2003 Lincoln Town Car Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior, quiet cabin, throaty V8 engine, huge trunk, availability of a long-wheelbase model.
  • Lack of brand prestige, poor expected resale value.
List Price

Used Town Car for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2003 Lincoln Town Car appraisal values can range from $805 - $3,305.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

A big American luxury car that can transport multiple people and their associated material with little effort. The 2003 revisions are welcome, though the 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis offers a similar experience for less cash.

Vehicle overview

Model History/Marketing Philosophy: Lincoln first used the Town Car nomenclature to define an upgraded interior trim on the 1969-71 Continental, but a Town Sedan version of the 1949 Cosmopolitan is probably the true source of the name. The Town Sedan lasted just one year, and it wasn't until 1972 that Town Car was used to delineate the most luxurious versions of the Continental sedan. Continental coupes of the time were called, not surprisingly, Town Coupe.

Since the early '80s, the Town Car has been Lincoln's flagship sedan. The 2003 Town Car benefits from some of the highest owner loyalty in the luxury car segment, with 60 percent repeat buyers. Aimed at Lincoln's older, more conservative and traditional clientele, the 2003 model incorporates many changes and upgrades that customers have desired in recent years, such as the return of the stand-up hood ornament and significantly improved cabin storage space. Lincoln also caters heavily to fleet operators such as livery services and limousine converters.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: The Lincoln Town Car is offered in regular- and extended-wheelbase models dressed in Executive (regular-length only), Signature and Cartier trim. (Extended-wheelbase models are labeled Executive L and Cartier L). The majority of Executive buyers are fleet operators, leaving the majority of better-equipped Signature and Cartier models to be purchased by the general consumer.

New standard equipment for all 2003 models includes dual-zone climate control with heat and air conditioning vents for rear passengers, 17-inch alloy wheels, a new analog clock for the dashboard, remote keyless entry with a power trunk pull-down feature, power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, an eight-way power driver seat and automatic headlamps that turn themselves on at dusk or when the wipers are activated.

The Signature trim adds a leather-and-wood-trimmed steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery and deep-pile carpeting, a memory system that retains seat and mirror settings for up to two different drivers, heated front seats, a parking assist system and rain-sensing wipers.

Cartier includes a first-aid kit in the trunk, embroidered seats and floor mats, chrome wheels, halogen driving lights and heated rear seats (L models only). Powertrains and Performance: All Town Cars are powered by a 4.6-liter V8 making 235 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque driving the rear wheels. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. Performance is adequate for a large car, thanks in part to the ample thrust provided by the standard V8, and with the engineering changes to the frame, suspension and steering, the 2003 version should prove more responsive, quieter and more stable on the road. Safety: Heading up the list of Town Car safety features is the Personal Safety System, which is comprised of dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, three-point seatbelts for all outboard seating positions and a BeltMinder chime that regularly reminds occupants to buckle up. LATCH child seat anchors have been added for 2003, along with a new 5-mph bumper system. All-speed traction control is standard, as is four-wheel ABS with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist technology, which applies full braking power in a panic stop.

Also new is standard traction control and power-adjustable pedals. By allowing the pedals to move relative to the driver, proper positioning from the steering wheel can be obtained. Rain-sensing wipers are standard on Signature and Cartier, and buyers of the latter trim level can specify high-intensity discharge headlamps if they desire. Optional on all models is the Lincoln Vehicle Communication System (VCS), which includes, among other features, automatic airbag activation notification, initiated emergency assistance, roadside assistance and hands-free dialing of the fully transportable Motorola Timeport telephone that comes with VCS. Interior Design and Special Features: Boasting gargantuan interior dimensions and one of the largest trunks in the luxury car class (20.6 cubic feet), the Town Car's primary mission is to transport multiple passengers to their destination silently and comfortably.

If the standard-wheelbase Town Car isn't enough car to manage your needs, you can select the L version of the Signature or Cartier, which offers a whopping 47 inches of rear legroom thanks to the 6-inch-longer wheelbase over the standard model. Lincoln is one of the few luxury sedan manufacturers to offer a factory-built, stretched version of its flagship model.

For 2003, designers have increased interior storage space by 44 percent, thanks to a larger glovebox, new door-panel armrest bins, larger map pockets, redesigned cupholders and a new center console that opens from both the driver and passenger sides for easy access. Legroom is also increased, thanks to 1.5 additional inches of front seat track travel; taking into account the standard adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, it seems the Town Car is designed to fit almost any driver. Also, restyled front seatbacks net half an inch more rear seat legroom in standard-wheelbase models.

Soft-touch materials are improved for 2003, with a new milled-pebble texture, but real wood inserts are not available. The fake burl walnut wood is reasonably convincing and is accented with satin-nickel trim. Driving Impressions/Opinions: Thanks to the engineering enhancements made for 2003, the Town Car has no peer when it comes to transporting large (or large numbers) of people down the highway in comfort and silence. But compared to other luxury flagships like the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS 430 and Mercedes S-Class, the Town Car's mediocre levels of refinement and quality quickly stand out. Of course, all of those vehicles cost considerably more. Buyers in this class also might want to consider the Ford Crown Victoria or the Mercury Grand Marquis, as both offer similar underbody hardware for a lot less cash than the Lincoln.

2003 Highlights

Lincoln's full-size luxury car receives an extensive reengineering for 2003 designed to make it safer, quieter and more luxurious than before. Major hardware revisions include a redesigned frame and modifications to the suspension, steering and braking systems. The standard V8 engine is also more powerful. Visually, the Town Car is more formal in appearance, and the old-fashioned Lincoln "star" hood ornament is back by popular demand. Creature comforts are addressed by the addition of newly standard equipment, increased storage space, additional safety features and improved interior materials.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

axle issues on 2003 models
Executive 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I own multiple cars, 98 town car, s500 98, mercury GM 98 and this one 2003 town car. Better ride than anything else, not as soft as 98 town car though, they changed the front suspension and the ride became firmer. All model year 2003 town cars (made in the year 2002) have issues with the rear axle, I had to replace mine after 18,000 miles on it, and I don't drive much at all so it was at my expense, there was a recall on all of these cars but a free repair was only for vehicles sold to fleets rather than individuals, If you hear a whining sound from the rear, or any sort of "road noise" that means the rear axle is bad. They did resolve the problem on all of 2004+ town cars.
Comfortable Land Yacht
Tim R.,08/05/2010
Signature 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I have owned 4 town cars and one navigator. The town cars have all improved in quality, and this car is no exception. Very smooth, quiet, and the ultimate road car. I love the steering wheel controls for the stereo, ac, and Cruise. The car now has 122,000 miles on it. Repairs have included a new rear axle (bearings went out), 2 sets of brakes (rotors tend to warp), and 4 (!) new drivers side power window switches! The cd changer isn't working properly. Other than that, just regular maintenance. It has been quite reliable and gets reasonable gas mileage for such a large car. On state highways going 65, I get 27 mpg. On i90 going 80 mpg, I get 22-23 mpg. Very comfortable car!
2003 Towncar-Signature
Signature 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I purchased my TC in early 2007 with only 29000 and have had nothing but good service from it. Yes, it's old American styling and ride but I love the car anyway. Gets 20mph city and 25-26 highway if you don't abuse it. Whisper quiet ride. Huge trunk. Minimal problems after 66000 miles. Getting 200,000 miles shouldn't be problem but I may find a nice low mileage 07 to 09 at some point in time. My only complaint---lousy in the snow and ice.
A Great Deal!
Executive 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I bought my 2003 Executive used with 68,000 miles on it. It is pearl white with tan leather interior. I had trouble with water leaking in through air intake under passenger wiper. I repaired with automotive adhesive glue and sealed the joint with undercoating spray. That fixed it. I also had trouble with hesitation. I took it to the local Lincoln dealership and for just under $500, a tune-up and transmission fluid made it drive like a new car. I am at 143,000 miles and plan to keep it at least 90,000 more miles (new Michelins). I added in-dash navigation, satellite radio, and bluetooth. This is my fifth Lincoln and fourth Town Car. I will have another, no doubt.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    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
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2003 Lincoln Town Car

Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car Overview

The Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car is offered in the following submodels: Town Car Sedan. Available styles include Executive 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Signature 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Premium Signature 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Premium Cartier 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), Cartier 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A), and Cartier L 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A). Pre-owned Lincoln Town Car models are available with a 4.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 239 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Lincoln Town Car Cartier is priced between $16,900 and$16,900 with odometer readings between 57070 and57070 miles.

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 2003 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) 2003 Lincoln Town Car for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2003 Town Cars listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,900 and mileage as low as 57070 miles. 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 2003 Lincoln Town Car.

Can't find a used 2003 Lincoln Town Cars you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lincoln Town Car for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $17,816.

Find a used Lincoln for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $14,070.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln Town Car for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $20,577.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lincoln for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,985.

Should I lease or buy a 2003 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