24350 W 12 Mile Rd.
Directions Southfield, MI 48034

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2017 Lincoln Continental vs Cadillac CTS


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24350 W 12 Mile Rd.
Directions Southfield, MI 48034

  • Sales: (888) 337-6151
  • Service: (888) 356-1278
  • Parts: (888) 379-2802

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Credited with helping to revive the Cadillac brand, the CTS was been named to the Car and Driver 10-Best list six times, and has won the Car of the Year from Motor Trend twice. However, it is a model that has been on the market for 13 years - a period of time where the Lincoln Continental was absent from the upscale car market.

The return of the Lincoln Continental is sure to shake up the upscale sedan market. It's not just the name recognition that will help it - the new Continental comes with technology that is ahead of the pack, as well as on-demand power that gives the driver confidence to match the style. All of this is done following Lincoln's "Quiet Luxury" theme, creating a value-minded, understated vehicle that ticks all of the boxes. So how well does the revitalized Lincoln match up with the CTS?

Consider Your Passengers

While the Cadillac CTS matches the Lincoln Continental when it comes to front-seat space, your rear-seat passengers may not be quite as appreciative. While the Lincoln Continental keeps them in mind, providing 41.3 inches of leg room, the CTS makes it pretty uncomfortable for full-size adults, providing only 35.4 inches of leg room. A half-hour into the road trip, and that six inches will seem like six feet.


It's not just your passengers that suffer from cramping. The Lincoln Continental provides 16.7 cubic feet of cargo volume, but the CTS only offers 13.7 cubic feet, not to mention the trunk of the Cadillac is oddly-shaped. 3 cubic feet is two pieces of carry-on luggage, another set of golf clubs, a few extra bags of groceries. It may not sound like much, but it can easily be the difference between having to carry luggage in the trunk versus the back seat.

Smoothly Integrated Technology

With the rapid advancement of technology and its usage in vehicles, smooth integration has become important. It doesn't matter how powerful your infotainment system is, if it is distracting for the driver or difficult to learn, it is more of a hazard than a help. Unfortunately for Cadillac, the CUE system is not only slightly behind the times, but is also incredibly distracting. The haptic feedback is unpredictable, and the language-recognition software fails far too often.


Inside the Lincoln Continental, you can choose from two award-winning infotainment systems, the original SYNC system or the highly-advanced SYNC 3. What has made these two systems so popular is their ease of use and driver-oriented integration. While SYNC can match CUE for power, SYNC 3 is part of an entirely new generation - more powerful, more apps, more media flexibility. Voice recognition is standard and near-flawless, while feedback is consistent.

Staying a Step Ahead

Combining power and efficiency is the key to a successful drivetrain in a luxury vehicle, and Lincoln is a step ahead of Cadillac at every level. Both offer three different engines. Facing off at the base level is Cadillac's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine against Lincoln's naturally-aspirated 3.7-liter engine. The Continental comes out ahead with 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque versus the 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in the Cadillac CTS. The Cadillac does provide slightly better gas mileage at that level though.

The real difference comes with the next step up. While the Cadillac moves up to a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated engine, the power numbers aren't that impressive. 335 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque comes with auto start/stop, which helps to save gas in the city. However, out on the highway, fuel mileage sits at 24 MPG. The 2.7-liter turbocharged engine in the Lincoln Continental puts out the same horsepower, but with 380 lb-ft of torque on hand - that's an immense increase in acceleration potential. On top of that, while the Lincoln and the Cadillac get nearly identical city efficiency, the Lincoln gets 3 more limes per gallon on the highway. That's an extra 40-50 miles per fill-up if you do a lot of highway driving.


At the top of the list is the match-up of the Cadillac CTS-V with the 3.6-liter turbocharged engine, versus the Lincoln Continental with a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine. While the size difference is drastic, the power difference is not as big as you'd expect - the Cadillac has an advantage of 2- horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque. Of course, it comes with two massive disadvantages. The first is fuel efficiency - at 12 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway, the CTS-V is incredibly thirsty. In comparison, the 3.0-liter in the Continental gets 16 MPG city and 24 MPG highway. An average of 5 miles per gallon in regular driving adds up quick for a minor uptick in power. On top of that is the price - the upgraded engine is rear-wheel-drive only in the Cadillac, but still puts you up to almost $62,000 MSRP before adding any options. The 3.0-liter can be had for under $60,000 in the Lincoln, and comes with all-wheel drive.


"It might replace the MKS at the top of Lincoln's lineup, but the Continental is a much more fully realized luxury car." - Car and Driver


"(The Cadillac CTS') CUE infotainment system can be a bit of a handful to operate because it isn't as intuitive as some of its competitors' interfaces. Additionally, the touch-sensitive buttons are slow to respond and force you to take your eyes off the road." - Motor Trend

Quiet Success

At a time when American Luxury was falling behind, the Cadillac CTS stepped into a void, and helped to give Cadillac a lift. Bringing a revolutionary change in style to a stale company, the angular design was a new look for Detroit. The return of the Lincoln Continental is sure to put Cadillac back on the defensive again, thanks to stately, European-inspired packaging and one of the quietest, most pleasant rides of any luxury vehicle on the market. It is this quiet, composed feeling that gives the Lincoln Continental a major advantage, no matter what vehicle you compare it against.