1998 Lincoln Town Car Review

Pros & Cons

  • Last of the big, honkin', rear-wheel drive luxury sedans. Improvements this year include revised steering and suspension geometry, which makes the Town Car somewhat more fun to pilot around town. A fully loaded Town Car rings in at thousands less than its full-size competition from Japan and Europe.
  • There is a stigma that goes with buying a Town Car. It will either label you as a Sun City retiree or a New York limousine chauffeur. Not the image that most people are looking for.
List Price Estimate
$1,036 - $2,225

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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 1998 Town Car is no exception. While not exactly swift, the Town Car is motivated by a creamy smooth 4.6-liter V8 that gets a few more horsepower than last year's model, making it easy to get underway with aplomb.

In addition to the increased horsepower, Lincoln shaves some height and length off of this land yacht in an attempt to make it more palatable to younger buyers. Interior changes include better seats, a driver-oriented instrument panel and more efficient rear passenger ventilation ducts. Despite these much-appreciated improvements, we doubt that Lincoln will find many sub-retirement takers for its biggest car.

The Town Car traditionally competed with the Cadillac Fleetwood, but since the Fleetwood, Buick Roadmaster and Chevy Impala were canceled in 1996, 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 a driver-adjustable suspension. 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, potholes or the occasional Honda Accord.

Apparently, there are still quite a few of you who 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.

1998 Highlights

Lincoln redesigns its Town Car this year, making it lower, stiffer and faster. The interior is nicely improved as well, with softer seats and better positioned controls.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1998 Lincoln Town Car
Signature 4dr Sedan
I purchased the car almost 9 months ago with 102k miles. It did need some work, an intake manifold, 2 coils, and a serpentine belt, but honestly I guess thats what to expect when you purchase an older high end car. All cars break as they age, its that fine vehicles, lincoln, mercedes etc, require more costly parts. All that work cost me $1,500 which I guess isn't horrible. I had to replace one of my front headlamps because it became yellowed and fogged over, got a new one on ebay for $90! VERY easy to replace! pretty sweet deal! My ac compressor just went only $200. I really love my car, its sleak, powerful, beyond comfortable, and I get to say I have a lincoln! i'd buy another Lincoln!
Don't want to sell it!!
Cartier 4dr Sedan
I bought this 98 Town Car 3 yrs ago at 105,000 miles. It needed an alternator, but it was inexpensive and expected for a then 16 y.o. car. I have just been periodically doing maintenance, including a transmission flush. It still runs great with a now 118,000 miles 3 yrs later. It has not left me stranded and surprisingly starts after sitting in freezing weather for a week or more - without a jump. Technology (heated seats, climate/stereo controls on steering) is fairly par w/ current vehicles. Window regulators DO suck, but they work. I'd consider that a maintenance item for an 18 y.o. car that most people think is fairly new. Overall, if you're going to buy a 15+ year old car - this model is one to buy, as they were manufactured with having in mind that some will be used as a livery/service vehicle. Keep up w/ maintenance and it'll take care of you. These vehicles are inexpensive to maintain, due to its platform being shared w/ a Crown Vic.
Really Holds Up
Signature 4dr Sedan
Every car has a few irritations, in this case door hinges that don't latch and brakes that pull right very slightly when it rains, and an unfriendly trunk that's too deep. Rides like a cloud, very plush and relaxing and QUIET! But best of all I get over 26mpg on the expressway and average about 21 with a mix of city and expressway driving. The engine is so solid I know one
Excellent, Could not be more satisfied
Cartier 4dr Sedan
Bought when new. Regular maintanence, Only time it has ever been in the shop is to have the oil changed every 15000 miles. This makes my 7th Lincoln and they were all wonderful and maintenance free, but this has been the best one yet. To be 10 years old, I still have people think it a brand new car. The styling is so current and it is the most comfortable and smooth, quiet riding car I have ever known. No rattles or leaks. You'll never find a better car or a car with a larger trunk. To this day we get 21.5 mpg on highway. If you are looking for economy, buy a moped! I have absolutely no complaints.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • 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 1998 Lincoln Town Car
More About This Model

I've always been attracted to the glamorous life of organized crime. Movies like TheGodfather, Casino, Goodfellas, LA Confidential and Heat have only reinforced this strange obsession I've had since I was a little boy. Sure, the despotic characters in these violent movies are not something to be celebrated, but the beautifully tragic stories crafted by Mario Puzo and his ilk have convinced the black side of me that I would have made a damn fine don.

I see myself running a ring of mobsters out of some dilapidated warehouse in the seedy downtown area of some nameless city. I have this vision of barking commands at my improbably-named henchmen, Three-Fingered Joe, Stump and Mookie, to go shake down some local grocer or liquor store owner who is late with this month's protection payment, while I coolly contemplate the large piles of cash stacked before me on a giant antique desk.

Yes, life would be dangerous. I'm certain that there would be rival organizations trying to rub me out, and the coppers, the feds, and Mr. Tax man would pose problems that could only be resolved with a little payola. But, it would definitely be a change from my somewhat predictable life as a journalist living in the milquetoast suburbs of Denver, Co.

Undoubtedly some of the seduction of organized crime lies with the look that Francis Ford Copolla created for the likes of Michael Corleone and his family of thieves. Suave clothes, expensive watches, giant mansions and powerful American sedans all contribute to the image of luxury that is so much a part of the mobster mystique.
Although the salary restrictions of my profession do not allow me to wear Armani suits, sport Piaget watches or live in a modern day castle, it does sometimes indulge my desire to drive big American sedans. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with the new Lincoln Town Car, and realized that when the Whitmore crime family finally gets off the ground that this will be the standard issue car for my goons.

Why the Town Car? That's easy. First off, the Town Car looks the part. Dramatically revised this year, our Cartier model came to us painted jet black with brushed aluminum wheels. Moving quietly down the street the Town Car's broad shoulders, formal grille, and hefty girth presented an air of confident power, just the sort of image that an aspiring mob boss wants to express. The fact that the Lincoln Town Car is one of the only vehicles left on the road today that has factory options for hearse and limo conversions was not lost on us. Mess with the owner of this car and you might end up dead. Make the owner happy and you might end up the head of state. Yeah, from the outside, the Town Car is definitely the real deal.

The inside of the Town Car is pretty impressive too. A huge cabin means that you can sit comfortably in the back seat with a couple of molls while your beefy driver and bodyguard have plenty of room in the front seat. Speaking of your driver, he will undoubtedly appreciate the ease with which he can pilot this 17-foot long car. The driver's seat offers commanding views in all directions and the new Town Car's well-positioned controls mean that he will be able to keep his eyes on the road instead of trying to fiddle with the out-of-reach radio buttons and air conditioning knobs that afflicted the former model. Audiophiles will appreciate the clarity of the Cartier's standard JBL sound system; it's perfect for playing the "Carmina Burana's" Oh, Fortuna loud enough to drown out the screams of terror emanating from the trunk.
Let's talk about the trunk a bit. Some trunks, like the one found in Chevy's Lumina, are pretty nice. Big and roomy, they offer most people enough space to haul the groceries home on Friday or the luggage for a family's summer vacation. The Town Car's trunk is a little more impressive. Not only will it haul a family's groceries home, it will haul the members of a competing crime family to their, ahem, final destination. (As a test, we had a couple of our staff members climb into the Town Car's trunk. They fit like sardines in a can.)

None of this would matter if the Town Car didn't have the goods to move in a hurry when things get sticky. The bright folks at Lincoln recognized that, and have infused the Town Car with the same 4.6-liter V8 engine found in the Ford Mustang. This engine makes 205 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque on the Executive and Signature models. The Cartier has a freer-breathing exhaust system that adds 15 horsepower and 10 pound-feet of torque to the engine's output. More than enough to get this car's occupants out of harm's way.

The steering gear and brakes have been improved this year, somewhat increasing the chances of surviving a hit from a competing business interest. This is not the car of choice, however, when fleeing from tommy-gun wielding gangsters on a lonely mountain road. The Town Car suffers from an unrefined suspension that makes quick direction changes a bit scary. It's fine for long freeway trips to Las Vegas, soaking up bumps and potholes without a thought, but it lacks the elements necessary to hustle the Town Car through quick turns, despite the addition of a Watt's linkage rear suspension to the car this year that gives the rear axle dramatically improved rigidity, reducing excessive side to side motion.

I'm certain that there are rival mob-bosses-to-be who are laughing in their sleeves at my choice for transportation. Perhaps they think that a newer model like the Lexus LS400 or Acura 3.5RL would be more impressive, or that a big BMW or Mercedes might be more satisfying. To them all I have to say is "fugheddaboutdit." If Michael Corleone trusted his hide to American manufacturers, it is good enough for me, capiche? The Town Car is the perfect car for organized crime. Big, imposing, powerful and full of history; it conveys the perfect image of refinement and strength. One note, however: the Town Car can only be purchased in black. Any other color would make me look like a retiree setting out for his weekly golf game. Nothing very imposing about that.

Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car Overview

The Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car is offered in the following submodels: Town Car Sedan. Available styles include Executive 4dr Sedan, Cartier 4dr Sedan, and Signature 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Lincoln Town Car models are available with a 4.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 220 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Lincoln Town Cars are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Lincoln Town Car for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Lincoln Town Car.

Can't find a used 1998 Lincoln Town Cars you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lincoln Town Car for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $21,762.

Find a used Lincoln for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,048.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln Town Car for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $19,938.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $19,797.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 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