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2006 Lincoln Town Car reviews

April 9, 2006 10:37 PM EST | Lincoln , Luxury Brands , Sedans | Email to Friend

View large imageIf you want a big American luxury car for a reasonable price, the Town Car is the only game in town, but similarly priced European and Japanese luxury sedans are better in almost every respect.

Pros
Roomy interior, quiet cabin, huge trunk, good crash test scores, availability of a long-wheelbase model.

Cons
Interior looks ancient compared to European and Japanese sedans in this price range, missing the latest luxury features, poor resale value.

What's New for 2006
Changes for 2006 are limited to new wheel designs.

Introduction:
Lincoln first used the Town Car nomenclature to define an upgraded interior trim on the 1969-1971 Continental, but a Town Sedan version of the 1949 Cosmopolitan is probably the true source of the current model's name. The Town Sedan lasted just one year, and it wasn't until 1972 that "Town Car" was used to delineate the most luxurious versions of the Continental sedan. Continental coupes of the time were called, not surprisingly, Town Coupe. In any case, the Town Car has been Lincoln's flagship sedan since the early 1980s, and it has one of the highest owner loyalty ratings in the luxury car segment. With its size and relatively modest price, the Town Car is also a favorite of livery services and limousine converters. An extensive redesign of the Town Car's suspension, exterior and interior for 1998 boosted the refinement levels a few notches. Further refinements in 2003 helped usher the platform into this century. Nevertheless, the Town Car remains an old-school example of rear-drive Detroit steel and this helps keep its price relatively affordable -- exactly what Town Car loyalists want. However, discerning shoppers are apt to find modern cars like the Chrysler 300C, Infiniti Q45 and even the Toyota Avalon more qualified in nearly every area.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The Lincoln Town Car is offered in Signature, Signature Limited and Designer trim. The Signature is available in regular- or long-wheelbase (called the L) form, while the Signature Limited and Designer comes with the regular wheelbase only. Standard equipment on the Signature includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control with vents for rear passengers, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, power-adjustable pedals, a CD player, an analog clock for the dashboard, automatic headlamps and rear parking sensors. The Signature Limited adds heated front seats, driver seat memory, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer and a full power open/close trunk. The Designer includes chrome trim, Provence leather seating, adjustable rear headrests and two-tone door panels. The Signature L adds a 6-inch wheelbase extension for increased rear-seat room and builds upon the standard Signature model's equipment list with dual rear-seat power points, four-way rear head restraints, heated rear seats and remote controls for audio, climate and the front-passenger seat. Various options include HID headlights, chrome wheels, a trunk-mounted CD changer, a moonroof and a navigation system paired with a THX-certified audio system.

Powertrains and Performance:
All Town Cars are powered by a 4.6-liter V8 rated at 239 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. A standard four-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the rear wheels. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Safety:
The Town Car comes standard with front-seat side airbags and three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions. All-speed traction control is standard, as is four-wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist technology, which applies full braking power in a panic stop. Stability control and side curtain airbags are not available.

Interior Design and Special Features:
Boasting large interior dimensions and a massive trunk (20.6 cubic feet), the Town Car's primary mission is to transport multiple passengers to their destination silently and comfortably. Buyers can also select the L version, which offers a whopping 47 inches of rear legroom thanks to its 6-inch-longer wheelbase. In NHTSA testing, the Town Car earned five stars (the best rating given) for all front and side-impact crash tests.

Driving Impressions:
Thrust from the Town Car's V8 should be fully adequate for most buyers. Passing maneuvers are accomplished with ease, and freeway cruising at 80 mph is hushed. The Town Car has no peer when it comes to transporting large (or large numbers of) people. Besides offering a comfortable ride, this Lincoln is a decent handler -- the steering has some feel to it, and the body doesn't roll too much around corners. Compared to premium luxury flagships like the BMW 7 Series, Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS 430 and Mercedes S-Class, the Town Car's mediocre levels of refinement quickly stand out, but none of those cars can match the Lincoln's under-$50,000 price tag.

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