Well, I am looking around as well, and I have taken a few rides. I am looking for fuel economy and a quiet ride in a family sedan. It would replace a Ford Windstar minivan.
The Ford Fusion body is the same as the Lincoln MKZ. There is plenty of space in the front and the rear. However, I found the ride firmer than I prefer today. 20 years younger, I would have loved the ride as firm as it is. I also thought the Fusion allows too much road noise and too much engine noise inside the cabin. I thought there was no improvement over the Windstar in this regard.
I really liked the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 (same platform). They ride softer, and muffle engine and road noises really well. There is much less space in the back, though.
I tried 4 cylinder engines only. Currently I would give the Malibu the nod.
"I also like the Lincoln MKS Ecoboost, but not sure if I can fork out that much money for a new one, and I'm also not sure if it's going to give me problems in the long run."
The MKS is a powerful car but it hasn't been around long enough to prove itself. It you want a Lincoln with proven reliability, get a Town Car.
"Get a Town Car".
Only one thing wrong with that advice: THEY STOPPED MAKING THEM LAST YEAR.
That is no excuse. There are still a ton of new Town Cars out there, and a 2011 would still be pretty much brand new.
Yeah, but they run forever, therefore it will always be pretty easy to find one for sale.
I know that production has ended, but there are many used models to choose from :)
I've made up my mind: getting a used Town Car, either 2010 or 2011 model. Now the hard part - finding one that belonged to a private owner rather than a livery fleet or rental agency!
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