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Continental vs. E-Class: Are American Luxury Cars as Good as European Luxury Cars?

January 31, 2017

Needless to say, this is a difficult question to answer. It depends on the class of vehicle you're interested in, the particular vehicles you like, and even the time at which the vehicle was manufactured. Let's use an example, anyway. We're pitting the Continental vs. the E-Class.

2017 Lincoln Continental Premiere

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300


Both Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz fall into the Low-to-medium reliability category. Last year, Benz was ranked the 17th most reliable brand and Lincoln came in 20th when Consumer Reports studied reliability. Lexus and Toyota topped the list. In previous years, the Mercedes and Lincoln ranked in the same mid-low area. These studies are based on complaints submitted by vehicle owners and do not take specific models into account.


Interior is an important factor in deciding which luxury vehicle is better. In the case of the E-Class, Mercedes paid plenty of attention to it. Its ambient light settings include 64 different colors. It has a traditional tachometer and speedometer, a 7-inch display in front of the driver and an 8.4 inch display to the right. The seats are expertly crafted, designed to mold to your body shape comfortably. The leather fits into the mix nicely, flowing in wavy patterns all the way to the dash.

Lincoln didn't spare much to compete with Mercedes and other luxury brands. Drivers say the continental is impressively comfortable. The front seats are of the heated, 10-way adjustable, power variety and are soft to the touch. The infotainment system is on par with the industry and includes an 8" touch screen and 10 audio speakers. Like the Benz, the Premiere trim has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stylish wood trim and ambient lighting. The two vehicles are very comparable.


The Mercedes comes with an array of safety tech, which includes crosswind assist, pre-safe (tightens seatbelts when traction is lost), pre-safe sound (reduces noise impact on driver's/passengers' ears), keyless start, rain-sensing wipers and drive pilot (autopilot system including collision avoidance, lane-change assist, evasive steering and more). For more information on the E-Class's technology, click here.

As for the Continental, this is where the consequences of its lower price start to show. It doesn't include as much standard tech as the E-Class. What it does include is front/rear park assist, hill start assist and forward-sensing system.


Continental: 305hp (0-60 in 6 seconds)

E-Class: 240hp (0-60 in 6.2 seconds)


Continental: $44,720

E-Class: $52,150

The Verdict

We think the race is very close here. What the Lincoln lacks in technology, it makes up for in horsepower and price savings. Which is better depends on your personal preferences. This is how it always goes, not just for these two vehicles. American luxury is no joke but it's all relative because, after all, is it luxury if you don't like it?

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