2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2018 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Lincoln Continental doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan’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.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the Continental have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 800-amp battery. The Continental’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Continental:

 

 

C-Class

Continental

 

2WD

300/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

3.7 V6/Manual

 

 

 

18 city/27 hwy

2.7 Turbo/Auto

AWD

300/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

17 city/25 hwy

2.7 Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

16 city/24 hwy

3.0 Turbo/Auto

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes C-Class Sedan higher (5 out of 10) than the Lincoln Continental (3 to 5). This means the C-Class Sedan produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Continental every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Continental.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the AMG C 43 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Continental:

 

AMG C 43

Continental

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.9 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the Continental:

 

C-Class

Continental

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The C-Class Sedan’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall 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 available on the C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Continental’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the Continental Reserve AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Continental Black Label AWD (25.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the Continental’s (36.8 feet vs. 41.8 feet). The AMG C 43 Sedan’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Continental’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The C-Class Sedan is 1 foot, 4.9 inches shorter than the Continental, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the C-Class Sedan 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 Mercedes service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 8% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Continental, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The C-Class Sedan 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.

The C-Class Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Continental’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

When the C-Class Sedan is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Continental’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Lincoln Continental isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Continental because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the Continental, including $152 less for a muffler, $17 less for front brake pads, $67 less for front struts, $730 less for a timing belt/chain and $381 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Continental has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Lincoln Continental by over six to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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