2019 Cadillac CTS vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CTS’ optional 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.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lincoln Continental has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The CTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Continental doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

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

 

CTS

Continental

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Stress

174 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

7 lbs.

43 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 Cadillac CTS is safer than the Lincoln Continental:

 

CTS

Continental

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

83

322

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

297

369

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

Warranty

The CTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Continental’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the CTS has a standard 730-amp battery. The Continental’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the CTS is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the CTS’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Continental’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The CTS V-Sport’s 3.6 turbo V6 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (430 vs. 400) than the Continental’s optional 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the CTS V-Sport is faster than the Lincoln Continental 3.0 twin turbo V6:

 

CTS

Continental

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.9 MPH

99.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CTS

 

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

 

 

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/29 hwy

 

 

V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

 

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

Continental

 

FWD

3.7 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy

 

 

2.7 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

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 CTS non-turbo V6’s fuel efficiency. The Continental doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CTS has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Continental (19 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac CTS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Continental.

Brakes and Stopping

The CTS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Continental are solid, not vented.

The CTS stops much shorter than the Continental:

 

CTS

Continental

 

70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CTS has larger standard tires than the Continental (245/45R17 vs. 235/50R18).

The CTS’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Continental Standard’s standard 50 series tires. The CTS’ optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Continental Select/Reserve’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CTS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Continental doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CTS’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.3% to 49.7%) than the Continental’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the CTS more stable handling and braking.

The CTS V-Sport handles at .96 G’s, while the Continental Black Label AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CTS V-Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Continental Black Label AWD (24.5 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CTS V-Sport’s turning circle is 5.1 feet tighter than the Continental’s (36.7 feet vs. 41.8 feet). The CTS AWD’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Continental’s (39 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The Cadillac CTS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The CTS is 5.9 inches shorter than the Continental, making the CTS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the CTS V-Sport is quieter than the Continental Reserve AWD (66 vs. 67 dB).

Passenger Space

The CTS has 1.1 inches more front headroom and 1.3 inches more front legroom than the Continental.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the CTS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Continental. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With an 11% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

The CTS 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 CTS 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 CTS owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CTS will cost $740 less than the Continental over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CTS is less expensive to operate than the Continental because typical repairs cost much less on the CTS than the Continental, including $75 less for a water pump, $64 less for fuel injection, $66 less for front struts, $391 less for a timing belt/chain and $428 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The CTS V-Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The Continental has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CTS as their 2014 Car of the Year. The Continental has never been chosen.

The CTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Continental has never been an “All Star.”

The Cadillac CTS outsold the Lincoln Continental by 28% during 2018.

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

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