By on June 19, 2014

$_20

In the last decade, American sedans have managed to capture the hearts and minds of enthusiasts in a way that was previously unthinkable. And for good reason. The Cadillac CTS-V, Chrysler/Dodge SRT-8 twins and the Pontiac G8/Chevrolet SS and all truly world class sport sedans, and I’m not interested in any of them. Carlos Villalobos’ Skoda Octavia vRS review has me thinking of a different kind of sports sedan. Something more discreet, maybe one that can be driven while wearing socks with sandals.

Ok, that is a blatant fib. I would love to own one of those vehicles. But in this exercise, it’s my own money on the line, and that means I am going to follow Steve Lang’s philosophy and look for the “lame duck“, the overlooked but still solid entrant that goes ignored, to the benefit of bargain-hunters like myself.

Take a look at that list and notice how the Blue Oval is woefully underrepresented. Yes, there was the Mercury Marauder. It was a pretty cool car in my mind, but the numbers never held up. Mercury folded at the end of the last decade, but the best Marauder is arguably a Lincoln.

I’m talking about the MKS Ecoboost AWD, which was really just a Taurus SHO with a nicer interior, even more nondescript styling and the sex appeal of control-top hose. It also had a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 making 335 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque, channeled through all four wheels. Handling? Not really. Braking? If the Taurus SHO is any indication, don’t expect more than one or two hot laps before you run into problems.

On the other hand, if you like cars that let you rapidly cover long distances in extreme isolation, this is a great choice – and as I mature, I find myself increasingly gravitating towards those cars. For $20,000 CAD (about $18,480), you can get an MKS Ecoboost with 55,000 miles on it. There’s not a ton of daylight between that and the SHO price-wise, but the interior is a little nicer, and you get the THX audio system. On the other hand, the SHO would look nice with police package wheels, especially in this odd silver/toothpaste-green color scheme.

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120 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: Catching Zzzz’s In The Q-Ship...”


  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    “In the last decade, American sedans have managed to capture the hearts and minds of enthusiasts in a way that was previously unthinkable. And for good reason.”

    Huh what??

    How quickly we forget the Taurus SHO (the real ones), Spirit R/T, Impala SS, Bonneville SSEi, 6000 STE and the various other factory US sports sedans that were raved about in the past…

    • 0 avatar

      Between the Impala SS and the ’03 CTS-V, there was a dearth of exciting American sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Well, back in the 80s and 90s we were clear that even the fun sedans from the US automakers lacked the handling, high-speed stability, and build quality of European sedans. They also lacked the quality of the Japanese makers. Now, though, the American makers are at parity with the Europeans for driving dynamics (BMW vs. Cadillac is a fair fight, for example) and they’ve caught up with the Japanese for reliability overall.

      I never thought I’d see the day when GM and Hyundai beat out Honda / Toyota in the JD Powers quality survey, but that was this morning’s headline.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Well, back in the 80s and 90s we were clear that even the fun sedans from the US automakers lacked the handling, high-speed stability, and build quality of European sedans. They also lacked the quality of the Japanese makers. Now, though, the American makers are at parity with the Europeans for driving dynamics (BMW vs. Cadillac is a fair fight, for example) and they’ve caught up with the Japanese for reliability overall.

      If you drove a 6000STE in ’84 you’d step up to an E30 BMW if you could afford it, but today you could cross-shop a Chevy SS and a BMW 535 and pick the Chevy on merit.

      I never thought I’d see the day when GM and Hyundai beat out Honda / Toyota in the JD Powers quality survey, but that was this morning’s headline.

      • 0 avatar
        Giltibo

        Ummm… it’s the Initial Quality Study, that is to say the perception people have of the quality of their NEW cars.

        With the domestics (And Euro brands),sometimes things go South when it comes to the Vehicle Dependabilty Study…

        Just sayin’…

  • avatar
    mjal

    Interesting how, in 2010, Jack Baruth in his review gave this car 4 out of 5 stars and essentially called it an honest luxury car. Could the car have fallen this far in 4 years?

  • avatar

    Accept the facts:

    Lighter vehicles demand lighter components focused on maximizing fuel economy.

    Automatic transmissions, electric steering, low rolling resistance wheels…

    When it all adds up, you get the death of the “tradional American” car and the death of sports cars altogether.

    These Malthusian Luddites, ecoterrorists and assorted socialists want to force us into undersized, underpowered, self-driving, self parking, econoboxes.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      While driving Mercedes, Bentleys, and Rollers themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        We socialists prefer Kenworth transport trucks. If you look carefully, you’ll see that our “passenger” is really just pillow buckled into the seat with a wig and a hat attached so that we can drive in the commuter lane.

        Sometimes, we’ll buy 100,000 copies of the bible just on a whim and throw them into a bonfire one at a time while worshipping Satan and practicing interracial sodomy. Then we’ll call up the White House and get Obama to pass some new law restricting hard-working law-abiding patriotic Americans from cooking their food using a conventional range oven or brushing their teeth.

        Seriously though, can you drop the politics bullsh!t? You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Apparently, the fat-sizing of cars like the Cruze and Dart to weights 4 or 5 hundred pounds beyond an Audi 5000 of 25 years ago is yet another fact that has passed you by.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        a 2500 pound Audi 5000?
        Was that some special low weight model?

        Of course they didn’t have ABS, Traction control, 10 airbags, had much lower side impact, roof crush and rear end protection standards.

        • 0 avatar
          MattPete

          The Audi 5000 had ABS and AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            AVAILABLE, as options. My 5000 had neither.

          • 0 avatar
            Swedish

            my 1985 Audi 5000S had DRUM BRAKES (Rear), and NO ABS – I was surprised to realize Audi still used drum brakes considering my 1st car a 1978 Volvo 245DL had 4 wheel disc brakes.

        • 0 avatar
          sitting@home

          “Of course they didn’t have ABS, Traction control, 10 airbags, had much lower side impact, roof crush and rear end protection standards.”

          Because they didn’t have to contend with a 4 ton Urban Assault Vehicle with zero outward visibility being piloted by a 16 year old texting schoolgirl.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      …providing they cannot force us to ride transit….

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      What crap…you know what’s driving people into smaller cars? It’s not the evil socialist liberals or the greenies – it’s gas that hovers between $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. And why is this so? Could this be why?

      http://online.wsj.com/articles/global-oil-consumption-outpaces-production-1402905600

      Or should we expect that increasing demand of a finite resource should result in LOWER prices? Sure, we should…

      Gas is pricey, isn’t going to get considerably cheaper anytime soon, and car buyers have figured this out (they do have brains, you know).

      And, no, contrary to what the right wing hot air machine would have you believe, opening up the ANWR and building Keystone XL will NOT bring that figure down by a whole lot.

      Actual conservatives know why people are buying more small cars now, and would consider this an intelligent reaction on the part of the “market,” versus your paranoid rhetorical nonsense.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Then why do we need CAFE? Don’t the green fascists justify their existence by assuming that people won’t make rational decisions on their own? You’re trying to accuse fans of freedom of disregarding individual decision making? It is to laugh.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          If people made rationale decisions regarding their purchases or their voting then marketing, advertising and sales would not exist.

          Advertising is a multi-billion dollar business because it works.

          The movies made diamond engagement rings and smoking part of the popular culture.

          As for cars, most of us would only need a car capable of holding 4 people and some groceries, with about 50 h.p. That would handle probably 90% of what it is used for, commuting through heavy traffic, some shopping and taking the family to and from their activities.

          Everything else is non-rationale and based only on emotion.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Ultimately, people are schizophrenic when it comes to fuel economy. Everyone says they want better fuel economy, but most people are unwilling to give up the things that would actually lead to better fuel economy. And since gas is still CHEAP in the US (in the grand scheme of things), there is very little incentive for most people. So we as a nation end up with people buying 4dr pickup trucks to commute in, but the auto makers have to deal with the madness that is CAFE.

          I do not think that oil is a finite resource. CHEAP oil that allowed $1/gal gas was a finite resource, and it is gone. But there is plenty of oil, and the more expensive it is, the more there is of it. The only thing that will really drive people to more efficient vehicles is more expensive gas. See Canada and Europe as examples of how this works in practice.

          • 0 avatar
            sitting@home

            “I do not think that oil is a finite resource.”

            It’s certainly not infinite.

            It took the last couple of billion years of accumulated dead stuff slowly getting mulched into effectively all the oil the human race will ever see. As you say, we’ve already burned through the easy stuff … we’re now on to esoteric extraction like fracking and tar sands to satisfy our ever increasing thirst.

            We look back at history in amazement of some of the things society used to believe; that the world was flat and witches affected the crops. In 200 years time people will be looking back at the 21st century and saying “how did those people ever think the oil was going to last forever ?”.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Economically, it might as well be infinite. As the cost goes up, the demand (and waste) will go down, and the high price opens up more expensive to produce fields. If oil was $50/bbl the oil boom in the Dakotas would be over tomorrow, for example. We have huge swaths of oil bearing territory that we are not exploiting currently because we think the land is too pretty to “spoil” for that matter. You can bet that at $500/bbl, there would be drilling rigs in Yellowstone if there was any oil there.

            Price incentivizes efficiency better than anything else. My personal example – when I bought my house 13 years ago, heating oil was $.80/gal. I had a crappy old furnace and leaky old windows, and used 1200 gallons a year for heat and hot water. And we kept the place at 70+ degrees all winter. After 2005, when oil spiked and heating oil went to $3/gal, it became very worthwhile to replace the crappy old furnace and leaky windows, and keep the house a few degrees cooler. Now I use 400 gallons a year. At nearly $4/gal, the payback time is very short, at $.80/gal, I would not have lived long enough. And I don’t care enough about Polar Bears enough to do it out of the goodness of my heart.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    MKS has crossed my mind as a possible choice in the future, grandma and grandpa will be heading to that home in the next five to ten years after all. Last I checked the MY12s were still going for way too much whereas CD3 Zephyrs are free in comparison. While its much more attractive looking than its Ford cousin, it looks like it suffers from the same maladies: poor visibility, poor ergonomics, giant out-of-place wheels, looks odd at certain angles, and everybody’s favorite baleen whale facia. I personally am not going near anything but the 3.7 FWD at any price, but it looks like the majority of the only 81K models sold since CY08 were ordered as FWD. Hmmm I wonder if I can fit “Continental” in the narrow pillars of the trunklid?

    Hmmm, the motor numbers don’t impress. Perhaps a final year Park Ave Ultra would be the way to go. I’ve seen L67 Series IIs dyno at 300bhp.

    “the production MKS is powered by an all-aluminum 3.7 L Duratec DOHC V6, a larger bore derivative of the Duratec 35 and a member of Ford’s Cyclone engine family. The engine was designed to accept either regular grade, 87 octane gasoline or premium grade, 91 octane gasoline. Using regular grade gasoline, the 3.7 L V6 produces 273 hp (204 kW) at 6250 rpm and 270 lb·ft (366 N·m) of torque at 4250 rpm. Using premium grade gasoline results in a small boost in output to 275 hp (205 kW) at 6250 rpm and 276 lb·ft (374 N·m) of torque at 4250 rpm.”

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The 3.7 does 305 HP now, but yes, the early ones did about 275 HP.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        How much power do you think the trans can handle? Gotta have my trifecta tune.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ok here’s a fun fact. The D3 Fords share the same transmission with the 3.6 W-Impala and the other 3.6 GM rides:

          “General Motors and Ford Motor Company cooperated in 2002 to create a new automatic transaxle, designed for transverse engine applications in cars and light trucks.”

          “The first application of the technology is in the 2007 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossover SUVs, as well as the Saturn Aura sedan and the Saturn Outlook crossover.”

          “Ford claims the 6F50 is designed to handle 300 hp (224 kW) and 280 ft·lbf (380 N·m), while General Motors rates their 6T70 to 315 hp (235 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) and the 6T75 to 315 hp (235 kW) and 300 lb·ft (407 N·m).

          Ford appears not to have made a public statement regarding the 6F55′s maximum capabilities, but uses it in AWD in the Taurus SHO with an engine rated at 272 kW (370 PS; 365 hp)and 475 N·m (350 lb·ft) of torque (Final drive 2.77:1).”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM-Ford_6-speed_automatic_transmission

          The D3 Fords evidently use 6F50 and 6F55 when mated to Ecoboost. Now I’m not a FoMoCo guy, but I’m reading it as 6F55 is a reinforced version of 6F50 (which would be a GM move), the latter of which has clearly defined performance limits well below 365bhp/350 ft-tq as stated. So it strikes me as EB’d D3s are pushing the transmission to the edge of its limits over time.

          • 0 avatar
            chainyanker

            No more than GM is pushing it in the XTS Vsport with the 6T80 which is just a beefed up 6T75.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The 6F55 has shown to hold up pretty well behind the 3.5L EB engines. Statistically, problems with them due to anything related to the power of the engine are low.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6F50/55 won’t have an issue with power limits. Issues that are more common are sensors, plates, and seals. On the 6F55, the PTU can leak. The transmission range sensor is sometimes an issue on the Ford transmission as well. Most of that stuff probably would have been fixed by a TSB by now, or updated so it didn’t have that issue. The biggest piece of advice I can offer with the Ford, and probably GM, 6-speed, is change your transmission fluid early. If you have AWD, change the PTU fluid too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @chainyanker, danio3834

            I’d be curious to know what the differences are in Ford’s 6F50 vs 55 or 6F50 vs 6T80. i wonder if in Ford’s case the figures they released for 6F50 are just deliberately low or if those were the power figures in order to get a long live out of the trans. Tauri EB came out in what CY2010? There are probably a few high miles examples out there but its not old enough to have enough data to estimate trans life. Ditto with XTS-V.

            @bball

            Then why are the released figures for 50 so much lower?

            These things might make nice sleepers even in FWD form. Mustang uses Coyote 3.7 right? If the auto can take the additional power maybe MkTaurus can be enhanced?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6F50 now has engines that are right at, or go above 300 HP, so 300 shouldn’t be considered the cap anymore.

            I would bet they rated it at 300 HP originally because there wasn’t an engine attached to it that went over 275 HP or so.

            The Mustang uses the 3.7L, as does the F150. There are performance mods out there. 5 Star Motorsports does a tune among other things. If I had a 3.7L Ford/Lincoln, I would be looking at Mustang and F150 forums.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “There are probably a few high miles examples out there but its not old enough to have enough data to estimate trans life.”

            Failure patterns within warranty usually extrapolate outside of warranty. If you’re waiting to see if they fail at 150k miles versus 250k to determine if they’re any good, you’re adding in a lot of other variables that it essentially becomes a crap shoot. Was it abused? Was it serviced on time? In many cases, who knows.

            If they couldn’t hold the power, they’d be shredding in warranty. They aren’t in any big way.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      28, we’ll just file your 300-hp Park Avenue under “Adventures in Torque Steer.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Lol sounds good. D186 Conti was notorious for torque steer, and I think the K-body Northstars as well.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          No torque steer in the K body or H/G body northstar engined cars.
          Had/have. Never an issue.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          any torque steer with your GP?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            No but its only an L26. I thought I read/heard somewhere years back 300hp/280ft-tq was roughly the power limit to induce torque steer in FWD (although this was in relation to the D186 Continental).

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          To give you an answer that is easier to relate to…My wife’s 08 GP with the L26 has more torque steer than any northstar car I’ve ever owned or driven.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ok. While we’re on the subject, did hers come loaded to the gills from the factory? in MY08 there was no GT, simply base and GXP (GT being dropped with the L32). However my particular car has all of the other GT level options. I was always curious to know if GM in its final year put the “base” model out loaded.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            No, her’s was originally a fleet order by the Mass State Police, so it is weirdly optioned.

            It has the interior upgrade package (chrome rings around the vents), the upgraded suspension but not the sport package so no dual exhaust or fog lights. No xm or onstar either, no fold flat passenger seat.

  • avatar

    HENNESSY MAXBOOST 435 KIT!!! http://www.hennesseyperformance.com/maxboost435.html “Power:
    • 435 bhp @ 5,400 rpm

    Performance:
    • 0 – 60 mph: 4.5 sec.
    • 1/4 mile: 13.0 @ 106 mph

    Via Jalopnik: “with an installed price of $4,495 installed with a one-year warranty ($3,495 via mail order)”

    http://jalopnik.com/5482405/hennessey-maxboost-435-lincoln-mks-first-drive

    Dooo EEEET.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    If the current SHO is seriously under-braked (the original was somewhat underbraked) and if it handles somewhat ponderously, what’s the point of getting it over the normally aspirated 3.7 if you’re looking for a slab cruiser. I happened to rent a Taurus “Limited” 3.7 a few months ago and did a bit of “slab cruising” in Texas. It does that very well and certainly does not feel underpowered. Certainly the Ecoboost motor’s fat torque curve will make it “feel” faster, but to what end? . . . seriously. I came of age as a driver during the original muscle car era — the late 1960s. I’ve kind of been through that with cars that go well, but don’t stop too well and handle ponderously. At least the old, large displacement V-8s made fear-of-God exhaust and induction noises when cut loose on the slab. The Ecoboost at work has an entirely underwhelming aural presentation in comparison.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I wrote off the SHO when they brought back the name to attach it to that bulbous, swoopy plastic “thing” they call the Taurus.

    I understand fit and finish is worlds apart from the previous SHO’s, I’ll give it that.

    Much to my dismay, there is no Yamaha V6.

    In my humble opinion, the “new” SHO’s are a mere shadow of their former selves. The previous SHO’s were just all around sh*t-kicking, fun cars.

    Now, carrying over my unique and subjective perspective over to this Lincoln pictured above- I will say this: sure, it’s a nice car. But nothing to drool over or spend 18K on.

    Get something just as fun and cheaper: get the Pantherized Marauder, my friend. Even if it is literally slower. You’ll have just as much fun with it, and it’s even simpler to do your own wrenching on.

    Beat the hell out of the Panther and wear a smile. You’re not going to tire that thing out anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I used to have an ’89 SHO and wish I still had it. Granted the performance by today’s standards is not that great, but I’d like to have it back for the unique factor. I can’t remember when I last saw one of the original SHO’s on the road.

      Yesterday I was passed by a new SHO and honestly I didn’t know it was an SHO until I saw the badge on the back. They never really did anything for me beginning with the ’96 redesign.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        I actually saw one two weeks ago in the parking lot of a Buick/Pontiac/GMC regional car show.

        It was in amazing shape for a Northeastern car. I was shocked an happy to see it.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        > I can’t remember when I last saw one of the original SHO’s on the
        > road.

        That’s because they’ve all turned into dust. My ’89 was the most fragile, least durable car I’ve ever owned (except for the bulletproof engine). It lost a transmission, multiple motor mounts, two power steering pumps, an alternator, two A/C compressors, a number of power window components, the auto temp sensor, the power antenna, and more during my 90,000 miles of ownership (starting at 68,000).

        • 0 avatar
          crtfour

          The one I had was actually really good. I can’t recall any mechanical issues (I had it in the mid 90′s so it’s hard to remember). I do remember though that on hot summer days this thick black goo would start oozing from somewhere above the pedals onto the driver’s side carpet. Could never figure that one out, but hey it was a Ford built in the 80′s, what do you expect?

        • 0 avatar
          LeeK

          My ’92 SHO was a crude car. My left leg is still bigger than my right due to the miserable Mazda-truck derived transmission and heavy clutch. The sunroof leaked, the oil pressure sending unit leaked, and the JBL audio system buttons wore out. It wasn’t particularly fast (6.4 seconds 0-60, 15.1 seconds 1/4 mile), nor nimble (weak subframe bushings). The motor did have a nice growl to it at high RPMs.

          Not much much love from me and I was happy to see it go when I bought an SVT Contour. The Contour was not without issue, but the refinement
          of the Mondeo was superior to the Taurus in every way.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            But…it was the Thunderbird Super Coupe that had a Mazda truck transmission, not the Taurus SHO.

            SHOs had a transmission originally developed for…the Ford Escort. Okay, that’s not so great either.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I agree that Ford shouldn’t have used teh SHO badge on the current Taurus. It should have been on a Fusion instead. The Taurus would have been better served just being the Limited Ecoboost, just like the Flex, or Taurus Sport, just like the Explorer.

      That being said, the MKS with the 3.5EB is an excellent used car for $20K. It is a much better highway cruiser than any Panther. Plus, it is a much safer car.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        “It is a much better highway cruiser than any Panther. Plus, it is a much safer car.”

        Sure, but..

        MKS for dinner dates with the misses and the occasional stoplight run to stretch its legs. MKS for handwashes followed by “all clean” Facebook posts. MKS for a morning breakfast drive and a lazy Sunday road trip. Which there’s nothing wrong with at all.

        Marauder for hoonage. That good, guilt-free hoonage.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    The MKS Ecoboost is an excellent used buy. The weak points can be fixed cheaply, and the brakes can be upgraded. 2013 and new MKS EBs, as well as the SHO, have upgraded brakes. With the MKS/MKT, if you can get over the Lincoln styling, they are better deals, and sometimes cheaper than the Taurus/Flex. I bought my MKT Ecoboost for under $25K, and it had just over 50K miles. I couldn’t find a compareable Flex for under $29K.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What colors is yours, by the way?

      Saw my first MKT stretch limos the other day. White with black landaus. Hideous.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Black on Black. I wanted the Pearl White they stole from Audi, or one with the tan interior. However, price and condition had me end up with the most common color. The dealership that had the pearl white one I wanted wouldn’t drop below $30K.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Don’t fret as black is the correct color, you did well.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I don’t think I’ve seen a pearl one. There is an EX35 in the garage which was parked under a light yesterday at work, it’s a very nice metallic pearl.

          Oh the same day I also saw an XTS hearse. Now THAT is odd looking.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “also saw an XTS hearse”

            That whole model is a fail in terms of aesthetics, turning it into a hearse just adds to the confusion.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The XTS hearse reminds me of the general shape of a Jerusalem cricket.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The pearl white is rare. I also looked at one that was a blue/green color. It was in good shape, but the color/seat combo was terrible. Mine is a 2010, and I bought it when the dealer had five or six 2011 MKTs on the lot that just came off lease.

            The MKT limos look ridiculous. I think it is hilarious that they are AWD. There must be so much Ford voodoo keeping the transmission/AWD system together.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I saw a baleen whale silver hearse just yesterday. I was saddened to realize I didn’t equip a harpoon.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The MKS doesn’t look too great unless you get one of the ones after the point where they redid the wood. Can’t recall what MY that was. Also, they don’t look good in light colors because of the panel lines/gaps (which also collect dirt massively in the winter). Hard to find properly loaded, in right color, with correct wood.

  • avatar
    Never_New

    First time commenter, long time reader. How do we suggest grammatical error changes here without sounding like the grammar police. I Think the second sentence in the second paragraph should be “Own one”.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Personally I say something to the effect of “fyi” and highlight the incorrect prose in quotes with a corrected version after. Btw I think “Own one” flows better.

  • avatar
    TorontoSkeptic

    OK so I’m not the only one who browses the Kijiji “cars and trucks” section looking for the oddball deals… For non-Canadians Kijiji is like craigslist with WAY better sorting and filtering options, especially for automotive things.

    My fave is still the first-gen Infiniti M that you can get with AWD and all the trimmings for $15k or less, e.g.

    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/oakville-halton-region/2007-infiniti-m35x-sedan-awd-fully-loaded/603990807?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/city-of-toronto/2007-infiniti-m35x-navigation-and-technology-package/589724712?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

    I think the real sleeper is the Buick Lucerne though.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Why Lucerne?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The M you’ve linked there is actually second generation. The first one was the pillarless early 00s version, which only had a V8.

      The 06 and 07 are cheaper than the 08+ because there were numerous interior improvements that year, as well as slight styling changes and a bump in engine power from 275 to 305.

      Both of those listings are questionable. They claim to have DVD, but that was only an option as part of a very expensive rear seat package which very few have. The second one has clouded headlamps, is not on the original wheels, and claims to have alumium interior trim. Aluminum trim was part of the S (sport) trim only, and was not available on AWD models.

      Not even the Lucerne Super was a sleeper.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Lucerne Super was literally a Buick “Deville”. Might as well get the Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Why get the Caddy when you can get a large discount on the Lucerne and have a better looking car to boot. Plus I think you’ll see the Super’s be something kind of special 25 or 30 years from now.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @PonchoIndian – because when rolling the dice on a Northstar I’d rather have the heated rear seats that most DTS came with instead of the Lucerne that couldn’t be had with heated rear seats for love nor money. If two cars are similar in chassis/engine/transmission give me the one with more toys.

            The price of them used will be very similar so you might as well get every option that was available.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t see a huge savings at this point between the two models, also which is easier to find a top trim Super which was sparely ordered or a Deville DTS where the V8 was standard? I also don’t see there being many Lucerne Supers on the road twenty years hence because they were Northstar which was designed to be a throwaway engine.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Dan
            I’m picking up what you’re putting down.
            I could never quite warm up to the semi-art and science DTS. It was a handsome car no doubt, but a black on black Lucerne Super just has more of the classic mafioso look to me.

            PS, don’t be too worried about the northstar. I know people bitch about it, but that is usually why they come to the internet in the first place, to bitch.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Between the two, I agree the Lucerne has the “look”. But if I’m going Lucerne its going to be most likely a L26 Series III, or if acquired cheaply enough an L32 swap on a 3900.

      • 0 avatar
        TorontoSkeptic

        I’m not sure about DVD, but option packages tend to be different in Canada. I think it came up in one of Derek’s previous columns about a TSX with heated cloth seats, people insisted the option didn’t exist, but it did for the Canadian market.

        Since prices are higher across the board here, they often have more equipment at every level. e.g. the Maxima only exists in top-trim format.

        Here’s an M45 with the DVD player, it has a picture of it even: http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/oshawa-durham-region/final-price-2007-infiniti-m45-sport-with-carproof/592910064?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I’m not surprised this M45S has the DVD package. That’s the factory DVD I was referring to. Should have come with a rear sunshade and (IIRC) rear heated seats as well. Unusual on the M45 and nearly impossible to find on the M35.

          That being said, the 4.5 is VERY thirsty, and a bit overkill in this car, whilst running only on premium. It’s also a much lower production engine, so I’d tend to trust it less than the very common 3.5.

          • 0 avatar
            TorontoSkeptic

            OK I’ll admit I don’t know the details of the Infiniti M as well as you! Yeah Kijiji is a crapshoot and perhaps things aren’t quite as described. But this car has always struck me as quite a deal. Put it this way, the price difference between a 2007 Infiniti Mx (AWD) and a 2012 Kia Rio is pretty minimal.

            http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/markham-york-region/2012-kia-rio-lx-plus-sedan/603929841?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

            Also consumer reports has lots of love for the M and Infinitis generally which carries weight with me, especially for older models.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You should go for it and get one! Just not one that’s been messed with, or debadged, or re-wheeled. Those are certainly to be more trouble prone due to past hoonage abuse.

            Hard to go wrong with a VQ engine.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Or this:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/my-candidate-for-murilees-ultimate-sleeper-buick-verano-turbo/

    • 0 avatar

      If you see anything, editors at ttac dot com

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Needs a license plate that just says “Q SHIP”.

    I’ve always loved an vehicle that will allow you to go fast with class.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      To me, a Q ship has to be discreet, which rules out anything with spoilers, ground effects, or wheel flares. So I’d choose a 550i over an M5, an A8L 4.0T over an S8, or an LS600hL over an LS460 F-sport.

      The MKS Eco-boost has the right under-the-radar look for me. Whether I would choose it over similar rivals would require a test drive for me, and from Big Truck Series’ description, it doesn’t waft enough for my tastes.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    28 cars
    You could get the Northstar in any level of Lucerne except the base model.

    Don’t jump on the Northstar throwaway bandwagon that rolls around here and other blogs all too frequently. Everyone has their favorite go-to for “that will never last” and “they don’t make them like they used to”.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I didn’t know if was available in the CXL trim, learn something new everyday.

      I actually read a technical manual (dated sometime in the mid 90s) which explained one of the achievements of the N* engine was it was designed to have simple maint parts swap out (water pump, plugs, etc) but it was intended to be a sealed unit for the life of the motor, so not rebuildable. Since V6s put out similar power these days, I see the appeal of dealing with Northstar in say 2030 being equivalent to dealing with 4100 in the mid 2000s. 3800 and 3900 will not require such frustration or specialization in order to keep them on the road.

  • avatar
    morbo

    I drove a ’12 MKS rental from Las Vegas to San Diego a couple years back (Comic-Con FTW!). I got to say it’s a competent, quiet cruiser with plenty of wonderful tech toys. That can be had for a lot less money in an up-optioned Honda Accord, or with a lot more firepower for the same price in a Mopar LX like my 300C.

    It definitely has a lot more lateral room than the donor Taurus, which is great for us, ahem, laterally challenged individuals. It is invisible on the roads; the California cops at the Nevada border pulled over the blinged out Navigator that was speeding behind me, instead of the speeding milquetoat MKS I was piloting.

    At the right price point, it’s a used bargain. But it’s not a car anyone desires for the sake of having, like an SRT, cadillac V, BMW M, etc. It’s what the Acura TL should have been, if Acura hadn’t gotten all weird and bizzarro with their styling.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I thought everybody complained the Accord was -not- quiet enough!

      Also, I’d compare something like the MKS with an 05+ Acura RL SH-AWD, where the RL would come out on top in every category, and be similar in price.

      Note: Normally I’d throw in the S80 here, but they’re hard to find with all the options checked (which is what you need to compete with MKS and RL) and the AWD ones are entirely too thirsty.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        MSRP wise the MKs competes with RL. But in real world pricing I’d say it’s competing with the TL. My experience has been with mid 2000′s Accords and TLs, and post ’13 Accords; I never drove the ’08 upsized re-design Accord, so I can’t speak to it’s NVH. The ’12 MKS, for road trip purposes, was on par with an ’04 TL I road tripped to Myrtle Beach but with the latest tech tools.

        Since the MKS is the final S80 re-design, it’s not really a comparison. It’s like comparing the base stripper 2005 2.7L Dodge Magnum Avis-edition to the 2014 SRT-8 Chrysler 300. Or maybe i have that backwards. Either way, not an apples to apples comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I dunno I think you’d find used RL prices aren’t too far off from the used MKS prices.

          And for the MKS/S80, I was referring to 08-10 ish years, not current. And if you ask Volvo, the S80 competes directly with the 5-Series and GS, stepping over the MKS entirely. LOLZ.

      • 0 avatar
        MPAVictoria

        S80s while overpriced when new are a pretty good deal used in my opinion. They have great interiors, decent looks and pretty good expected reliability. They also drive very nicely if you value a smooth ride over sporty handling.

        In fact two weeks ago I put my money where my mouth was and traded in my 2009 Pontiac G8, which has been a minor disaster reliability-wise, for a 2012 S80. So far I am happy with the change. The S80 is far less sporty but it is a way more pleasant place to spend time. Plus it should be much better for our brutal Canadian winters.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Did you get one with nav, heated seats, Inscription, AWD, backup cam, BLIS?

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            Mine is a Premier model with the following:
            - Technology Package
            - Climate Package
            - Keyless Drive w/Personal Car Communicator
            - Metallic Paint

            So radar cruise (which is awesome), collision avoidance, heated front and rear seats and parking sensors. No NAV, AWD, backup cam or BLIS. I would have liked the AWD but I don’t really miss the other stuff.

            So far I am pretty happy with the car. The seats are comfy and have a memory function linked to my wife and my individual keys which is handy. Plus the gas mileage has been much better than the G8′s.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I should hope it’s better. You got a smaller FWD car with a smaller engine!

            One negative point I’ll make: Look at all the options you -don’t- have, in Volvos most premium and largest car. For the same money you could have an Acura, Infiniti, or possibly a Lexus loaded up fully with more power and equal economy.

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            “I should hope it’s better. You got a smaller FWD car with a smaller engine!”

            The G8 (mine was a v6 model) and the S80 are actually very close in weight, interior space and horse power.

            “One negative point I’ll make: Look at all the options you -don’t- have, in Volvos most premium and largest car. For the same money you could have an Acura, Infiniti, or possibly a Lexus loaded up fully with more power and equal economy.”

            For the same money? Not used and not in Canada they wouldn’t be. A similar Lexus/Acura/Infiniti would have been MUCH more expensive. Plus I like the exterior/interior of the Volvo better than the comparable models from those companies.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do always forget they made a V6 G8. I think they all had a V8 in them.

            I guess I didn’t consider the differences in market between the us and CAN either.

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            Well in fairness to you the one with the v8 is the one to have. Looking back I really should have sprung for the bigger engine but it would have pushed the price too high for my budget at the time. (Of course give the issues I had with mine maybe it was for the best after all)

            Also I totally agree with you that the S80 is very over priced new. Used, at least in Canada, I think it is a good value compared to the competition.

  • avatar
    Quopar

    “the sex appeal of control-top hose”

    Hilarious! And made even funnier by its truth. Lincoln seems intent on excising whatever little emotional appeal its Ford precursors may have had. What market would get excited over Lincoln besides funeral vehicle operators and the livery industry?

    Sure, the kids may dig up a fully depreciated EcoBoost for a cheap hoon, but that’s hardly a business model.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You make a good point. In place of Mark Fields, I’d turn Lincoln into a ultra premium almost imperial brand. Why? You can’t make it fun, you can’t make it young and hip, and I fail to see the need for the neo-Mercury its become. Consolidate the LM and Ford dealers and you have no need for neo-Mercury. Slim down to three or four models and sell no direct Ford equivalent (save maybe the Navi): Continental sedan, Conti coupe/conv, Navi, and crossover.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    I totally agree with this article. A lightly used MKS is a great used car buy. They tend to have low miles, all the goodies and a low (relative) price. They do have some big issues to get passed though. For one, they are amazingly cramped on the inside for such a large car. My G8 and my S80 both have much more usable interiors. They also have a very low wife acceptance factor. I took one on a test drive with the spouse and she HATED it. Thought it looked like an old ladies car.

    All that said, I still think they are a good buy used for the right person.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Speaking of Q-ships, what about the Honda Accord Sport with the six-speed? Lovely car to drive…

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    $20,000 is a deal for a luxuryish sedan, usually. At 90,000 kilometers that seems a little high for an MKS. As long as you plan on keeping it, it’s a bargain. If you plan on trading it in in two years, you’re gonna get nuthin’.

    Fun fact: I had a prospective client wanting to trade in a 2011 Saab 9-5 FWD 2.0. Base car. 55,000 kilometers / 30,000 miles. Looking at black book and what they’re posting online for, I thought mid teens for it. Turns out wholesalers right now would buy one for… $7500-10000.

    Now *that’s* a deal.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    It would be nice to see Ford bring back Yamaha into engine development and production.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    The MKS with the 3.5 is a screamer of a sleeper. I got my parents into one and out of their GM product. It’s massive and fast and comfortable and quiet – you will not notice you have reached 60 in under four seconds. The lawman will assume you’re adjusting your trifocals and let you on past.

    Handling: It handles better than most CUVs; the D3 platform has effectively evolved into tall and not-quite-tall CUVs; they aren’t really sedans. Parked next to a new Escape, eyeballed height difference from the MKS was like 6 inches.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    This wrong wheel drive, porky boat is no sport sedan.

    It’s a joke…and one of the nails in Lincoln’s coffin.


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