Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By George Moore
July 13, 1997
The Lincoln Town Car is a survivor.Now that Cadillac has thrown the last spade of dirt on its rear-drive Brougham, Lincoln-Mercury's 1997 Town Car is the last of the big, rear-drive luxury American sedans. It now is the largest American-built
production four-door, being surpassed in size only by stretch limousines.The '97 Town Car, as with its predecessors, is a story of evolution, not revolution. It takes a practiced eye to distinguish prior models from the present one. Changes have been
more mechanical, and in comfort and convenience, than in appearance.The '97 Town Car continues to be an elegant and majestic motor vehicle, a fitting representative of Lincoln's slogan, "What a luxury car should be."In a time when unibody (the
body is the chassis) construction is being embraced by American auto manufacturers with almost religious fervor, the Town Car retains the time-tested chassis design of body on frame.This construction principle promotes quiet operation and fewer
vibrations from uneven road surfaces.The Town Car offers that so-called boulevard ride even on lousy pavement. Slower-rate front coil springs and nitrogen gas-pressured hydraulic shocks front and rear let the suspension system slide over bumps and
ridges in the road.The rear suspension is a four-bar link system that employs self-leveling air springs on the rear axle. It all lets the suspension absorb vibration rather than transferring it to the passenger compartment.For the handling purists
who think everything should be able to take a corner in a four-wheel drift, there is a ride control package. It won't make the car a road racer, but it does firm up the ride a bit.The sedan has a touch of majestic size about it, courtesy of 117.4
inches of wheelbase and 218.9 inches of overall length. This length is matched only by the Rolls-Royce Park Ward Touring Limousine, providing you want to consider that model as a production automobile.The wheelbase length is topped only by select
models of Rolls, Bentley and BMW.There are three series designations for the Town Car - the Executive, Signature, and top-of-the-line Cartier. The trim levels are the main differences, although Lincoln's single overhead cam 4.6-liter V-8 has two
different power applications for individual models.The standard engine produces 190-horsepower, while the 4.6 that is in the Cartier model puts out 210-horsepower via a dual exhaust system.Exterior model designations for the Executive and
Signature sedans have been relocated from the rear-quarter windows to the front fenders. They include new, distinctive graphics for a more prominent appearance.The high-line Cartier nomenclature is retained on the rear quarter window.As a
full-size six-seater, the Town Car's size obviously gives license to a comfortable mode of transportation. Driver and passengers are isolated from the outside world, and served by electronic genies.Actually there's not a whole lot more to do than
f you have a need, there is a button or switch for it. A full range of power accessories operate an equally full range of controls and information readouts.There is, of course, no manual transmission. Silken smooth shifts come from an electronically
controlled four-speed automatic. And while hammer down acceleration with two tons of automobile is not going to set any drag-racing records, the car gets up and goes.As a luxury sedan, the '97 Town Car has some luxury prices that range from $37,280
for the Executive model to $43,200 for the Cartier. Add to that $670 for freight, and you're driving the last of the big ones.