The 2017 Lincoln Continental is the new redesign and reboot of a legendary nameplate, on hiatus for the last 15 years. Basically, this is an entirely new model. It's a full-size luxury sedan that does have a slightly sporty edge to it, so let's see how it compares to the more performance-orientated BMW 6 Series.
Lincoln may have resurrected the Continental name with this new 2017 model, but it's actually a bit of a departure from the previous incarnation. This one is attractive, well-balanced, and just glitzy enough to justify its luxury classification, but without going too far over the top. Though Lincoln has opted for a European luxury flair here, it also has embraced some sporty styling and aggressive features to compete directly with some of the most performance-oriented luxury brands.
The BMW 6 Series isn't the most attractive model in its class, but it's undeniably classy, grown-up, and full of presence. It does lean more towards sports car than sedan though, so it's not perhaps the car you'd turn up to an important, high-flying business meeting in. The BMW and the Lincoln are really two halves of the luxury coin.
The dual personality of the 2017 Lincoln Continental is even more obvious inside, where the front seats are sport-sedan while the rear is more like a comfortable executive office. The Continental is a big car, and that amount of available space inevitably translates to comfort that's also matched by the quality of the design and the materials.
For a start, the BMW 6 Series is designed to accommodate four and not five people, and you won't find copious amounts of room for the two who sit in the back, especially if they're tall. Even without going to the higher trims, the style and quality of the interior is excellent, but the lack of passenger space gives this round to the Lincoln.
The new Lincoln Continental offers buyers a choice of three engines, and all three are pretty good. They're all V-6 units of 3.7, 2.7 turbo, and 3.0-liter twin-turbo displacements, and they produce 305, 335, and 400 horsepower, respectively. The ride is a little firmer than some of Lincoln's rivals, but that's because the driving experience in the Continental is so much more engaging than its competitors.
Two powerplants span the 6 Series family, and the first of them is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six producing 315 horsepower in the 640i. The more powerful option is BMW's enduring 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, which this time develops an impressive 445 horsepower. This makes the BMW the performance king here, but it was only to be expected really.
You can get into a Lincoln Continental for as little as $44,720 (MSRP) for the front-wheel drive Premier model, and to say you get a lot for that money is quite an understatement. Adding the extra capability of all-wheel drive costs $2,000 more, and even the most expensive version of the Lincoln represents pretty great value at $65,075 for the sumptuous AWD Black Label.
The entry model to the BMW 6 Series range is the rear-wheel drive 640i, but it will set you back an eye-watering $77,600. At the other end of the spectrum, the Gran Coupe ALPINA B6 xDrive costs a staggering $122,500. The 6 Series is a superb car, but value for money is one thing it cannot claim to offer.
The 2017 BMW 6 Series is a sensational car, and although it's no hardcore two-seat roadster, it's certainly not as practical or flexible as it could be. The 2017 Lincoln Continental isn't a sports car or a grand coupe, but it's far more than just a luxury sedan. There's a sporty edge to the Lincoln you don't often get with full-size luxury sedans, which means it can do all the usual executive duties but still put a smile on the face of the person in the driver's seat. We choose the Lincoln Continental for its flexibility and value for money.