By on May 20, 2013

mkt_town

I recently wrote an article entitled “Lincoln Can and Will Come Back,” in which I insisted that Lincoln would, someday soon, rise from the ashes and return to its rightful place as a top luxury brand for people who can’t afford an Infiniti. Many of you thought I was crazy, largely because Lincoln’s lineup consists of five re-skinned Fords, all of which share the same name.

But as a patriotic American, I am certain that Lincoln will come back. In fact, I believe its resurgence has already begun, as I will illustrate with a comparison between the Town Car and the MKT. I know what you’re thinking: Why are you comparing the Town Car with a … wait, what the hell is an MKT? Is that a sedan? The answer is: because that’s what Lincoln is doing. You see, Lincoln is telling current Town Car drivers – in other words, airport limo services and Jack Baruth – that the MKT is the Town Car’s rightful replacement. Also, the MKT is not a sedan, but rather a medium-sized hearse that Lincoln calls a crossover.

So let’s see how it stacks up in a comparison.

Interior Room

mkt

This is an important category, since the Town Car’s main purpose is shuttling passengers to and from the airport while the driver talks on a cell phone. Let’s start with rear head room. The Town Car has just 37.6 inches, while the MKT boasts a whopping 39 inches. This is wonderful. The last time I was in a Town Car, all I could think was: I fit perfectly, but I cannot comfortably stand a USB stick on my head. That problem is eliminated in the MKT.

Moving on to rear leg room, the Town Car claims 41.1 inches, while the MKT offers 41.8. And point seven inches, ladies and gentlemen, could mean the difference between fully extending your foot and keeping it at a slightly uncomfortable angle. Advantage: MKT. (To anyone eager to remind me that the Town Car offers a stretched wheelbase version with 46.9 inches of leg room, I can only ask: why do you hate America?)

Efficiency

Efficiency is an important category because, as airport limos, the Town Car and MKT will often be left idling for hours in airport parking lots while the driver talks to other airport limo drivers. Also, they will occasionally be driven.

You might think this gives the Town Car an advantage, since the MKT is a truck that weighs as much as a college football stadium. But you’d be wrong. That’s because the fleet-only version of the MKT – dubbed the MKT Town Car in an homage to its fallen comrade – offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that isn’t available to the general public. It makes 230 horsepower, which is only nine less than the Town Car’s 4.6-liter V8. And, at 20 mpg city and 28 highway, it’s far more efficient than the Town Car’s 17/25. Advantage: MKT. (Note: this category isn’t called “acceleration.”)

Nimbleness

The few Town Cars that aren’t in airport limo service are being driven, rather rapidly, through New York City. As a result, it’s important that Town Car and MKT be light on their feet, which they aren’t. But there are some interesting statistics I must share, which may, for a second, make you think you’re actually reading a legitimate comparison. This is, of course, not true.

Number one: length. The base-level Town Car is 215 inches long. The Town Car L is 221.4 inches long. The MKT, meanwhile, comes in at a spry 207.6 inches. This is a massive difference that strikes me as sort of like comparing a potted plant to a dump truck.

It gets better for the MKT. At 76 inches, the MKT is actually 2.2 inches narrower than the Town Car. And it loses the turning circle comparison by two measly feet. Since that goes against my argument, I will decry it as virtually meaningless. In other words: compared to the Town Car, the MKT is basically a Miata. Advantage: MKT.

Resemblance to a Hearse

mkthearse

Like the windshield wiper normalcy showdown in my LEAF vs. Fit comparison, this is an important category that is far too often overlooked by traditional automotive journalists. Of course, there’s no real comparison: the Town Car looks like a sedan, possibly from the 1980s, while the MKT looks exactly like a hearse. This is especially true of the hearse model. Advantage: MKT.

Pricing

I have to admit, I thought the Town Car would easily win this category. That’s because I, like you, haven’t looked up Lincoln Town Car pricing since the Clinton era, when the Town Car cost $19,500 and had a vertical rear window. Things have changed since then. What do you expect the Town Car’s base price was in its final model year? $30,000? $40,000? The answer is, with shipping: forty-eight thousand dollars. And that’s before options, which include luxuries like a trunk organizer.

The MKT, meanwhile, starts at a mere $46,000, and presumably far less for the four-cylinder version, which – let’s be honest – is probably incredibly slow and resembles a hearse. Also, the MKT is probably loaded with incentives, which may even include a free trunk organizer. Advantage: MKT.

Conclusion

mkt3

Clearly, there is no comparison between the Town Car and the MKT: one is an outdated, body-on-frame sedan, and the other is a brilliant crossover with a voluminous interior and a 2-liter four-cylinder that also powers the Ford Focus. Therefore, I am happy to announce that the MKT heralds in the era of Lincoln Motor Company. It just does it very, very slowly, and possibly with a casket in back.

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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142 Comments on “Doug’s Comparison: Lincoln MKT vs. Lincoln Town Car...”


  • avatar
    tresmonos

    YES. I remember everyone clamoring for the concept of the MkT to be built on blogs, etc. Sure, the T shaped sunroof didn’t happen, but the rest of the car did.

    The MkT Town Cah sold out its first year of fleet production in 2 weeks. 2 effing weeks… before management green lit it to be produced. It has potential to be a good fleet queen. Will its platform be abandoned? That is a question I’m sure all of you would die to know (sarcasm).

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Flex, especially in Limited + Titanium form, looks more upscale to me that an MkT. I can assume the only reason why the MkT exists is for fleet duty.

      I’ve ordered a Flex, when the MkT, Explorer Sport, and Flex Limited can all be had for about the same price.

      • 0 avatar

        Interestingly, at least in Canada, the MKT is CHEAPER (by a few thousand) than the Flex Limited with the same powertrain and options (as closely as they can be matched). Since I like the look of either (and Baruth’s write-up on the MKT), I’d take the MKT.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Especially after what I would consider to be an excellent facelift, I’d also rather have the Flex than the MKT.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t know the MKT Town Car sold out a year of production in two weeks. That’s wild. I have started seeing them around with limo plates.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Did they sell out before the XTS was available for fleet use? I would have thought traditional chauffeur fleet operators would rather an XTS than a MKT.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I’m not sure. The draw of the MkTownCar was the fuel economy. It’s a dog, but it saves on gas. Those marketing types sure as heck underestimated what fleet owners value in a tool kit.

    • 0 avatar

      Basically, the MKT tests how:

      #1 you feel about Crossovers
      #2 how you feel about Lincoln.

      I personally feel Lincoln’s “luxury” is all illusion in the minds of those old enough to equate Lincoln (and Cadillac) with luxury.

      While I can see their reliability is high, they are SOUL LESS, DERIVATIVELY STYLED ECONOBOXES strapped to GUTLESS ENGINES.

      Charging me $55,000 for one doesn’t make me think I’m buying into quality. It’s like overspending on a TUX at the Men’s Wearhouse for no reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        I strongly agree, calling that monstrosity a Town Car is an insult, and I do not expect any of the turbocharged Ecoboosts to hold up under fleet use as well as the mod-motors.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        My issue with Lincoln isn’t just the fact that it has no unique platforms. Ford literally treats Ford vehicles and Lincoln vehicles as interchangeable. Nowhere else do you see a bona-fide luxury brand share exact instrument panels, infotainment systems, or key fobs with its plebeian counterpart. Often, Fords and Lincolns are even sold in the same dealership. And the Fords have features that are traditionally reserved for luxury brands, such as power-adjustible steering columns. It all adds up to the fact that there really isn’t a compelling reason to buy a Lincoln over a much better-looking Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “I strongly agree, calling that monstrosity a Town Car is an insult…”

          I was never crazy about the Town Car because a) It didn’t have as plush of a ride as Eldorados or Sevilles (or DeVilles), b) it was frumpy looking, and c) the interior bits and pieces were every bit as cheap as many cars of the Malaise Era.

          HOWEVER, it still drove in a far more serene, hushed and relaxed manner than any buzzy MKT (seriously, check out ANY motor that powers the MKT, from the 4 cylinders to the 6 bangers – they all lack refinement), it had more solidity and presence (despite being of the body on frame sort) than the MKT, and even while frumpy looking, at least it didn’t resemble a Baleen Whale with an ocean full of krill stuck in its gaping wide mouth.

          Comparing the MKT to the Town Car is so apples and oranges that it’s plain silly.

          Lincoln has NO livery vehicle, nor waftable vehicle, anywhere in its lineup.

          It’s a literal copy shop of Ford, but with dramatically uglier exteriors, and a 25% to 40% markup in price just to prove the old adage that fools and their money are easily parted.

          The upcoming Lincoln MKesCape is going to be the latest edition to the Lincoln Coach & Horseless Carriage Company’s stable to cement the fact that Lincoln should simply die.

        • 0 avatar

          All of that’s true Kyree.

          Why buy an MKS when I could get a Taurus SHO and have the same features?

          Why buy an MKZ when I could buy the arguably better looking Aston-Fusion?

          That’s my whole gripe with Lincoln. They really aren’t giving you anything to be proud of besides key electronic features. Your engine is a joke and because the platform isn’t specially designed, you can’t really have fun driving it.

          I guess the target for these things are OLD PEOPLE. Retirees with fixed income who are old enough to remember when Lincoln actually meant you were king of your block. Now BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar’s big bodies own that.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Ford literally treats Ford vehicles and Lincoln vehicles as interchangeable.”

          well we did see this once before Kyree, it it was called Mercury, which is what Lincoln is now.

    • 0 avatar
      at922037

      I just bought one!

      We were looking for a luxury suv to seat five or more. We tried the GM truck and car based SUVs and found the truck based clumsy gas hogs and the nice car based SUVs very nice but lacking the quality materials we found in the Lincoln while costing a bit more, 53000 for a Buick crossover with semi soft leather seats compared to the 48000 Lincoln MKT with super soft leather interior, flawless details and body work, great power in the non turbo V6 (who wants that turbo mess to screw up and repair down the line?).

      We looked at the FLEX. It had more headroom in the back. It’s a box so it should. But we (I) wanted something that was styled. I come from a time when all cars were “styled” and we waited impatiently for the new car announcements to see their new “styling” and when looking yesterday all I found were “me too” SUVs following the same formula except…Lincoln. Check out the back end, done that way for no reason other than “style”, whether you like it or not, and I think either you lover it or hate it, that is gutsy. I love it. So does my wife and she said so right there in front of our salesperson. Finally, I am sure the Flex is a great SUV, station wagon, but the Mark T is decidedly not a re-skinned Flex. It has “style”.

      So to sum this up, my wife and I did fall love with the body style and interior. We fell in love with the flowing lines on the dash and clean body work as well as her beautiful ride, the soft purple lighting affects, soft but supportive seating. We think her unique styling says I’m not like all the others!

      There are paddle shifters on this Lincoln. I won’t send it back just for that.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ecobost 4cyl MKT? Sigh…

    I’d rather have a 1987 Town Car with the lo-po 5.0V8.

    Actually my favorite Town Car to have would be a Cartier L, I might just drive around looking for situations to come screeching to a halt at, power down the window and yell; “Get in the Town Car, there’s no time to explain!”

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Oooo, I can see that screeching halt. Front bumper down on the ground, rear end in the air. And not because of the air suspension being messed up, but all that glorious, Hollywood style brake dive. Even better in that 1987 Town Car!!

      The limo obstacle course scene in ” The Wedding Singer” is coming to mind..

  • avatar
    readallover

    On those incredibly rare occasions I actually see a MKT I am always left with the same thought: Whoever designed the rear end of those things also designed the rear end of 1950`s panel vans.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    I always liked the MKT. It looks like a luxury vehicle that you could use for some utilitarian purpose.

    On a side note, Doug you are my favorite of the new writers. All of the new guys are good, but I always go out of my way to read your stuff even if the title doesn’t catch my eye, because I know that I will find an entertaining story.

  • avatar

    The MKT is STUPID-LOOKING. That’s the only thing.

  • avatar
    zeg

    I will never get used to that Wilford Brimley mustache grill.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Meh, who’s buying town cars vs 7 series/A8/S-class? Nobody? Exactly. The MKT has atleast a fighting chance in a less crowded segment and it’s cost is already amortized by it being a flex/explorer/edge underneath. Selling 20K a year is a boon to ford as they wring out morr sales from the unit design.

    Just to point out here the town car’s back seat was spacious but by no means was the end all of comfort. This is where i drop my anti-suv attitude and freely admit an SUV backseat when it isn’t wedged into a RAV-4 is quite comfortable and those measurements are belying the fact that the MKT has better ergonomics.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Oddly enough, hardly anything on that D4 platform is as spacious as you’d think…not the Taurus, Explorer, MKT or MKS. In fact, the only car I can think of that is as accommodating as it suggests would be the Flex.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The Five Hundred was accommodating but deemed “ugly” in the eyes of consumers. I would love one of the 2008-2009 Taurus that used the Five Hundreds styling. They are full size SUV spacious inside.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    I purchased my first Town Car in 1991. It was a 1990 model-most likely a rental return. I think I paid about $12K for it and it only had about 15K miles. The biggest reason for the purchase was I had just been rear ended in my Camry and the resulting whiplash made it almost impossible to get into any car without pain.

    I kept it for about 2 years and it was in the shop what seemed like every two months. Brake rotors warped with astonishing regularity. With 90% of my driving on the freeway I had many high speed stops. The A/C went out three times. The good part was at the time Ford had a program where you only paid for a repair once-if the part failed again they paid (for the part only I believe). So the repair costs were not too bad but the downtime was a hassle. I sold it at about 80K miles for about $9K so the depreciation was not too bad.

    Loved the ride. Hated the steering, brakes, and repairs. The car was terrifying to drive on snow/ice due to the numb steering and no brake feel.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I prefer the numb steering because it avoids the over-twitchy effect that renders many vehicles inadvertently “off-road”.

      Most of them are ess-you-vees.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        Maybe its because we both drive pickups but i agree.

        I love my f250. Sure the steering isn’t accurate but it doesn’t need to be. Leaves some room for error.

        On a plus side the steering is super light and i can steer it with one finger in a parking lot.

        • 0 avatar

          “Leaves room for error”?

          Steering doesn’t need to be twitchy to be accurate and precise. My Subaru isn’t perfect, but living in a snowbelt it is extremely important that I feel exactly what the car is doing and where the tires are.

          • 0 avatar
            otaku

            Drove my dad’s 1984 Grand Marquis for years in some of the worst winters New England could dish out and never had any problems. Sure it had very loose steering, but when you drive a car everyday, you just learn to deal with it. I was able to adjust fairly quickly without too much drama. The key is remembering that it’s not a sports car. Just steer it smoothly when the roads get slippery and let the road-hugging weight do its job as a low-tech version of traction control.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Though people whine about the real world MPG of the C-Max and Fusion hybrids, I bet their real world MPG is close to their EPA estimates than that of the MKT Ecoboost.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I agree. I have been beating EPA numbers in my C-Max since the weather warmed up. When I drove an Explorer with a 2.0 Ecoboost last week, I got worse milage than an Explorer with the 3.5 Ecoboost.

      • 0 avatar

        A C-Max owner! Very cool. Do you like it so far?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I really like the C-Max. Although the GTI I sold to purchase the C-Max was faster and more fun, the C-Max is a much better car. I like the space it occupies between a hatchback and CUV.

          My lifetime fuel economy is just over 43 MPG. It has gone up significantly in the last month due to the warmer weather. If I had a heated garage, or at least an attached garage, my winter fuel economy would be better. My only complaint is the time the battery system takes to warm up during the winter. I wish the hybrid had a plug like the Energi, if only to keep the battery system warm in cold temps.

          I think Conslaw may own one too

          • 0 avatar
            Conslaw

            @bball40dwt, Yeah, I’ve had a C-Max for two months. My lifetime MPG is 42.4. MPG is climbing. Over the last hundred or so miles, I’m showing 47.0.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            I was hoping ford would bring the CMAX in a non hybrid version. I Love the design and space.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree, that is cool! I’ve got it scheduled in the “next car” category for my mother, since it fits pretty much all of her needs pretty precisely. Do tell us what you think.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          My wife likes the C-Max even more than I do. Its smooth, quiet, adequately powered, gets good gas mileage, and has a ton of interior space. She wouldn’t own an Escape after having the C-Max.

          The real world fuel economy is also about double that of the Escape.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    As I recently admitted, much to my great peril, I don’t get the Panther love. I don’t seem to remember people waxing nostalgic about the Fox body when it crawled over to the corner and died.
    That said, of course the MKT (double checks to make sure that’s the name of it) is a better vehicle. It’s a CUV for crying out loud and it’s the ‘Teens. It’s time to get with the … times … and realize that the perfect car is a silver egg-shaped softroader that has available AWD and seats up to 7. Anyone who wants anything different is hopelessly behind the times. Haha, maybe you want some wood panels to go on the side of your FR-S? Seriously? RWD? What is this, 1908?

    • 0 avatar

      At least that would differentiate it from the BRZ!

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Don’t even get me started on how all sub-$30 fixed-roof RWD compact sport coupes look identical.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        And make it awesome!

        • 0 avatar
          markholli

          @Mkirk

          I can’t tell for sure what’s happening in that avatar pic, but it looks like an 80 series restoration or possibly resto/mod. Very intriguing. What are the particulars of the project, if you don’t mind me asking?

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            It involved the purchase of an 80 that had a mint brown interior in cloth manual seats that I fell in love with followed by my discovering that it had never really been mechanically maintained in 250k miles. Front axle rebuilt from the centersection to the hubs, brake system replaced, ECU failed. The engine then developed a knock. I should have sold it but I doubled down and got a new short block from Toyota and pulled it off the road for a couple months and replaced it and the head and every bit of rubber I could find. It is my daily driver now and I love it but I pretty much did everything wrong in purchasing it. The pic was about a week into the rehab.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      First of all, I don’t know what a FR-S is.

      Secondly, the Fox body did not represent an uninterrupted chain of large American cars riding on a separate frame with a V8 and rear-drive. The MKT is not a direct successor to the earliest Ford vehicles like the Panther Town car was.

      There has been plenty of digital ink spilled on this site as to why the last of the American cars was a noteworthy and landmark milestone to be solemnly observed.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    The MKT TownCar gets an extra 1.5 inches of rear leg room, no 6th and 7th seat and reclining rear thrones, it sounds interesting, but I have yet to see one in the flesh. All the livery drivers I know of didn’t know it existed until I told them about it.

  • avatar

    I approve of Lincoln’s decision to do this. The MKT is, like the Flex, a very capable vehicle that simply didn’t get the endorsement from the buying public that Ford was hoping for. This’ll make for a comfy, classy ride to the airport.

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    Wait. The Town Car listed for $48k? What?

  • avatar
    dude500

    Having ridden in a few, the MKT is a poor livery car other than for its minivan trunk. What is most annoying about it is the bouncy rear; the springs are too stiff and the car jiggles on every road imperfection (maybe the rear needs to be loaded with luggage?). It is also does not have a good seal at the trailing edge of the rear door, which lets wind and road noise in (it sounds like there’s a dime-sized hole from the cabin to the wheel well). The MKS, on the other hand, would be a better car to take the name of Town Car. Cushy and looks like a vault from the rear seats (B-pillar is 3 inches thick), though unfortunately it is still a bit noisy at the rear.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      No, that can’t be.

      Nullo will be along soon to correct the record, and prove that your perceptions are incorrect, and that the MKT is the very essence of waftable luxury, from ride quality to interior fit and materials to build quality and NVH excellence, besting anything the competition has to offer at anywhere near its (asinine) price point.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Looking at that crash pic of the town car is quite disturbing. The frame around the drivers door is severally deformed, windscreen has collapsed, the drivers door is out of the frame, rear door is deformed and looking at the line under the car between the wheels, it looks like the chassis / frame has twisted…
    With a more modern design I would thing the MKT has better crash safety? Adv. MKT.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Keep in mind that real world crashes don’t always involve fixed objects that will stand up to being hit by a Town Car.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        CJ,

        I’m afraid at 4,040lbs the Towncar isn’t a particularly heavy car by today’s standards.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        That looks to be standard offset frontal collision test into a deformable object. Many newer and smaller cars get the exact same test and come out way better than that. Weather you believe the tests are applicable in the real world is up to you but I believe they are a good way to compare vehicles. Anyway the test is not to show how a car will smash it’s way through things, it’s to test the structural integrity of the cabin where people sit.
        The way that roof is bent is a clear sign there is not enough strength in the body and that is why the frame is bent. The car is about to fold up like a piece of paper.
        It’s a big car and perceived to be safe but I am not buying it based on that one photo alone.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          There are plenty of good reasons not to buy one, but crash performance isn’t really one of them. When a car is barrier tested, the amount of force involved correlates to the weight of the car. When a Town Car hits a smaller and lighter car, the smaller and lighter car will experience far more force than it does when it hits a barrier, while the Town car will experience much less.

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            A bigger car also has more space and steel to deal with an impact. Bigger cars do fair better in crash tests for that reason just not the Town car. This is why I commented, this car should have done better, much better!

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Yeah keep telling yourself that.

            If I am going to crash I’d like to crash into a Town Car, it will be a nice soft landing into the front seat as the passenger cabin of the old panther buckles…not so good for the Town Car peoples though.

            Apparently part of the nostalgia haze has encompassed safety. Tune in next week the Internet MPG rating of the old TC will be up 38 highway.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I’m seeing a pattern where you involve yourself in discussions to counter act correct conclusions, Power 6. I’d love to know what car you’d be driving through a Town Car. There are very few cars that would fare well in a collision with one. I suspect that every body man knows it too.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Dispatched many a bad wreck during my emergency services career, 1998-2005 and don’t recall a fatality involving driver or passengers of any of the Panther trio. I distinctly remember one wreck out on the interstate involving 4-5 vehicles and the only people that walked away clean were an elderly couple in a Town Car. Our patrol car fleet was 95% Crown Vics, with a handful of front drive Impalas, and every officer who wrecked a Vickie in that time walked away.

      I also remember Chevy Cavaliers fold up like envelopes in wrecks. I refused to ride in them, and now most of them are dead now so I don’t have to.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      To be fair, there isn’t a comparison crash pic of the MKT. It might not look all that great but the Town Car scored well in crash tests with a “good” rating in nearly all categories with the lowest rating being “acceptable” in the driver foot area.

      So really, they are quite safe.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        I went to check out the test results after your comment. The test results were good only after 2003 model where they fixed some airbag issues. unfortunately intrusion into the foot-well means only one thing and that is that the cabin has deformed, that is a sign of weakness in the body. There is some Consumer reports video footage out there on the internets that show the side impact test on the same car. Those were very poor. Even with airbags it mentions broken pelvis and so on, not so good for many old folk who often drive these cars.
        The car is big and that helps but its just is not that strong. The tests show it.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “Even with airbags it mentions broken pelvis and so on, not so good for many old folk who often drive these cars.”

          That’s terrible and all, but again, but the vehicle still earned an “acceptable” score in those categories you mentioned. The rest were all “good”, the highest score. The point is from a set of accepted standards, the cars perform well. Above the average and better than many other cars.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Clearly, there is no comparison between the Town Car and the MKT: one is an outdated, body-on-frame sedan, and the other is a brilliant crossover with a voluminous interior and a 2-liter four-cylinder that also powers the Ford Focus.”

    Has the whole world gone mad? Say what you will about Panther because sure it rocks the Carter administration and all but you go from this to a ugly Taurus faux station wagon powered by a Focus spec engine, and *this* is luxury? I mean seriously people, might has well saved the MKThing dev costs, put a Continental star on a Transit Connect, and called it a day.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Can we put the baleen grille on the Transit Connect too? It is not a Lincoln if it doesn’t eat krill.

      • 0 avatar

        Certainly “It’s not a Lincoln if it doesn’t eat krill” is the line of the day. Thanks for sharing your insight on the C-Max. Nice to hear it’s as good as it looks. (In my eyes, anyway.)

    • 0 avatar

      Haha. Some of the line you quoted may have been in jest. By the way, regarding the Lincoln Transit Connect: don’t give Ford any ideas.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Considering how de contended later Town Cars became and how identical they were to taxis I don’t see them as being all that luxurious myself, but they’re closer to luxury than a duded up soccer mom mini-van.

      A decent luxury car can have a 2-litre I think, but it should be elegant in styling and well engineered, the only well engineered Fords that come to my mind have “T” or F in their titles, and all of them are quite old by now.

      Also, a luxury car should be a sedan with a well sized-trunk and a long hood, those have been staples of luxury.

  • avatar

    Certainly “It’s not a Lincoln if it doesn’t eat krill” is the line of the day. Thanks for sharing your insight on the C-Max. Nice to hear it’s as good as it looks. (In my eyes, anyway.)

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    It appears that the MKT has more exits than the death-trap Town Car stretch limo that caught on fire in San Francisco a few weeks ago. (Rear end of Town Car lit up. Occupants unable to escape.)

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Thats an issue that even police car Crown Vics have, you’d think that Ford would’ve learned better after the Pinto incident.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        Yes, that too.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Has the cause of the fire been determined? I’m under the impression that it wasn’t related to an impact.

        • 0 avatar
          markholli

          It was not related to an impact. If I recall it was an electrical fire. The news story I read indicated that the driver was not aware of the fire as he was driving and heard the passengers screaming behind the privacy glass. At first he thought they were just partying and being rambunctious, as at was a bachelorette party, so he didn’t think much of it.

          Very sad.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    This article is the long awaited sequel to the (in)famous Ford ads comparing the Granada to a Mercedes.

    I can’t wait to see long term results on how long those turbo fours live in livery service.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I don’t buy the turbo makes them unreliable argument. They have been spooling away on tractor trailers, buses, and other severe duty stuff for years. I would think most fleets get decent upkeep especially if the fleet is buying them new as in this article. We aren’t talking NYC taxi fleets here.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        NYC taxicabs actually get pretty regular oil changes. Its the other stuff that usually languishes. I once gave a cabbie an extra large tip when hammered and told him to get his check engine light fixed… he actually laughed…

  • avatar
    Pebble

    Yesterday I was driving my Town Car in Las Vegas traffic (and enjoying every second of the soft ride and excessive dimensions) when a MKT fake-Town Car stretch limo pulled up alongside me. My reactions:
    1. Damn, that’s ugly.
    2. That’s not a real Town Car, just a sad successor.
    Couldn’t Lincoln have replaced the Panther platform with a modern RWD/body on frame/V8 deal? This MKT monstrosity might make a good hearse, but I somehow can’t see the golfing retiree crowd here in Vegas picking up an MKT.

  • avatar
    becauseCAR

    Okay Doug. I challenge you to drive only an MKT for a week and see how long you’ll last driving that car.

    Most livery drivers I’ve met have always preferred the Town Car because of the V-8 and the vastly better ride. To this day, if presented with a choice between even an S550 or Town Car in NYC, most people would still choose the Town Car over the S-Class because it’s so much comfortable. I would imagine it’s the same for the MKT. Honestly, I haven’t seen many MKTs at all here in the SF Bay Area.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I had one for a week. It’s not bad. The seat cushions really make up for whatever the chassis team was smoking when they gave it a nimble ride. My passengers (was driving my extended family around a funeral / funeral planning) complimented the ride.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d like to drive one for a week, but after this piece, I imagine the Lincoln press office won’t be returning my phone calls.

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      “To this day, if presented with a choice between even an S550 or Town Car in NYC, most people would still choose the Town Car over the S-Class because it’s so much comfortable.”

      If you mean the old Town Car, then I agree.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I doubt most livery fleet owners place the comfort of livery fleet drivers at the top of the list of what is important when purchasing new vehicles so long as it is not unreasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Yeah over stuffed mostly vinyl seats on top of a 200# axle controlled by slack shocks. All held together with marshmallow body mounts ensuring all the interior panels quiver in unison as you slam over another pot hole. Yeah those Panthers sure do ride great.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “Honestly, I haven’t seen many MKTs at all here in the SF Bay Area.”

      It’s not hard to see black livery MKTs in SF or at SFO as black cars.

      I haven’t seen very many non-livery MKTs, however.

  • avatar
    86er

    “That’s because I, like you, haven’t looked up Lincoln Town Car pricing since the Clinton era, when the Town Car cost $19,500 and had a vertical rear window.”

    Doug, were you even alive during the Clinton Administration?

  • avatar
    kjb911

    my only experience with a panther was when I was a small child and my dad being promoted to sergeant decided to buy my mother a blue crown vic with police package and grey vinyl seats which were oh so much fun during the summer months…this was the only time my father had ever strayed away from GM until in 2000 my mother demanded a VW beetle. Those two cars are firmly implanted in my head for sub par quality and trauma. The Vic was sent in for repair 87 times in the year of ownership including a spout of the transmission jamming in drive…the beetle, well that’s a story for a different time. On the other hand for my cousin’s bachelor party we had an MKT-Town Car and I rather liked the roominess and comfort it provided. I think for most non-car enthusiast this a good car to get people into Lincoln showrooms I mean what’s the worst that can happen? Do I long for a RWD Continental…hell yes but for right now I’m quite pleased with the MKS, MKT, and MKX maybe its the inner gen y coming out

  • avatar
    mkirk

    If upon my death my final ride is in a 4 cylinder hearse someone’s ass is getting haunted!

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    I’m only 21 years old and if you offered me either an MKT or a Towncar I would take the Panther any day of the week.

    Bottom line of this comparison, and I think most would agree, is that the MKT looks like a giant beached whale, and the Towncar has (relatively) timeless, classic, and stately looks.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      And who wouldn’t? The MKTownCar has no chance of ever filling the shoes of the Panther TC. Tresmonos pointed out they sold out their production for these in 2 weeks. This is only because Ford set the bar so low because they knew no one can stand the looks of these things, except for Doug who’s used to driving rolling monstrosities like the Panamera.

      Even the best year sales of the new MKT can’t match the worst year of the Panther Town Car when the car’s design had long grown stale and the market was saturated with identical cars dating back 8 model years.

      In it’s best year Lincoln sold 7400 MKTs…Total!

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Between this and carsurvey I must ask, why do Panther buffs insist on starting their comments with “I’m 22 years old” “I’m 21″ “I’m 4 yeerz ol!”

  • avatar
    Freddie

    If I was an enterprising limo operator,I would save a few bucks by buying a fleet of black Flexes with the top of the line interiors. Few customers expecting an MKT “Town Car” would know the difference. And I’d say the serious, squared off look of the Flex makes for a more impressive limo than the cartoonish MKT.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Give them a 2-tone paint job with tuxedo black body and platinum white roof cap and they’d exude the sort of door man/bouncer/concierge vibe that would make them ideal for livery service. Sharp!

  • avatar
    el scotto

    One red meat eating, beer swilling, raised in the cornfields and acting like a moral degenerate whenever I can in ACC land checking in. I got one thing to say: 55 large for four cylinders? NO! Not only no, but hell no! Next! When’s the Navigator getting redesigned? With a big-ass F-150 engine in it?

  • avatar

    I look forward to the day 30 years down the road when I’m commenting on my Google Glass v35.7 that it is an absolute atrocity that they are calling this hideous, newfangled genre-busting “sport-activity-sedan” a “Town Car,” and that I damn well expect to be driven to my funeral in a proper 4-cylinder turbo MKT like old times thankyouverymuch.

    “You’re telling me the trunk is flatter and less useful!? How is THIS a Town Car? BRING BACK THE 4-CYLINDER FWD CUV NOW!”

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    dude, you totally have ignored long term cost of ownership and reliability of the platform. I am saying this as a person who is apathetic to the panther cars. Without taking this into consideration your comparison is, to me, slightly better than the current color rags regurgitating the Lincoln press release.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The platform that underpins the MKT and its siblings is a modified version of a late-90s Volvo platform, one that was used on many cars including the XC90. I would think that the only two potential trouble spots with these cars would be the EcoBoost engines and the MyFord/Lincoln Touch. But that doesn’t have anything to do with the platform itself.

      And I, too, am apathetic to Panthers.

    • 0 avatar

      Crap! I shall re-write the entire article.

      However: it’s also possible that you missed the fact that not one word of it was serious.

      Definitely one of the two.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    With all due credit, Mister DeMuro, you didn’t show the facelifted-for-2013 MKT anywhere.

    But maybe that’s a good thing.

  • avatar

    MKT, I agree…it’s also easier than throwing bodies in the trunk

  • avatar
    jaybird124

    “Of course, there’s no real comparison: the Town Car looks like a sedan, possibly from the 1980s, while the MKT looks exactly like a hearse. This is especially true of the hearse model. Advantage: MKT.”

    Priceless.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’ve never read so much heresy. The editorial content of this website is out of control. I’m sending complaint e-mails to all the advertisers because of this insulting content. C’mon everyone, who’s with me? First amendment or not, we can’t tolerate this kind of hate speech.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    I think Doug missed one of the most important qualities for a vehicle used for shuttling one about: ride quality. And the Town Car wins hands down. As far as interior space, the “L” edition of the Town car has about SIX more inches of legroom than an MKT. Funny you missed that, Doug…since you had mentioned the “L” but only as it pertained to handling and wheelbase.

    I’ve been shuttled to the airport for work and often have both cars shuttle me in the same day. I prefer the Town Car hands down. Better ride quality, no rattles and because of that…quieter more serene ride. Oh..and another thing..the drivers said the Town Car is cheaper to service and parts are cheaper than the MKT. Definitely an important consideration if you’re the operator.

    I’ll take a Town Car every time.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    If I might add…

    http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z256/jimbob1955_2007/LLL/leavelincolnalone_zpsc9810035.png

  • 0 avatar

    86SN2001 – I really appreciate that. Also, this is one of those rare times when that other account that always makes fun of you didn’t appear, so hopefully he agrees. Really though – thanks for the kind words.


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