: Is there a point to Lincoln?



orconn
01-27-11, 01:32 PM
Is there a point to the Lincoln brand when its' models are really just iterations of its' cheaper and slightly less well finished Ford brethren? This has always been, with exception of a few deviations, the case with Ford's product lineup. The use of the same chassis and engines dolled up a little to justify a higher price to the unsophisticated buyer has always meant that Lincolns have always driven pretty much like Fords. Is the minor, petty, pride of ownership, today, really worth the extra expense of marketing two car lines.

The way GM has been going, the same can be said about its' lines!

DouglasJRizzo
01-27-11, 01:50 PM
Generally, Lincoln was (and is) the star of the ford empire. In addition to the Cadillacs that I've loved, I've been very fond of a great many Lincolns. While the Lincoln truck/SUV line can be looked on as a gussied up ford, (just as the escalade is to GM) the same really can't be said of too many of it's cars.

Sure there is some parts/chassis sharing, but unlike GM where the divisions made their identities with their own powerplants et al, Lincoln never hid where its engines were coming from - the difference being that in the pre-emissions days Lincoln V-8's were usually larger and torquier than the Ford/Mercury engines. And unlike GM, Lincoln bodies were usually proprietary and not shared.

Also, the Lincoln ride was unique and interiors and trims were as well.

Is there a point to Lincoln? Sure is. When Cadillac abandoned the HD rear drive market, Lincoln had the Town Car and sold A LOT of them to the livery, funeral, and limo guys. Now, they're poised to do it again. The MKS is a wonderful sedan and the MKT will do well. The only problem I see with Lincoln, is the SAME problem I see at Cadillac. With the demise of the Town Car at the end of the '11 model year, there will be no body-on-frame rear drive car in their lineup save for the gas hog trucks. This is intolerable.

The Raven
01-27-11, 02:43 PM
If Lincoln wants to have a hope of competing over the long term, it better NOT have a body-on-frame car in it's lineup ANYWHERE. Likewise, live axles and center console-less interiors need to be GONE. This is not 1971 folks, we are in a different world now. Cadillac has learned this and is doing alot of the right thing these days, Lincoln is about where cadillac was 8 years ago. Great production on the horizon, but poor image and marketing are really hurting.

Lincoln needs to take parts from the Ford bins and build themselves a performance lineup to compete with the V-series. Take the Coyote from the Mustang and throw it in the MKS. Take the Ecoboost and throw it in the MKZ. Build a small car off the focus platform and a coupe or roadster akin to the latest thunderbird...yeah it won't sell but that doesn't matter, it does wonders for image. All the best product in the world will do nothing for a poor image. It's all marketing.

The new MKS and MKZ are exceptional cars, but they are not going to be enough to overcome the brand image, and THAT'S what lincoln needs to work on. Cadillac did the same thing 8 years ago with the V-series, and now BMW and MB are the ones playing catch-up.

Right now, Lincoln can compete with Buick, but i'd love to see it up there in the ring battling the germans right alongside Cadillac.

Jesda
01-27-11, 03:21 PM
Lincoln needs a whole new design language. Everything they make causes my eyes to bleed.

Brett
01-27-11, 03:24 PM
He freed the slaves, thats something.

hueterm
01-27-11, 03:29 PM
Cadillac battling the Germans? The only thing that BMW and MB are arguably playing catch up with against Cadillac is the current CTS-V. And it won't take them long. Everything else is either outdated or insufficient -- and will be -- for the near future.

orconn
01-27-11, 03:42 PM
Cadillac battling the Germans? The only thing that BMW and MB are arguably playing catch up with against Cadillac is the current CTS-V. And it won't take them long. Everything else is either outdated or insufficient -- and will be -- for the near future.

Hmm! Insufficient to what?

drewsdeville
01-27-11, 03:54 PM
When Cadillac abandoned the HD rear drive market, Lincoln had the Town Car and sold A LOT of them to the livery, funeral, and limo guys.

Not exactly, even the unprofitable (to auto manufacturers) livery industry has been moving on in the last decade or so. These numbers are not what I would call a lot:

Town Car Sales
1994 120,121
1995 92,673
1996 93,598
1997 92,297
1998 97,547
1999 84,629
2000 81,399
2001 66,859
2002 59,312
2003 56,566
2004 51,908
2005 47,122

Even after GM killed Ford's only competition with the death of the b/d body, sales merely held steady for a few years rather than surging, then continued rapid decline ever since. There was NO massive flock to the one remaining full framed rwd car like many fans love to claim...the market was already stale by '96 and GM got out just in time, wisely shifting resources to the SUV's that sold like hotcakes for the next 15 years. With the TC, Lincoln just soaked up the piddly left-overs that GM kindly left them and rode it out till the car's agonizing death, sticking as little resources into the platform as they could. Easiest money Ford ever made. It's now 6 years later after the 47,122 production year of 2005 and I'm sure it would be quite interesting to see where the numbers are at now.

Conversely, Cadillac had been selling 150k-200k+ FWD's continuously each year through this period.

Either way, looking at the trend, I wouldn't call killing the TC "intolerable". Lincoln needs to profit to survive.

Playdrv4me
01-27-11, 04:03 PM
I tell you what, if Lincoln isn't worth anything now, they better turn that ship around quick because with the demise of Mercury, Lincoln is the only other revenue stream Ford has. The problem is that Ford has been so heavily improving the Ford versions, that the differentiation in the Lincoln models is nearly indistinguishable. For example, this year the Edge received a new motor, HID headlights, a much more attractive front end, and got MyFordTouch FIRST along with a vastly improved interior. A few months later, the MKX trudged along behind it with the same updates, plus some chrome slathered on the front. Pretty sure most people are gonna go for the Ford at this point.

I also don't know many people who consider the MKT any better looking, if not worse than the very well executed Flex, again with all the same technology. And of course, the same goes for the Taurus and the SHO vs. the stale MKS. In fact, just about the only vehicle left at Lincoln with any level of true differentiation is the MKZ, and that's not really even worthy of being called a Lincoln.

With the uncertain and likely bleak future of the full size Ford SUV twins, Ford now needs desperately to turn its attention to the Lincoln division and take a long hard look at how to give the brand back its own identity. I agree that something needs to be a CTS-V competitor, but frankly the MKZ is just too run of the mill to compete with one of GM's best vehicles. The next generation CTS is slated to be a larger vehicle than the current model, so it is not out of the realm of possibility to spiffy up the MKS, give it a more defined character and a performance variant, and pit it as closely as possible against the CTS. It would perform this task even better if Lincoln were to introduce something larger to slot in just above the MKS, and with V8 power.

If they drop the Navigator, then the MKX and MKT could also move further upmarket as the MKT is quite large as it is. However, Ford powertrain has had some SIGNIFICANT engine improvements of late, and the Raptor proves that Ford CAN build a truck significantly different than the rest of its siblings. If Ford could infuse the design prowess of the Raptor working with Luxury in mind, and using the new 6.2L V8 tuned for at least 425hp (it makes 411 in the Raptor) I think it would be enough to save the Navigator. If the Navigator sticks around, I think the MKX could be dropped altogether.

Finally, something I never imagined I would suggest for the entry level, tree hugger electric lovers is something I think could work based on the success of the HS250h over at Lexus. That is, take a version of the Focus Electric and spiffy it up as an entry level, electric Lincoln. If not that, simply make an MKZ version, but that would likely be too heavy and lose the efficiency benefits. This would beat Cadillac to the E-REV architecture, give Lincoln a foot-hold in every segment from the green to the guzzler and position it more squarely not just against Cadillac, but against Lexus.

This is actually a tough case-study because Ford has gone through and axed so many of the good things it used to have, and has spawned so many cars off just a couple of platforms, that Lincoln is left holding the bag. As Ford's only remaining upscale brand however, it needs serious work.

The Raven
01-27-11, 04:15 PM
Cadillac battling the Germans? The only thing that BMW and MB are arguably playing catch up with against Cadillac is the current CTS-V. And it won't take them long. Everything else is either outdated or insufficient -- and will be -- for the near future.

BMW and MB have been playing catchup with the entire V line since it started. You could have argued with the first gen V's that the M's handled better even though they were not as fast in a straight line, but the M and AMG cars have been catching the V's in terms of straight line performance 2-3 years late. Later, when the CTS-V2 came out, BMW and MB couldn't even hang in turns.

The non-V CTS line is right up there on the ten-best and award lists right along with BMW, and Cadillac as a brand is consistently listed in the top three, often slotting above BMW and Lexus, in overall quality and reliability.

So yes, Cadillac is VERY competitive with german cars. If you take BMW out of the list and consider only MB and Audi, Cadillac actually wins pretty convincingly.

drewsdeville
01-27-11, 04:41 PM
Finally, something I never imagined I would suggest for the entry level, tree hugger electric lovers is something I think could work based on the success of the HS250h over at Lexus. That is, take a version of the Focus Electric and spiffy it up as an entry level, electric Lincoln. If not that, simply make an MKZ version, but that would likely be too heavy and lose the efficiency benefits. This would beat Cadillac to the E-REV architecture, give Lincoln a foot-hold in every segment from the green to the guzzler and position it more squarely not just against Cadillac, but against Lexus.



Entry level?

I think electric's a great idea for a flagship, from any manufacturer. Given the slightly premature tech at this point, now may not be prime time just yet. However, as advancements continue, I think electric is going to be the new high end in the luxury segment. It's quiet, smooth, slick, low maintenance, and the performance possibilities are nothing less than awesome. Electric power amplifies all of the qualities one looks for in a luxury car. Given it's infinite "powerband", performance examples of electric power could easily be made to out-perform any puny, stinky, noisy 425hp gas engine/transmission rig.

Part of a flagship is it's exclusivity and the image it presents. A full high performing electric luxury car would sure do a good job of portraying bleeding edge technology and performance in a vehicle. Electric is NOT just for tree huggers.

Stingroo
01-27-11, 04:46 PM
I'd imagine that an all electric car would be so... boring. It'd be weird. I've never driven one though so I'm not entirely sure. Seems so odd. No noise, no shifting, involvement, no possibility of a manual... it'd be like a video game with better graphics.

hueterm
01-27-11, 04:48 PM
Hmm! Insufficient to what?

non-V CTS is V6 only -- 5s and Es have V8s

STS has been fail since the start. I like them in N* form -- a lot -- but they don't compete w/an E or a 5, much less an S or a 7.

DTS is essentially the same car as my '95 Concours. It's nice, but come on...

XLR got its ass kicked by the SL -- again, nice -- but not really competitive.

SRX is gorgeous and does sell well -- but again -- it's V6 only and smaller than an X5 or ML.

Of course, neither compete w/the Escalade -- even the GL, in terms of size, if not price -- but they never will.

The XTS will not compete w/the S or 7...

Not that I think they necessarily need to compete w/them right now. But thinking the CTS-V (hot as it is) is going to save your bacon and make your line competitive is crazy.

Jesda
01-27-11, 04:49 PM
Fisker Karma

hueterm
01-27-11, 04:55 PM
BMW and MB have been playing catchup with the entire V line since it started. You could have argued with the first gen V's that the M's handled better even though they were not as fast in a straight line, but the M and AMG cars have been catching the V's in terms of straight line performance 2-3 years late. Later, when the CTS-V2 came out, BMW and MB couldn't even hang in turns.

The non-V CTS line is right up there on the ten-best and award lists right along with BMW, and Cadillac as a brand is consistently listed in the top three, often slotting above BMW and Lexus, in overall quality and reliability.

So yes, Cadillac is VERY competitive with german cars. If you take BMW out of the list and consider only MB and Audi, Cadillac actually wins pretty convincingly.



All I'm hearing is CTS CTS CTS. As nice as it is, the CTS does not make Cadillac competitive with M-B and BMW on an overall basis. There is a world that revolves around other things than the CTS.

The Raven
01-27-11, 05:50 PM
All I'm hearing is CTS CTS CTS. As nice as it is, the CTS does not make Cadillac competitive with M-B and BMW on an overall basis. There is a world that revolves around other things than the CTS.

All i'm hearing is opinions. How about reviews and rankings? The fact is that cadillac as a WHOLE is competitive in terms of quality and reliability. It is also a fact that the CTS ranks with the best in professional subjective reviews. The V-series has at many times led the world in premium power, so that's not just being competitive, that's winning.

You are never going to see a single brand competitive across the board, nor winning every matchup. Yeah Cadillac has a couple of cars that need update, and those updates are coming. Same can be said for BMW, MB, and Audi.

Bottom line is that Cadillac can play on the same field as the best, and not only put up a great performance, but win in some key areas. That, my friends, is being competitive.

Playdrv4me
01-27-11, 06:13 PM
All I'm hearing is CTS CTS CTS. As nice as it is, the CTS does not make Cadillac competitive with M-B and BMW on an overall basis. There is a world that revolves around other things than the CTS.

:werd:

Jesda
01-27-11, 06:17 PM
Well, all you really hear of BMW is the 3-series, M3, and X5. The rest is just to keep people from switching brands.

hueterm
01-27-11, 06:33 PM
:werd:

Thank you...

I like the CTS. It's a good performer, it's a looker, and it's priced competitively against the E or 5.

Now, once you can say the same thing in even remote comparison to the LS/7/S and the 3/C (well, maybe the C) -- then let's talk about being competitive.

hueterm
01-27-11, 06:44 PM
All i'm hearing is opinions. You are never going to see a single brand competitive across the board, nor winning every matchup.


Which when based in reality, are more applicable than fantasy...

I would say that BMW, M-B, Audi, and to some extent Lexus are pretty competitive across the board. Maybe not winning every skidpad number, but how many drivers out of 100 care about that? 2? 3?

SDCaddyLacky
01-27-11, 06:46 PM
Cadillac has always been in the forefront from the day Henry Leland founded the brand. More so than Lincoln. Even today Cadillac is competing against the Euro rivals, what about Lincoln? Huh? Where have they been the last 20 years? Lincoln just doesn't sound fast, nor does it sound sporty. Cadillac can get away with some things that Lincoln can't due to it's history. Lincoln has and probably will always be referred to as an old mans car, due to the Town Cars ability to lower expectations among serious higher end luxury car buyers. This is the problem, until Lincoln can find a groove to go up against other brands effectively like bringing back the Continental, the company will falter with there half hearted attempts like the MKS, MKT, and MKX.


There was once upon a time where Lincoln and Caddy were neck and neck, and Lincoln actually was a relevant brand, were talking more like in the 60's and 70's. This decade, class and large size auto's meant something to people. I can personally say the last great Lincolns in which everything about them was unique was starting with the 61 Continental. Nothing was shared through the Lincoln brand at Ford. The bodies, the interiors, engine and drivetrain was all "Lincoln" only. It was a unibody car, so no frame, this made the Continentals special in a sense, that you couldn't bolt anything from a Mercury onto a Lincoln. The higher quality of 60's Lincoln beat Cadillac, sure the Caddys were much bigger, but people actually bought 60's Continentals new, and kept them for long periods of time before upgrading to something fresher, thats how good the cars were.

To me, Lincoln used to be great, not anymore, who even thinks of Lincoln when someone is talking about luxury cars? It's more like Cadillac:cool2:

hueterm
01-27-11, 06:56 PM
As was said earlier, there is just far too much similarity between the Ford and Lincoln offerings, since Ford has moved so much farther upscale. The one thing Lincoln does have, IMO, is somewhat better exterior styling.

The Taurus is nice, especially in SHO form, where the MKS is OK, but nothing special. The Flex is really well executed, and so is the MKT -- which is definitely different. The Edge looks (has always looked) like a mushroom. At least the MKX at first had a snowflake grille and now with the new Lincoln family grill is somewhat more attractive. The Fusion is OK, but pretty boring -- the MKZ is not much better.

The new Explorer is horrible. Hopefully Lincoln can bring back a better styled Aviator (or MK?)

When they come up with a big 2 door and call it MK9 -- call me.

ThumperPup
01-27-11, 07:42 PM
I think that Ford threw Lincoln down the crapper when they decided no more Town Cars
and it started to get shitty when they made there first mistake of droping the Mark VIII
then in 02 they said the hell with the Continental then they came out with the LS wich i think should have only ever been a V8 not a V6
and then they stoped them they where making them preaty decent that last coupe year runs the first few years where shitty
but there first mistake was in 97 when they decided no more Marks after 98
then they jsut kept going down

Aron9000
01-28-11, 01:09 AM
All Lincoln is now days is a Ford with ugly styling and more chrome trim. Same engines, platforms, suspensions, technology, under the skin they are the EXACT same car. Cutting edge Ford features like AWD, ecoboost engines, MyFordTouch, Sync, etc are all available in the Ford equivalents as well, so there is absolutely NO Lincoln exclusive features. I bet Ford is making hand over fist $$$$ on Lincoln right now charging $5-15k more for the same damn car that Ford makes.

Playdrv4me
01-28-11, 01:24 AM
All Lincoln is now days is a Ford with ugly styling and more chrome trim. Same engines, platforms, suspensions, technology, under the skin they are the EXACT same car. Cutting edge Ford features like AWD, ecoboost engines, MyFordTouch, Sync, etc are all available in the Ford equivalents as well, so there is absolutely NO Lincoln exclusive features. I bet Ford is making hand over fist $$$$ on Lincoln right now charging $5-15k more for the same damn car that Ford makes.

Yes, but that formula only works until the consumer catches on and tires of it. Like I said, if I were cross shopping the MKX and Edge right now... some chrome and a THX sound system gimmick would not sway me to the Lincoln side. Not to mention the MKX doesn't even have anything to compete with the Ford Edge Sport's menacing look and 22 inch wheels.

SDCaddyLacky
01-28-11, 07:33 AM
They just don't have anything uniquely special, Cadillac doesn't share parts with it's other vehicles, everything is specific to Caddy, styling, interior, exterior trim, even drivetrain. That's what Lincoln has to do in order to survive!

Lincoln more than ever before is sharing too much stuff with Ford, personally Ford has gone a little upscale which people are taking notice on. I hardly see new Lincolns on the road out in CA, it's all mostly import luxury or Caddys. I see tons of new Fords though, and this is a problem for Lincoln. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars more on a Linc, when you can get the same options or standard features in a Ford?

If Lincoln doesn't turn around fast, Ford should just kill the brand if there not going to put any effort into it. How much longer are executives going to put up with lousy sales figures from Lincoln? Someone with huge balls needs to take charge, and not be afraid to do things a little differently.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-28-11, 08:29 AM
To nod to what Ian and Aron were saying, I too believe that the current Lincolns are nothing more than reskinned Fords, and that all of those cool techy features are also available in their sibling Ford models, at 2/3's the cost! I mean they don't offer any different engines or transmissions than your usual Fords, but come to think of it, they never really did. GM was always better at differentiating the higher end Cadillacs from their lower line cars, with different engines, different body panels and different interiors.

I also think that FoMoCo has to do something soon to differentiate Lincoln from the rest of FoMoCo so they can really stand out in the luxury market and show their true grit when compared to the European brands, and Cadillac.

Lord Cadillac
01-28-11, 12:39 PM
Cadillac isn't even considered a luxury brand anymore. It's been called "near luxury" on several occasions by GM executives. The CTS-V has BMW and Mercedes chasing Cadillac - but that's it. There's nothing else at Cadillac that Mercedes or BMW are worried about.


All i'm hearing is opinions. How about reviews and rankings? The fact is that cadillac as a WHOLE is competitive in terms of quality and reliability. It is also a fact that the CTS ranks with the best in professional subjective reviews. The V-series has at many times led the world in premium power, so that's not just being competitive, that's winning.

You are never going to see a single brand competitive across the board, nor winning every matchup. Yeah Cadillac has a couple of cars that need update, and those updates are coming. Same can be said for BMW, MB, and Audi.

Bottom line is that Cadillac can play on the same field as the best, and not only put up a great performance, but win in some key areas. That, my friends, is being competitive.

I think Lincoln was fairly competitive even with the Mark VIII and LS line. The LS line had horrible build quality but the performance and handling was competitive... It was a good looking car as well.. The Mark VIII is still a wanted car...


Cadillac has always been in the forefront from the day Henry Leland founded the brand. More so than Lincoln. Even today Cadillac is competing against the Euro rivals, what about Lincoln? Huh? Where have they been the last 20 years? Lincoln just doesn't sound fast, nor does it sound sporty. Cadillac can get away with some things that Lincoln can't due to it's history. Lincoln has and probably will always be referred to as an old mans car, due to the Town Cars ability to lower expectations among serious higher end luxury car buyers. This is the problem, until Lincoln can find a groove to go up against other brands effectively like bringing back the Continental, the company will falter with there half hearted attempts like the MKS, MKT, and MKX.


There was once upon a time where Lincoln and Caddy were neck and neck, and Lincoln actually was a relevant brand, were talking more like in the 60's and 70's. This decade, class and large size auto's meant something to people. I can personally say the last great Lincolns in which everything about them was unique was starting with the 61 Continental. Nothing was shared through the Lincoln brand at Ford. The bodies, the interiors, engine and drivetrain was all "Lincoln" only. It was a unibody car, so no frame, this made the Continentals special in a sense, that you couldn't bolt anything from a Mercury onto a Lincoln. The higher quality of 60's Lincoln beat Cadillac, sure the Caddys were much bigger, but people actually bought 60's Continentals new, and kept them for long periods of time before upgrading to something fresher, thats how good the cars were.

To me, Lincoln used to be great, not anymore, who even thinks of Lincoln when someone is talking about luxury cars? It's more like Cadillac:cool2:

Cadillac is starting to do the same thing with Buick.. The upcoming XTS is a LaCrosse... Buick is moving upscale and Cadillac has been moving down market.. The brands are merging. And this has been acknowledged by GM executives (to me in person).


They just don't have anything uniquely special, Cadillac doesn't share parts with it's other vehicles, everything is specific to Caddy, styling, interior, exterior trim, even drivetrain. That's what Lincoln has to do in order to survive!

Lincoln more than ever before is sharing too much stuff with Ford, personally Ford has gone a little upscale which people are taking notice on. I hardly see new Lincolns on the road out in CA, it's all mostly import luxury or Caddys. I see tons of new Fords though, and this is a problem for Lincoln. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars more on a Linc, when you can get the same options or standard features in a Ford?

If Lincoln doesn't turn around fast, Ford should just kill the brand if there not going to put any effort into it. How much longer are executives going to put up with lousy sales figures from Lincoln? Someone with huge balls needs to take charge, and not be afraid to do things a little differently.

hueterm
01-28-11, 01:18 PM
Within a few year spread, Lincoln had:

-- The '98-02 Town Car, which IMO was the best looking one ever.
-- The LS, which was a pretty credible 5 competitor at the time.
-- The Mark VIII, which was hot up until the end.
-- The final and best looking Continental
-- The Navigator
-- And the Aviator

I like any of these better than anything they offer right now (except for the current Navigator), and they're 10-12 years old.

Sad.

orconn
01-28-11, 02:07 PM
Has anyone around here actually driven a Lincoln LS? To compare a LS with a BMW 5 series is really rather ludicrous. The interior design and build quality was not even close, handling wasn't comparable ... and while the exterior styling of the LS was good, most would prefer the BMW 5 series contemporary. And in V-6 form the LS was inferior to the Catera. So what are we really taliking about with over rated Lincoln product!

hueterm
01-28-11, 02:37 PM
How much less was a Lincoln LS than a 5? I don't know, but I would guess that it was noticeable....

orconn
01-28-11, 03:04 PM
How much less was a Lincoln LS than a 5? I don't know, but I would guess that it was noticeable....

The V-8 LS was around $40,000. The V-6 started at $34,000 (the base 5 series was a straight 6 and started at around $36,000). The V-6 Catera had a base price of $29,000 as did a base C-class sedan.
A fully loaded might have apeared a bargain at around $45,000 compared to a top performace BMW 5 series at around $60,000 .... but was there really a comparison!?

Playdrv4me
01-28-11, 06:56 PM
Actually, the very final edition of the Lincoln LS V8 did give the then (in 2003) outdated 5 Series a run for its money. It finally got the technology that had been sorely lacking, including heated and cooled seats, Xenon headlights, touchscreen Nav, the first use of a THX branded audio system in a Lincoln product, along with the already fabulous 3.9L V8 and a very tasteful exterior makeover. I think at that time, the LS V8 Premium Sport topped at around 46k, which compared to a 540i Sport with all options was quite a bargain. Yes, the interior and materials quality was sub par compared to the 5, but it left nothing on the table when it came to handling and driving enjoyment. Things could have gotten VERY interesting VERY quickly had Ford done an SVT version of the last LS, and the proof it could be done was right there in its platform-mate, the S Type R.

Jesda
01-28-11, 07:06 PM
They drive quite similarly, at least the V8 LS does.

gdwriter
01-28-11, 07:29 PM
Lincoln has launched a hybrid (http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/08/2011-lincoln-mkz-hybrid-first-drive-road-test-review/) version of the MKZ, but that was hardly difficult since it's essentially a Ford Fusion with an ugly grille and fancier trim. As others have mentioned, Lincolns are not sufficiently different from their cheaper Ford cousins, and in most cases, are less attractive. Even if they shared some mechanical bits, you'd never confuse a '61 Continental with a '61 Galaxie or a '69 Mark III with a '69 Thunderbird.

Cadillac at least has very unique styling to set its cars apart, and in the case of the CTS, it is a Cadillac-exclusive platform. And while the SRX shares a lot underneath with the Equinox and Terrain, it looks nothing like them.

Playdrv4me
01-28-11, 07:36 PM
Yea I have to say GM has done a far better job of creatively re-using platforms than Ford ever has. While I'm not at all a fan of the current SRX, it certainly would never be confused for an Equinox.

77CDV
01-28-11, 11:27 PM
Cadillac has always been in the forefront from the day Henry Leland founded the brand. More so than Lincoln. Even today Cadillac is competing against the Euro rivals, what about Lincoln? Huh? Where have they been the last 20 years? Lincoln just doesn't sound fast, nor does it sound sporty. Cadillac can get away with some things that Lincoln can't due to it's history. Lincoln has and probably will always be referred to as an old mans car, due to the Town Cars ability to lower expectations among serious higher end luxury car buyers. This is the problem, until Lincoln can find a groove to go up against other brands effectively like bringing back the Continental, the company will falter with there half hearted attempts like the MKS, MKT, and MKX.


There was once upon a time where Lincoln and Caddy were neck and neck, and Lincoln actually was a relevant brand, were talking more like in the 60's and 70's. This decade, class and large size auto's meant something to people. I can personally say the last great Lincolns in which everything about them was unique was starting with the 61 Continental. Nothing was shared through the Lincoln brand at Ford. The bodies, the interiors, engine and drivetrain was all "Lincoln" only. It was a unibody car, so no frame, this made the Continentals special in a sense, that you couldn't bolt anything from a Mercury onto a Lincoln. The higher quality of 60's Lincoln beat Cadillac, sure the Caddys were much bigger, but people actually bought 60's Continentals new, and kept them for long periods of time before upgrading to something fresher, thats how good the cars were.

To me, Lincoln used to be great, not anymore, who even thinks of Lincoln when someone is talking about luxury cars? It's more like Cadillac:cool2:

Henry Leland also founded Lincoln, after he had sold Cadillac to the then-new GM and run it for a while. He created Lincoln to be a "quality car", which meant solid, reliable, better-built that average, but not flashy or ostentatious, nor particularly innovative. Leland was always focused on the engineering and manufacturing aspects. He was only concerned about styling to the extent that the cars looked dignified and befitting their station in the market. This is why Cadillac's earliest successes (hill-climbing ability, early adoption of multicylinder engines, perfect parts interchangability, the self-starter) were engineering triumphs.

As for Lincoln and Cadillac being neck and neck, Cadillac consistently outsold Lincoln by something like 5 to 1 up until the mid to late 1980s. However, one could argue that with the debut of the 1961 Continental, Lincoln was the more luxurious car (and the Imperial even more luxurious than either). It certainly cost more than a comparable Cadillac, but by that point, the buying public had come to associate Cadillac with the top of the line in luxury, with Lincoln an also ran.

I look at the current Lincoln lineup, and I can't see anything there I would care to own. Unfortunately, I can say the same about the current Cadillac lineup. Nothing looks promising on the horizon, either.

SDCaddyLacky
01-29-11, 06:17 AM
Henry Leland also founded Lincoln, after he had sold Cadillac to the then-new GM and run it for a while. He created Lincoln to be a "quality car", which meant solid, reliable, better-built that average, but not flashy or ostentatious, nor particularly innovative. Leland was always focused on the engineering and manufacturing aspects. He was only concerned about styling to the extent that the cars looked dignified and befitting their station in the market. This is why Cadillac's earliest successes (hill-climbing ability, early adoption of multicylinder engines, perfect parts interchangability, the self-starter) were engineering triumphs.

As for Lincoln and Cadillac being neck and neck, Cadillac consistently outsold Lincoln by something like 5 to 1 up until the mid to late 1980s. However, one could argue that with the debut of the 1961 Continental, Lincoln was the more luxurious car (and the Imperial even more luxurious than either). It certainly cost more than a comparable Cadillac, but by that point, the buying public had come to associate Cadillac with the top of the line in luxury, with Lincoln an also ran.

I look at the current Lincoln lineup, and I can't see anything there I would care to own. Unfortunately, I can say the same about the current Cadillac lineup. Nothing looks promising on the horizon, either.


I meant more neck and neck in terms of styling, quality and it's foundation. We all know Lincoln never came close to out selling Cadillac in the 60's, there production count was so low compared to Caddy. Lincoln was confused in the 50's and didn't really know what a Lincoln should look like, they almost went under in 1960 because of low sales and a bad public image. The massive behemoth 58-60 Continentals had a lot of quality problems, especially with the bodies, so in 61 Lincoln fixed all that, went back to the drawing board shrunk it down a foot or so, and created something completely different that finally caught peoples attention. Lincoln needs to do the same exact thing right at this moment, it's a make or break situation here, sadly I feel like the passion in the company is long gone, nobody has any swagger to make Lincolns cool and appealing to anyone.

The only great cars they made was the 70's Town Cars-Town Coupe, the Mark V's and the 60's Continentals that all truly felt classic and very luxurious. Lincoln has never really had a huge lineup up. I think if Lincoln got rid of certain todays models that people are not buying or the ones that are on shared Ford platforms such as the "Edge" which is so obvious to luxury car buyers, they can slowly rebuild it's presence/reputation that will put faith back into the brand.

Shoot, Lincoln should just eliminate all shared body styles with Ford, and start over from scratch.

I am pretty disappointed with GM claiming that Cadillac is only "Near Luxury" What the hell??? Cadillac has never been a near luxury car, people like this need to be kicked out of the division ASAP for having that kind of attitude!

Both Lincoln and Cadillac don't do anything for me either at the moment, I am still waiting for something to blow me away. I actually have a feeling both brands will become even less exciting in the up coming years, the higher gasoline prices go, the Market for smaller cars increase, and thats were Cadillac wants to capitalize on. All this is going to do is water down it's ego, thus the cars will look funky and stupid if the size of their cars shrink even further.

orconn
01-29-11, 02:05 PM
The 1956-57 Lincoln Continental Mark II was a masterpiece, as were that car's predecessors the early postwar Continentals and the pre-war Continentals. The sixties Continentals were pretty good but drove like bubble gum suspended bricks compared to Cadillacs of the era.

A valid attempt to recreate the Mark II with the Mark III was made, but budgetary restraints left that car a mere shadow of the original.

As for the Lincolns and Continentals of the seventies ...... the Thunderbird chassied Mark IVs and Mark Vs really were just cheap renditions of the special "real" Continentals that had gone before. Quality suffered both in the design and the quality of these cars. Although they did sell fairly well for Lincolns. The regular Lincolns during the seventies were really just ungainly bricks that nobody really wanted inspite of their nice interiors ..... Imperials also fell into this category! The Mercedes 450 SE and the Jaguar XJ6 were the making real inoads into the "luxury" car market on both Coasts setting a new idea and level of real luxury, both in build quality, handling and styling!

DouglasJRizzo
01-31-11, 08:35 AM
The way I had seen it, Lincoln in the 60s and 70s was more of the understated luxury. Problem was, understated didn't appeal as much as it may now. Cadillac always had the marketing machine and in the 60s and 70s, also had the eye catching glamour. Lincolns were far more reserved. They weren't "near luxury" they were true luxury but in a purer form. However currently, neither Lincoln, nor my beloved Cadillac has anything that really grabs me. Quite frankly, BMW and M-B don't have anything that does it for me either. None of this stuff has any personality or distinctiveness.

SDCaddyLacky
01-31-11, 07:27 PM
The way I had seen it, Lincoln in the 60s and 70s was more of the understated luxury. Problem was, understated didn't appeal as much as it may now. Cadillac always had the marketing machine and in the 60s and 70s, also had the eye catching glamour. Lincolns were far more reserved. They weren't "near luxury" they were true luxury but in a purer form. However currently, neither Lincoln, nor my beloved Cadillac has anything that really grabs me. Quite frankly, BMW and M-B don't have anything that does it for me either. None of this stuff has any personality or distinctiveness.

This is exactly how I feel, Lincoln has always been more reserved and conservative with it's designs. The 60's Continentals are perfect examples, Cadillacs were far more exotic and exciting, and the Conti's were pretty subdued compared to what they produced from 58-60. But it worked, and it worked really well because Lincoln sold almost every single one that was made. Since Lincoln didn't have the styling that Cadillac had, the company needed to find ways to lure buyers away from Caddy, Lincoln did this by building there cars better, using higher quality materials than Cadillac's, and made only a few models, the Continental, Town Cars, and Mark series. Cadillac had a huge massive lineup for a long time, the argument was, Lincoln made it easier for you to choose, giving you more standard features than Cadillac, and advertising it's styling being unique and completely different from the rest. The company almost seemed exclusive, basically a small number of people that bought Lincolns were very wealthy, not kinda wealthy Cadillac buyers but at the very top. It's vehicles were already considered classics by Lincoln even when new, people bought into the claims and it was a successful marketing campaign. The biggest drawback for Lincoln throughout history, is there cars never could match Cadillac in performance.

I feel like the older Lincolns were a little more plush than the Cadillacs of the day, mainly in the 70's. Caddy's were cheapened heavily after 1970, the interiors were pretty dead looking from 71-74, around the 75 and up some things got better, but the Town Cars and Mark V's looked a lot more classier, way more posh, and has a more demanded presence than a same year Caddy.

I remember this one time when I pulled into a parking lot in my 72 Sedan Deville, a 77 Lincoln Mark V comes cruising in the same lot finding somewhere to park, the guy could park anywhere, but he decides to pull up right in front of me. I got out and he got of his bad ass Lincoln, and we started talking, I took like 10 feet back just to see how both cars looked in front of each other, the easy conclusion was his car looked so much better than my Caddy, period. It looked massive, that huge chrome rolls royce grill stood out better than the Deville, it just looked really cool, someone that was very important would drive that thing. Ever since that day, I have always wanted a Mark V, even better yet, a similar year Town Car, the absolute coolest cars from the 70's

Stric9
01-31-11, 09:24 PM
I was a big fan of FoMoCo & Lincoln:
1977 Mark V
1989 Mark VII LSC
1997 Mark VIII LSC
2005 LS V8
Sprinkled in there were many, many Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Cougars, LTD's and Marquis. The Ford/Merc's were the daily drivers and the Lincolns were the garage art. (Driven less than 10K per year)

So, when it came time re-up... I went to the Lincoln dealer. "FWD? Oh, yes Sir but look at this sync system! Engine size? Well just look at all this technology! (again with the sync system)"
I'm sorry but a blingy radio/nav system is only one of the considerations of a purchase. Not the only consideration. IMHO most of Fords line up and all of Lincoln's line up is basically the sync system with wheels. Most of the other Lincoln people I know feel the same way I do.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-01-11, 12:19 AM
Regarding the '70s Lincolns and Cadillacs, I always thought that the Lincolns looked a lot flashier and over the top than the Cadillacs did. Those hideaway headlamps, the big rolls royce grille and opera windows really made it as over the top as some of the music produced from that era.

Maybe it was different in 1977, I dunno, but that's how I see it in 2011.

DouglasJRizzo
02-01-11, 02:23 PM
As I stated earlier, I had always seen Lincoln as more reserved and conservative. VERY high quality materials and construction. The choices were not as numerous, where as Cadillac had upwards of 10 different models in 1976 Lincoln had the Conti, town car/coupe and Mark. Interiors were an excellent case - there were but 2-3 choices for most lincolns, but literally dozens of cloths, leather, velours, vinyls and combinations for Cadillac, many of them not as high as quality as lincoln's. The lincoln was a worthy competitor in the 60s and 70s even though its sales weren't as high as Cadillac.

Unfortunately, today, Lincoln seems to be dwelling too heavily on electronics/nav systems and the like and not building the same level of solidness and engineering into their cars as before.

DouglasJRizzo
02-01-11, 02:23 PM
As I stated earlier, I had always seen Lincoln as more reserved and conservative. VERY high quality materials and construction. The choices were not as numerous, where as Cadillac had upwards of 10 different models in 1976 Lincoln had the Conti, town car/coupe and Mark. Interiors were an excellent case - there were but 2-3 choices for most lincolns, but literally dozens of cloths, leather, velours, vinyls and combinations for Cadillac, many of them not as high as quality as lincoln's. The lincoln was a worthy competitor in the 60s and 70s even though its sales weren't as high as Cadillac.

Unfortunately, today, Lincoln seems to be dwelling too heavily on electronics/nav systems and the like and not building the same level of solidness and engineering into their cars as before.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-01-11, 11:13 PM
If less models offered is more exclusive, than Imperial must have been the creme de la creme in the '70s.

Jesda
02-02-11, 12:33 AM
How much less was a Lincoln LS than a 5? I don't know, but I would guess that it was noticeable....

LS V8 in 2003 started at 41k
BMW 540 started at 53k

BMW got a much nicer interior but LS got more gadgets.

Aron9000
02-02-11, 12:42 AM
I just had an epiphany. Lincoln is no longer luxury, it has taken Mercury's place on the food chain as a gussied up Ford. So much like Mercury, Lincoln has also become irrelevant IMO. At least in its current alliteration.

Jesda
02-02-11, 12:44 AM
Its funny how Lincoln has gone downmarket now that Ford has sold off Jaguar and Land Rover. You'd think it would make room for Lincoln to quickly move up.

DouglasJRizzo
02-02-11, 07:41 AM
I'm not so sure it's gone "downmarket" as much as Ford as tried to redefine what "upmarket" is and so far has not been successful. As far as Jaguar and Land Rover, those two brands are somewhat confusing.

Jaguar doesn't appear to be as exclusive as it once was. I see quite a few S type sedans running around and they don't hold as much cache as previous cars. Even the might XJ doesn't seem to hold its magnetism.

Land Rover is the current "trendy" vehicle, lots of wealthy suburban wives driving them. I expect when the current crop of leases is up they'll wind up like the S type.

Jesda
02-02-11, 07:48 AM
Jaguar sales are quite low this year, down there with Saab (under 1000 units/mo), while Land Rover is selling over 2000 vehicles/mo. Both brands are still up compared to a year ago, which is good news for Tata.

DouglasJRizzo
02-02-11, 08:50 AM
Jaguar sales are quite low this year, down there with Saab (under 1000 units/mo), while Land Rover is selling over 2000 vehicles/mo. Both brands are still up compared to a year ago, which is good news for Tata.

I'm not surprised at Jaguar's drop. The brand has been diluted.

Land Rover, as I had said earlier, is the current "trend" vehicle. Seems like everyone "has" to have one. That'll change too. For some reason I see quite a few Land Rovers with tremendous amounts of corrosion on the body work.

Ford has tried to redefine Lincoln and luxury, and in my eyes, has not been successful. Lincolns used to be understated, reserved, VERY plush, very solid. Fancy nav systems and glorified blue tooth connections can't take the place of solid interior furnishings and bank vault body-on-frame, RWD, construction.

Ford will learn. They seem to be a bit quicker on their feet than GM, so I think that they'll see the Lincoln star has lost some luster (if they haven't noticed already) and attend to it. GM doesn't seem to be so quick to correct things, which is frustrating to me.

Someone mentioned Imperial. Up to Imperial's first demise, after the '75 model year, it was somewhat of an anathema. It offered tremendous luxury and comfort. Yet, Chrysler's reputation for shoddy build quality plagued it. It's various reincarnations in the 80s and 90s have met with even less success than the original. K based sedans and Cordoba based coupes couldn't hide their lineage. Too bad. The bustle backed coupe from the early 80s was a nice attempt, but it couldn't see any real sales. Probably if it had more substance under the body work it would've been better.

Jesda
02-02-11, 02:35 PM
The Town Car is still available for 2011, a year longer than originally planned since they're letting Mercury die in June. I bet they took out every feature or option they possibly could.

orconn
02-02-11, 04:53 PM
The Town Car is still available for 2011, a year longer than originally planned since they're letting Mercury die in June. I bet they took out every feature or option they possibly could.

Next they will be bringing back the LS for another run!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-02-11, 07:53 PM
I heard rumors of a return of the Versailles!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-02-11, 07:54 PM
Someone mentioned Imperial. Up to Imperial's first demise, after the '75 model year, it was somewhat of an anathema. It offered tremendous luxury and comfort. Yet, Chrysler's reputation for shoddy build quality plagued it. It's various reincarnations in the 80s and 90s have met with even less success than the original. K based sedans and Cordoba based coupes couldn't hide their lineage. Too bad. The bustle backed coupe from the early 80s was a nice attempt, but it couldn't see any real sales. Probably if it had more substance under the body work it would've been better.

I always wondered why Imperials never seemed to be looked on as nicely as the Cadillacs and Lincolns, even when they were new. Thanks for explaining that to me. :)

iametarq
02-02-11, 11:03 PM
Interesting reading here. If I had to choose at this moment I would be very hard pressed between the CTS and MKS. The CTS (for me, I'm 6') did not have the interior room of the MKT. I also felt like I liked both interiors but I liked the Lincoln interior slightly more. As for the rear seating, I could not choose the CTS, it is too hard to get in. The rear window angle is so steep you almost hit your head each time you get into it. I'm also a huge fan of Sync, I think that has got years ahead of GM. GM just doesn't have the options for aux devices unless you have an Apple iProduct (which I loath).

Not that I could afford either new, but if I could I'd get the MKS.

If I buy a CTS-V, I would ignore all other options, unless, the MKS had an option for the SHO engine.

Prior to Lincoln's refresh I would have not even looked, except at maybe the 2003 LS V8. Maybe, but RWD where I live is just out of the question.

Just my 2 cents.

DouglasJRizzo
02-03-11, 07:10 AM
The Town Car is still available for 2011, a year longer than originally planned since they're letting Mercury die in June. I bet they took out every feature or option they possibly could.

The Town Car is staying on thru 2011 not because of Mercury's demise, but to fulfill fleet/livery/limo/funeral sales. Being the last of its kind, the commercial users wanted to replenish their fleets. The options list has been pared quite a bit as commercial buyers rarely buy sunroofs, THX audio systems, etc. Interestingly, Town Cars have all the heavy duty underpinnings and chassis bits as standard, such as the high output police car 4.6, dual exhaust, large ring gear rear axle, etc. This stuff goes unnoticed and RARELY ordered by regular buyers.

hueterm
02-03-11, 07:39 AM
And yet, they're still expected to buy the MKT...

Fail.

The Raven
02-03-11, 08:38 AM
If I buy a CTS-V, I would ignore all other options, unless, the MKS had an option for the SHO engine.

The MKS Ultimate can be had with the Ecoboost motor. It's got nothing on the V-series, since 365hp isn't that great when coupled with 4200lbs, BUT it turns a car that is just nice into a car that is nice and pretty quick. I really like the MKS personally, and teamed with that motor, it's a car I would definitely consider, especially knowing that it comes in about $20k cheaper than the CTS-V.

drewsdeville
02-03-11, 08:40 AM
The Town Car is staying on thru 2011 not because of Mercury's demise, but to fulfill fleet/livery/limo/funeral sales.

This.

Though the 2011 Town Car exists, is it even available for regular civilian retail? I thought 2011 was going to be fleet-only.

77CDV
02-03-11, 01:45 PM
I heard rumors of a return of the Versailles!

Ye gods! :eek:

May as well bring back the Cimarron while we're at it.

Jesda
02-03-11, 02:26 PM
This.

Though the 2011 Town Car exists, is it even available for regular civilian retail? I thought 2011 was going to be fleet-only.

You can build and price it at Lincoln.com. I bet dealers are ecstatic -- Town Car transactions are easy. Old person comes in to buy their 50th Lincoln, gets prime financing, pays near sticker, and leaves.

orconn
02-03-11, 04:18 PM
Lincoln Versailles badge engineering at its most hideous!

DouglasJRizzo
02-03-11, 07:42 PM
This.

Though the 2011 Town Car exists, is it even available for regular civilian retail? I thought 2011 was going to be fleet-only.

No, there are civilian Town Car sales right up to the bitter end. The Crown Victoria is fleet only though, as it's only in the HD Taxi and police variants currently.

DouglasJRizzo
02-03-11, 07:47 PM
And yet, they're still expected to buy the MKT...

Fail.

Whether the MKT can live up to the fleet/limo/livery/funeral business remains to be seen. Despite the fact that Town Car is old as dirt, its heavy duty running gear made it long lived and very tough. We'll see..

Stric9
02-03-11, 09:30 PM
Interesting reading here. If I had to choose at this moment I would be very hard pressed between the CTS and MKS.

Maybe I'm wrong but the CTS is comparible to the MKZ (in size). The MKS is in the same size class as the STS.

drewsdeville
02-03-11, 09:37 PM
I don't think there's any question about the MKT "holding up". It will probably perform just fine. The Deville and the Chrysler LX platform perform just fine and are just as modifiable, despite their more modern construction.

Remember that a big part of the panthers fleet success had nothing to do with the actual hardware: a lot of it was that it was just so damn cheap in initial cost. Ford was able to let the panthers go at incredible fleet prices as they continued the platform with little R&D or tooling updates. Manufacturing costs were as low as they come in the auto industry.

If anything is going to stop the MKT from being as successful as the TC, I think it will be the not-as-appealing price point.

Playdrv4me
02-03-11, 10:00 PM
I don't think there's any question about the MKT "holding up". It will probably perform just fine. The Deville and the Chrysler LX platform perform just fine and are just as modifiable, despite their more modern construction.

Remember that a big part of the panthers fleet success had nothing to do with the actual hardware: a lot of it was that it was just so damn cheap in initial cost. Ford was able to let the panthers go at incredible fleet prices as they continued the platform with little R&D or tooling updates. Manufacturing costs were as low as they come in the auto industry.

If anything is going to stop the MKT from being as successful as the TC, I think it will be the not-as-appealing price point.

Drew, go back and search for almost any posts by our old member "Katshot" and you will find that Devilles in the livery and 24 hour car business are ANYTHING BUT a walk in the park. Katshot was the service director or master mechanic for a very large livery outfit that had both Panthers and G Body Devilles and the Devilles in that kind of strenuous environment were the bane of his existence. I couldn't really refute his evidence as it's about as "from the horse's mouth" as it came. Their really is something special about the absolutely simple, RWD, and robust construction (rust not withstanding) of those damn Panthers. They're essentially trucks with car bodies almost.

While the MKT may not suffer from some of the inherent shortcomings due to the N* itself on the Deville, I still see higher overall maintenance costs in the long run. I know that many Police departments retire Impalas long before they used to retire their CVs.

ThumperPup
02-03-11, 10:08 PM
yeah in cleveland hts ohio the police still have CV from like the erly 94 and 96 they are a cheap city and i tell you if and when they ever retire them i bet not one of there cars that retire have less then 500k on them and they are all cv

drewsdeville
02-04-11, 04:35 AM
I know that many Police departments retire Impalas long before they used to retire their CVs.

Really? WI municipal auctions don't show them favoring by model of any type. You can walk in and bid on a car of any model with less than about 70k on it.

The rumors about police running their cars into the ground are just that, rumors. They all get rid of the cars long before they have the chance to have major problems (anywhere between 50-100k, generally).

Jesda
02-04-11, 04:42 AM
Sheridan Wyoming once used Dodge Neons. I'm sure they're using Cobalts now. Probably a good town to rob a bank.

Playdrv4me
02-04-11, 07:09 AM
Really? WI municipal auctions don't show them favoring by model of any type. You can walk in and bid on a car of any model with less than about 70k on it.

The rumors about police running their cars into the ground are just that, rumors. They all get rid of the cars long before they have the chance to have major problems (anywhere between 50-100k, generally).

We've been down this road with you before so I am not going to belabor this issue. Understand however that REGARDLESS of what schedule a department may use, that does not account for the maintenance costs incurred during that same period for both vehicles. One of the best examples of this was Wichita PD. In the early 2000s they thought they were gonna be real clever (like most PD bean counters) and save some fuel with a full fleet of Impalas. By 2006 they had all but abandoned the Impala and returned almost exclusively to the Crown Vic due to poor satisfaction and the fact that space for the officer once all his equipment is loaded in the car was practically nil in the Impala.

As the end of Crown Vic production finally looms, they were once again evaluating replacements in mid-2010. This time they steered clear of the Impala and studied the Charger and, oddly enough, the Chevy Tahoe as CV replacements. I believe they've already phased in a few Tahoes and the officers are thrilled with the trucks. So the choices for CV replacement as of now ARE so limited, that departments "burned" by the Impala are now going the complete OPPOSITE direction to body on frame SUVs that most closely approximate what was great about the CV.

Personally, I think the ideal solution to this whole conundrum would have been for Ford to drop one of their new high feature/high efficiency V6s in a fleet only CV package for Police use. I don't think the V8 itself has as much to do with the CVs success as the overall size, space for the officer, and ease of maintenance and accessibility in the engine bay and driveline. I have a feeling GM is already pre-planning for this with the new G8 based Police package.

drewsdeville
02-04-11, 09:21 AM
Understand however that REGARDLESS of what schedule a department may use, that does not account for the maintenance costs incurred during that same period for both vehicles. One of the best examples of this was Wichita PD. In the early 2000s they thought they were gonna be real clever (like most PD bean counters) and save some fuel with a full fleet of Impalas. By 2006 they had all but abandoned the Impala and returned almost exclusively to the Crown Vic due to poor satisfaction and the fact that space for the officer once all his equipment is loaded in the car was practically nil in the Impala.


Er...the panther platform is anything but spacious outside of the L series TC... It's poor interior space for it's size has been a complaint for years. Neither of us have had the experience of being an officer in the seat of either car; that argument has no basis. However, if you want to use numbers, look them up. I chose the 2009 MY, pretty much all of the front interior dimensions between the two are within tenths of an inch.

But anyway, the above quote is why this is a never ending discussion all over the internet. Neither opinion can be proven either way. A lot of this varies by region. For example, here in SE WI, especially in the city of Milwaukee itself, Impalas are still quite popular. Since the 2000 Impala was released, Vics have been diminishing continuously, beginning far before the announcement of it's death. PD Chargers? No one even gave them a shot around here. Elsewhere, like Jesda states, there are agencies who are using none of the above (this seems to happen most often down south?). Obviously, Wichita is different then others.

I guess if someone could actually get numbers on it all, the big internet war about this could finally be laid to rest. Everyone can say "Well I know a cop and he said", or "my municipality did this"... It will never end.

Playdrv4me
02-04-11, 03:41 PM
Er...the panther platform is anything but spacious outside of the L series TC... It's poor interior space for it's size has been a complaint for years. Neither of us have had the experience of being an officer in the seat of either car; that argument has no basis. However, if you want to use numbers, look them up. I chose the 2009 MY, pretty much all of the front interior dimensions between the two are within tenths of an inch.

But anyway, the above quote is why this is a never ending discussion all over the internet. Neither opinion can be proven either way. A lot of this varies by region. For example, here in SE WI, especially in the city of Milwaukee itself, Impalas are still quite popular. Since the 2000 Impala was released, Vics have been diminishing continuously, beginning far before the announcement of it's death. PD Chargers? No one even gave them a shot around here. Elsewhere, like Jesda states, there are agencies who are using none of the above (this seems to happen most often down south?). Obviously, Wichita is different then others.

I guess if someone could actually get numbers on it all, the big internet war about this could finally be laid to rest. Everyone can say "Well I know a cop and he said", or "my municipality did this"... It will never end.

I think it's pretty simple actually. Larger departments that have money can afford better cruisers for their LEOs, smaller departments or "poor" departments in economically depressed areas are stuck with the smaller vehicles perceived to have better economy (some poor SOBs are even stuck with previous gen Tauruses). Dallas, Tampa, San Antonio, Wichita, Corpus Christi, and Oklahoma City all use CV cruisers almost exclusively. Saint Louis and Kansas City (I think) still use Impalas. Chesterfield (wealthier Saint Louis suburb) uses Impalas and Trailblazers, and they're a tiny department that traverses all of a 5 square mile radius so their vehicles aren't really abused. No Highway Patrol I've ever seen would touch an Impala with a 10 foot pole, they simply can't rely on them. Another possible explanation for the North/South split in vehicles is the traction benefit of FWD which might make Impalas slightly more appealing than traction control-less RWD CVs in extreme climates (though again, Wyoming uses CVs on the interstate just fine).

There is no question however as I travel around the country that I am seeing Impalas less and less, so much so that I actually thought maybe GM had discontinued it at one point. It's a stark contrast from 7 years ago, even in places (like Wichita) that DEFINITELY had them when they were all the "rage".

Jesda
02-04-11, 04:34 PM
FBI and Homeland Security use Crown Vics and Suburbans.

Law enforcement seem to prefer Ford's sedan and GM's SUV.

The Raven
02-04-11, 06:09 PM
One of my closest friends is the manager for the city garage (LV). They use mostly Impalas and love them (switched from CVs in 2007). He did say that maintenance costs are definitely higher, but the savings in gas MORE than covers it. Overall, they are the cheaper solution in his case. He did say that officers don't like ANY of the options out there when it comes to interior space. They complained about the Crown Vics not having enough space, and now they complain about the Impalas.

Playdrv4me
02-04-11, 06:35 PM
One of my closest friends is the manager for the city garage (LV). They use mostly Impalas and love them (switched from CVs in 2007). He did say that maintenance costs are definitely higher, but the savings in gas MORE than covers it. Overall, they are the cheaper solution in his case. He did say that officers don't like ANY of the options out there when it comes to interior space. They complained about the Crown Vics not having enough space, and now they complain about the Impalas.

I'm not sure if "LV" meant Las Vegas, but out on the West coast I can certainly see fuel efficiency potentially outweighing maintenance costs.

drewsdeville
02-04-11, 07:35 PM
He did say that officers don't like ANY of the options out there when it comes to interior space. They complained about the Crown Vics not having enough space, and now they complain about the Impalas.

This is something I always commented on. A lot of people try to use "officer preference" as leverage in these discussions, but the above is absolutely true. Lets face it, Vic, Impala, Tahoe, or Toyota Tercel, it doesn't matter: whatever is being used as a work vehicle is just that: a work vehicle. It's a job, it earns them a living and nothing more. It is NOT for enjoyment. Anyone will get claustrophobic driving a vehicle for hours surrounded by equipment screwed into the dashboard and floor, the smell of vomit from last nights DUI offender and some month old McDonalds under the seat, with rubber floors and vinyl seats.

As a former full time truck driver (now part time), I know first hand what it's like to drive a fleet vehicle. It never mattered what model I drove, whether it be the old Fords or the newer Sterlings or Volvos. It was all crap. As long as I got my paycheck, I didn't really care.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-11, 07:38 PM
We'll we're not all like you Drew. My company all drives Astros, and I'm kinda picky about how it's kept (I wash it 2-3 times a week), one of my coworkers is extremely anal about his (washing it daily), and my other coworker doesn't really care at all (washes it maybe once monthly)

drewsdeville
02-04-11, 07:41 PM
We'll we're not all like you Drew. My company all drives Astros, and I'm kinda picky about how it's kept (I wash it 2-3 times a week), one of my coworkers is extremely anal about his (washing it daily), and my other coworker doesn't really care at all (washes it maybe once monthly)

You might not be, but it sounds like they share the same opinion in "LV".

But yeah, if you are lucky enough to a vehicle that's used in a cleaner environment (you aren't hauling some of them nasty people off the streets or sharing with some other slobs) and if you are lucky enough to have your own vehicle that you don't share (it sounds like it the way you word the above qoute), I guess it could pay off to care a little more. You'll definitely get better results than many others.

Jesda
02-04-11, 07:54 PM
This is something I always commented on. A lot of people try to use "officer preference" as leverage in these discussions, but the above is absolutely true. Lets face it, Vic, Impala, Tahoe, or Toyota Tercel, it doesn't matter: whatever is being used as a work vehicle is just that: a work vehicle.

I disagree with you on that. While I don't doubt that for many officers and truck drivers the vehicle is only a tool for the job, I've developed an unexpected affection for the GMC van that I used to start my business years ago. Its ugly, the steering is sloppy, it brakes "eventually", and it looks like a pedophile's dreamhouse, but I came to like it for the way it heroically took the abuse and made me a living. It is, after all, a GMC truck with a 350 V8.

I even took it on a road trip once just for fun.

http://www.q45.org/uploads/WW2007/100_2759.JPG



Most of my time in Crown Victorias has been as a taxi passenger, and despite the cars smelling like pine trees and curry, the comfort and quiet of a big Panther car after a long and cramped flight beats the hell out of being stuffed into the second row of an old Dodge Caravan.

drewsdeville
02-04-11, 08:04 PM
Yeah, I can see that. But again, similar to Chad's situation, I find that to be a little different scenario as that was YOUR work vehicle. It wasn't used in the stereotypical fleet scenario: fleet maintained, cleaned on a schedule rather than when it was dirty, driven by most of the people on the payroll (slob or not), etc.

There's comfort in having your very own personal work vehicle that is worth a lot. It can change the entire experience, regardless of vehicle appearance or condition. As far as the police discussion, I don't know of any agencies around here that can afford to keep a fleet as large as the amount of employees on the payroll, dedicating cars to each employee...

Jesda
02-04-11, 08:26 PM
Don't detectives and other higher-ups get a car to keep and take home at night? Detective's cars also tend to be cleaner and are usually unmarked.

Stingroo
02-04-11, 09:24 PM
Some detectives do. My best friend in high school's dad was a detective and he got a 5.7L Charger to take home.

Jesda
02-04-11, 09:50 PM
Now, unlike big rigs, box trucks, and vans, Ford's big cars are actually pleasant to drive. They aren't exciting, but they're comfortable and pleasant. I could see one growing on me like a favorite recliner.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-11, 10:21 PM
Much like Jesda's beautiful '95 Rally STX, when I got my '00 Astro in February of '09, I wasn't too impressed. It was boring, it had a noisy rear differential and it was slow. But over the last two years, I've really grown to appreciate it. It drives pretty decent for a fairly large van. The steering is fairly tight and it brakes decently. The 4.3 is a real workhorse...reliable as all heck and with a nice meaty powerband and it's a tank in the snow. Now I've just passed a quarter million miles and she's still chugging along, ready for whatever I throw at it.

Playdrv4me
02-04-11, 10:28 PM
Much like Jesda's beautiful '95 Rally STX, when I got my '00 Astro in February of '09, I wasn't too impressed. It was boring, it had a noisy rear differential and it was slow. But over the last two years, I've really grown to appreciate it. It drives pretty decent for a fairly large van. The steering is fairly tight and it brakes decently. The 4.3 is a real workhorse...reliable as all heck and with a nice meaty powerband and it's a tank in the snow. Now I've just passed a quarter million miles and she's still chugging along, ready for whatever I throw at it.

Chad, did you inherit that van from a family member or did you buy it specifically for this purpose? I can't remember.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-11, 11:01 PM
Neither, it's a company vehicle. My boss owns three AWD Astros. He loves them because they can pull a trailer, have a decent payload, will do amazing in the snow, and they're decent on gas and easily parkable in a garage, unlike Jesda's van, which is really tall, wide and long.

Aron9000
02-05-11, 02:21 AM
Metro Police(Nashville police, the county and city goverments are one in Nashville), still use Impalas. I see both the 00-04 versions and 05+ newer versions on the street. They do not use Crown Vics at all.

The Tennesee Highway Patrol still uses Crown Vics exclusively though.

Wealthy Brentwood police roll in Dodge Chargers almost exclusively. The other wealthy suburb, Franklin, used Impalas for a while, but has gone back to Crown Vics.

I'd say over the long haul the Crown Vics are much cheaper to maintain and hold up a lot better. In patrol situations, I'm not sure that an Impala would get that much better mileage, considering that the cars are constantly flogged on.

Jesda
02-05-11, 02:23 AM
Much like Jesda's beautiful '95 Rally STX

LOL, you are too generous. It had a face only a plumber could love.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-05-11, 07:46 AM
LOL, you are too generous. It had a face only a plumber could love.

A plumber, or a handsome 23 year old BG Sales Rep.

hueterm
02-05-11, 09:48 AM
I was going to say Fred Sanford...