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By Jim Flammang
August 30, 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.
For 2006, Lincoln offers Signature, Signature Limited, Designer and Signature L trim levels. The Signature L sedan is 6 inches longer than its mates, both overall and in wheelbase length. Three additional series are available for limousine and livery use.
Two new body colors and a pair of new two-tone paint schemes are available for 2006. The Town Car's new wheel selection includes machined-aluminum units with 10 or 12 spokes, as well as an 18-spoke chromed-aluminum wheel. New front crash-severity sensors were installed for 2005, and the front passenger seat got 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.
Standard models are 215.4 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. Whitewall tires, two-tone paint and a powered glass moonroof are 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 appliqu� decorate the instrument panel and doors, and an elegant analog clock is installed.
Standard equipment includes eight-way power seats for the driver and outboard front passenger, power lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals and extended rear parking assist. Heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood inserts are standard in the Signature Limited model.
Designer sedans feature Provence leather seating surfaces and adjustable rear head restraints. The extended-length Signature L has heated rear seats, a folding rear armrest, remote audio and climate controls, and rear-located controls for the outboard front passenger seat. Lincoln's optional navigation system incorporates THX-Certified audio and a six-CD changer.
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. All-speed traction control is standard.
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.
Town Cars are exceptionally stable on the expressway and especially easy to drive; they deliver a smooth yet controlled ride. The sedan is very quiet, but you can hear the engine. Braking is less pleasing because the pedal may exhibit a long dead spot before the brakes become effective.
Interior space is abundant, and rear legroom in the extended-length L sedan is massive. The seat bottoms are fairly long and well cushioned, but support could be better.