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Ed note. This was on the SHOTIMES list today and I thought the descriptions from a multiple SHO owner to be very good. Opinion only. But I thought a good read.
The LS V8 is a very different animal than the SHO. Moreso than I expected.
I'm not an aging SHO owner (only 23) but had 4 Taurii (Gen 1,2,3) and one
'96 T-bird before this LS and one thing, above all, stands out. The build
quality is far superior.
I know some people had problems initially with their LS. I have a loaded
2001 Sport Package with 43K on it and it has been absolutely stellar.
Bought it after one owner with 30K miles. There is not a squeak or a
rattle... a FAR departure from the Taurii that I drove. Even the T-Bird
with only 20K miles had rattles. This car is SILENT over bumps. The fit and
finish is excellent. The dash and buttons are perfect... everything is
totally logical. No electronic gremlins. Everything about the car screams
"quality" to me... things feel thicker, heavier, than in the Taurii. The
doors are SOLID and seal clean... almost no dirt gets inside the doorjambs.
The leather is supple yet durable. The seats are comfy but supportive. The
glass even looks thicker. Little nuances, like fabric covered A pillars,
carpeted glove compartment, and fully carpeted trunk just make it so nice.
The climate control is stellar. The premium sound system is adequate but
not perfect.... could use more bass. My favorite option is the rain sensing
wipers. I will never buy a car without them again!!! Gas mileage is
comparable to the SHO, a touch worse on the highway I'd say. The HomeLink
is neat, just installed a garage door opener and it works perfectly with
it. The rear seats fold down nicely. Moonroof is excellent, no rattles. The
onboard computer is good. I keep noticing more little things about the car
that are just thoughtful... like for example the cruise control buttons on
the steering wheel are lit! Oh and the audio controls on the steering wheel
are PERFECT. Very intuitive.
Engine is smooth and pulls strong. Although it doesn't feel as quick as the
SHO (probably because it is heavier and quieter), the numbers say it is
very comparable. Handling is excellent. It has brand new Bridgestone
Pontenza's on 17" rims (I think?) and they are excellent.
Things I don't like? Styling is a touch bland. 2001's had a CMHSL that is
not a LED, looks cheapish. Fixed on newer models. Interior storage is
lacking - also fixed on new models. The tranny clunks into drive a bit,
again fixed on new models supposedly. Sound system is also supposed to be
improved on the new models. I don't use the selectshift as much as I
thought I would, it's a PITA except for red-light drag racing. The radio
reception could be better - this is due to the antenna integrated into the
rear windshield, as they are NEVER as good as a real antenna. Biggest pet
peeve - the back seat on a Lincoln should be bigger.
In short, yes I recommend it hands down and think that a 1 or 2 year old LS
gives unmatched value for a car of its class. I can't wait to trade up to
an '04 in a year or two, as they put out 20-odd more horses and will blow
the doors off an ATX SHO.
Does it have "soul"? Yes. It's got more character than appears at first
glance. It is a driver's car. As much soul as my SHO did? Nope.