2010 Lincoln Town Car Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
January 20, 2010

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car looks and feels dated, but it can carry six passengers and their luggage.

TheCarConnection.com's editors surveyed the web for road tests of the 2010 Lincoln Town Car to produce a definitive review. TheCarConnection.com's own expert reviewers also drove the Lincoln Town Car to bring you their own insights to help you decide when opinions differ.

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car is large, luxurious in its own way, and a throwback to the old days of car design and construction. Accordingly, don't expect any fresh styling cues or complete redesigns from the 2010 model-if you've seen a Town Car in the past five years or so, you know what to expect. It's old-fashioned inside and out, eschewing modern luxury looks for old-school standards and materials.

With a 4.6-liter V-8 engine under the hood, you'd be forgiven for expecting some oomph. Unfortunately, the anemic 239-horsepower output fails to deliver, though it does get decent fuel efficiency at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway despite its four-speed transmission and mammoth size.

Driving the 2010 Lincoln Town Car is a soft and forgiving experience, but don't expect it to handle quick direction changes or anything more than a sedate pace with aplomb. It's a true throwback to earlier times, and it shows in the handling department, where basically any modern sedan will outmatch it.

Review continues below

With a body on top of a frame as opposed to modern unibody construction, the Town Car is known for its pillowy ride, big V-8 engine, and capacious seats and cabin-perfect for its common duties in taxi and rental car fleets everywhere. Curiously for such a ride-centric vehicle, the seats, though large, aren't particularly supportive or comfortable. There's plenty of space in the trunk to haul your luggage to or from the airport.

There are a few concessions to (relatively) modern technology, however, in the form of standard safety gear like four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front and front side airbags, and traction control. Thanks in part to its size and its safety equipment, the 2010 Lincoln Town Car rates five stars with NHTSA and rates a top mark of "good" from the IIHS.

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car is available in two trim levels: Signature Limited and the Signature L, which features a wheelbase that's six inches longer than that of the Signature Limited. With the Town Car's legendarily soft ride, relaxed handling, and roomy interior, there's plenty of comfort to be had for up to six adults. Despite these strengths, however, its age is catching up with it and is expected to exit retail sale after the 2010 model year.

Standard wheels are 17-inch alloy units, though 18-inch wheels are available. Other options include a power moonroof, high-intensity-discharge headlamps, a CD changer, and a navigation system that incorporates a THX-certified audio array and satellite radio compatibility.

5

2010 Lincoln Town Car

Styling

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car has baroque styling that's been around for a long time-too long.

If there was ever a car that could be considered conservative to the point of stodginess, it's the 2010 Lincoln Town Car. Accordingly, don't expect any fresh styling cues or complete redesigns from the 2010 model-if you've seen a Town Car in the past five years or so, you know what to expect. It's old-fashioned inside and out, eschewing modern luxury looks for old-school standards and materials.

There's no getting around the sheer age of the Town Car. Edmunds puts it bluntly, calling it a "very old design." Cars.com and Motor Trend point out that there have been essentially no exterior design changes since 2003. Motor Trend also notes that the design itself is intended to mimic the "Continentals of the early 1960s."

Inside, the 2010 Lincoln Town Car features seats "trimmed in premium leather," says Cars.com, while the fleet-sales relic also gets some of the past decade's updates to the rest of the Lincoln line, particularly the satin-nickel trim and white accent lighting that makes a "big splash" elsewhere in the lineup, according to Motor Trend. Cars.com additionally notes that "burl walnut appliqué" adorns the instrument panel and doors.

With the retail sales death of the Lincoln Town Car looming close, nostalgia tends to creep into the reviews. Both Car and Driver and Jalopnik call the Town Car the "last traditional American luxury sedan." Edmunds, on the other hand, sees the car as an antiquated irrelevance, having "outlived its usefulness," with appeal only for those that remember the "good old days" of American luxury.

6

2010 Lincoln Town Car

Performance

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car has underwhelming power, decent fuel economy, and old-fashioned handling.

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car is underpowered and has little in the way of "road feel," according to reviews from around the Web. With a 4.6-liter V-8 engine under the hood, you'd be forgiven for expecting some oomph. Unfortunately, the anemic 239-horsepower output fails to deliver, though it does get decent fuel efficiency at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway despite its four-speed transmission and mammoth size.

Car and Driver also finds the low-output V-8 to be "tepid." ConsumerGuide argues that it is "quick enough," but points out that it "trails [rival] Cadillac DTS for overall performance."

The four-speed transmission is another shortcoming, delivering what Edmunds calls a 0-60 mph time in the "mid 8-second range," though ConsumerGuide notes that the transmission fights the whole way, reluctant to "kick down for passing" despite otherwise being "responsive and smooth."

While it's not going to win any green awards, the Town Car's 19 mpg average isn't as bad as it might be, or even as bad as some thoroughly modern-and somewhat smaller-luxury sedans. AutoMedia agrees, noting that it's "not especially fuel efficient -- though not all that bad," while ConsumerGuide calls fuel economy a "con" of the 2010 Town Car.

Driving the 2010 Lincoln Town Car is a soft and forgiving experience, but don't expect it to handle quick direction changes or anything more than a sedate pace with aplomb. It's a true throwback to earlier times, and it shows in the handling department, where basically any modern sedan will outmatch it.

More prone to leaning in turns than a typical modern sedan or "import-brand rivals" according to ConsumerGuide, the 2010 Lincoln Town Car is all about unhurried transport rather than sporty maneuvers. Edmunds finds the "antiquated suspension" of the Town Car to be suspect, especially over broken pavement. On the other hand, AutoMedia says the "big disc brakes" are great for normal driving, and ConsumerGuide adds that steering has "good accuracy and road feel" despite being "slightly overboosted."

Aside from Cars.com's reviewers who feel the Lincoln Town Car has a "good connection with the road," most reviewers find the car to exhibit pillow-like ride and isolation; as Edmunds puts it, if you "like to feel connected to the road in any way, forget about it." Edmunds goes on to call out the Town Car's "sloppy dynamics," though they also note that it should be "adequate" for the average buyer's daily needs.

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2010 Lincoln Town Car

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car's notion of comfort and quality may be obsolete, but the interior space can't be denied.

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car's primary role these days is as a taxi and limo vehicle, and its roomy interior and ample seating fit the task. Curiously for such a ride-centric vehicle, the seats, though large, aren't particularly supportive or comfortable. There's plenty of space in the trunk to haul your luggage to or from the airport.

The Lincoln Town Car's stand-out attribute, according to Edmunds, is its "generous interior" with enough room for six adults. Cars.com agrees, calling interior space "abundant," though they note that "support could be better." Edmunds, on the other hand, calls the ride quality "nautical" and lauds the "La-Z-Boy comfy" seats and lack of lateral support. ConsumerGuide, meanwhile, points out that the front seat's "middle rider must straddle transmission hump." The rear seat offers "abundant head room and outboard leg room."

The trunk volume of 21 cubic feet is "massive" according to Edmunds, and Car and Driver takes a humorous angle, saying the Town Car's trunk can "swallow enough golf clubs to supply the tour or enough bodies to ensure an acquittal." With a low deck height, the trunk is easy to load, but moving heavy objects in its depths can be hard on one's back.

Isolation and quality materials are other good traits of the 2010 Lincoln Town Car. Cars.com says the seats are trimmed in "premium leather," and ConsumerGuide finds the material quality good enough to "approach those of some costlier import-brand rivals." Road noise is very low thanks to the body-on-frame construction, and engine noise is "muted" even when wide open on the V-8's throttle, says ConsumerGuide, and tire noise is only noticeable on "very coarse pavement."

10

2010 Lincoln Town Car

Safety

Five-star safety is a key strength of the 2010 Lincoln Town Car.

There are a few concessions to (relatively) modern technology in the 2010 Lincoln Town Car and almost all have to do with standard safety gear like four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front and front side airbags, and traction control. Thanks in part to its size and its safety equipment, the 2010 Lincoln Town Car rates five stars with NHTSA and a top mark of "good" from the IIHS.

The five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is one of the few late-life improvements to the Town Car, securing the rating since 2008. NHTSA testing subjects vehicles to front and side impacts and measures rollover resistance; the 2010 Lincoln Town Car scores top marks in all categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gives the 2010 Town Car Lincoln its highest rating of "good" for occupant safety in offset frontal impacts.

According to AutoMedia, the overall safety of the Town Car is part of what Ford calls its Personal Safety System. They call the system "comprehensive," noting its seat belt pre-tensioners and energy management retractors. ConsumerGuide likes the rear-obstacle detection system and tire-pressure monitor plus cornering lights-all part of the standard equipment. The only knock on safety they can find is that the "thick roof pillars" hinder rearward visibility. Edmunds cites another: the lack of head curtain airbags.

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2010 Lincoln Town Car

Features

The 2010 Lincoln Town Car has all the standard and optional features one would expect in a luxury vehicle of this type.

TheCarConnection.com finds plenty of standard and optional features here, and one or two that have been removed from previous versions. Standard wheels are 17-inch alloy units, though 18-inch wheels are available. Other options include a power moonroof, high-intensity-discharge headlamps, a CD changer, and a navigation system that incorporates a THX-certified audio array and satellite radio compatibility.

Two Lincoln Town Car trims are available: the Signature Limited and the six-inch longer wheelbase Signature L. Some of the standard base-model equipment includes power/memory mirrors, driver's seat, and pedals; heated mirrors; power door locks and windows; garage door opener; theft-deterrent system; and cornering lights. The Signature L adds amenities for rear-seat passengers, including separate audio and climate controls.

Some higher-tech features dress up the aging luxury ride a bit, with eight-way adjustable power seats, according to Cars.com. AutoMedia highlights the available convenience features like keyless entry pad and a power trunk lid. The keyless entry feature offers a SmartLock system to help you avoid locking the keys in the car.

Whether you choose the Signature Limited or the Signature L, you can add options like chrome alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a trunk organizer, a THX-certified nine-speaker six-disc in-dash CD changer audio system, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

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7.2
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Styling 5.0
Performance 6.0
Comfort & Quality 7.0
Safety 10.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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