BY MARK KEAST

A few things that come to mind, thinking back on my four days behind the wheel of the 2017 Lincoln Continental: One, this ain’t your father’s Lincoln. Not even close. Second, I was really sad after having to hand it back to its keepers. Third, those were a lot of luxury options for its $81,250 price point.

The Lincoln is a brand named after a famous and beloved U.S. president. It’s also a formidable entry into a 5-passenger, 4-door luxury sedan category with formidable competition – BMW 7-Series, Mercedes Benz E-Class, to name a few.

So let’s look at the facts.

In my view, the car has more than enough power. How much power do you really need, after all? The Continental uses a 3.0 liter twin turbo-charged V6 engine, resulting in 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. I had no complaints on the local highways, or getting around traffic in the downtown core. Zero to 100 mph in 12.2-14 seconds – instant power that leaves an impression on passersby. Six speed automatic with manual shifting mode, all-wheel drive, a confident, bold and seamless exterior design led by that new distinctive grille.

As I walked up to the car, signature LED lighting in the lower front body engaged, as well as a luminous Lincoln welcome mat next to my front door — welcoming me in.

What I really found noticeable – and for me, getting me close to competitors in the BMW, Audi, and Mercedes class – was the cabin comfort. Led by a warm and contemporary interior design, with a superior level craftsmanship, I particular enjoyed the ease-of-use with the information display screen (audio, phone, navigation and other features on a responsive touch screen), and a superlative 19-speaker sound system. Then there is the seat comfort – absurdly luxurious seating actually, seats that you can adjust 30 different ways. The driver seat will perfectly hug your upper body, perfect spine alignment, and I especially loved the headrest component. The panoramic sunroof covers nearly the entire roof area – the front half slides up over the rear, complementing the spacious cabin area, creating an even more open-air experience. Plenty of leg room for the folks in the back as well.

There are many other options to mention (including the heads-up display and various driver-assist technologies). Bottom line, we all have a decision to make when choosing our luxury car, and many factors to weigh. Will those people in love with German-engineered cars in this bracket venture out and try the Continental?

When weighing the price point of the 2017 Lincoln Continental, and everything you get for your money, it makes for some serious consideration.