The Lincoln LS was one of the most anticipated product launches from the North American luxury automaker in many years. While the company had offered the fast and elegantly styled Mark VIII coupe throughout the 90’s, it had been decades since their product lineup had offered a sporty sedan. The LS aimed to change all of that, not only introducing a freshly designed rear-wheel drive platform but also offering a manual transmission in certain model years – unheard of for modern-day Lincoln. The LS was intended to target the BMW 5-Series by offering similar levels of power and luxury at a price comparable to that of the 3-Series.

The 2006 Lincoln LS is an attractive four-door sedan with a design that matches up well against any other car in its segment. The vehicle’s clean, rounded lines give it a street presence that straddles the line between sporty and traditional, avoiding the mistake that Cadillac made with the Catera of straying too far from the company’s roots.

Underneath the hood, there is another compelling reason for buyers to like the LS. A 280 horsepower, 3.9 liter V8 engine sourced from Jaguar that also pounds out 286 lb-ft of torque lights a fire under the sport sedan every time the gas pedal is pushed down to the floor. 60 miles an hour arrives in a scant 6 seconds when accelerating from a dead stop, all while returning a class-leading 25 miles per gallon on the highway and 18 miles per gallon in city driving. The LS is shifted through a 5-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting option.

Straight line acceleration is nice, but the LS also provides a more complete handling package. With an almost even 50 / 50 split between front and rear weight distribution, the LS is much more willing to follow driver commands on twisty, challenging roads than any Lincoln that has come before it. Lightweight materials and a chassis which has been designed to balance performance with comfort mean that the LS achieves its crisp handling without sacrificing the excellent ride that has earned Lincoln their reputation. The sedan also features dead-on steering which helps transmit information from the road surface directly to the driver.

The interior of the Lincoln LS is up to the same standard set by the Navigator and the Town Car – that is to say, replete with comfort features and high quality materials. Walnut wood trim and soft leather accents compliment heated and cooled seating that truly spoils occupants. Seats are biased more towards comfort than sport support, however, and driver and passengers alike may find themselves sliding around during rapid cornering. Interior room is excellent for four passengers, and an elegant touch screen interface makes using the navigation and entertainment system simple and intuitive.

The 2006 Lincoln LS is an excellent value in the entry-level luxury market, providing great power and luxury for much less than shoppers in this segment usually expect to pay. The LS was discontinued at the end of this model year as a result of slow sales and a desire by Ford to return to front-wheel drive platforms.