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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every Car


2004 Lincoln Model GuideA sport-tuned performance sedan and two luxury-tipped sport-utility wagons join the elegant Town Car sedan to represent model-year 2004 products by the Lincoln line from the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company.

The sporty Lincoln sedan takes the label of LS, as in Luxury Sport. Consider it a spry touring car that challenges the brand's traditional's agile and athletic. Enhancements work on 2004 models with trim designations changing, transmission performance climbing and suspension improving to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

Lincoln's full-size flagship Town Car series earned a stiff new platform with revised suspension and responsive steering mechanism last year and returns in 2004 packing a transmission with higher torque capacity and new color schemes inside and out.

The two Lincoln SUV models, full-size Navigator and mid-size Aviator, also repeat with a new palette of colors. Navigator has a seven-person cabin laced with plush fixtures included leather-clad seats, optional second-row buckets and a third-row bench that folds flat to the floor via push-button power.

Aviator, which debuted last year based on Ford's best-selling Explorer but with exterior styling cues similar to Navigator, gains an upgraded DVD-based navigation system this year with touch screen in the dash and controls via voice activation.

Lincoln LS
2004 Lincoln LS

This is the athletic American car tinged by the flavor of responsive European sports sedans. With four doors and mid-size dimensions in a cabin for five, the tightly tuned sports machine from Lincoln rides on a rigid unibody structure and features liberal applications of light-weight aluminum for body panels and suspension elements.

The LS also sports a German-built ZF Servotronic rack-and-pinion steering apparatus, electronic brake assist (BA) and options like high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and a curtain-style air bag system in the headliner. In addition, Lincoln's AdvanceTrac dynamic stability control system - which adjusts brake and throttle automatically to correct potentially dangerous lateral skidding behavior - is available.

Engines for the LS contain either six or eight cylinders and employ a drive-by-wire electronic throttle control (ETC). The entry model LS stocks a 3.0-liter V6 good for 232 hp. The 3.9-liter aluminum V8 produces 280 hp. Either engine links to a quiet five-speed electronic automatic transmission, with H-gate SelectShift controls added to the V8 version for clutch-less manual shifting.

The external design seems like an elegant understatement of classic proportions with brief overhangs, an exaggerated wheelbase length and broad track. Forceful body forms, accented by wide wheel openings and a graceful arch over the cabin, shape the athletic stance.

Inside, a tailored passenger compartment exhibits an international flair in a leather-lined layout with two bucket seats up front and a rear bench with twin sculptured spaces and the seatback foldable with 60/40 split. American burl walnut wood trims the cockpit with satin nickel accents also used in an optional decor package, as classic analog gauges decorate the instrument panel.

Another option on the LS top model is an audiophile-quality Soundmark THX-certified CDX6 audio system available with Lincoln's DVD-based navigation kit. The LS appears in three trims for V6 -- Base, Convenience and Premium, and two for the V8 with Sport and Ultimate.

Lincoln Town Car
2004 Lincoln Town Car

Subtle changes applied to Lincoln's full-size flagship sedan last year both in package design, as well as, structural and mechanical equipment.

A quick glance at the shapely styling - slick curving shoulders, the exaggerated prow tapering to a bold chrome grille, flared rear fenders and a roof crowned by convexly curved rear glass evoking images of a Bugatti coupe from the 1930s - looks similar to the predecessor Town Car that debuted as a 1998 model. The form does not hint at the car's taut and tuned chassis and revised suspension elements, or the fresh layout of a spacious cabin with more room for riders and rearranged best-in-class space in the trunk.

Abundant power comes from a big engine tuned with low-torque output so a driver feels the juice flowing through all four forward gears. The single-cam 4.6-liter V8 produces 239 hp and works through a smooth automatic transmission.

Trim designations for Town Car change in 2004 editions. The top-model Cartier is now called Ultimate, the Signature edition remains but entry-level Executive is reserved for fleet sales only. Ultimate adds to the well-equipped Signature a Soundmark audiophile system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, memory for driver's seat, pedals and mirrors, and front heated seats.

Further, a six-inch extension to the 117.7-inch wheelbase creates a long-wheelbase Town Car equipped with wider rear doors and more backseat legroom. This version spins out as the Executive L and Ultimate L.

Lincoln Navigator
2004 Lincoln Navigator

When it was launched as a 1998 product, Lincoln's Navigator originated the class of luxury full-size SUVs. A new design came in 2003 that retained the bold styling of the original as well as its 5.4-liter V8 powertrain, although the revamped version brought more power and torque. It also carved out more room in the cabin for as many as eight passengers on three tiers with a standard third-row bench that tucks into the cargo floor for a slick disappearing act under power.

For added safety, a side curtain-style air bag system called a Safety Canopy came with the new design, and an all-wheel-drive (AWD) model gained a multi-phase Control Trac system to direct engine torque to whichever wheels need it.

Sole powertrain is a 5.4-liter V8 that delivers 300 hp and connects to a four-speed automatic transmission with high-gear lockout switch set as a button on the console shifter stick. Navigator provides an extensive array of standard features in two trims for 2004 labeled Luxury and Ultimate.

The Ultimate edition adds HID headlamps, power to open the rear liftgate, Ford's AdvanceTrac anti-skid gizmo now rigged with Roll Stability Control (RSC), a power moon roof, heated and cooled driver and passenger seats plus power controls for folding the third-row seat into the floor.

Read our Review: Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln Aviator
2004 Lincoln Aviator

Lincoln's second wagon scaled down from Navigator carries shapely exterior body panels and a forceful prow that mimics the styling of Navigator. Package dimensions fit into the mid-size SUV class and with its cushy appointments and standard third-row bench seat installed forge the first mid-size luxury sport-utility vehicle offered by Lincoln.

For power, Aviator stocks an aluminum V8 engine that displaces 4.6 liters and puts out 302 hp. To translate that power into force at the wheels, there's a five-speed automatic transmission with a high stall-speed torque converter. Curtain-style side air bags are in place and will deploy if sensors detect rollover movement of the vehicle.

Aviator's optional AWD Control Trac system also relates to safety, as the device automatically monitors tire traction and selectively channels the engine torque to front and rear wheels in varying proportions to maintain a steady grip on slick roads. The AdvanceTrac skid controller is optional.

The cabin is trimmed in soft leathers with accents in burl walnut and satin-nickel finish plus soft white LED instrument lighting.