2019 Lexus LS Series vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus LS Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Lincoln Continental doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The LS Series’ 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 LS Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Continental doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The LS Series has a standard Auto-Stop that use 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 LS Series and the Continental have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Lincoln is ranked 20th.

Engine

The LS Series has more powerful engines than the Continental:

 

Horsepower

Torque

LS 500h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

354 HP

n/a

LS 500 3.4 turbo V6

416 HP

442 lbs.-ft.

Continental 3.7 DOHC V6

305 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Continental 2.7 turbo V6

335 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Continental 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lexus LS Series is faster than the Lincoln Continental 3.0 twin turbo V6:

 

LS 500h

LS 500

Continental

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.3 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

13.7 sec

14.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

LS Series

 

RWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

25 city/33 hwy

 

 

500 3.4 turbo V6

19 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

23 city/31 hwy

 

 

500 3.4 turbo V6

18 city/27 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

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

The LS Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Continental (21.7 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The LS Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Continental (22.2 vs. 18 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Lexus LS Series as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Lincoln Continental is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

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

The LS 500h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Continental doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the LS Series F-Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Continental:

 

LS Series

LS Series F-Sport

Continental

Front Rotors

14 inches

15.7 inches

13.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.1 inches

14.1 inches

13.6 inches

The LS Series’ 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 LS Series stops shorter than the Continental:

 

LS Series

Continental

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

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

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the LS Series 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 LS Series 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.

The LS Series F-Sport offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Continental doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The LS Series has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The LS Series’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Continental doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LS Series’ wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Continental (123 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the LS Series is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 0 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Continental.

The LS Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Continental’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the LS Series more stable handling and braking.

The LS Series 500 F Sport handles at .88 G’s, while the Continental Black Label AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The LS 500 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Continental Black Label AWD (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the LS Series’ turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the Continental’s (36.8 feet vs. 41.8 feet). The LS Series AWD’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Continental’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The LS Series has .5 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Continental.

Cargo Capacity

The LS Series has a larger trunk than the Continental (17 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the LS Series 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 Lexus service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 11% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Continental, the LS Series has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The LS Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Continental doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the LS Series 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.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its March 2018 issue and they ranked the Lexus LS 500 AWD two places higher than the Lincoln Continental Black Label AWD.

The Lexus LS Series outsold the Lincoln Continental by 6% during 2018.

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

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