Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Friday, the day that comes between Thursday and weekend grocery shopping. My name is Doug DeMuro, and it’s time for this week’s Letters to Doug, wherein you send me letters and I respond because you guys often think up crazier stuff than I do.
Remember: you, too, can participate in Letters to Doug! Just send me an e-mail at Letters2Doug@gmail.com, or Tweet me at @DougDeMuro. If your letter is good, I will read it and chuckle as I sit at my desk. If your letter is really good, I will reply to it here on Jalopnik, and so will hundreds of other people, all of whom are more intelligent than I am.
This week’s letter comes to us from the San Francisco Bay Area, where a reader named George writes:
I’m a limo driver in the bay area, mostly taking businesspeople to the airport and back. With the discontinuation of the Panther platform, we will be looking to replace our aged fleet of Town Cars. However, the industry is still largely undecided as to a replacement vehicle for our beloved rwd, body on frame land yachts that could take a beating. Any suggestions for a proper replacement, or should we just hold our breath for the new Continental?
For those of you who don’t want to read italicized text today, George says that his limo company is trying to replace their Lincoln Town Cars, and they aren’t sure what to get next. Fortunately, he has sought my opinion, and I am an expert in this field. I say this because I have grown very accustomed to these vehicles, in the sense that I frequently flip off their drivers in traffic.
So here’s the deal, George: as I see it, you have four choices.
CHOICE NUMBER ONE: Chrysler 300. This is what all the limo companies in Philadelphia are using now, and there’s a good reason: they have a lot in common with the Panther. For instance: they’re rear-wheel drive. They’re rather large. They’re unstoppable. They have huge backseats. And it’s impossible for the common layperson to tell the difference between a new one and one that was made during the Dawson’s Creek era. This means you can buy one for $1,200 that’s made primarily of Dodge Avenger parts bondoed together, and it’ll still look showroom fresh.
MY RANKING: SIX POINT FIVE
CHOICE NUMBER TWO: Cadillac XTS. I recently had the opportunity to ride in a stretched Cadillac XTS, and let me just say that it was an excellent experience. Here’s what I remember: there were two lukewarm bottles of water in the backseat, and the driver was droning on like this was a Toastmasters event. Also, I had to throw up. So I would generally say this was a good car, though not a great one, though it could be made great with the simple addition of a) a partition between the passengers and the driver, and b) a barf bag.
MY RANKING: C+
CHOICE NUMBER THREE: Lincoln MKT. The MKT ostensibly replaced the Town Car in the Lincoln lineup, in the sense that both are only driven by people who use the term “let me get that door for you” more than they use e-mail. I personally love the MKT because it is handsome, and well-priced, and also because it has more interior volume than the Town Car and also a better turning circle. This means it is more maneuverable than the car it replaced and larger on the inside. This is an excellent feat, and I think we all owe a nice round of applause to the baleen whale that inspired this vehicle’s profile.
MY RANKING: FOUR STARS
CHOICE NUMBER FOUR: You can also buy a foreign car. Now, I personally am not going to name any choices here, because I do not believe limo drivers should be driving foreign cars. This is because when I get off the airplane after a long day of travel, I want to get in a car whose suspension predates the cordless telephone. So if you even consider a foreign car, I will be very disappointed, however I must also admit that I am told Acura currently has a special running where they give you a free RLX if you don’t laugh when they show you the MSRP.
MY RANKING: THAT LITTLE RED CIRCLE FROM CONSUMER REPORTS
So you can see, George, that you have a lot of excellent choices here in the What airport limo should I buy? segment, and I believe deeply that you should weigh all your options and really mull things over before making a decision. Oh, and you will love the Uconnect system in your new fleet of Chrysler 300s.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn’t work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.