Pros: Hard to beat the luxury for the price.
Cons: A few (mostly piddling) things.
I've owned a lot of interesting cars over the years. A couple of Corvettes ('63 and a '66 - both roadsters), three Jaguars (E-Type, XJS -12 cylinder- and an X-Type), a Lincoln Mark IV, a Mercedes 500SEL, a BMW 750IL (another 12 cylinder car), a Lexus 300ES and a Ferrari 308 GTSI (like the one Tom Selleck drove in Magnum -by the way, I had breakfast with Selleck at the Gritti Palace in Venice but it was incidental to my meeting with a publicist for High Road To China who brought Selleck along).
I've had a bunch of other cars but I can't remember them all well there was the Peugeot and the VW and the Buick Riviera oh and a BMW motorcycle!
(Sometime ask me the story about when I had an AC Cobra for a couple weeks while I was photographing it for a Playboy cover.)
But, that was then.
Most of those cars I bought new but several -as in the case of this Lincoln LS- I bought used.
I was actually looking to buy a used 3-Series (1999) BMW and I had my eye on one that was equipped with a winter package (those heated seats are much appreciated come January in Chicago). The same (Internet) dealer had a 2000 Lincoln LS listed. No winter package nor heated seats but the pictures of this 5-speed, stick V6 Lincoln with a sport/handling package and 17 inch wheels made the car look like new despite it's 94,500 miles and its $7800 price tag.
Well, I kept looking and looking at the various cars being offered on the Internet when I noticed the Lincoln LS had been moved to an eBay auction. It started at $5000 with no reserve. Several days and some 18 bids brought the price up to $6100. I waited till the last ten seconds and put in my first and only bid. And immediately I had won the auction with the final purchase price being $6351.
As it happened, the dealer was located in a Chicago suburb. My cousin drove me to the dealer (located in an off-the-beaten-track warehouse) where I was allowed to take the car for a test drive. It had been years since I drove a stick and my shifts from first to second weren't very smooth but, I was also wearing heavy Timberland boots (size 14 wide)!
The 2000 Lincoln LS V6 Sport Model is a pretty good looking car! The front of the car has an appropriately aggressive look to it albeit Lincoln's designers don't seem capable of designing a grille worthy of the nature of the car. I've seen a great looking custom grille on a Lincoln LS -it's essentially a silver mesh but it's not the Billet (an after market) grill. Thankfully the stock Lincoln grill is not as stunningly garish as that on the new Lincoln MKZ.
The rear of the car isn't horrible but it's rather undistinguished thanks in part to the ill-advised chrome frame enveloping the license plate and the back-up lights.
One reason I had been interested in getting a BMW, in addition to its being considered a driver's car is that all 6'6" of me fits a BMW surprisingly well. Getting in and out of many cars requires my folding my body and twisting rather uncomfortably to get my head to clear the top of the door frame. Happily, with the power seat lowered and run back to it's maximum I fit the Lincoln LS comfortably with all the head room and leg room that I require.
It happens that my car has the memory option for the seating of two different drivers. It moves the seat and the steering wheel to allow easy egress and repositions them when entering and after closing the door.
In general, the interior layout is, perhaps, average. Cruise control and controls for the radio (including muting) are mounted on the steering wheel. I, virtually, never have need for a cup holder so cannot reasonably address the concern expressed in other reviews. However, because I smoke the occasional cigar, I will say the ashtray is poorly placed being directly forward of the shifter. One certainly can't rest a cigar in the ashtray and hope to do any shifting without knocking the cigar to the floor.
The glove compartment is aptly named as, with the CD changer installed, it will not hold much beyond a pair of gloves. Storage in the center console is minimal.
Light gray leather -the color of the seats in my LS- has got to be one of the most uninspired colors in existence!
The two things that bother me most: the driver's foot well is a bit tight (particularly to the left of the clutch pedal). At times, and wearing my Timberland boots, in depressing the clutch, my foot would hit the tapered side-wall of the foot-well thereby inhibiting my depressing the clutch. A scary situation! The other problem I run with my headlights on throughout the day. When the lights are turned on, the read-out of the clock and radio is automatically dimmed clever, but it makes it impossible for them to be seen during the day.
However, one thing I love is the fold-down rear seats. I have three dogs that I often bring with me. With the rear seats folded, the dogs have almost as much room to themselves as if in an SUV!
The Lincoln LS (sport package) drives and handles beautifully! It is not exceptionally fast off the line but, once up to about 30 MPH, 2nd gear allows one to accelerate and merge effortlessly with 70 MPH expressway traffic. The Lincoln LS is sure-footed and stable. Accelerating through a curve is pure joy! And moving along with traffic at 80 MPH (as I discovered on a recent 400 mile trip) the Lincoln LS is solid, exceptionally quiet and gives one a sensation of absolute security!
Though the car does not have heated seats it, otherwise, performed well this winter. At zero degrees, a turn of the key, would instantly fire-up the engine. And the car acquitted itself nicely plowing through snow and moving in and out of snowed-over parking spaces. The heated rear view mirrors, heated rear window and defrosters made short work of any accumulation of snow and ice.
Considering the car, the gas mileage is not bad: about 16 city and 22 highway. That compares with 11 city in my 2.5 liter X-Type Jaguar and 12 city with my Lexus 300ES.
My mechanic looked the car over recently and pronounced it to be in great condition with no repairs being necessary. He also suggested that the V6 was a better engine than the V8 but I don't recall his reason. One thing I do know is that even with highway driving the engine rarely turns over 3000 RPM and turns much lower in city driving. That makes it seem like the engine can last forever!
I've had the check engine light come on a couple of times. No worries! It seems to merely be an indication that the gas cap is not properly locked. It takes two or three fill-ups and correctly applying the cap till the light goes out.
So, for less than $7000, by buying used (or pre-owned as is popular parlance) I was able to get a fine, solid, luxury car, loaded with power amenities seats, steering wheel, mirrors and sunroof. With the remote I can open the windows and the sunroof, I can pop the trunk, I can adjust the seats and it has a personal security function which will set-off the car's alarm. The trunk is sufficiently roomy to carry luggage for an extended trip. As the odometer moves toward the 100,000 mile mark, the car feels and drives as if it is new. I do know that buying a new car, I wouldn't have been able to get nearly the luxury, amenities and convenience even at twice the price that I paid for my Lincoln LS.
I think it would be fair to say that the Lincoln LS is an interesting car!