One year ago this week I replaced my 2010 MKS ecoboost with a Continental Reserve 3.0 with tech and Climate packages, 30 way seats and Revel sound system. Since then we have driven around 12,000 miles including a trip from Minneapolis to Dallas, a few shorter trips around the midwest and about 25 trips down the quarter mile at local drag strips. The car has had 2 warranty claims - one for a power seat module and another for a new instrument cluster. In both cases, dealer service was excellent and I was given a free loaner.
If I bought cars based on exterior styling, the Conti would not be considered. Although pleasant looking, I think they are far too bland. I am glad they avoided huge grotesque grills like Lexus or goofy droopy headlights like Cadillac but I think they should have been far more adventurous in design. My idea of exterior beauty is more along the lines of Jaguar XJ or Aston Martin Rapide styling. Personally, I think the first generation MKS was far more attractive than the Conti in spite of being too tall and having too much front overhang. The exterior fit and finish is very good on the Conti, however, with tighter and more consistent panel gaps than the MKS.
The interior of the Conti is extremely comfortable with lots of room and all features are extremely friendly to use. The tech all works flawlessly and I appreciate the buttons for the most used features and not needing to put fingerprints on the center screen. Interior fit and finish is excellent and materials are great except for the rear seat pass-through which is hard black plastic. (I covered mine with cloth matching the interior color.) The 30 way seats are fabulous. We drove from Dallas to Minneapolis in one day and I was not even tired. The ability to support each thigh individually, vary the lumbar and bolstering, and obtain a nice massage every couple of hours or so make a huge difference. I do think they should make the instrument cluster and center screen more configurable. The 2018 Mustang cluster is far better than the Conti. The center screen could also be larger but still integrated into the dash. Lastly, I wish they would allow customer choice of interior wood.
The 3.0 is a quieter engine than the first gen 3.5 ecoboost. It also provides excellent and smooth power...effortless as they say. The 6F55 transmission shifts smoothly, never hunts for gears and kicks down quickly for passing. However, it does have 2 major flaws. In stock tune, upshifts under WOT are terrible...power is cut before, during and after the shift resulting in surging and sagging instead of steady power delivery. In spite of the 3.0 making more power and torque than the 3.5 and the Conti benefiting from a 3.39 gear vs 2.77 in the MKS, the Conti is only .2 seconds quicker in the quarter mile. They put this nice engine in the car and then dumbed it down due to the transmission. The other flaw is too many RPM at cruising speeds with the 3.39 gearing. The way it is geared currently, the Conti uses more fuel on the highway than the MKS did with its 2.77 gear. I solved the terrible WOT upshifting with a tune but no other Conti owners will do that and risk the warranty. It needs the 8 speed transmission for sure.
The Conti rides well and is relatively quiet but I think there is room for improvement in both of those areas. Compared with our 2014 Taurus or my old MKS, the comfort setting on the Conti is slightly more compliant than either of those. The normal setting is a bit stiffer than our Taurus and the sport setting is almost harsh on our nasty Minneapolis streets. In terms of quietness, the Conti is again slightly better than our Taurus or my old MKS. It actually has a bit more tire thump over poor pavement but that is likely due to less noise overall resulting in the tire thump being more noticeable. The handling precision and steering of the Conti is MUCH better than the MKS or Taurus. The adaptive steering and dynamic torque vectoring make the Conti surprisingly nimble and even playful in the twisties.
I am glad I bought the Conti and I do like it. However, I doubt if I keep it as long as I did the MKS. Lincoln's current strategy of focusing on customer experience is useless to me. I am probably more of a Ford customer in spite of my last 3 cars being Lincolns. Since we will always have a 4 door sedan like our current Taurus for my wife, my next car will hopefully be either a Mustang GT or GT 500.