2001 LS New Car Test Drive
The LS is a step away from the traditional Lincoln mold, and that's a good thing. The Lincoln LS offers sporty handling and crisp steering. On the road, it's smooth and sophisticated. Yet it doesn't float and bob around like older Lincolns did.
Indeed, the Lincoln LS compares favorably to some of the best luxury sports sedans, including those from Europe and Japan, yet it is priced far below them.
When selecting a Lincoln LS, the big choice to make is between the two engines: a 210-horsepower V6 and a 252-horsepower V8.
The luxurious V8 sedan includes seats with power lumbar support and memory, an electronic message center, automatic dimming inside mirror with compass, moisture-sensitive wipers, a garage-door opener and its own wheel-and-tire combination.
The V6 model comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. Lincoln treats the manual and automatic V6s as two separate models; the one with the manual transmission is tuned more as a sports sedan, with different suspension tuning, tires, road wheels, steering wheels, sound systems, and even bumpers (body-color for manual, chrome-accented for automatic).
For 2001, a Sport Package ($1,990) is available for models with automatics that includes the manual-shift car's more aggressive suspension, tires, and 17-inch wheels. The Sport Package also includes SelectShift, a manual-override system similar to Porsche's Tiptronic.
There are not a lot of other options. A $960 convenience package for the V6 adds a memory driver's seat, a universal garage door opener, and other luxury items found on the V8 model. AdvanceTrac anti-slip traction control system adds $735 to an automatic model (it's now standard on the manual V6), while a power moonroof costs $1,005.
Best of all, Lincoln has priced the LS as its entry-level series, which pegs it about $10,000 less than a Jaguar S-Type, and about $5,000 less than a BMW 530i.