2020 Lincoln Continental vs. 2019 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Continental 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 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Continental and 6 Series Gran Coupe have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Continental has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The rear seatbelts optional on the Continental Reserve/Black Label inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the Continental’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Continental and the 6 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Continental its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 6 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Continental 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 6 Series Gran Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Continental’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Continental has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Continental has a 175-amp alternator. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s standard 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Lincoln Continental turbo V6 is faster than the 640i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. (automatics tested):

Continental

6 Series Gran Coupe

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12 sec

15.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.5 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Continental has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lincoln Continental higher (3 to 5 out of 10) than the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (1 to 3). This means the Continental produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 6 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Continental’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

Continental

6 Series Gran Coupe

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

13.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The Continental has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 6 Series Gran Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the 6 Series Gran Coupe don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

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The Continental’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Continental’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the 6 Series Gran Coupe (117.9 inches vs. 116.7 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Continental uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Continental uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Continental Reserve AWD is quieter than the 640i Gran Coupe (73 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Continental a Large car, while the 6 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.

The Continental has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 6 Series Gran Coupe (106.4 vs. 97).

The Continental has 2.3 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 6 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Continental Reserve/Black Label’s available rear seats recline. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Continental has a much larger trunk than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat up (16.7 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Continental’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The Continental has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The 6 Series Gran Coupe has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The Continental has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Continental’s exterior PIN entry system. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Continental’s exterior PIN entry system. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Continental has standard extendable sun visors. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Continental Reserve/Black Label has standard front air-conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Continental Reserve/Black Label has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Continental owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Continental will cost $505 to $9180 less than the 6 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lincoln Continental will be $32246 to $45900 less than for the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/05

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

The Lincoln Continental outsold the BMW 6 Series by almost four to one during the 2019 model year.

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