2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Lincoln Continental

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 2020/02/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Lincoln Continental doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S-Class’ 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.

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

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Continental doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the S-Class 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the Continental:

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 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 Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the Lincoln Continental 3.0 turbo V6:

S-Class

Continental

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

99.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

S-Class Sedan

RWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/28 hwy

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

Maybach 650 6.0 turbo V12

13 city/21 hwy

AWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/28 hwy

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

Maybach 560 4.0 turbo V8

16 city/25 hwy

Continental

FWD

3.7 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.7 DOHC

16 city/24 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560’s fuel efficiency. The Continental doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Continental (21.1 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Continental (24.6 vs. 18 gallons).

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Continental:

S 450/560

S 650

Continental

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

15.4 inches

13.9 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

The S-Class’ 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 S-Class stops shorter than the Continental:

S-Class

Continental

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the Continental (245/50R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The S-Class’ optional 275/35R20 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 standard on the S-Class 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

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Continental, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lincoln doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Continental.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Continental doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Continental (124.6 inches vs. 117.9 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 14.6 inches longer than on the Continental (132.5 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Continental Black Label AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Continental Black Label AWD (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S 450/560’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Continental’s (40.4 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Passenger Space

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The S-Class has 5.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Continental (112 vs. 106.4).

The S-Class has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Continental.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the Continental (18.7 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

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

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the S-Class 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 fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 5% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Continental, the S-Class 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 S-Class’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Continental’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The S-Class 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.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Continental doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

When the S-Class 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.

Both the S-Class and the Continental offer available massaging front seats. The S-Class also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the Continental.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lincoln MKZ has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and for the rear passengers. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Continental Reserve/Black Label’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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

The S-Class will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S-Class will retain 37.53% to 39.12% of its original price after five years, while the Continental only retains 33.43% to 34.15%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the Continental because typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the Continental, including $749 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2020/02/21

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Lincoln Continental by 87% during the 2019 model year.

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