Premium large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $3,000*

1996 Lincoln Town Car

1994 Lincoln Town Car

1995 Lincoln Town Car

1990 Lincoln Town Car

1990 Lincoln Town Car interior

1990 Lincoln Town Car interior

  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Rear visibility

Big sedans like the Town Car and its main rival, the Cadillac Fleetwood, are plush, quiet, and comfortable. However, newer luxury models are now available that offer comparable luxury, more agility, and better overall economy.


The venerable four-door Lincoln sedan, the best-selling model from Ford’s luxury division, received its first major redesign since it was introduced in 1980 under the Town Car label. The V8 engine and rear-drive platform of the original Town Car were retained, but the previous generation’s square body gave way to rounded corners and an aerodynamic look. The model range for 1990 started out with a base unit, a midlevel Signature Series, and a premium-level Cartier Designer Series.

Yearly Updates

1991 Town Car
The 4.6-liter aluminum-block V8 replaces the 5.0-liter V8 from last year and the new traction-control system, which Lincoln calls Traction Assist, becomes available for cars equipped with antilock brakes. The Town Car also gets a new front suspension design and 4-wheel disc brakes in place of the front-disc/rear-drum setup previously used.
1992 Town Car
Now in its third year, the Town Car gets few changes. With optional dual exhausts, the V8 has an output of 210 horsepower. The no-name “base” version is now called the “Executive Series” model.
1993 Town Car
A new “handling package” that provides a firmer suspension and wider tires is offered as an option and a host of other minor changes mark the arrival of the
1993 Town Car. A remote keyless entry system is now standard, as are dual airbags. Dropped for this year is the Insta-Clear heated windshield.
1994 Town Car
Previously optional dual exhausts are now standard on the 1994 Town Car. As a result, all three models now provide drivers with 210 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.
1995 Town Car
To accommodate differing tastes in steering effort, a new dashboard-mounted switch, standard on Signature and Cartier models, electronically adjusts steering effort. Exterior changes include new headlamps, taillamps, grille, front and rear bumper fascias, color-keyed side moldings, and larger, color-keyed outside mirrors that are moved forward slightly to improve visibility. Inside, the Town Car provides new seats that provide extra travel, a redesigned instrument panel, and a new 2-spoke steering wheel.
1996 Town Car
Lincoln celebrates its 75th anniversary in 1996 and marks the occasion with a Diamond Anniversary Edition of the Town Car. The anniversary edition comes in two color schemes: cordovan with a charcoal interior and silver with a red interior. Upgrades are also performed on the 4.6-liter V8, designed to make the Town Car’s engine smoother, quieter, and more efficient. Finally, the Cartier Series gains real wood trim on the dashboard and around the window controls.
1997 Town Car
The Town Car gains a revised power-steering system designed to provide more feel, but loses some standard features that help hold down prices, especially on the base Executive and Signature Series models. Both cars return for 1997 without a dual exhaust system, resulting in a loss of 20 horsepower. Power from the standard 4.6-liter V8 drops from 210 to 190.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

The current generation Lincoln Town Car arrived in 1990 with the iron-block, overhead valve 5.0-liter V8 that has powered Ford products for decades. But the Lincoln flagship quickly switched to an all-new OHC, 32-valve, 4.6-liter V8, the first overhead-cam V8 to be mass-produced by a domestic automaker. The new engine, mated with a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission produces 190 horsepower at 4200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 3200 rpm. The optional dual exhaust system improved output to 210 horsepower at 4600 rpm and 270 pound-feet of torque at 3400 rpm. By 1994, the dual exhaust system is standard on all Town Car models. A new air-intake system for 1996 helps improve engine torque slightly, to 275 pound-feet at 3400 rpm. As a cost-saving measure the dual exhausts are dropped for the Executive and Signature Series in 1997, which lowers the horsepower back to 190, while torque scales back to 265 pound-feet.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/302
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 190
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260-265
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270-275
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Despite its new V8 engine, the Town Car can hardly be classified as a sprinter, given the fact it tips scales at over two tons, but once underway, there’s strong acceleration and passing power. One drawback to brisk acceleration seems to be the 4-speed automatic, which is slow to downshift at times. As for economy, we’ve averaged an unimpressive 17 mpg in city/expressway driving.

New suspension and further upgrades designed to improve the car’s handling arrive in the form of a Ride Control Package. The car retains much of its penchant for excessive body roll and the kind of pillowy ride characteristics preferred by domestic luxury-car buyers. If you’re not particular about handling, and need a spacious car, you’ve come to the right place. The Town Car is wide enough to accommodate six adults comfortably, while the large doors make entry and exit maneuvers effortless. For long trips, you can count on the spacious 22.3-cubic foot trunk to hold nearly all your worldly goods.

Most controls are mounted high on the dashboard where they’re easy to see and reach while driving. Though the power window, door lock, and mirror controls are grouped on the driver’s door, they aren’t backlit at night. Huge rear roof pillars hinder the view while backing up.


Model Tested: 1995 Lincoln Town Car

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 4


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 6

Total: 50


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
117.4 218.9 76.7 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
22.3 18.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.0 42.5 41.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 Town Car 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 82
Injury 58
Theft 173

Trouble Spots

Air springs
Description: Air springs are prone to leaks caused by the bag rubbing against the axle or control arm. (Any so-equipped)
Alternator belt
Description: The drive-belt tensioner pulley or idler-pulley bearings are apt to make a squealing noise when the engine is started in cold weather. (1993-96)
Automatic transmission
Description: Transmission shudder or vibration can be caused by improper transmission fluid. It requires that the transmission fluid (including fluid in the torque converter) be changed and that only Mercon fluid be used. (1992-94)
Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may slip and the engine may flare when the transmission shifts into fourth gear, which can often be traced to a bad TR/MLP sensor. (1992-95)
Coolant leak
Description: The intake manifold on 4.6L V8 engines is prone to breakage resulting in coolant loss and possible overheating. The manufacturer is reimbursing owners who paid for fixes up to $735 and extending the warranty for others (1996-97)
Hard starting
Description: The connector at the starter solenoid tends to corrode resulting in a “no-crank” condition. (1991-94)
Hard starting
Description: If the engine does not want to start or cranks for a long time then stalls, the idle-air control valve may be sticking. (1996)
Heater core
Description: Heater cores may repeatedly leak requiring a restrictor be installed in the heater inlet hose. (1990-97)
Oil leak
Description: The oil filter balloons and leaks because the oil-pump relief valve sticks. (1991-94)
Vehicle noise
Description: A chattering noise that can be felt coming from the rear during tight turns after highway driving is caused by a lack of friction modifier or over-shimming of the clutch packs in the Traction-Lok differential. (1990-96)
Vehicle noise
Description: A broken gusset or weld separation at the frame crossmember causes a rattle from the rear or the car. (1990-92)

Recall History

1990-91 cars in 25 states
Description: Corrosion of hood-latch striker causes detachment, so hood can open unexpectedly.
1990-97 police/fleet/natural gas
Description: Bearing within lower ball joint can weaken slowly during use and eventually crack; could result in separation, allowing control arm to drop to the ground.
Description: Distorted fuel lines may contact steering-column universal joint and be damaged.
Description: Secondary hood latch may not engage; if primary latch releases when car is moving, hood could fly up.
Description: This vehicle was previously repaired using a wiring harness that is not compatible with the vehicle circuit polarity. Dealers will install a new wiring harness, or replace the mating electrical component.
Description: Speed-control deactivation switch can develop short that could result in underhood fire, whether or not engine is running.
1992-98 Town Car w/speed control system
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may, under certain conditions, leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. This could result in an underhood fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.
Description: Brake-pedal pushrod retainer may be missing or improperly installed, which can cause disengagement and loss of braking.
Description: Nuts and bolts that attach rear brake adapter to axle-housing flange can loosen and separate, allowing damage to ABS sensor, hydraulic line, and parking-brake cable.
Description: Some passenger-side airbags may not inflate properly; also, igniter cap can separate, releasing hot gases.
Description: Seal between fuel-filler pipe and tank may not be fully cured, which could allow fuel to leak.
1995-96 fleet cars only
Description: Corrosion of inadequately lubricated Pitman arms can cause abnormal wear of joint, resulting in separation.
Description: Passenger vehicles that have had the driver’s airbag module replaced after April 5, 2000, may have modules with inflators that lack insufficient welds and may prevent proper inflation of the airbag.
Description: Driver’s door, when closed only to secondary latched position, may not sustain the specified 1000-pound transverse load.
Description: Wrong parts may have been used to service seatbelts with switchable retractor for child restraints.
Description: Replacement seatbelts made by TRW and sold by Ford may not restrain occupant in a collision.
Description: Driver’s airbag module could stay in position during deployment, but leave the steering wheel cavity afterward.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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