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One of the last traditional rear-drive, body-on-frame full-size sedans, the 2006 Ford Crown Victoria offers a lot of room at a reasonable price.
Low price, rear-wheel-drive performance, standard ABS, room for six, comfortable ride, excellent crash test results.
Large size makes it difficult to park and maneuver, dated interior styling.
Available Crown Victoria Sedan Models
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For 2006, the Crown Victoria LX gains nine-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a trip computer is now standard on the LX and LX Sport. An alarm system has been made optional on all models.
The Victoria debuted in the Ford car lineup in 1951 as a new derivative of the 1949 Ford, the company's first new post-war car. The Crown Victoria, a top-of-the-line version highlighted by a "basket-handle" chrome accent strip that looped over the greenhouse, joined the lineup in 1955.
The Victoria models continued throughout the 1950s as derivatives of the Fairlane series. Other models included a luxury Town Victoria and stylish Club Victoria. The Victoria designation went on hiatus in 1965 in favor of the Galaxie 500 and LTD series Fairlanes. The Crown Victoria name returned in 1980 as the high end of the full-size LTD models and once again became a best-seller.
Currently, the Ford Crown Victoria is the favored ride of taxi drivers, police departments and fleet services. Its most recent major updates were in 1998 and 2003. Decades-old technology and platform sharing allow Ford to keep the prices low. The 2006 Crown Victoria is a big car that offers a lot for the money. However, those with more to spend on a V8 sedan will prefer the modern, stylish Chrysler 300C.
Ford's full-size Crown Victoria comes in three trim levels -- base, LX and LX Sport. The base model comes equipped with basics like air conditioning, a power driver seat and a cassette stereo. Upgrades like remote keyless entry and a CD player are available as options. Step up to the LX to get them standard, as well as an overhead console with compass, alloy wheels, automatic climate control and a trip computer. The LX Sport comes with a handling and performance package that includes performance tires, revised suspension components, dual exhaust and performance torque converter, as well as leather trim for the seats and a floor-mounted shift lever with console. Various options include power-adjustable pedals, traction control and a moonroof.
Despite its size, the two-ton Ford Crown Victoria is no slouch in terms of acceleration thanks to its 4.6-liter V8 engine that pumps out 224 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque in base and LX models. This engine makes 239 hp and 287 lb-ft of torque in the LX Sport. The only transmission offered is a four-speed automatic.
Ford Crown Victoria models come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Front-seat side airbags are available but only on the LX and LX Sport trim levels. The Crown Victoria has done well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests; it earned five stars for driver and front-passenger protection and four stars in side-impact testing. The big Ford car also earned the top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS. With a crash-severity sensor, safety belt pre-tensioners, dual-stage airbags and seat-position sensors, the Crown Vic offers most of modern safety innovations despite its older design.
If you've ridden in a taxi cab recently, you know that the Crown Victoria's strength is not innovative interior design. For better or for worse, it's basic, roomy and comfortable. A cavernous trunk of 20.6 cubic feet will swallow any luggage you might have. The Crown Vic can seat six passengers thanks to a column-mounted shifter and standard front bench seat.
As you might expect, responsive handling is not the Crown Victoria's forte. Various improvements over the years provide a comfortable ride, but there's no getting around the vehicle's substantial weight and dimensions, or its old-tech underpinnings. If you're looking for nothing more than a family cruiser, the 2006 Ford Crown Victoria will suffice, but if a car with a somewhat involving driving experience is your desire, look elsewhere.
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