I just bought a new one 2 months ago. Did a bunch of research first.
Concluded it was a great bargain. Fit and finish in mine is excellent. It
feels exceptionally solid, especially after driving a Nissan for 2 years. The
gear ratios on the 5-speed auto are perfect for performance. I think you will
find it to be a massive step up over the Buick.
It fits logically between a BMW 5 series and a Lexus, with some of the road
holding and response traits of the BMW and some of the luxury of the Lexus.
There are a bunch of recent articles calling the '04 LS a sleeper and a great
value in a luxury sport sedan, and with some of the dealer's deals it is. I
have seen $10K off on new V8's in this area.
If you check the most recent Consumer Reports you will see very favorable
ratings for the LS in both the luxury sedan category and the upscale sport
sedan category. In 2004 car issue Consumers rates it above the BMW 7 series,
all Infinitis (even G-35), Saab 9-5, Volvo 980, etc. Reliability is greatly
The down side is that it is an older design. Resale value is average or lower.
The future of the LS in Lincoln's lineup is unclear. Lincoln does not market
it well either. To me the LS is not a stepping stone to a Towncar. They are
different cars completely. I love the LS, but have no desire for a Towncar.
The LS is a gem that Lincoln does not know what to do with.
The new Lincoln Zephyr comes out next year as an entry level Lincoln based on a
Mazda 6 platform. It will eventually have an AWD option and have a 3.5 V6 and
6-speed automatic. All Fords will get the 6-speed eventually I believe. The
Zephyr could be seen as a stepping stone to an LS though.
The changes in 03 to the LS were significant for V6 and V8 in terms of engine
performance, transmission tuning, structural rigidity, and minor aesthetics.
The 03-04 cars are more desirable than the previous, but the older ones are
still excellent. Don't sell short an 03 or 04 V6. This is the highest
specific output 3.0 litre engine you can buy in the US.
Great owners club too with lots of valuable information and products, Go to