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By Jim Flammang
February 18, 2005
Vehicle Overview Lincoln's rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan earned a substantial reworking for the 2003 model year. Flaunting a new stand-up hood ornament, the four-door Town Car's appearance grew noticeably more formal.
Model designations have changed for 2005. The previous Ultimate models have been discontinued, but new Signature Limited and Signature L models are available. The Signature L sedan has a longer wheelbase and is 5.2 inches longer overall than its mates. Many of the extended-length editions go to limousine operators.
The optional navigation system offered this year incorporates new THX-certified audio and satellite radio compatibility. Sirius Satellite Radio is available as a dealer-installed option. New front crash-severity sensors have been installed, and the front passenger seat gets occupant weight and seat track position sensors.
Exterior The Town Car's formal appearance leads off with a chrome vertical-bar grille that's flanked by quad-beam halogen headlights. A stand-up ornament is mounted at the front of the hood. High-intensity-discharge headlights are optional on uplevel models. Large taillamps bring up the rear of the sedan.
Standard models are 216.2 inches long overall on a 117.7-inch wheelbase, while the extended-length L sedans measure 221.4 inches long overall with a 123.7-inch wheelbase. All models have 17-inch tires on aluminum wheels. A powered glass moonroof is optional.
Interior Equipped with a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, the Town Car seats up to six occupants. The seats are trimmed in premium leather. Panels with burl walnut applique decorate the instrument panel and doors, and an elegant analog clock is installed. Heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood inserts are standard in the Signature Limited model.
Standard equipment includes eight-way power seats for the driver and outboard front passenger, power lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control and power-adjustable pedals. The extended-length Signature L sedan has heated rear seats, a folding rear armrest, remote audio and climate controls, and rear-located controls for the outboard front passenger seat.
Under the Hood The Town Car's 4.6-liter V-8 develops 239 horsepower and 287 pounds-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is the sole transmission available.
Safety Dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags and antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are standard.
Driving Impressions Current models deliver a more secure, confident sensation than pre-2003 Town Cars by offering a greater connection with the road. This sedan yields a surprisingly appealing driving experience.
The Town Car is exceptionally stable on the expressway and is especially easy to drive; it has a smooth yet controlled ride. The sedan is very quiet, but you can hear the engine. Braking is less pleasing as the pedal may exhibit a long dead spot before the brakes become effective.
The seat bottoms are fairly long and well cushioned, but support could be better. Interior space is abundant, and rear legroom in the extended-length L sedan is massive.