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Used Lincoln LS Overview And How To Buy At The Lowest Price
The Lincoln LS had quite a bit going for it during its production years of 2000 - 2006. It was a serious homemade contender in the premium midsize sedan segment that had the refined design and technology to compete with Europe's best ... and with a distinct price advantage. With its good looks, roomy interior and "fun to drive" road manners, the LS earned high praise by reviewers and carved out a place for itself among consumers as well.
But Lincoln/Ford allowed it to languish a bit as they placed their priority on new models. Competitors surpassed it, sales fell off and it was discontinued. That said, the LS was a nice blend between luxury and sportiness. While "good ones" are getting harder and harder to find out there, they can still be found with careful and patient shopping.
For those investigating the used luxury sedan market and a possible LS purchase, it came in both V6 and V8 versions, both of which provided capable handling with easy yet precise steering. Acceleration is also brisk, yet the driving stays quiet, smooth and comfortable. The drive is actually a bit on the "sporty" side.
Initially, the LS came in two models based on engine size, while other trims were introduced in later model years. Under the hood of the Lincoln LS V8 was a 3.9-liter engine that pumped out 252 horsepower and could take the sedan from a standstill to 60 mph in a very respectable 7.2 seconds. This engine was paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The LS V6 is the less expensive choice powered by a 3.0-liter engine good for 210 horsepower. For this engine, Lincoln originally offered either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic. Fuel economy is also slightly better with this model at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway as opposed to 15 and 22, respectively for the V8 (comparing automatic models).
In addition to strong engines, the LS's suspension is another big positive. An all-aluminum, four-wheel independent setup indicates that this isn't your father's Lincoln. And with a 52/48 percent weight distribution (V8) between the front and rear axles, it's clearly designed to compete with European performance on those back curvy roads. Some can even be found with the optional Advance Trac system which helps drivers avoid skidding and fishtailing by selectively applying individual brakes and modifying engine power to maximize control.
Models can also be found with the optional SelectShift 5-speed auto/manual with either engine. It's part of the LS Sport Package that also adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, a still sportier European suspension tuning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and body-colored bumpers.
Typical standard features include leather upholstery, power driver and passenger seats, dual-zone climate control, fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a remote anti-theft alarm system, cruise control, full power accessories, 4-wheel ABS, stability control, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated mirrors, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, interior air filtration, wood trim and a premium audio system with a 6-disc CD player, while the refined cabin is attractive, spacious and comfortably accommodates four adults.
Models can also be found equipped with the LSE appearance package that includes 17-inch two-tone wheels, round foglights, a special front fascia, a modified grille with a color-keyed upper trim piece, side rocker panels and rear valance, dual stainless-steel exhaust tips, a small rear spoiler and unique LSE floor mats. There's also an optional Vehicle Communication System which included a voice-activated Motorola Timeport mobile phone as well as security and safety services, directions, weather reports, sports scores and stock quotes.
LS shoppers should also note that there were some changes over the years. For 2002, an in-dash CD changer was made standard (with Alpine Audiophile components on Sport models). The 16-inch alloy wheels were also revised on non-Sport V6 and V8 versions.
There was a fairly major update for the 2003 model, including a power boost for both engines. The production of the V8 was upped to 280 horsepower, while that of the V6 was raised to 222. In addition, the 5-speed manual transmission offered on the V6 was dropped.
The 2003 model also brought an upgraded suspension for a softer ride, retuned steering for improved responsiveness, higher quality cabin materials and increased storage. Beginning in 2003, used LS's can also be found with navigation, side curtain airbags and a THX audio system.
For 2004, satellite radio became available as a dealer-installed option and improvements were made to the automatic transmission for better shift quality.
The 2005 got a new front fascia and the automatic transmission was further tweaked for improved performance.
And for 2006, the LS's final year, the V6 model was discontinued and the model selection was reduced down to just the V8 Sport, which also got a chrome grille with a body-color surround, round foglamps, body-color rear license plate trim and updated wheel designs. Used 2006 LS's can also be found with options such as heated and cooled front seats, a power moonroof, a DVD-based navigation system, power-adjustable pedals, HID headlights and walnut burl wood trim. Most of these optional features were grouped into the available Premium and Elite option packages.
In retrospect, one drawback to the earlier models were some automatic transmission problems, although not widespread. For this reason, used LS buyers may want to stick to 2003 and newer models. We'd strongly suggest doing a thorough test-drive on the 2000 - 2002 models in particular.
How To Get The Best Price
There are actually several different ways to buy a used LS at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.