2002 Lincoln LS Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Eric Peters Eric Peters Editor
November 26, 2001

Driving Forces: Product is King by TCC Team (11/19/2001)
Q&A: Ford’s Wolfgang Reitzle by Mike Davis (11/12/2001)

There are several American sedans that compete in the entry-luxury segment, some of them even "sporty." But as of 2002, there is only one legitimate U.S-built sport sedan: the $33,045-$39,395 Lincoln LS. It is the only American four-door that offers rear-wheel drive, luxurious appointments, an available V-8 engine, and a manual transmission option (V-6 only, natch) in the same package.

The rest of the currently available American sedans are uniformly front-wheel-drive, automatic only, or not especially luxurious. There's the rear-wheel-drive, V-6-powered Cadillac Catera, but you can't get a stick shift in it. And there's no V-8 option with the Caddy, either. And the cop car/taxi cab Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, though rear-wheel drive and V-8-powered, are antediluvian boats with bench seats and zero upmarket cachet.

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The coming 2003 Caddy CTS sport sedan, with its available manual transmission, will be the first domestic sport sedan to compete on more equal terms with the Lincoln LS — but it's not out yet.

Real McCoys

So for now, if you want a sport sedan — the real McCoy, anyhow — and want to buy American, the Lincoln LS is pretty much the only choice there is. Luckily, it's not a half-bad choice by any means. The LS, which came out about a year ago and remains mostly the same for the 2002 model run, is remarkably competitive with class-leading European sport sedans in the entry-luxury price range. That includes models such as the Jaguar X-Type, BMW 3-Series and 5-Series, Audi A4 and A6, Mercedes C-Class and E-Class. Check the car out: It has comparable (even superior) power as compared with most of those cars, a similar level of refinement and features, and is also a larger car for the money than many of those other machines.

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