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2005 Luxury  Buyer's Guide

by Martha Hindes

2005 Lincoln Town Car
2005 Lincoln Town Car

Some things just keep getting better with time. Mention that to a typical Lincoln Town Car fan and she or he will probably agree.

While the premium luxury sedan -- Lincoln's venerable flagship -- has changed less than some premier competitors, it has a hugely loyal following among past and present Town Car owners. Comfort, security, dependability, lots of stretch-out space for no-excuses relaxation and solid driving credentials from the 4.6-liter V8 all come in a well-tailored, formal executive look. The package has earned the highest marks among Lincoln buyers, who repeatedly have put Town Car at the top of Ford's American luxury vehicle sales list.

This is the third year of the current model do-over, so changes for '05 tend to be refinements rather than renovations. Gone are the previous Ultimate and Ultimate L models. Instead, the series now includes three trim levels: Signature, Signature Limited and
Signature L (plus three trims for limousine use. You might have ridden in one from the airport during a business trip or on the way to a black tie governor's ball.)

Lincoln takes pride in the Town Car as the first-ever vehicle to have won the government's top 5-star safety rating in all five crash test categories. The '05 model year is the vehicle's second consecutive win.

Highlights for '05 include safety system sensor upgrades, the transfer of the six CD changer from trunk to the more accessible dash, improved armrests, and three new clear coat metallic color options -- Light Ice Blue, Charcoal Beige and Norsea Blue. New THX-audio, plus Sirius satellite radio compatibility in the navigation system option was due late in the model year. A long list of amenities such as adjustable pedals, rear park assist and passive anti-theft ignition continue in '05. Pricing ranges from $42,875 for the base Signature model to $51,345 for the long wheelbase L.

Such a version has long been a favorite as America's executive cruiser for those who ride in Donald Trump billionaire style -- or simply wish they could. This year's Signature L models have a wheelbase stretched six inches to accommodate that purpose. Ultimate tweaks include a rear seat amenities package with heated seats and remote audio and climate controls, plus a tissue bin ad illuminated cigar lighter. Even without a personal driver, those are luxury living touches that would have to rank high on a personal satisfaction scale.


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