Earlier this week, a consumer research agency listed the ten luxury cars with the worst resale values. Among them were Cadillacs, Jaguars, and a Mercedes-Benz.
But the champion – coming in dead last, even behind a Mercury – was the Lincoln Town Car.
Which means that the used Lincoln Town Car is the steal of the century.
The Town Car hasn’t been changed in a millennium.
OK, that was an exaggeration, but the car is well over a decade old. Moreover, in the last five years, it hasn’t changed at all.
This is significant, if you’ve ever visited an automobile assembly plant.
The people who actually assemble the car are critical to its success or failure for two reasons. The first is obvious. If they don’t care, there are problems. But the second is less obvious: they catch the mistakes the engineers made and, nine times out of ten, they figure out how to fix it.
When a car is unchanged for a substantial period of time, odds are that the engineering and the manufacturing have coalesced to make it the best it can be.
Not the best car there can be
The best assembled car that design can be.
A Town Car isn’t exciting and it drives like putting reigns on a pig.
But it’s going to be dead reliable and the bottom feeder price of a used one makes up for a lot of the gas mileage. Plus, you could put half of the Sopranos in the trunk and still have room for the survivors in the back seat.
Since the used car value has already crapped out before you buy it, you have no downside risk on resale. As replacement parts are plentiful through the salvage yard network, replacement parts are cheap. Because, at root, it’s a simple car, built like all American cars of the sixties, damn near any mechanic can fix it.
So, skip the Prius.
If you’re really looking for transportation on the cheap,
Buy a used Lincoln Town Car.