2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2018 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CLS’ 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 CLS and the Continental have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 3 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

The CLS has more powerful engines than the Continental:

 

Horsepower

Torque

CLS 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG CLS 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 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 Car and Driver the CLS 450 is faster than the Lincoln Continental 3.0 twin turbo V6:

 

CLS

Continental

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

12 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

106 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

CLS

Continental

 

2WD

 

n/a

17 city/26 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto

 

450/Auto

24 city/31 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

2.7 twin turbo V6/Auto

AWD

 

n/a

16 city/24 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto

 

450/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

2.7 twin turbo V6/Auto

 

AMG 53/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

3.0 twin turbo V6/Auto

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

The CLS has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Continental (21.1 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, 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 CLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Continental:

 

CLS

Continental

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.9 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

The CLS’ 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 CLS stops shorter than the Continental:

 

CLS

Continental

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CLS has larger tires than the Continental (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 235/50R18).

The CLS’ 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Continental Premiere’s standard 50 series tires. The CLS’ tires are lower profile than the Continental Select/Reserve’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLS 450 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Continental Premiere.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS 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 CLS 450 4MATIC 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.

For better maneuverability, the CLS’ turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the Continental’s (39.1 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The CLS is 4.7 inches shorter than the Continental, making the CLS 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 CLS offers cargo security. The Continental’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the CLS 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 CLS has standard driver and 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 CLS’ 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.

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

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