One of the last rear-drive, V8, traditional full-size sedans. A host of 2003 changes should keep it in favor with taxi cab drivers, police departments and those looking for a lot of room at a reasonable price.
Ford's big sedan receives a number of updates for 2003. A new full-perimeter frame uses strong, lightweight hydroformed steel sections for the front rails to improve frontal and offset crash performance. Redesigned frame crossmembers and new optional side impact airbags improve side impact crash performance. Additionally, the new frame -- combined with a redesigned independent front suspension and new monotube shock absorbers -- contributes to a smoother, more controlled ride and improved handling. Other changes include a new variable ratio rack and pinion steering system with variable power assist and a new dual-rate brake booster that automatically supplies full braking power in a panic stop. Inside, revised seats offer improved comfort and appearance; the cupholders are new; and a three-point seatbelt has been added for the rear center passenger.