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Lincoln Town Car

The darling of the limousine industry receives a number of improvements for 2003 as it attempts to modernize its look and feel while not abandoning its traditional buying group. The body has been conservatively facelifted with a larger, more upright grille and a slightly larger trunk.

The interior has undergone a similar redo, boasting a real-wood-and-leather steering wheel. A soon-to-be-tradmark Lincoln clock sits atop a dash covered with a slathering of fake wood surrounding the repositioned climate and audio controls. All in all, it's a major improvement that looks and feels more today than yesterday. Town Car "L" models add almost six inches of legroom to the rear passengers for that true limousine feeling.

The biggest difference lies in the way the Town Car drives, which is much livelier thanks to a redesigned frame, new steering and front suspension designs. The standard V-8 produces 239 hp and 287 lb-ft of torque. Safety features include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and EBD, "smart" front air bags, side-impact air bags and seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters. It's a lot of car for the money -- a lot of car, period.