low noise levels.

I have never driven an XTS so I don't know how the Continental would compare in terms of ride/noise. I have been under the impression that the XTS was the soft and quiet cruiser while Cadillac's new CT6 was much sportier and a firmer. I am a bit surprised to hear you are somewhat unsatisfied with the XTS ride, although I agree that 40 series tires can hurt ride quality on about any car. I have read that the new Genesis G90 has a very soft ride so if that is what you are looking for, you might want to consider looking at one of those.

There are many features of the Continental that I consider best in class or at least among the best. The power cinch doors, the seat comfort both front and rear, the Sync 3 system, the 3.0 twin turbo and the adaptive steering are all stellar. In terms of ride/handling balance, I also consider the Conti to be excellent. That is NOT to say it is the softest riding or the best handling - but the compromise between the two is superb.

Again, you really need to take one for a nice test drive. I drove 4 different ones before I placed an order because I didn't want any surprises.

Edited by brucelinc, 14 January 2017 - 05:02 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   10mikeymike

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 05:34 PM

Thanks very much for your response. I actually read some of your previous posts right after posting mine. I understand that everyone's interpretation of a good ride is very subjective. At the same time, I feel the information you've provided in this and your other posts has been very helpful. In fairness to my Cadillac's I have to admit that I had driven LS Series Lexus's from the mid 90's right up to when I got my first XTS. I realize that comparing the two of them was unfair to the Cadillac, but let's just say that the Caddy surprised me by how different it was when compared to the Lexus. While I had the first Cadillac I swapped out the Bridgestone's for Michelin's and that made a big difference in road noise. I'm not really knocking the way my car handles. What I don't like about it is I feel the ride is unnecessarily harsh and that the road conditions which cause the harshness are heard and felt inside the car more than one would expect from a Cadillac. I think the best way to put it is that the car lacks the "supple" feeling that I expect from a luxury brand. It's unfortunate, but I can honestly say that my 16 F-150 has more supple and quiet ride on normal road surfaces than my Cadillac.

 

Another thing that really troubles me is that Cadillac seems to think engine sounds within the cabin are sporty - I don't. Perhaps, I wouldn't find them so annoying if they were coming from a smooth and muted V8 engine, but I've learned that GM's V6 engines are raspy sounding and in my opinion, Cadillac could have done a much better job of insulating the interior from these sounds. On two occasions over the past few months I've had an opportunity to drive two different SRX crossovers. I was astonished at how much engine / intake noise enters the cabin. Even though I don't care for them I viewed them as upscale vehicles. Boy, was I surprised! I swear if you closed your eyes you wouldn't be able to tell if you were in a new Cadillac vehicle with a 3.6L V6 or a raspy entry level 4 cylinder Chevy Cruze. 

 

I' really don't want to use this post to knock the Cadillac. As indicated in my previous message I like it's looks and I really like the looks of the new CT6. Unfortunately, after trying to find what I'm looking for in two of them I've come to the conclusion that Cadillac and I are different pages when it comes to luxury cars. Hopefully, the Continental will fill the gap between the Lexus's I was driving up until a few years ago and the cars I've been driving recently. The power cinch doors are a step in the right direction. Lexus has used them for years. BTW, I moved away from Lexus when they introduced the 2013 model with a front end that looked like a freight train coming down the road. Thanks again for your comments. I'll be sure to do as you did and drive different models before making a commitment.

 

 

It is not always easy for different people to agree on what is a "good" ride.  I have about 1000 miles on my Continental so I will share my impressions but you will really need to drive one and judge it for yourself.

 

 

I guarantee you that the Continental does NOT ride like an 80s Town Car!  I say "thank goodness" for that.   I would describe the ride of the Conti as velvety firm.  It is not floaty or mushy at all.  Even Car & Driver magazine wrote that it has "moves that approach sports sedan standards."    The shocks are adjustable to Comfort, Normal or Sport.  I use Comfort 99% of the time and find the ride to be excellent but, again, I prefer a controlled ride - not a floatmobile.  Mine has the 19 inch 45 series Michelins and the ride is somewhat softer than models equipped with the 20 inch 40 series Goodyears.   I suspect the lower level models with the 18 inch 55 series tires are softest of all.

 

The car is very quiet and the 3.0 twin turbo engine sounds very refined when pushed.  Road noise is very well controlled but since there is no little mechanical or wind noise, you will hear the Michelins over broken pavement or concrete surfaces.  I have never driven a car in which there wasn't some tire noise on those surfaces and I would say the Continental is among the best.  Michelins are typically noted for low noise levels.

 

I have never driven an XTS so I don't know how the Continental would compare in terms of ride/noise.  I have been under the impression that the XTS was the soft and quiet cruiser while Cadillac's new CT6 was much sportier and a firmer.  I am a bit surprised to hear you are somewhat unsatisfied with the XTS ride, although I agree that 40 series tires can hurt ride quality on about any car.   I have read that the new Genesis G90 has a very soft ride so if that is what you are looking for, you might want to consider looking at one of those.   

 

There are many features of the Continental that I consider best in class or at least among the best.  The power cinch doors, the seat comfort both front and rear, the Sync 3 system, the 3.0 twin turbo and the adaptive steering are all stellar.   In terms of ride/handling balance, I also consider the Conti to be excellent.  That is NOT to say it is the softest riding or the best handling - but the compromise between the two is superb.    

 

Again, you really need to take one for a nice test drive.  I drove 4 different ones before I placed an order because I didn't want any surprises.  

 



#4 OFFLINE   Twinguin

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:04 PM

I think I mostly agree with brucelinc - I've driven mine now for about 1400mls and have it in Comfort most of the time. On the highway, I need to get it into Sport as it is too "floaty" for me personally. Just as a comparison, at home (Germany) I have an old french convertible and a Toyota 86 (your Scion FR-S), both lowered, on sports suspension and on low profile tyres, so I am used to a bumpy ride. I do like the "connected" feeling to the road, the immediate feedback from the car. 

 

The Conti is a perfect Cruiser - silent, doesn't let you feel every dent in the road, and has enough power, you know, just in case :-)

 

The sound is indeed disappointing, they could have added some nice exhaust note at least in Sport mode. And if you think V6's don't sound nice: try to find a Jaguar F-Type V6S and listen! I am in love with that sound and would trade it for ANY exhaust note I've ever heard.


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#5 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:02 PM

Here is a perfect example of how two people can view ride quality and sound slightly differently but neither be "wrong."   I do not sense any float at all on the highway.   My last car was an MKS and I find the comfort setting on the Conti just a tad softer than the MKS.   I think most people who are expecting a Town Car type of ride would say the Conti needs an even softer setting.

 

I like the sound of a turbo V6.  In the MKS, it was very pronounced,  mechanical and in your face.  In the Continental, it is much more subdued and refined in my opinion.  


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#6 OFFLINE   Twinguin

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:21 PM

Just a quick note: I did not mean "floaty" as negative attribute. Just as an opposite to the Sports setting and my "sports" car setup at home. I do like the comfort mode and the quietness of the Conti for longer trips. Probably my background of having a lot of winding, twisty roads and the Nuerburgring nearby, I'd be more of a canyon carver than highway cruiser.

 

And we didn't talk about speed yet - would be interesting to push the Conti on an Autobahn to it's limit :-)


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#7 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:57 PM

Just a quick note: I did not mean "floaty" as negative attribute. Just as an opposite to the Sports setting and my "sports" car setup at home. I do like the comfort mode and the quietness of the Conti for longer trips. Probably my background of having a lot of winding, twisty roads and the Nuerburgring nearby, I'd be more of a canyon carver than highway cruiser.

 

And we didn't talk about speed yet - would be interesting to push the Conti on an Autobahn to it's limit :-)

 

I understand.  I come from an area with few curves so sporty handling doesn't mean much to me.  I do, however, like a controlled ride rather than a mushy one.   By the way, I have chatted with Livernois Motorsports and they are working on a tune for my car.  On the MKZ 3.0, their first version picked up 53 HP and improved the transmission shift quality.   There is more potential as they continue to refine the tune.  There is no reason why they can't do the same with the Continental.  I look forward to seeing the results for myself!!


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#8 OFFLINE   Twinguin

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 04:40 PM

By the way, I have chatted with Livernois Motorsports and they are working on a tune for my car.  On the MKZ 3.0, their first version picked up 53 HP and improved the transmission shift quality.   There is more potential as they continue to refine the tune.  There is no reason why they can't do the same with the Continental.  I look forward to seeing the results for myself!!

 

*holding my ears* No, I don't want to hear that, no I don't want to ...  :-) Now, that would be something. 


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#9 OFFLINE   10mikeymike

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:43 PM

Thanks guys! I really appreciate your responses and your "takes" on both sound and ride. I have a friend with 2015 F-150 Limited. It has a 3.5 EcoBoost and I really don't mind the way it sounds. Maybe my issue is with is Cadillac's approach to sound deadening and what they feel is an acceptable amount of engine sound in the cabin. As for ride, I'm pleased to see that Lincoln is giving its customers a choice on wheel and tire size. When I ordered my Caddy it came standard with 20" wheels and 40 series tires. I asked if the dealer could swap them out for 19" wheels and 45 series tires (which results in the exact same wheel/tire diameter) but was told that Cadillac VIN codes the wheels so that wasn't an option. I know that I need to drive a new Continental since that's the only way I can make a determination. I'm going to take brucelinc up on his recommendation. I'm going to try to drive one with each engine. Hopefully, that will enable me form some good opinions. 



#10 OFFLINE   Stryke21

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:04 PM

What did you end up buying?



#11 OFFLINE   Stryke21

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:04 PM

What did you end up buying?



#12 OFFLINE   1BlinkGone

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 05:30 AM

If you are dissatisfied with the 20" OEM tires on the Continental, I can't suggest Michelins enough...YMMV.    :)


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#13 OFFLINE   Billwater1

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 05:15 PM

Hi, I purchased my 17 Continential in late Oct 0f 16. This was the first car I have evert bought w/o seeing it in person, driven or talking to some one who has it. My only exposure was on youtube. I wanted it for same reasons you do. I can tell you that it has exceeded all my expectations. I just turned over 5K this week. It is quite, extremely comfy, and a smooth ride. I got the 30 way perfect position seats w/ massage, so nice! Also I got 2.7 engine. Lots of power!

#14 OFFLINE   Ralph

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:00 PM

I can not be happier ... my Conti is AWESOME!
People have stopped me in parking lots and at gas stations just to see my gorgeous Black on Black Continental. I love it and everyone love it. It is quite, smooth, confortable, fast, and handles prefect.

#15 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:40 PM

I can not be happier ... my Conti is AWESOME!
People have stopped me in parking lots and at gas stations just to see my gorgeous Black on Black Continental. I love it and everyone love it. It is quite, smooth, confortable, fast, and handles prefect.


What did you have prior to your Continental?

#16 OFFLINE   brothers

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:42 AM

Guess I will take a different approach. I have been a long time Lincoln owner, 7th, and ordered my new Continental last May but didn't get until December!! Not a happy start and took away a lot of the excitement but my own fault for breaking the Golden rule of ordering sight unseen and first run of new car.

 

This is not your "Daddy's" Lincoln as they would say. My last Lincoln was a 2005 Town Car with 200K which I loved and held on too waiting for the 2017. While there are some amazing things on this car such as: the electronics (mine is fully loaded), sporty looks, color combinations, engine power for V6, and driving comfort, it has some faults. If you were use to or looking for luggage space that Lincoln was always noted for this is not unless you want to lay down back seats and make 2 seat sports car, the lay out of drivers floor board with gas and brake pedal low and side by side not allowing you to move your right foot when on long trips defeats having cruise control to some degree and uncomfortable, while advertised as 5 passenger it should be maybe 4 1/2 since limited width space in back seat (can not fit 2 child car seats in rear and sit another person. I do not want to be negative but just make the point that you need to make sure it fits what you want and don't depend on what it was in the past.   


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#17 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:35 PM

Brothers, I think your comments make a lot of sense.   I never owned a Town Car but I had them as rentals many times.  Honestly, I did not like them at all for a number of reasons.   However, I know a lot of people liked TCs and those folks need to know that the Continental has virtually NOTHING in common with the TC.   



#18 OFFLINE   E_Net_Rider

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:27 PM

It sounds like we are looking for the same vehicle. I had an 11 Lacrosse CXS all options except rear seat DVD and Moonroof. Custom ordered. It had the 20", H arm rear suspension, Electronic suspension, and the upscale struts on front for improved handling. Unfortunately the vehicle was a real lemon. It drove really well for the most part but those 20" tires provided a harsh ride. With those short H arms on the rear every bump would induce a sway at the rear. Putting the suspension in sport mode stopped that but then ride was harsh.

One of my many complaints about that vehicle was that by 8K miles the seats had became uncomfortable. The padding was terrible and I could feel the heater wires in my butt. So when I went shopping that was something I definitely checked first. GM seemed to have those issues with any vehicle that was designed for cooled seats. Chrysler as well. I sat in a new Cadillac and bounced my self very hard into the seat for several minutes and was starting feel stuff through the leather.

I settled into a 2010 Lincoln MKS and can say the seat has not yet really disappointed. If I was going to keep it long term I would consider new padding for that new car feel.

My experience tells me that GM seems to do a better job of door and window sealing which starts to show up after a few years as noise. I don't like noise!!!!!

Any kind of noise! Tire, exhaust, etc. I want quiet so I can listen to music without interference. I will say the THS sound system with CD quality music is really good. I have thousands of CD on a USB Hard Drive.

I drove a signature series Town Car of previous generation, squared back end, and it was a real pleasure. Ultra quiet, handled well and steered really well. Lots of options, even a control for steering resistance.

I had a 96 Olds Aurora. Many claimed it drove and rode like a Lexus. I would say better. That vehicle had a very unusual suspension and I've often wished I could find that in another vehicle. It handled effortlessly. No matter of wind or tractor trailer you never had to change steering to keep it straight.

I had started putting together a wish list of changes I'd like to see added to MKS.

I test drove a new Continental. It was not the bottom one because it had 20". I found disappointing issues. It seems quite a bit smaller interior than my MKS. Trunk is definitely smaller. Perhaps because  it had moon roof but most of the head room disappeared. I have a full hand width clearance and seated the same in the Continental I had the thickness of my hand seat all the way down.

I would think Continental implies a touring vehicle? Smaller trunk? Also I have several back problems so good posture and seating is imperative. With a high end vehicle like this you would think they'd use automatic headrests so that in an upright position you don't have these terribly angled headrests beating you in the back of the head. Oh, I have neck issues too. The salesman thought XM radios sounded really good. Give me a break.

I'm sure I will look at a lot of other stuff before buying Continental unless Ford shapes up.



#19 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:50 AM

Some of what you posted makes no sense. There is vastly more interior room in the Continental than the MKS particularly in the rear seat. With the 24 or 30 way seats, you can electrically adjust the headrests up and down as well as forward and backward. The headrests do not angle at all. If the car you drove lacked the power adjustable headrests, you drove one of the base models.

The perfect position seats are nothing short of spectacular and have been widely praised by nearly everyone. The trunk volume may be slightly less than the MKS but it is much more accessible due to the larger opening and hands free operation.

The e-latch doors and the seals around them are vastly superior to the MKS and do a remarkable job of keeping wind noise out.

I suggest you try a Reserve or Black Label Continental before you totally rule them out.
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#20 OFFLINE   JOEHIO

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:29 AM

The MKS is a really nice car, we might buy out the lease next month. Have not been able to even drive a new Conti because of the Takata air-bag issue,  Maybe just buy out the MKS for now, and look for the Conti next year.






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