By on August 2, 2016

2004 Lincoln LS V8

Much has been written about Stockholm Syndrome. It’s been critical to the plotlines of countless books, movies, and television shows: someone gets taken hostage and yet inexplicably sympathizes with and develops positive feelings towards their captor. I truly believe this thought process extends to inanimate objects as well. Case in point: a colleague of mine refuses to give up her Blackberry. My automotive equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome is Lincoln … ahem, excuse me … the Lincoln Motor Company.

To the delight of certain other TTAC contributors, my past is littered with examples of big Fords: five Crown Vics (including a wagon) and a Grand Marquis. I know, right? Most of these vehicles darkened my driveway for a maximum of six or seven months and were, without exception, terrible examples of the breed. The floor of my second Crown Vic was so rusty that the carpet eventually caught fire from resting on the exhaust and filled the cabin with apocalyptic amounts of dark smoke. My solution after I put out the flames? Cut off the exhaust. My neighbours hated me.

But back to Lincoln. It was the purchase of a 1989 Mark VII LSC in 2003 that brought me down the rabbit hole of inexplicable Lincoln fandom and cemented my own personal automotive Stockholm Syndrome. It, too, was a terrible example (sensing a trend here, folks?) with a suspicious twist to the front bumper and an interior that smelled like a Philip-Morris factory. I always admired the Mark VII. When one popped up for sale locally in those early days of eBay, I visited the owner with a bag of cash. It was all fives and tens, but still a bag of cash.

Fast forward to 2007. Married, with a newborn on the way, I still owned the Mark VII, enjoyed its presence and defended its occasional air ride induced psychosis. A five-speed manual Mazda6 hatchback served as our daily driver. By now, I was employed as a regional sales rep by Atlantic Canada’s largest telecom company and needed a second set of wheels so my pregnant wife wouldn’t be marooned at home while I peddled cell phones and Centrex systems to business customers. She refused to drive the Mark VII. She was (and remains) smarter than me.

This is where the Lincoln LS enters our story.

2004 Lincoln LS V8, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

It appeared for sale at a Lincoln dealer just a couple of hours from our home. Three years old, 35,000 miles, clean interior … a fairly standard lease return. We trekked to the dealer, in a February snowstorm I might add, for a look-see. In typical Canadian fashion, negotiations were firm but polite and I was soon rolling in what was then a freshly discontinued member of the Ford family. I was happy with my purchase; still am. But, as Lincoln’s biggest cheerleader, I’m also its harshest critic.

The Lincoln LS was supposed to be the luxury division’s answer to BMW’s 5er and Merc’s E-Class at a price which rivaled German cars a class below. Developed jointly with the Jaguar S-Type (remember the Premier Automotive Group? I hope not), the DEW98 platform on which the cars were based, was a rigid chassis that featured independent double-wishbone (short-long arm) front and rear suspensions for excellent handling and ride quality.

2004 Lincoln LS V8, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

Rather than take advantage of the chance to pivot towards buyers not heading to the early-bird special at the Golden Corral, Ford — then under the flinty and cost cutting eye of Jacques “The Knife” Nasser — sought to save money by sharing many parts between the LS and S-Type. The company provided each car with its own design team, where it spent most of its budget. This resulted in the Jaaaaaag being purchased by well-heeled American dentists and the LS being purchased by, um, well-heeled American dentists with an honorable sense of patriotism. Nevertheless, the LS was a well-intentioned effort.

Heck, a full two years before the origami-inspired Cadillac CTS showed up with its manual transmission, Lincoln sold — at the approximate rate of glacier progression, natch — its V6 LS with a five-speed manual. Remember, when the LS showed up in 2000, the sales staff at Lincoln were charged with selling the then-rapped-about Navigator, the stoic Town Car, and the milquetoast Continental. Not exactly a cohesive lineup. The Blackwood wouldn’t darken Lincoln showrooms until the following year.

2004 Lincoln LS V8 Interior, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

Dynamically, when new, the LS was not bad. Through copious use of aluminum in the Lincoln’s body, engine, and suspension, Ford held the weight to a respectable number, managing to achieve a nearly 50/50 weight distribution. Locating the heavy battery and its cables in the trunk helps in this. (I’m of the opinion this battery relocation was borne out of necessity since there was simply no room for a battery under the hood.) A horsepower rating of 280 horsepower out of the optional V8 under that aluminium hood doesn’t sound like much today; not when today’s V6 Camry makes only twelve fewer. An electronic parking brake (appearing in 2003) and a dashboard mounted ignition key, items foreign to most domestic buyers in the early 2000s, lent Yurpean touches to the interior.

As was Ford’s North American myopia during the early to mid Aughts, its efforts were focused on high-margin trucks and SUVs, to which customers were flocking in droves. This is a familiar refrain. The lack of significant development over this Lincoln’s life of six model years caused sales to slide from over 51,000 in 2000 to under 9,000 six years later. Sadly, truck sales and their fat profits held the attention of purse-string holding execs so the LS was allowed to wither on the vine until it was put to sleep in 2006.

2004 Lincoln LS V8, Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars

I’ve enjoyed my LS — despite its foibles and often exorbitant repair costs, the result of a bastard 3.9L V8 engine on which Ford stopped development and has since received little aftermarket support. With nearly a quarter of a million kilometers under its aluminium belt, the LS remains in our family. It’s currently parked at the end of my long gravel driveway and shared by my father and me, whoever happens to need an extra set of wheels at the time. Electrical gremlins and a relative lack of parts availability have conspired to scupper resale value, but they don’t all need to end up in the junkyard.

My father just bought an MKX and I recently spent several days driving a 2017 MKZ Hybrid press car, confounded by its rear styling but entranced by its ability to average 40 mpg over a week’s driving.

My Lincoln Stockholm Syndrome continues.

[Images: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]

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120 Comments on “Lincoln Motor Company and Stockholm Syndrome...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    But let us not forget that Lincoln’s current path seems to be bringing better sales and profit margins than Cadillac.

    I’ll honestly say that I’d take any current Lincoln over the current equivalent Cadillac hands down. I’d also prefer almost any Lincoln over the Ford equivalent as well.

    But I know I’m not typical. I always liked Mercury better than Ford too.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I would agree but am totally disappointed by the MKX MPGs.17/26 is terrible for a small 2.7 turbo. And this is FWD!
      Thinking the “real world” are worse.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Perhaps, but then again, Lincoln was a LOT further gone than Cadillac ever was. There was a time a few years back when they had zero credible luxury products. I mean, zero. All they had was clones of the Expedition, the Edge, the Taurus and the Fusion. For a while there was a F-150 clone. These weren’t just clones – they were OBVIOUS clones. And the Town Car – beloved as it is on this site – was a total dinosaur. The MKT was certainly different than the Flex it was based on, but it was strange looking and didn’t sell.

      This brand was Stage 4 a few years back. There was nowhere to go but up, which they have…because of CUVs. And this time around, they’ve done a very good job differentiating them from Ford platforms. If the MKC and MKX were obvious clones of the Escape and Edge – in other words, the old way of doing things – they’d have not been successful.

      Say what you will, but at least Cadillac invested a lot of capital in developing a line of sedans that were unique to its’ brand.

      Cadillac’s main problem is that they bet big on sporty sedans, all of which came to market exactly when sporty sedans began to fall out of favor.

      So, yeah, Lincoln is resurgent but it’s resurging from zero.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I don’t think sporty cars have fallen out of favor. But what Cadillac bet big on was that it could charge BMW prices. Turns out it can’t. Even if the cars are about as competent. It takes time to build up a brand to the point that it can charge $55K for a car with pleather and no reverse camera.

        (We will see a similar disaster if the newly-minted Genesis brand decides to start charging the exact same money as its competitors, especially if the cars are sold out of the same dealerships as the Hyundai cars).

        Plus, CUE truly alienates Cadillac’s older buyers. iDrive, MMI, MyFord/MyLincoln Touch, SYNC3…those are all manageable. But CUE truly is a sh*tshow, and is confusing to even a young techie like me. There is, however, a new implementation of it in the CT6 and the XT5; I wonder how long CUE will be before that version trickles down to the older models.

        • 0 avatar
          Exfordtech

          What is the issue with CUE? I spend a lot of time in 2014 and later XTS’s and I have absolutely no problem with this system. Never read the manual, just used it from the get go. Phone pairing, voice commands, etc all seem rather easy to me. Is there something I’m missing? Honest question, not implying any issues on your end. I find it no better or worse than what is in all the 300c’s in the fleet.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True, Kyree, but all the established players (i.e., 3-series, C-class, etc) that compete with the ATS and CTS are down big time too.

          The product and pricing has something to do with that but the fact is that if the market is turning away from premium sporty sedans right now…right in time for Cadillac to finally introduce some truly competitive ones.

          I hope that doesn’t turn them off from continuing to compete in that segment – the new models just need some tweaks (and a bigger back seat) and more cohesive pricing.

        • 0 avatar
          amancuso

          The main thing we are forgetting here is that these cars can compete with the known luxury marques, but they are not. Someone set on a certain brand isn’t going to settle for a Caddy or Lincoln, nevermind a Hi-luxe Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Freedmike,

        I think “upscale version of” is more accurate than clone.

        I would also disagree with the MKZ. Yea, one can tell they share underpinnings with the Fusion, but the difference between them is too substantial to wave the rebadge flag.

    • 0 avatar
      elrey115

      I agree, I think the new Lincolns don’t look like the Ford Clones of a few years back. The Continental looks nice(haven’t seen it in person) but I don’t know why they put the new grill on the MKZ. In general the Lincolns are looking sharp and drive very nice.

    • 0 avatar

      “But let us not forget that Lincoln’s current path seems to be bringing better sales and profit margins than Cadillac.”

      Except that you’re wrong.

      LINCOLN 2016 YTD 62,395
      CADILLAC 2016 YTD 87,572

  • avatar
    ajla

    I still like GM, but somewhere along the way they stopped liking me.

  • avatar
    NickS

    Any car you keep long enough will end up being your Stockholm, but I am pretty sure most German princesses (especially those from Wolfsburg) would readily surpass a Lincoln.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    I’m still driving my 2000 with the 5 speed manual transmission and slow V6. While rust is taking its toll I don’t see a reasonable replacement. I would really like to keep RWD and MT. Chevy SS is tempting and priced right, but its different front and rear and large tire sizes don’t translate into a reasonable set of four snow tires I need for ski trips. ATS does not have a usable back seat. Dodge Charger has no manual. So I’m left with compromises. I could go automatic (the Charger, Genesis), or FWD (Honda Accord), but for now I live with the rust and continue driving the LS which has 200K miles and its original battery in the trunk.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I’m curious. If you want snow tires on a car that comes from the factory with staggered tires, do you HAVE to buy staggered winter tires, or can you still buy 4 identical tire and rim combinations?

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Well the SS has 245/40-19 front and 275/35-19 rears. Snows I would use are 245/45-18. I think these would fit some aftermarket rims. But that’s kind of wide and low profile for snows.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        No, you don’t have to do the staggered winter setup. You can put the narrower (front-spec) wheels on all four corners. In fact, that’s what most people do when they have performance cars with staggered OEM setups, and need a separate set of winter tires. A family friend of ours did this with her 2006 Cadillac STS-V (which was still practically undriveable in inclement winter weather).

        If you’re in the snow, you typically want narrower tires.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Most manufacturers recommend the front size on all 4 for the winter

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        I had staggered wheels on my ’06 STS. I ran non-staggered Blizzaks on dedicated rims without any issues.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        The Mustang has options for both staggered tires and identical tires. People who get the Performance Pack with staggered summer tires just swap them out for identical tires in the winter.

        Unfortunate that the SS doesn’t have other options, or you could find a cheap set online. People often dump their original wheels, tires included, for a low price on Craigslist.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          I would assume a set of steelies from the popo Caprice will fit.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          You are right about Craigslist being the place to buy your winter or second set of wheels.

          Just this weekend I picked up a new set of wheels for the winter tires for my Daughter’s car. 2011 Mustang V6 17″ wheels with only a small scratch on one, with center caps and OE lug nuts for $100.

          Some other CL wheel or wheel and tire scores.

          My current DD wheels and tires are another set of those 2011 Mustang V6 wheels. That set came with 2 almost new Michelins and a pair that were quite worn one of which had a sidewall cut. $100 for those and with a $125 pair of tires with the same tread depth from Ebay I’m all in for $250 for a set of tires with 90% tread that run $150 each.

          I’ve purchased a couple of other sets of Mustang wheels or wheels and tires that still had a few miles on them, never paying more than $150 for the set, and many came with the OE lug nuts in a Les Schwab bag.

          For my wife’s last car I payed $50 for a set with caps and lug nuts.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        I have the front size on all four corners with Blizzaks on my SRX.
        Works great.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It all depends on how they are staggered. If both front and rear have the same or very close to the same diameter then no problem running a square fitment. However if the diameters are different front to rear then it will confuse and eventually shut down the traction control system if present and may confuse and reduce the effectiveness of the ABS on some systems.

        The other thing to consider when minus sizing is will the smaller wheels fit over the brakes?

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      245/45/18 all around is very common among SS owners for snow tires and is what I will be doing on mine this winter.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      A 3-series is out of the question? If a Chevy SS is in your budget, I imagine a 3-series is as well. The current ones should be about the same interior/cargo space as your Lincoln, and you could keep RWD/MT.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        I’ve considered a 3 series but they are a little smaller (96 cubic feet interior) than I’d like (better than the ATS at 91 cubic feet). The LS (104 cubic feet) is closer to the 5 series (102 cubic feet) where there is no manual. Right now I’m going to get another winter out of the LS then see whats out there.

  • avatar

    Interesting read. While you continue to move forward, I just acquire more old Lincolns. Maybe the new Continental will change that. (not that I could afford one)

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Opera window puddle lights are giving Sajeev the feelz.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’ve gotten up close with the new Continental. On paper, it sounds good, and I’m sure the 3.0TT is a stellar option. In person, it’s less impressive—especially for under $60K prices—and I suspect it will depreciate about as quickly as the MKS does. So just wait a few years; buying new Lincolns is silly, anyway, unless you’re going to keep them forever.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Lease it?

        I bet there will be some subsidized deals on the Conti at some point.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        That’s pretty much what I was expecting, Kyree. Did you drive it, by chance?

        It’ll outsell the MKS on the strength of its looks, and it’ll probably outsell the CT6 based on that and pricing, but I don’t think it signals a truly new direction for the brand. It feels like a better-looking, Lincoln-ized XTS to me.

        It is a looker, though. Then again, the original Continental was pretty much the same deal, when you get down to it – looked great, but the mechanicals were hardly revelatory.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I did not drive it. But, in Lincoln’s defense, the company at least knew better than to put a four-cylinder turbo in a full-sized, $70K car (I found a CT6 that was so-equipped and so-priced on the local Cadillac lot),

          It’s not even the mechanicals that are the issue. If you’re committed to FWD, a stretched CD4 platform is a perfectly fine application; it’s very capable. My problem is that the Continental does not seem substantial from sitting in it, until you spend a lot of money. The feature set is certainly there, and, when you’re looking at the prospect of spending the same money on a 5-Series that lacks Comfort Access (passive entry) and has cheap leatherette, you could be swayed. But it’s not the knockout that I would have hoped for.

          And, again, it comes down to the fact that Fords are so nice now. A well-equipped Fusion pretty much rivals a Lexus ES costing $10K more. There’s not a whole lot of room for differentiation in terms of materials.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Cadillac should have introduced the CT6 without the 2.0T, and then added it quietly a month later for fleet buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            So the CT6 comes with a four cylinder turbo. So does the Mercedes E-class (both Europe and the US) and the BMW 5 series. The CT6 is lighter than either of these offerings.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Pragmatic,
            You are, of course, correct. The A6 also comes with 2.0T standard, and FWD, as I recall.

            Maybe I just have DW’s rants still ringing in my ears, but I think there is more dissonance for traditional buyers of Cadillacs in getting the big Caddy with only a 4-banger standard.

            You could probably make a similar statement about traditional BMW drivers expecting an inline 6 standard in the 5-series, but even BMW has admitted that most of their buyers don’t know what wheels are driven, let alone what is powering them.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Also in the E-class Mercedes will not offer a 6 or 8 unless you step up to the AMG packages. So $75000 for a four cylinder in a car that out weights the Cadillac by a couple a hundred pounds. Not a GM fan but they seem to be making cars that look competitive (at least on paper).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Do the doors on the Continental feel very very heavy? I want them to. There should also be a substantive closing sound.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I agree that on paper Cadillac is competitive with the 2.0T. But I’m saying that traditional Cadillac customers have different expectations of ‘The Standard of the World.’

            Buyers of the I-4 E-class will be happy with the overall performance, and fall in love with the sumptuous interior. But Cadillac buyers looking at the CT6 will expect traditional American flagship values, which include a V-8, comfortable ride and intimidating styling.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The feature set is certainly there, and, when you’re looking at the prospect of spending the same money on a 5-Series ”

            I think it’s pretty clear they don’t plan on competing with BMW. Cadillac has been trying that for over a decade now and they continue to founder.

            the problem is that we’re car geeks. *We* compare luxury cars based on price. Most car buyers just buy the car they want, and don’t give a rip that you can get a different car for the same price.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @VoGo — That’s the exact problem. The CT6 isn’t Cadillac’s volume mid-sizer. The CTS is. The CT6 is supposed to be (a) bigger, and (b) more ceremonial and substantial. Especially if it has an older buyer base. So a turbo-four just sends the wrong image.

            But, in fairness, all I did was find *one* car that was priced that high on my local lot. A quick survey of Cars.com reveals that of the 2,416 CT6 units currently on sale in the U.S., only 347 of them are 2.0-liter turbo I4 models. So, either GM is taking the car’s image into consideration and doesn’t plan to sell many examples with that engine…or dealers aren’t stocking it. The volume engine seems to be the venerable N/A 3.6-liter V6, which is a better deal, and a good number of them have the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            My sense was that Cadillac only offered the 2.0T to entice livery companies who would like an extra couple of MPGs in places like NYC. I think the Lincoln version of the Flex similarly offers a small ecoboost for that market as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Fighter835

            I don’t know if I can agree with that. I recently drove a top end Fusion and an ES, and while the plastics and the leather seemed similar in quality, the Lexus drove a lot better. Fit and finish, paint quality, panel gaps in the Lexus were all light years ahead of the Ford. Add in reliability and I doubt many buyers are cross shopping those two cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Michael McDonald

          I was selling Cadillac’s until a few months ago. I was brought out to Connecticut for training on the XT5 and CT6. We drove every engine in the CT6. All markers on the car were covered so you didn’t know what engine it had. I drove the 2.0T first, and honest to god it felt like a V6. I was very impressed. Driving the re-worked 3.6 was a pleasant experience too. Eveyone bashes the engine choices but unless you go out and actually drive them, how can you judge? Just because 30 years ago Cadillac meant plushy V8? Times change. Fact is, the CT6 is competitive. Don’t like the 2.0T? For just $2,000 more you get the re-worked 3.6 V6 -AND- All-Wheel drive. Not bad!!

          I hate defending Cadillac because they screwed up on the crossovers, or lack thereof, but the CT6 is a very nice car that should do well against the Conti.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “Just because 30 years ago Cadillac meant plushy V8? Times change.”

            Dost thou wish to incur the wrath of all thine sees before him?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            You know, you’ve got a good point.

            Now how about you sing a little ditty for us?

          • 0 avatar
            Michael McDonald

            I’m a fan of the Cadillac of yesterday as much as everyone else, but times change and I’m liking what I see.

            I don’t think you want a diddy from me… I’m not so good at that…

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The 3.6L and 3.6T are fine as long as you never, ever, EVER drive something equipped with the LT1 or LT4.

            I haven’t driven a 2.0T CT6 (and probably never will), but it’s the same engine code you get in the ATS and Regal GS. I wasn’t super impressed by it in those applications so I can’t imagine I’d love it in a more expensive car.

      • 0 avatar
        King of Eldorado

        Too bad Lincoln diluted the striking looks of the Continental by almost immediately slapping its distinctive grille onto the MKZ.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          No, what’s too bad is that Lincoln moved to this new Jaguar-esque grille after finally managing to successfully implement the split-wing grille on the pre-facelift MKZ, as well as the MKC and new MKX.

          Lincoln and Acura both really struggle with finding and maintaining consistent design cues, which is poison for a luxury automaker’s brand image.

          Find something and stick with it.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Kyree has the right idea. And the purchaser of these new Continentals is going to average about age 67, so they’ll be well maintained and well-optioned, and driven gently.

        Plus: brand new model + American company = wait a year or two.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Agreed, buying new is like burning money. As CPO vehicles, on the other hand, they can be very decent buys. Our recently-acquired ’14 MKZ was 24K off the original sticker with 17K miles. For that money, I got the 3.7, AWD, the pano roof and the massaging seats.

        Coming from RWD cars (and having a lot of FWD experience with a series of leased 90s Maximas), this is the first AWD car I’ve owned. I’ve driven FWD MKZs and hated the torque steer, which is completely absent in the AWD variant. What surprised me was that I don’t miss RWD one bit. The MKZ doesn’t understeer like the Maximas and stays solid and planted through corners with a nice linear feel to the steering and little body roll for such a nice-riding car. It reminds me of the Magnetic Ride in my STS, something I sorely missed in my last CTS.

        There are issues, but they are minor (the oft-discussed trim misalignment, the fact that I can’t upgrade the stereo). I know this is just an upmarket Fusion, but it really gets across the idea of what an American luxury car should be: quiet, comfortable, with instant, seamless power underfoot that makes passing an event without drama and some cool options not available on the more pedestrian version of the platform.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I was not aware the MKZ had available massaging seats. Sounds like a good deal.

          While we’re making fun of the MKS, its main enemy for the last three years has been the MKZ sitting in the same showroom, which is a far more competent idea of FWD American luxury. Just as how the Fusion has rendered the Taurus irrelevant. The only redeeming factor for either of those D3 sedans has been the EcoBoost + AWD versions, but I still find them not worth dealing with.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’m not so cynical. The MKS is very obviously nothing more than a mildly restyled Taurus with better leather. There’s so much more to the Continental.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Oh, there’s no doubt that the Continental is much better than the MKS ever was.

          And you know, the sad thing is that the MKS was a solid effort…when it was released, in MY2009. But it needed a proper full-sized car above it. It is basically Lincoln’s counterpart to the XTS, albeit significantly more cramped.

          The Continental is more like the CT6, and in a shrinking market where Lincoln probably couldn’t compete and realize its ROI with a RWD full-sized sedan, the basic idea of it being on a stretched CD4 platform is sound.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    So far, none of these seems like a particularly-egregious purchase, although I’d dump a car that tried to kill me by catching fire.

    But if you buy something truly silly, like a Lincoln Mark LT (which, by the way, continued to be sold in Mexico through 2014), we’re gonna have to have a little chat.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Let’s not talk bad about the Mark LT. It’s an F150 with Lincoln badges. There are worse things out there.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Fair enough. And, truthfully, it’s not that the luxury truck is a bad idea; it’s that Ford has now successfully managed to get large numbers of people to pay over $50K for King Ranch, Platinum and Limited versions of the F-150—which, admittedly, do feel like proper luxury cars at that price point—so there’s no real room for a Lincoln-badged variant.

        But the Blackwood was stupid.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          The Blackwood was stupid and I want one. RWD only! Unusable bed! Power tonneau cover! PAG era corners cut! Exciting!

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I find the entire PAG thing morbidly fascinating…even how Jaguar continued to use the DEW98 platform on the first-gen XF, through MY2015. While not super-competitive, it felt like a completely different car than the S-Type ever did. In fact, one of the most productive things to come out of the PAG was that it lumped Jaguar and Land Rover back together (they had both been part of British Leyland).

            And don’t worry; I want stupid things, too. I’m still eyeing a W12 Volkswagen Phaeton. Because who needs a retirement fund?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I was at KCAP for one of the Blackwood’s pilot builds. what a disaster that program was.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            JimZ-

            I’m sorry if you had to spend any time on that DOA program. Waste of resources…

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            And here I thought it was a SLAP only program. Today I learned something…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I’m still eyeing a W12 Volkswagen Phaeton. Because who needs a retirement fund?”

            Yes. We. Can.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I saw one of the later LTs the other day. Made me think “Hey, they made those for longer than I thought.”

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Those 2013 LT’s had all their Lincoln branding installed at the dealer. The trim was strange looking. Even the early MyLincolnTouch had serious program glitches like Dolby sound test but no Dolby speakers. It was an odd forgotten little ducky.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It had to be tried, but no doubt GM was ready to fire back with a Cadillac fullsize pickup, just in case. No shame there. It was just too much of a rolling cliche.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Don’t forget the Cadillac Avalanche…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Those are just ghastly. I can deal with the regular Avalanche as long as it has the trim delete option on the sides.

          Fun fact – Avalanche is cheaper than equivalent regular Silverado used.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It was more like an SUV with a balcony.

          It was the Cadillac EXT actually. But I don’t consider the Avalanche or EXT “pickups”, and I doubt consumers considered them when shopping for pickups either, loaded/luxury or otherwise.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I’m with you. I’ve always had a soft spot for these – I don’t really know why. I drove one once for a few days as a service loaner (My Mazda dealership would get cars from the local Enterprise when they ran out of their own service loaners) and I enjoyed it. But that’s the extent of my exposure to these. Are they really that unreliable??

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      From what I’ve heard (I know five or six people that own them, three of them having owned since new) they aren’t all that bad. They are, however, a little more trouble and maintenance-prone than most people would expect from the Lincoln brand…but then, they have Jaguar DNA and were trying to compete with European cars. I’d say the LS is somewhere in between something as stoic as the Town Car and the contemporary BMW E39 5-Series, which was and is a maintenance / repairs queen.

  • avatar
    bkrell

    I got lured into my MKC by the combo of the plushest interior of any of the small luxo crossovers I shopped with the pep of the 2.3l Ecoboost. Oh…and that big sunroof.

  • avatar
    LUNDQIK

    My Wife bought an almost 2 year old 2008 MKZ in late ’09. We took a chance on going domestic. Both her and I, being children of the late 80s, do not have fond memories of American iron or reliability. The cars our parents drove were almost always foreign, typically Japanese. Same with our own early cars throughout school and after college – Japanese and reliable.

    Well with the exception of my Wife’s rotary Mazda RX-8 that the Lincoln replaced. Fun car, but it was becoming impractical and frustrating (between the engine flooding & heater issues). It became time to replace the Mazda. She wanted a mid-sized sedan, AWD, good visibility, power, and sporty. Few cars fit the bill and the Lincoln had the most value.

    Sporty it was not – but underneath lies a MazdaSpeed6 chassis. It was much improved with several suspension bits.

    Gotta say, the car has won me over. Its easy to work on, really reliable, fits the growing family well, and is just the right size (no crazy high belt line). Plus I think it looks a bit different than most cars on the road.

    At 120k its still going strong. Only gripe I have is why did Ford put a cream colored dash in?? Most cars, even with light interiors, have a dark dash – so the friggin sun doesn’t blind you off the dash. You have to drive the car with polarized sunglasses.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    If BMW had done this car they would have offered a diesel (or two) for Europe, developed a coupe, wagon, convertible, and long wheel-base version, and used it as a platform for a CUV. They would have also made a M version to create a “hot rod Lincoln”. In other words Lincoln and Jaguar barely scratched the potential of this pretty decent platform, which is why Lincoln barely exists and BMW sells well over 1 million cars globally and is very profitable. Ford/Lincoln could do the same today with the Mustang platform to create a line of rear-drive oriented luxury sedans/CUVs, but I suspect we are more likely to see F-150 based Lincolns.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Just don’t know anymore.
    Another Lincoln????
    I love the drive in my MKS EB, but am getting more and more irritated by the breakdown of the little things.
    The Bridge of Weir leather seems very sensitive and have major cracking and fade.
    The (to me) irritating knock just below the driver footwell whenever I tip on/off the accelerator after coasting around 20 t0 30 mph. Lincoln rep says it is considered in the normal range…so, um, there.
    That fan motor (one of possibly 3 or 4) behind the driver gages that click a few seconds every time I start the motor. OK…so I have ignored long enough and the friggin clicking stopped! Are they fixed? was a door stuck????
    We will wait to see, huh?
    The mirror that simply fell from the windshield. And Ford wouldn’t fix…even under warranty they kept sending a third party around to try to reglue.
    And why would the fake leather on the center console pull from behind the fake chrome trim????

    But I am the one person who thinks the car is not narrow inside. The body is a nice design and likely to look so years from today. The car is averaging around 26 on the highways…loaded like a beast of burden.
    And that 3.5 EB! What a damned great motor.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I thought it was the “Helsinki Syndrome,” as in Helsinki, Sweden.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think you’ve got a rear suspension issue.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    Sorry TAAC, but the auto-play videos finally got me to install an ad-blocker.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    self-professed Lincoln fanboi here as well. Back around 2k, I bought a ’98 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC. It was a Spring Feature edition… 1 of 117… one of the rarest production Lincolns. Of course, the only thing “rare” about it was the color… medium gold metallic… a ’99 pull-ahead color. But I loved that car… FABULOUS for road trips… reasonably fast, supremely comfortable, quiet, and surprisingly economical. Loved that car… even tho it was an electronic nightmare waiting to happen. First time I drove it down to my parents house, my grandfather (who was on his 6th or 7th Grand Marquis) commented favorably on the mark 8. A few weeks later, he had a new Town Car. He was NOT about to let me upstage him! After he passed last year, I came to own his last car… a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS with 26k miles.

    I still lust after the Mark VII LSC, whenever I see a clean low-mileage example come up for sale.

    As for Cadillac… I agree with Kyree… Johann the Destroyer is trying to go up-market, and dealers are NOT throwing cash on the hood. I don’t see where Cadillac has the “brand cache” to use that sales tactic to its advantage. The quality may be there, but the brand image is NOT… not yet, anyways. I think they need to go for VOLUME sales first… establish the reputation with new owners… THEN start inching up the price.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      AS a serial Cadillac owner, I really wanted to stay with the brand. But they left me behind. I really liked driving the various ATS rentals I had tried, but banging my head each time I got in or out of the car got old quickly. I really liked the CTS rental I had except for the turbo 4 which is a rough, unrefined, busy engine for a luxury car. Optioning it up to V6 levels balloons the price. I find myself agreeing with DW: No Cadillac should have a four, the LS-1 V8 should be available with the CTS and CT6 and, as much as I like the ATS, it would be much better as a Chevy.

      I would have jumped at a CTS with the LT-1 for about $50-55K. *That* would be a great car.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Of course, current market trends are such that the 5-Series is the only luxury-branded mid-sized sedan in which you can get a V8 outside of the performance variant (and for a princely sum, too). So an LT1 CTS probably wasn’t going to happen.

        But a sub-$60K V8 Cadillac sedan would be awesome. With 6.2 liters, it would be something that basically no one else is doing, and it wouldn’t cannibalize any other GM cars…except, maybe, the SS, a car which GM clearly does not want to sell.

        Meanwhile, if you want a luxury sedan with a V8 for around $50K, your best bet is a Genesis / G80 with the 5.0-liter N/A (a peach of an engine, I should note). Get it while the getting’s good, because you know the next variant will have some kind of twin-turbo V6 in its stead.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “Much has been written about Stockholm Syndrome. It’s been critical to the plotlines of countless books, movies, and television shows: someone gets taken hostage and yet inexplicably sympathizes with and develops positive feelings towards their captor.”

    Don’t forget the military – Stockholm Syndrome’s how you make soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines!

  • avatar
    raph

    I always liked the LS, just wish it and the Mustang had shared more in common ( I believe the S-197 used a stamping from the LS ) like the drive train ( and the 8.8 IRS different) and brakes as well as the Lincoln’s tidy dimensions .

    It would have enough cool to have say another all aluminum 4v 4.6 as the V8 engine in the LS that could have been on tap for something to bridge the base V8 Mustang and it’s 3v 4.6 with Shelby’s supercharged 5.4

    Or just having a joint platform based on the S-197 to help increase overall sales and amortize costs quicker.

    Oh well what could have been…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It did. The S197 used the floorpan from the DEW98, and the other bits you mention.

      Unfortunately, the 4.6-liter Mod V8 engine (which is quite large) does not fit into the DEW98 cars, so you’re stuck with the Jaguar AJ-V6 (which are Duratec-based) or AJ-V8 engines. Of course, the Mod was also too coarse and unrefined to go in a segment of lighter-weight vehicles that were supposed to compete with the stuff from Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Behold.

        drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/?p=10971

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Yeah the Mod engines in 4v form were pretty wide – as for course and this is just anecdotal but I found the 5.4 in the GT500 to run smoother than the 5.0 in the ’15 GT when I had it. I had honestly thought there was a problem with the GT until I went down to the Ford dealer and checked out a few cars on the lot. They all had the same level of vibration. Then again the 5.4 in my Shelby received extra attention compared to the run of the mill V8 in the GT.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice piece. I notice we’re missing a “Nassssseer” comment from Adam.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Stockholm Syndrome?

    Sounds better than an S&M fetish.

    The former clears the censors but not the latter. LOL

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I really wanted to like this car, who didn’t want to see an American car equivalent to something like a BMW 3 series. It also had tasteful lines , but the interior just seemed so cheap and junky.

    I would love to know how much “quality” feeling plastics add to a car.

    Also, even the higher end”performance” version of this car really seemed lacking. Was the Town Car faster?

  • avatar
    Paragon

    From the start and for many years, I always kinda liked the LS. I spent a lot of time on AutoTrader.com looking at various affordable used models. And, I always looked for the extremely rare manual transmission cars. Basically, never had any serious plans to buy one, but always wanted to get one. That is,I’ve never yet driven one. Oh, and was sad that the sales continued to decline until the car was discontinued.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    Is this the same engine and trans used in the retro Thunderbirds? What goes wrong with the 3.9? How bad is it? I dig those T-Birds and wouldn’t mind getting one of those.

  • avatar
    middletuckybiker

    Have to comment on this article since I currently own two of these things: a Red ’03 LS V8 Sport, which has a bad motor and is my current parts car source, and a Black ’04 LSE V8, which was a limited-edition cosmetic trim level that was offered as a GEN I in ’02 and as a GEN II in ’04 and ’05. They are quirky and sometimes temperamental, but I love how this car looks and drives. Since resale value is not strong with these, you get a lot of car for the money on the used market. Not as quick as my ’13 Coyote 5.0 Mustang, but it handles much better, even with worn bushings. Picked the LSE up on Craigslist and drove to Indianapolis to purchase. For the price, no regrets – and not many people know what it is, as I’ve seen fewer LSE’s on the road than other oddball vehicles I’ve owned, such as my old Mazdaspeed 6.

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