1997 Lincoln Town Car Review

Pros & Cons

  • Huge rear-wheel drive sedan favored by limo-builders, grand parents, and leaders of emerging nations. This car has a lot of everything.
  • Too much chrome.
List Price Estimate
$1,186 - $2,547

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Lincolns have always been big, comfortable cruisers designed to coddle drivers and passengers in silent, swift comfort. The 1997 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 comfort.

Modest improvements are the rule for the 1997 Town Car. Power steering effort has been reduced, and on-center feel has been improved. Tiny interior and exterior changes have been made, but unless you look closely, you won't see them.

The Town Car traditionally competed with the Cadillac Fleetwood, but now that the Fleetwood, Buick Roadmaster, and Chevy Impalla have been canceled, the Town Car is the only remaining choice for those who want big, American, rear-drive comfort. The Lincoln does not have a sport-tuned chassis, nor does it have variable effort steering. There will never be an auto-manual transmission on the Town Car, and we really doubt that many kids dream of getting to ride in their grandparents Town Car. Nonetheless, this car is unequaled at moving people across the great open spaces that are still left in our country. That floaty suspension won't be disturbed a bit by expansion joints, pot holes or the occasional Honda Accord.

Apparently, there are still quite a few of you that find that sort of thing appealing; Lincoln sells more than 100,000 Town Cars per year. We are partial to it as well, clinging to it in desperation as the cars from our youth are killed off one by one. If you're in the market for a rear-wheel drive, American, luxury car, this is your only real choice.

1997 Highlights

The Town Car's power steering has been improved.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Lincoln Town Car.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love This Beast!!!!
I bought this car for $2100 eight months ago. It had 219,000 miles on it when I bought it. I currently have 230,000 miles on it and I haven't had ONE problem with this vehicle. I love the fact that this car is huge, as it fits my family of 4 perfectly. The trunk is gigantic. I have a picture of my 21 year old sister and my two daughters sitting comfortably in my trunk tail-gating. Lol. This car handles phenomenally, and drives so smooth. I have owned brand new vehicles before, and none have compared to my Towncar. It will be a sad day for me when I have to get rid of it.
Wanted one for a while. Finally got it.
My first car was a '84 Grand Marquis and it made me love big cars but knew the town car was the top dog in luxury cars so I wanted a Town car. Finally bought this '97 a couple weeks ago and I love it! I'm 22 and everybody makes fun of me but I love it. So comfortable,plenty of power, and gets over 23mpg. It has tons of awesome features my '04 mustang don't even have. I stopped at a store yesterday and when I came out the car was smoking. Apparently the intake manifold malfunctioned and anti-freeze was everywhere. Seeing it's a common problem I'm not too upset. I just hope it don't cost too much to fix so I can get it back on the road and enjoy it some more.
Last of the Best
John Abbey,10/08/2005
Bought our first Town Car (low mileage '91) in '97. We loved it, however, we did do major repairs on it the fourth and fifth year we owned it. I have been wanting one more of the 'Classic' style pre '98 versions and recently found another low milage (58K) at the same dealership we bought the '91. I have never bought an eight year old car that looks and feels as "new" as this does. It is a dream to drive and in perfect condition! There is just no comparision when it comes to ride and quiet -- the smoothest ride going and this one gets over 27 mpg on the road. I feel we will enjoy this Lincoln for a long time and it was very reasonable to purchase.
Got me a Car and she's as big as a Whale!
Doug Strand,12/05/2015
Executive 4dr Sedan
Bought this to replace my totaled out PT Cruiser. What a difference! I had wanted one of these for about the last 12 years. I consider it the luxury version of the tried-and true Crown Vic cop car or taxi. Happened to drive by a light blue one a guy was just putting a For Sale sign on, it had been garaged its whole life, serviced by a local dealer, and had only 97K miles. The body, paint, and overall condition is excellent. Got it for around 3K. When I first got it, it needed the window washer sensor replaced, which I easily did myself, and the part was only $16. Also, it needed the steering idler arm and pitman arm replaced, which cost $280 at a mechanic. I also replaced the shocks, plug wires, and plugs, and changed oil and filter to Mobile 1 Extended Performance, just to get a fresh baseline. I also changed the fuel filter and air filter with K & N parts. It ran fine when I bought it, but runs even smoother now. This fall, I converted the exhaust to dual exhaust with an H-pipe and eliminated the resonators. Now, I can hear the engine and she has even more get-up-and-go. I have been getting around 19 mpg here in town, and about 23 on the highway if I keep it around 70 mph. I tried running at 55-60 and it was getting 25 mpg, but it is hard for me to drive that slow on the interstate, our speed limit is 80. It has plenty of power and holds speed on our Montana grades. It handled a brief spurt to 106 mph easily, and it did not govern out at that speed. Just put 4 new snow tires on it (Dec '16) and it gets around fine on ice and snow with the factory posi-traction rear end. My boys love the room in the back seat, their own reading lights, and even the ash trays! This car rides smoother, has much more interior room, and quicker acceleration than the PT cruiser, and gets close to the same gas mileage, with 8 cylinders instead of 4! Discovered when driving it last night that it even has little "headlights" that light up the road to the sides of your car when you put the blinkers on! Yes, I have received friendly comments that it looks like an elderly person's car, that is fine with me, I am 53 and may still be driving this when I am 83! This is a well-made American Classic, with good performance, modern electronics, efficiency, and STYLE. This car was about $38,000 new, and I feel like I can enjoy it for at least another 100K miles, riding in comfort, safety and style at a small fraction of the new cost. If this is what you are looking for and can find one that has been well cared for, then I say go for it. Replacement parts are readily available and affordable. Update, 6/14/18 - This great car was totaled out by a guy in a truck that pulled out in front of us on an icy road. Struck his right front wheel at 30 mph. We were all buckled in and did not get a scratch, but the car was totaled. I replaced it with a 2000 Signature Touring Edition, which has all the features of the '97 with a more rounded shape (some like it, some don't). I miss the blue '97 but am sticking with the Town Car!

Features & Specs

15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 4250 rpm
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 4250 rpm
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 4250 rpm
See all Used 1997 Lincoln Town Car features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Lincoln Town Car

Used 1997 Lincoln Town Car Overview

The Used 1997 Lincoln Town Car is offered in the following submodels: Town Car Sedan. Available styles include Executive 4dr Sedan, Signature 4dr Sedan, and Cartier 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Lincoln Town Car?

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Which used 1997 Lincoln Town Cars are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1997 Lincoln Town Cars you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lincoln Town Car for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $21,012.

Find a used Lincoln for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $20,767.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln for sale - 3 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,742.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Lincoln Town Car?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lincoln lease specials
Check out Lincoln Town Car lease specials