2020 Lincoln Continental vs. 2020 Kia Cadenza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/09/25

Both the Continental and Cadenza 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 Cadenza’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Continental offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cadenza doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Compared to metal, the Continental’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Cadenza has a metal gas tank.

Both the Continental and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, collision warning systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

The Lincoln Continental weighs 434 to 914 pounds more than the Kia Cadenza. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 87 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cadenza has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Continental’s 5-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Cadenza runs out after 100,000 miles.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

Engine

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The Continental’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (305 vs. 290) and 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Continental’s optional 2.7 turbo V6 produces 45 more horsepower (335 vs. 290) and 127 lbs.-ft. more torque (380 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Continental’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 produces 110 more horsepower (400 vs. 290) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lincoln Continental turbo V6 is faster than the Kia Cadenza:

Continental

Cadenza

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.3 MPH

95.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Continental’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Continental’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cadenza:

Continental

Cadenza

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

The Continental stops shorter than the Cadenza:

Continental

Cadenza

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Continental Select/Reserve’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cadenza (255/45R19 vs. 245/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Continental Select/Reserve offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Cadenza’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Continental has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Continental’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the Cadenza (117.9 inches vs. 112.4 inches).

The Continental Black Label AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Continental Black Label AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Cadenza Limited (26.1 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

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 Cadenza 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Continental has .8 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more rear headroom and 4.1 inches more rear legroom than the Cadenza.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Continental has a larger trunk than the Cadenza (16.7 vs. 16 cubic feet).

The Continental’s available rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Continental offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

Towing

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The Continental has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Cadenza 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 Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 40% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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The Continental Reserve/Black Label has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Continental’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cadenza’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Continental the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Cadenza can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Continental (except Standard) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Cadenza doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Continental also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the Continental Reserve/Black Label and manual rear side window sunshades are optional to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

The Continental’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Continental (except Standard) offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Cadenza.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Continental Reserve/Black Label’s Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Continental owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Continental with a number “3” insurance rate while the Cadenza is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

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 2020/09/25

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

The Lincoln Continental outsold the Kia Cadenza by over four to one during 2019.

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

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