2019 Nissan Maxima vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Continental doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima (except S/SV/SL) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which 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 Maxima 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, 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, rearview cameras, available 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 Nissan Maxima is safer than the Lincoln Continental:

 

Maxima

Continental

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

106

174

Neck Compression

20 lbs.

43 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

67/94 lbs.

215/313 lbs.

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

Warranty

There are over 27 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 6 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Lincoln Continental twin turbo V6:

 

Maxima

Continental

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

5.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

99.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Maxima gets better fuel mileage than the Continental FWD with its standard engine (20 city/30 hwy vs. 17 city/26 hwy).

Transmission

The Maxima 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

The Maxima’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 Maxima stops shorter than the Continental:

 

Maxima

Continental

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

The Maxima’s 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 Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Continental doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Continental, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Maxima SR handles at .86 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 Maxima’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Continental’s (38.1 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 850 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The Maxima is 8.6 inches shorter than the Continental, making the Maxima easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Maxima has .1 inches more front headroom and .6 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 Maxima offers cargo security. The Continental’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The Maxima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Continental does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Maxima 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 Maxima with available tilt-down mirrors 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Maxima offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Maxima offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Maxima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Maxima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Continental is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the Continental because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the Continental, including $79 less for a water pump, $423 less for a muffler, $36 less for front brake pads, $256 less for front struts, $249 less for a timing belt/chain and $533 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $6014 to $19136 less than for the Lincoln Continental.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Maxima and the Lincoln Continental, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Lincoln Continental by over five to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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