Premium midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,800*


1994 Lincoln Continental


1990 Lincoln Continental


1994 Lincoln Continental


1994 Lincoln Continental interior


1993 Lincoln Continental interior

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Instruments/controls

Even with its big-car looks, posh interior, limousine-style rear seat, and aerodynamic styling, the Continental lacks the performance needed to compete against other premium front-drive sedans.

Overview

When it came time to downsize and economize, Lincoln offered its customers their first taste of front-wheel drive and V6 power in 1988. The Continental coasted into the 1990 model year with only minor trim and equipment changes. The grille had bolder vertical bars and the hood wore a new ornament. The Continental came in both base and Signature Series trim levels, both powered by a 140-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Dual airbags were standard, as was a computer-controlled suspension, variable-assist power steering, and four-wheel antilock brakes.

Yearly Updates

1991 Continental
Thanks to a new dual exhaust system and internal engine changes, Lincoln was able to boost power in the Continental from 140 to 155 horsepower at 4000 rpm. The standard 4-speed automatic also gains electronic controls. Among other changes, the base model now carries the name “Executive Series.”
1992 Continental
A standard passenger-side airbag and a power boost from 155 to 160 horsepower for the Continental’s 3.8-liter V6 are the two most significant changes for ’92.
1993 Continental
New optional buckets come with center armrest/storage console and cupholder in place of the previous 50/50 split bench seat. Also, there’s a new steering wheel as well as seatbelts, which gain height-adjustable anchors on each B-pillar.
1994 Continental
In the final year of its current design, Continental made an early appearance in May 1993, complete with a new grille, taillamps, and exterior moldings. Changes were also made to the suspension to improve ride control.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Power from Ford’s 3.8-liter V6 has gradually been boosted between 1988 and 1994, pushing power for the Lincoln Continental from 140 to 160 horsepower. And while electronic 4-speed automatic and a torque rating of 225 pound-feet help the car keep up with traffic, the Lincoln Continental simply lacks the strong, refined power of rivals such as the Cadillac DeVille and Concours, with their 200 horsepower V8 or even the Chrysler New Yorker and LHS, which provide 214 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6. The Continental responds slowly to the throttle and sounds rough and coarse when accelerating, especially before the engine is warm.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 215
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/23

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 155
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 220
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/24

17.0

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/26

18.5

Road Test

The six-passenger interior is quite accommodating and the 19.1 cubic feet of trunk space is generous, but the missing ingredient was the kind of powertrain that could inspire confidence. With nearly all luxury rivals boasting V6 and V8 engines with at least 200 horsepower on tap, the Continental failed to generate much enthusiasm. Despite this drawback, the car’s standard computer-controlled suspension soaks up most bumps and ruts easily, providing a stable highway ride. The body tends to float over wavy surfaces, even though the suspension is calibrated to stiffen automatically to control bounce. The steering feels light and numb, but it centers easily after turns. Though the all-season tires are not designed for slalom racing, they grip well on wet surfaces and the front-drive Continental feels surefooted in tight turns.

Many accessory switches are difficult to see at night, because they’re unlit.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1991 Lincoln Continental

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 50

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.0 205.1 72.7 55.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
19.1 18.4 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 38.4 41.7 39.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Continental 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 93
Injury 71
Theft 93

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: If the transmission shudders or vibrates when accelerating above 35 mph, the torque-converter clutch is most likely the problem. The fix is to replace the EEC-IV processor (computer) and the fluid. (1991)
Blower motor
Description: Squeaking or chirping blower motors are the result of defective brush holders. (1990-94)
Engine noise
Description: Motor mounts are prone to premature wear causing a clunking noise. (1992-93)
Oil leak
Description: Ford extended the warranty on 3.8-liter Taurus to 7 years/100,000 miles and may compensate owners for repairs related to head-gasket failures. (1994)
Tire wear
Description: Rapid rear tire wear is caused by poor rear wheel alignment. Kits are available to provide camber adjustment to correct the problem. (1990-94)

Recall History

1990
Description: Front-outboard seating position seatbelt buckles can fail to latch or unlatch.
1990-94 sold or registered in 24 states or D.C.
Description: Rear-lower subframe-mount plate nut can experience corrosion cracking if subjected to long-term exposure to road salt; can result in fracture.
1991-94 in 23 specified states
Description: Water can accumulate within the speed-control cable conduit; if unit is activated and cable has frozen, throttle may not return to idle.
1992-94 registered in AK, IA, MN, NE, ND, or SD
Description: During high winds, heavy drifting snow, and low temperatures, engine fan may become blocked or frozen and fail to rotate; and can cause smoke/flame.
1993-94
Description: Headlights can flash intermittently as a result of circuit-breaker opening.
1994
Description: Brake pedal push rod retainer may be missing or improperly installed, which can cause loss of braking ability.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.