2001 Lincoln LS 4-door (337)

Overview:
Ok folks, it’s time to buy American. This week’s version of Americana is from Ford that is as American as apple pie and Mount Rushmore. I wonder if the Brit’s see it quite that way since Ford now owns Jaguar on which the Lincoln LS shares its platform. In any case it was truly a pleasure to drive this car to the beautiful state of Oregon.

It was a great jaunt in part because of the nice ride we got from this out of character Lincoln. For sure it is a departure from what Lincoln typically puts on the road.

The LS is stylish and a great size for my taste. It’s still a 4-door and carries 4 people comfortably. Five people would be a stretch. We only had 4 people (two guys and two gals) but with too much luggage for a month, that week. Is it just me, or do all women pack for every possible contingency. Guys pack light and probable regret not having more. And you’d think if men were from Mars they’d pack better. The trunk was jammed but we really had way too much stuff.

Handling & Performance:

I like it. And with 5 on the floor it felt like a sport car with the added benefit of a big car ride. Contrary to some, I felt the V6 was very adequate but then I tested one with the manual trans so the performance was good in my opinion.

Styling:

Sporty and not Lincoln like in that regard. It’s almost like a fish out of water for the conservative division of Ford. Color can often make a difference and the LS I tested was a Pearl Blue color that added a touch of class.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding. American cars have really come back a long way from the poor attention to quality we experienced from our spoiled American auto manufacturers. They owned the transportation market for too long and got sloppy. The past few decades however humbled them with a flood of hungry foreign automakers. You have to give credit where credit is due, and American carmakers have earned the respect in their fight for life against their tough foreign counterparts.

One area I am disappointed with most cars today is the phony wood trim. True it is getting hard to tell the difference but quality and luxury is often subtle. When you drive a car with a partial wood steering wheel, for example, the feel is unmistakable. Since you don’t handle the wood trim I guess it isn’t as noticeable that it is fake.

Conveniences:

Nicely appointed with all the trappings of luxury cars costing much more. You’ll have to pinch yourself to remember you’re in a Lincoln.

Cost:

A little high and I think they need to trim about 10% off the top. Think of that when you approach the dealer to buy one.

Recommendation:

If you’re looking for a mid sized car with class plus, luxury, economical to operate and will second as a commuter this is a must drive, amongst the tough competition listed below.

The Competition:

Acura TL $28,880-33,230, Audi A6 $34,300-49,400, BMW 3 Series $26,990-42,400, Cadillac Catera $31,305, Chrysler 300M $29,640, Infiniti I30 $29,465-31,540, Jaguar S-Type $43,655-49,355, Lexus IS 300 $30,805, Mazda Millenia $28,025-31,025, Mercedes Benz C-Class $29,950-36,950, Oldsmobile Aurora $30,619-34,794, Saab 9-5 $33,995-40,175, Volvo S70 $27,500-33,600.

Good News:

It’s American, comfortable, economical, luxurious, sporty, handles well.

Bad News:

Questionably underpowered.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 210 horsepower V6 engine, 5-speed manual trans, dual front and side air bags, power 4-wheel disc brakes, remote keyless entry, dual auto temp control, air conditioning and filtration system, power / tilt steering wheel, power windows and door locks, 5 passenger leather seating, fog lights, audio system with 6 disc CD changer and 8-way power seat with lumbar support.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 25 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

$33,445

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