The only Mark VIII worth getting is the LSC model, preferably a 1997 or 1998 with the cool HID headlights and neon taillights...
Agreed, the reviewer made himself look a little funny with making a big deal over the back seat egress. However, he may have been simply trying to make the point that this car is so easy to get in and out of. Not all cars are, especially many smaller cars in which you feel as though you are trying to pull yourself up out of a hole when climbing out of the back seat. I have experienced these cars, when you swing your leg out of the doorjamb and you find that you're already practically sitting on the ground, and need to put your hand on the pavement to stand up. So in that sense, I think I can see where he's coming from.
I am getting a 1997 LSC this week with 62000 miles on it. When I drive this car, as well as other LSC, I noticed how quick the engine revs up, but wonder if there's a problem in the throttle, as it becomes very mellow and takes such a time to rev down. It kills the fun out of the engine in my opinion. Any suggestion about that? My previous car was a 1998 Riviera supercharged, and even if not as quick in the acceleration, it had an overall response that was more aggressive.
I've owned two Mark VIIIs: a 97 black on black LSC and now a 98 LSC black on graphite.
The "getting out of the back seat" issue is valid. The car has a function whereby the front seats will automatically move forward all the way when you push the seat backs forward. It makes getting in and out much easier than any other coupe I've seen. I've had tall couples riding with me in back, who spontaneously comment that the seating is very comfortable.
The car often gets second glances from folks when I'm driving: far more often when it's sunny, and the car is washed and polished. :) From other Mark VIII owners, I get a nod on the road and sometimes a wave if they're not senior citizens. I've been told by many people that I have a very sweet-looking ride: a few folks at work refer to it as "The Batmobile".
The doors lock automatically if you go more than 3 MPH. Just when you think "maybe I should turn on the lights", the automatic headlights turn on. The lighting inside and out is beyond excellent! The neon on the trunk lid is a $90 fix if it's the ballast that failed (see www.lincolnsofdistinction.org and search for 'ballast'). With at least 8 interior lights that go out slowly (theater-style), the two puddle lamps in the outside mirrors and the exceptionally bright headlights this car can be a light show. I've had remarks on the order of "nice a**!" when the car is seen from behind at night. ;)
It has an aggressive stance that becomes positively sleek as it lowers itself on the air bags at highway speeds. The wind noise is minimal, and you can easily carry on a conversation at 80+MPH in a normal voice. I can make the AC/Heat blower louder than the wind noise! :) The 98 LSC's balanced one-piece drive shaft helps minimize vibration and road noise. On new and smooth pavement, you can whisper and still be heard.
The dash is curved around the driver "wrap-around" style. I once had a friend drive me home in my car after a party and I sat in the front passenger seat, and let me tell you it's OBVIOUS that the design was driver-centric: ALL controls are turned to face the driver.
The memory seating and the easy access functions make it wonderful to get in and out of the car. When you turn it off and remove the key, the stereo keeps playing but the steering wheel moves up and out of the way as the driver's seat glides back. Getting back in the car is just as easy, and it moves in reverse. I love the amazed looks from folks when they watch that little piece of mechanized choreography. ;)
I get around 26MPG highway with only a little hypermiling, and about 16MPG local. Pretty decent for a 300HP car.
Performance is outstanding for a 17'4" 3800 lb coupe. Quick off the line (for a big car), 0-60MPH in about 7 seconds, it'll out-accelerate 99% of cars on the road at highway speeds, even newer ones. I've had it up to about 120MPH - and sustained speeds over 90MPH - and it's still a sweet, smooth ride with little cabin noise.
The 8 speaker stereo has wonderful clarity and bass response. A subwoofer is almost - ALMOST - a waste of money.
Proper scheduled maintenance makes this car very reliable.
Speed-sensitive steering is EXCELLENT at highway speeds for changing lanes. Especially appreciated when handily outrunning and outmaneuvering a tricked-out little "Fast and Furious" wannabe. :)
The windshield won't get those "Where the hell did THAT come from?!" kind of cracks you see in a lot of newer cars. On this car, the windshield is NOT a structural component. It floats in the frame. It can give you an instant's queasiness though on a rough patch of road, watching it (and sometimes HEARING it!) jiggle a little.
Dealer fixes are EXPENSIVE!!!
Door handles. They break if you don't use a thin film of white grease on the door seals when the temps drop below 20 deg F.
Climate control blend door actuator failure. A major 3 hour PITA to disassemble the whole dash for a $50 part.
Rear window seal. Looks like lasagna after only a few years, have to replace entire window to fix. WTH?
Neon tail light. It WILL fail. Unless the bulb is broken, it's almost always the ballast, though: that can be fixed in under 2 hours (www.lincolnsofdistinction.org) and under $100.
Touchy alignment/wheel balancing. Very sensitive to quite minor adjustments that don't become obvious until highway speeds.
HEADLIGHTS! A victim of "many parts are no longer made". The HID bulbs are NOT "unscrewable" and replaced at WalMart.
Tilt/telescoping wheel function can go out without warning in odd positions.
A low battery will cause the craziest behavior of the onboard systems you have EVER experienced! It's like out of a science fiction movie where there's buzzes, whirs, clicks, beeps and flashing lights EVERYWHERE!
On a last note: if you're expecting a plush, cushy limousine ride, then you need to change your expectations.
Or buy a Town Car instead.
This car's suspension is designed for moderately aggressive handling, with occasional moments of "HOLY SH*T"! It's firm, masculine and predictable with very little leaning. On the LSC, it doesn't sway back very much when you punch the accelerator and it CAN bop your passenger's head off the headrest or the window in hard acceleration or turns.
That means this is not a "floaty" car, capable of handling the worst potholes with nary a sweat. You WILL feel potholes and grooved pavement more than you would otherwise expect.
This ain't Grandpa's car, baby. ;)