I have owned many cars to include muscle cars, but have never had a nicer car than my 2002 Continental. We almost made the mistake of purchasing a Towncar. The car is bullet proof, although I suppose parts will fail someday, like the air ride and air conditioning, as it continues to age. I will repair everything but the engine and will continue to drive it. We're over 122,000 miles and going strong. I admit we've looked at replacing it, but with what?? A heavy car with a beefed up V-6 that won't last for more than six years? Ford needs to bring this car back with rear wheel drive and a hefty V-8. Oh, and if you do, Henry, throw in a little more sound proofing.
There's no denying that the auto industry has introduced a lot of new features on cars since 2002. Still, the Continental has all the features I could possibly ever want short of Bluetooth and an iPod interface. Some of you may long for a computerized interface such as MMI or iDrive but for me I've always found these interfaces to be highly annoying not to mention expensive to repair (they will eventually break).
The Continental is great for those who don't want to spend much money for a reliable, safe, comfortable car. The 4.6L V8 is as solid as they come although some might find the engine a bit unrefined by today's standards. Then again, I only paid $4,500 for my car two years ago with 76K on the clock and have had zero problems! I can deal with just a bit of "unrefinement" which is laughable because this is a really comfortable quiet car.
We love all the room, the trunk is YUUGE (yet my wife finds a way to fill it), the seats are very comfortable and the climate control system is the best of any car I've ever owned. We appreciate the driver memory feature that adjusts the seat position for each driver. Helps keep for a happy marriage. The car is also great in the snow being front wheel drive. There is a bit of torque steer when you really romp on it but this is to be expected with 275 HP going to the front wheels. MPG isn't bad for such a big, powerful car. I get about 22 on the highway (calculated) driving at 75-80 MPH while running on mid-grade. The engine doesn't object to this at all even though premium fuel is specified.
One downside you should consider is the cost to replace air suspension parts which can be an expensive proposition. The air pump in my car now runs every time I start the car which means the rear air struts are leaking and will likely soon fail leaving the rear of my car practically dragging the pavement. Not a great situation to be in if out of town. I will soon be replacing the struts with a conversion kit that installs standard coil springs for an out the door cost of $1,200. Once in place I won't have to worry about any other air suspension issues (such as the air pump failing).
All in all, this is a great car for a budget conscience individual who desires a comfortable, quiet car with good performance. True, the gas mileage isn't the greatest but the overall cost of ownership (inexpensive to purchase, insure, maintain, repair) adds up to quite a comfortable bargain.
Purchae from Ford Executive coming off 2 yr. lease. Front wheel drive with traction control is better than on the Saab 9-5 I owned before. 24 mpg highway, 19-20 mpg in town...not bad for a big V-8. Comfortable in town or on the expressway. Maintained by a local Ford dealer with no surprises. Love the electronic ride control, too. Better than a Caddy at a lower price! Too bad they quit making them.
Has been and excellent car. Purchased as a Lincoln corporate vehicle with 20000 miles on the odomenter. Now 80000 miles. 20mpg city and 25 to 28mpg highway at 70mph. 80000 miles with only recent tire replacement and new battery. LS was a poor replacement, should have continued to build and I would have purchased another.
I bought this car in 2006 when I was 18 and it is my second car since I crashed my fist car. I used to drive really really fast but no matter what I did to that car it did not back down. I really admire the heavy engineering of that car and I really think it's one of the greatest cars of the world.