2019 Acura RLX vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The RLX’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Continental doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The RLX has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Continental doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the RLX and the Continental have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura RLX is safer than the Lincoln Continental:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

163 lbs.

181 lbs.

Neck Compression

67 lbs.

84 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura RLX is safer than the Lincoln Continental:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.9 inches


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches




Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Continental have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 7 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RLX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Continental 2.7 turbo AWD (28 city/29 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the RLX gets better fuel mileage than the Continental:








3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy



Sport Hybrid 3.5 V6 Hybrid

28 city/29 hwy




3.7 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy



2.7 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy



3.7 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy



2.7 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy



3.0 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the RLX’s fuel efficiency. The Continental doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the RLX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Continental doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Continental requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.


A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Continental.

The RLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Continental doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The RLX stops shorter than the Continental:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RLX has larger tires than the Continental (245/40R19 vs. 235/50R18).

The RLX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Continental Standard’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RLX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Continental Standard.

Suspension and Handling

The RLX has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Continental’s suspension doesn’t offer front gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RLX is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than on the Continental.

The RLX handles at .84 G’s, while the Continental Black Label AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the RLX’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Continental’s (40.5 feet vs. 41.8 feet).


The Acura RLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 250 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The RLX is 3.3 inches shorter than the Continental, making the RLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The RLX has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Continental.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RLX offers cargo security. The Continental’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.


The RLX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Continental doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

When the RLX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Continental’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RLX will cost $3253 less than the Continental over a five-year period.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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