24350 W 12 Mile Rd.
Directions Southfield, MI 48034

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2017 Lincoln Continental vs Mercedes E Class


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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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A long-time leader in the executive sedan class, the Mercedes E-class is a well-known vehicle. Mercedes is, after all, one of the leaders of European luxury. Lincoln, on the other hand, has been producing American executive vehicles for nearly a century, and has developed a reputation of reliability and comfort.

One of the most well-known names Lincoln produces is the Lincoln Continental, one of the icons of American luxury. Beloved by presidents, businessmen, and more, the Continental shone through the mid-century. Now, after a fifteen-year absence, the Lincoln Continental returns - and in a big way. Is it strong enough to topple the E-class?

One Versus Many

While the Mercedes E-class used to be available in numerous guises, the new generation of the E-class sedan is only available in the E300 version to start. This means a single engine, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to stop/start technology, it is fairly fuel efficient, but the power numbers are far from interesting, at 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is available, but in the end, the performance is underwhelming.


On the other hand, not only does the new Lincoln Continental aim to give you choice, it also wants you to be confident in the choice you make. Even the base engine, a 3.7-liter V6, provides 305 throaty horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, so you never have to worry about lag in acceleration. The numbers only rise from there, with a 2.7-liter turbocharged engine being the next step up. With 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, it is an excellent powerplant, quick off the line and more than capable at overtaking. Available in front- or all-wheel drive, with pleasing fuel efficiency, it hits the sweet spot for most drivers. For the driver in search of more, at the top of the line is a 400-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. With 400 lb-ft of torque, this is the clear favorite for confidence on the roadways.

Incomparable Spaciousness

While the E-class straddles the line between mid- and full-size, the Lincoln is unabashedly full-size, which works to the advantage of the driver and passengers. While the two vehicles are nearly identical when it comes to height and width, they Lincoln measures in at 7.5 inches longer. Most importantly, it takes this 7.5 inches of length and uses it smartly.


To begin with, all passengers get a great deal more leg room in the Continental. Up front, the E-class maxes out at 41.7 inches of leg room, while rear seat passengers are squeezed with 36.2 inches. Conversely, the Lincoln Continental has a maximum of 44.4 inches up front, as well as 41.3 inches for rear-seat passengers. This is a major difference, one that will make all of the difference when it comes to longer trips, or having larger adults as passengers. While head room in the rear seats is fairly equal between the two, the Lincoln Continental has 1.9 inches extra head room in the front seats.

Lincoln didn't just use the extra 7.5 inches of length on the passengers either. The trunk of the Continental has space for 16.7 cubic feet of cargo, while the E-class only offers 13.1 cubic feet. 3.5 cubic feet is a lot of space - a piece of checked luggage, or an extra bag of mulch, although we doubt you'll be using the Lincoln for the latter.

Luxury is a Standard

When you call your vehicle a luxury automobile, it means that the prospective buyer shouldn't need to spec out options packages to get features that many would see as standard luxury-level equipment. For instance, heated front seats are a feature that has even made it into some entry-level cars as standard. While the Lincoln provides this feature on every Continental, on the Mercedes-Benz E-class, it is an additional option. Same goes for a rear view camera, which on the E-class, requires the purchase of an extensive package. On the Continental, one is standard at all trim levels.


Lincoln also goes the extra mile, equipping the Continental with Lincoln experiences such as an exterior welcome mat under the door, fade-on exterior lighting, and backlit door handles, all triggered by Approach Detection. Not only is it attractive, it provides a welcoming feeling, as well as adding an extra level of safety in a dark parking lot.

As a luxury car maker, you also need to ensure that the luxuries you provide are well-developed. While the Lincoln Continental uses the tried-and-true SYNC infotainment system, the Mercedes E-class utilizes the COMAND interface. While COMAND may be a more powerful system overall, it is incredibly clunky and overwhelming. The streamlined, user-friendly SYNC interface is easy to learn, and smoothly integrates into everyday use. You'll get much better use out of SYNC system than the COMAND system.


"The designers at Lincoln did the little things right - such as deploy a Lincoln logo that illuminates the pavement around its front doors - to make the car owner feel as though they are driving a more luxurious vehicle." - Architectural Digest


"Each new version of Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system grows more cumbersome, overwrought, and bewildering. Finding what you want is a distracting maze." - Consumer Reports

Value-Minded Luxury

While the Mercedes star has always stood for excellence, it also has always had a hefty price tag attached. The 2017 E-class sedan is no different, starting out well above $50,000 for a base model with limited features. Once you start adding on options, it can reach $80,000 or above - and remember, you still are hampered by the same low-powered engine. Even in the exclusive Black Label guise that includes a maintenance plan, yearly detailing, and more in addition to the 3.0-liter engine, the Continental still comes in well under $80,000. Is that Mercedes star worth the cost?