I admit that I have had this 2001 Lincoln LS (V8) for only a few days, but like they say, the first impressions are the most important.....and I'm impressed. I have owned nearly 60 cars in all makes and sizes and this car feels like it was built around my needs and desires.
I love the way German cars are engineered and built and the way they handle, but I'm a member of a union that prefers to have members buy American. My goal was to find a good year old, well-built, four-door American car with a V8 and rear wheel drive. That pretty much narrowed the possibilities to Ford products.
The Ford Crown Vics and the Mercury Marquis are obviously made for a generation older than mine and the Town Cars are a more expensive version of the same, but while walking the car-lot I discovered the Lincoln LS. This is not your grandfather's Lincoln. The front of the car reminded me of the BMW 325i that I once owned and that intrigued me enough to do some internet research on the car. The more I read, the more I liked, with the exception of comments on problems that some have had with the automatic transmission. I decided that I needed to drive one, so off to the local Lincoln/Mercury dealer.
I arrived at the dealer and fortunately they had just received five 2001 Lincoln LS cars that had been Ford executive cars. They showed me the paper work to prove it and I checked them out with Carfax. I tried a nice Black LS with the sport package, but it had very few other options and I was interested in a few more bells and whistles than that one had. I then saw a deep maroon sport model that had all of the options that I wanted with the exception of a sun-roof. The dealer put on a plate and handed me the keys and said "go give it a workout". Unlike most dealerships, they didn't even require the salesperson to ride along, and this was a plus because I obliged his request and took the car over some twisty turny roads that tested the cars metal and it passed with flying colors! The car handled superbly and offered no surprises. It felt solid and responsive to all inputs and in spite of the great handling it still provided a very comfortable ride. The seats were very comfortable and supportive and the transmission hit the shift points where I expected them to. The audio system was excellent and I especially liked being able to control the audio from the steering wheel controls. I didn't even miss the sunroof.
I have an old friend who is a German car mechanic and I had him put the car up on his lift. He indicated to me that the suspension was a pretty good amalgamation of Audi, BMW and Mercedes style suspension components, hence the good handling package. The engine has plenty of smooth power and the car has all the bells and whistles you could want including heated front seats, automatic wipers and dual climate controls to name a few.
Interior storage is limited, the center console could have been much bigger and the interior finish isn't quite up to the same standards as its German counterparts, but then again, the price isn't near as much either. If you enjoy spirited performance with luxury car options than this would be a good car to consider. If you are the typical Lincoln owner, this car is a radical departure from Lincoln's previous offerings and this car is probably not for you. The Jaguar S model and the new 2002 Thunderbird are using essentially the same chassis and drive train as the LS. I realize that I haven't had the car long enough to comment on reliability, but I promise to review it again next year to see if my first impressions will become lasting impressions.
The car has the balance of the 4 year/50,000 mile warranty and it also comes with free service for the first 3 years/36,000 miles. I bought it and I'm a happy camper.
Amount Paid (US$):
2001Model and Options:
LS V8 Sport Package with 17" wheels, sport suspension, 5 speed Auto.