Used 1996 Lincoln Town Car Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

Engine upgrades, new automatic climate controls and real wood on the dashboard in Cartier models sum up the changes to the Town Car.

Vehicle overview

Lincolns have always been big, comfortable cruisers designed to coddle drivers and passengers in silent, swift comfort. The 1996 Town Car is no exception. While not exactly swift, the Town Car is motivated by a creamy smooth 4.6-liter V8 that gets it underway with reasonable aplomb, and the interior easily accommodates six in reasonable comfort.

Modest improvements are the rule for the 1996 Town Car. The engine has been upgraded, and new automatic temperature climate controls reduce confusion inside. Cartier models get real wood on the dashboard and rear vanity mirrors. A 75th Diamond Anniversary model joins the lineup.

The Town Car competes primarily with the Cadillac Fleetwood, and has been soundly trouncing the Caddy is the sales race. Lincoln sells more than 100,000 Town Cars annually, but we can't figure out why such a large gap exists between the Lincoln and the Cadillac. The Cadillac is larger inside, and far more comfortable. It is also more tastefully restrained in style, though either car could win the gold in the Ostentation Olympics. However, the Town Car's interior materials are first-rate, better in texture and design than those found in the Fleetwood. Ergonomically, the Town Car bests the Cadillac as well, featuring Ford's new easy-to-use corporate radio as the centerpiece of a more ergonomically sound dashboard. Cadillac claims that Lincoln relies on fleet sales to boost sales figures.

Still, where the Fleetwood reeks of Santa Barbara elegance; the Town Car comes off as Las Vegas glitz. The Fleetwood is cavernous, the Town Car less so, particularly in the back seat. The Fleetwood has a brash Corvette LT1 engine under the hood, while the buttery modular V8 of the Town Car has more sophisticated power delivery. When all is said and done, we prefer the Fleetwood, without the tacky vinyl roof. Try them both yourself, and decide which suits you better.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.