Has anyone ever owned a Lincoln Town car? Did you like it

Normally I check reviews on carsurvey.org to see how positive they are for a car and how many would buy another model of the car. If more than 70% of reviewers say they’d buy another one and the majority of reviews are positive (rather than neutral or negative) I take that as a good sign. The Lincoln town car is 80%+ on reviewers giving it a positive review and/or saying they’d buy another one.

The problem is most of the positive reviews seem to revolve around comfort, I don’t see many people talking about the mechanical quality. But maybe that is because it doesn’t give them problems so they don’t comment. I don’t know, so I am wondering who here has owned one and what it was like.

I currently own a ford ranger and I am pretty happy with it mechanically. So if the town car combined the kind of reliability the Ranger has with a decent ride it would be nice.

The gas mileage isn’t great (17/23), with gas at $4/gallon. But that is about the same as my ranger gets and it uses 93 octane.

FWIW, reviews on luxury sedans like the Cadillac DeVille are extremely low, mostly due to reliability issues. So if reliability was an issue on the Lincoln you’d assume it would show up in the ratings.

Type in Lincoln Town Car maintenance issues to Google: looks like there are a bunch of forums discussing problems with the vehicle.

My parents love theirs because they’re comfortable - they just traded one in for something else because it had more than 200,000 miles on it, so I suppose they must be mechanically acceptable.

Also can’t comment on reliability. But I do like them, the Grand Marquise and the Crown Vic for rentals.

I’m tall, my Wife is short. We are both comfortable in the car. Good seating for the driver. My Wife commented on it a few times. She could move the seat so she really felt like she was in command of the car (she normally drives an SUV).

Once, in Pittsburgh we ended up with the Town Car. While big, it moved pretty well (I actually ‘pealed’ out in the thing because I was going to miss the next turn if I did not get in front of traffic). Sort of scared my B and SIL. Surprised me.

Nice comfortable ride. Not enough charging ports though from the last one I was in.

At this point, the Panther platform (Towncar/Grand Marquis/Crown Vic) is nearing something like 25 years old, so basically if you like driving a car from the Carter era then they are your thing. Then again the same thing could be said for the Ford Ranger, so maybe it IS your thing.

As for actual objective merits, there are few. They are quite spacious and comfortable, but only because they have very soft dampers and suspension. The trunk is absolutely enormous and can swallow all the corpses and Kalashnikovs you may want to transport. Reliability is reasonably good, due to the ancient chassis and drivetrain. The TC doesn’t really have anything too fancy. The Cadillac Deville gets bad reviews because it was mostly a shit car.

On the other hand, they are body-on-frame construction with a live axle rear, which are quite detrimental to handling and rife comfort. The ride isn’t bad because the dampers and springs are very, very soft, which results in acceptable ride quality but terrible handling and bodyroll. The BOF construction also does it no favors in terms of crash safety - the few tests that have been performed by the IIHS and NHTSA basically show it to be a deathtrap compared to almost any modern car. Fuel economy is bad, due to the antiquated 2 valve V8 engine and 4 speed automatic.

The bottom line is that the only reason you as a private citizen might want one of these things is if you are mechanically inclined and can get fleet units for REALLY cheap. “Mechanically inclined” because most fleet units have many hard miles on them already. Even if the engine and transmission are fairly durable, you should be prepared to do your own work on the suspension and such, which will wear out with miles. If you are, then you’ll have a fairly reliable and comfortable ride, if quite thirsty and dangerous in an accident.

If you are a normal person then almost any other modern full size sedan will be a far better choice. The new Ford Taurus is not bad, for example, if you want to stick with Ford. I’m partial to Chryslers myself so I would go for a Dodge Charger.

That sounds like a ringing endorsement!

type in “any make/model maintenance issues” will give the same results.

Having driven one, I’d recommend buying a slot in a marina. It has the handling of a small ocean liner. Taxi drivers seem to like them, so I guess reliability might not be terrible.

Thanks. I’m mostly looking for reliability, comfortable ride, halfway decent gas mileage, high depreciation (since I am buying used) and mostly positive reviews from other owners on carsurvey, msn auto, etc. all in a sedan. I’d prefer a mid size over a full size sedan, but I don’t know which ones to look at (I’ve looked at the mitsubishi galant also, but can’t find a good deal right now). FWIW I pride myself on not being a normal person, so that isn’t a detriment.

However mileage isn’t that bad, they are supposedly 17/23, which is the same that my 4 cylinder ford ranger gets and only a few behind the 17/25 in the Taurus.

And crash safety is all 4 and 5 star, even on the 10 year old models.

I looked into a ford taurus but I like to get reviews on carsurvey, msn auto, etc. from other owners and the taurus gets a lot of bad reviews. Then again I’ve owned one before and it wasn’t that bad.

well, it depends. the D186 Taurus (the jellybean car made until 2006) had some foibles, notably weak springs (and transaxle longevity if you go back far enough.) The current Taurus and the Five Hundred which preceded it is the D258 which is a totally different car. The D258 Five Hundred/Taurus (and Montego/Sable) seems to rank pretty well according to Consumer Reports.

It’s not so much that it’s reliable. It’s that it’s easy to repair. That’s particularly true for the body panels, because it uses body-on-frame construction, and because there are millions of Crown Vics and Town Cars on the road, spares are extremely cheap. That’s the same reason police forces like it (and because the handling, though atrocious, is predictable).

If you want a car that represents the worst values of the US auto industry (and the worst era of the US auto industry), go for it.

The difference there is that pickup trucks are all based on ancient technology, whereas every single car currently available in the US is more advanced than the Town Car.

that doesn’t mean as much as you think it does.

Maybe you are looking at a different source, but fueleconomy.gov gives 16/24 for the TC and 18/28 for the Taurus. The Ranger figure is also a bit different but as I said, the Ranger isn’t a very modern comparison plus it’s a truck with not so great aerodynamics.

Indeed, however:

The TC received a score of “Marginal” on the IIHS side impact test and has not been tested for roof crush strength.

Under the new and much more stringent 2011+ NHTSA testing protocol, the Taurus still scored 5/4 frontal and 5 stars side, while also receiving “Good” on all IIHS tests including roof crush. It is one of the safest cars you can get anywhere at any price. There is no 2011+ NHTSA test result for the Panther platform cars due to them being phased out last year, but the new tests have caught out a number of other cars that had previously scored full marks on the 1990-2010 test.

( To be quite fair the Dodge Charger prior to the current generation also fairs poorly in the IIHS test. I was holding out for the much improved current generation anyway)

Here is a nice consolidated summary of all crash test info.

I have not seen any notable bad reviews for the new Taurus or heard of any major, systematic mechanical issues. I’ve heard anecdotally that the Toyota sourced CVT transmissions used in the early 05-07 models (when it was still called the Five Hundred) are a bit delicate, although with proper maintainance still generally up to the job for an OEM application, so you should avoid those, to be safe. The problems seem to be mostly related to (cheap to replace)sensors and not the actual mechanics of the trans anyway.

Modern full size pickups are…quite modern. The Ranger literally uses a drivetrain from the early 90s, much like the Town Car.

I misread and thought you preferred full size to mid-size. If you’re OK with a midsize then a Subaru Legacy would be right up your alley. Impeccable safety and reliability, plus you can get it as a station wagon for more hauling capacity. These hold their value quite well unfortunately so you’ll pay more than you would a Taurus but it’s probably worth it.

If you’re feeling a bit more flush, the last generation Cadillac CTS is also one to look at.

Which car rental places do Lincolns?

2008 was the last year the Town Car was in production for the public.

You’re thinking of the Crown Victoria. The Town Car is still available (the Lincoln dealer near me has several) but 2011 will be the last model year for it.

My parents had one for a few years. That thing was a tank, I only drove it a few times, mostly because I was not comfortable driving such a hulking beast. Ride was always comfy and we would do at least 2 road trips a year to Cape Cod or Canada. Plenty of room in the backseat for me and my sister and a dog.

There’s no North American Ranger that requires 93 octane, so WTF?

I don’t own a Town Car, but really want one before they cease to exist. Comfort and cruising are my main goals.

I’ve got two stories about this car and both involve two different models.

  1. The 1996 Lincoln Town Car Executive Series. My friend and I were driving around in her 200,000 mile white Lincoln Town Car. A Toyota Camry pealed out in front of a driveway and we slammed on the brakes but hit it. Shaken up we parked and put our emergency brakes on and looked up and saw the whole bumper of the Toyota hanging down by one side, the trunk lid pushed back and up, and it looked like a nightmare. To our surprise the person pealed off and took off. Going back to her apartment to our surprise the passenger headlight was cracked and the front bumper of her TC was scuffed. That was it. We totaled that Toyota and the TC was fine. With a new $20 headlight cover it was good as new.

  2. Second story, driving my 2003 Lincoln Town Car Cartier Edition 68,000 miles home one night with the snow (Live in Michigan bad for RWD cars =( ) I slammed on my brakes during a accident or near accident in traffic and went up on the median curb (we have many boulevard style streets in Michigan also known as divided highways). Shaking my car and ground to a stop i freaked out because I just bought the thing. I was able to slowly back off the median and get back on the road and was surprised to hear no noise, and the look of drivers staring at a 21 yr old driving a TC instead of a 60year old. I get it home and look, no damage.

Needless to say these things are tanks. The 2003 Lincoln Town Car for a very good safety rating from JD Power and associates and the TC continues to be one of the safest cars on the market. It is very cushiony to drive in and while I wish they would have updated the transmission instead of the front grill on the new model, it still is my favorite car. I like it because I am a fairly big person (not fat, just 6ft and with long legs and big shoulders.) I love the room I have in the Town Car, the heated seats in the winter, the smooth ride (GD Michigan is awful for those potholes and they never get fixed), and the feeling that you are being driven from point A to point B safely. I would get one the gas isn’t too bad and with the on board computer tells you how many miles you have till you run out of gas, this will save you from running out of gas a lot. They can be bought used for cheap but the downside is they are also sold for cheap. They make a nice car for a small family or even a large one and are nice on road trips, long roads or freeway driving is ok but city driving is not so great on gas.