1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR CARTIER
Used Car - 1995 Lincoln Town Car Cartier in Everett, Wa
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1995 Lincoln Town Car ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
All the comforts of a very nice home.
Let the European luxury sedans sacrifice comfort for sports-car performance.
And for that matter, let the Japanese wow the world with curvaceous $60,000 works of art that, unfortunately, a typical family must struggle to get into.
The Lincoln Town Car holds itself to a different standard. It's unabashedly big and boxy on the outside; unashamedly cavernous and comfortable on the inside.
It's also a classic American luxury car. It has every luxury feature known to man and a big V8 to turn the rear wheels and make it all go.
That's not to say the Town Car is outdated. True, an extraordinary increase in the popularity of European and Japanese prestige cars - not to mention the Cadillac Seville - has helped redefine what many Americans want in a luxury model. As a result, the Town Car and the Cadillac Fleetwood are just about the only two cars that still adhere to traditional American standards: vast dimensions, parlor-plush interiors and an ultra-soft ride.
But Ford has continued to revise and refine the Town Car, making subtle but important changes inside and out that, in Ford's opinion, make this an even more stately car for 1995.
Three versions are available to suit your pocketbook and style: the Executive Series, Signature Series and Cartier Designer Series. Our Cartier test car offered heated leather seats and traction control, which brought its price close to $42,000.
If your taste has been swayed by the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, you'll find the Town Car a thoroughly modern rendition of what you expect an American luxury car to be.
Let us confirm your first impressions about the Town Car. Yes, it's the biggest, roomiest car Ford makes. It's also the heaviest, weighing in at more than 4000 lb.
One big reason for all that heft can be found in the way Ford builds it. The Town Car's body is attached to a separate, ladder-like frame holding the powertrain and suspension. Every other Ford car is built a self-supporting unibody - the frame and bodywork are essentially all one piece.
Conventional wisdom says body-on-frame construction absorbs punishment better, while unibodies result in a lighter vehicle with better handling. That's one of the reasons you should consider the Town Car's optional handling suspension package. But more on that a little later.
The Town Car comes with only one powertrain: a 210-hp 4.6-liter V8 engine and electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. This is a thoroughly modern engine - Ford's 'modular V8' - that should provide all the oomph you need in most circumstances, and unlike the engines in many luxury sedans, it will run on regular unleaded fuel.
Even the most modest version of the Town Car comes with a long list of standard equipment and luxury features, such as air conditioning, cruise control and power seats. And safety equipment on all Town Cars is up to the minute, with dual airbags and anti-lock disc brakes.
Redesigned for '95 are the grille, front and rear bumpers, headlamps, taillamps and expanded outside mirrors. The result is a slightly - very slightly - more swept and rounded look.
How much does all this cost? Prices start at $36,895 for Executive models, including destination charges. The Signature Series, starting at $38,995, adds a few luxury perks such as power lumbar support and radio and temperature controls on the steering wheel hub. Prices for the Cartier vehicles start at $41,695.
The seats have been almost completely redone and they now provide more fore and aft travel. The instrument panel has been redone as well. Ford likes to say the '95 Town Car is more functional. That means the controls are not only easier to see and use, but they're also right where you'd expect them to be.
The digital speedometer is flanked by fuel and temperature displays on one side and computerized information on the other, including the number of miles to an empty fuel tank, average fuel economy, estimated time of arrival - that sort of thing.
Twist a knob on the far left to turn on the lights. Use two buttons to set the temperature on the automatic climate control and forget it; the Town Car's climate systems are capable of intense hot or cold air on your hands and feet.
The radio controls are big and friendly. The cruise control is operated by five easy-to-find buttons on the left side of the Town Car's new steering wheel. And punch the center of that steering wheel to sound the horn - no hunting around the edges.
All of this makes the Town Car almost effortless to drive, and it's pretty much effortless to ride in, too. The new seats are comfortable and supportive, with one exception: They provide very little lateral support. Take a corner or curve too quick and you tend to slide from side to side.
However you want to measure it, the Town Car provides lots of room. It's easy to get into and out of, as well. The doors are high enough, for example, that lifting a toddler into a car seat that's in the middle of the rear is not a back-breaking effort.
If there's a problem area, it's the trunk. Oh, there's plenty of space: 22.3 cu. ft., or about 60 percent more than in the new Lexus LS 400. But the trunk sill is high and the floor is deep. For us, loading and unloading groceries was more of an effort than it should have been.
Think of the Town Car as an extension of your living room: Your house doesn't squeak, rattle or roar around you, and neither does the Town Car. It's exceptionally proficient at blocking out engine and traffic noise, as well as the racket caused by tires rolling over coarse road surfaces. You rarely need to raise your voice to hold a conversation with someone in the backseat.
Wind noise, though, increases when the car accelerates beyond 50 mph, probably due to those big new mirrors.
Another thing your house doesn't do, unless you live in Southern California, is shake or bounce around you, and neither does the Town Car. Its suspension absorbs most bumps and jolts in a way that few automobiles can match. The result is one of the smoothest, most comfortable rides imaginable - small wonder that these cars are favorites with limousine companies.
In general, the engine provides plenty of power for passing and freeway merging. But this is still a big, heavy car. When we put the pedal down on an interstate entrance ramp, the engine growled audibly and the resulting acceleration was less than breathtaking.
Handling can be improved with the optional ride control package, which includes 16-in. tires (versus 15-in. standard) and alloy wheels.
Still, this is not a car built for hot-rodding around town. Whip through a turn too quickly and there's a considerable amount of body roll. Race up to a stop sign too fast and you've really got to push hard on the brakes to get all 4000 lb. to a safe halt.
Drive sanely, though, and the Town Car is a dream.
If you're looking for a luxury sedan that can make a 5-hour trip feel like a 5-minute drive across town, this is certainly one of them. The Lincoln Town Car is a strong candidate for a berth among America's top five highway cruisers.
Sure, you have to watch out in parking lots and other tight spaces. It's big. But for a car of this size, it's surprisingly effortless to drive.
The Town Car is far from flashy or sporty. There are much faster $40,000 cars and the Town Car's design won't be mistaken for fine art.
But Ford is right. The Town Car is stately. It's classy transportation. Does that ever go out of style?.
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