Should I Get An STS or a Mark VIII



If you were going to buy an older American luxury car and had the choice of these two, which would you choose:

2002 Cadillac STS

1996 Lincoln mark VIII

Both have pretty low miles (under 60k), bith are fully loaded, both in really good shape. Both are similarly priced. Which would be the better route to go?


The older Lincolns had fewer problems that Cadillacs, so I would get the Lincoln from that point of view. Personally, I would not pick either one, but that was not the question.


I knew a guy who would throw a wrench at you if said anything in praise of any gm product. On the other hand, most of the old fords run by guys in the rod knockers club have chevy engines in them. If you want to start a brawl at a classic auto show, go there and ask this question over the pa.


Most old, used, formerly luxury cars will be a money pit.
Fancy-schmancy accessory systems and functions were complicated and expensive to fix in their heyday and now you’ll find obsolete parts, lack of diagnostic tools and experienced techs, and “just how bad do you want it” pricing on those you can find.


I like the suggestions of expanding your options. But, if these are the only choices, in spite of Lincoln having a superior reliability record in my opinion, I recommend the Caddy.

The miles are more condensed with fewer storage problems, and AGE is just as important as mileage I feel in determining reliability. Rust doesn’t rest, and neither do the environmental effects on all the systems. Unless, you’re buying it from Jay Leno who meticulously stored it. And did I mention more modern safety features, and…


The Lincoln is twice as old as the Caddie. If they were both well cared for, the Cadillac should last longer. Another good reason to pass on the Mark VIII is that the owner is asking about twice what it is worth, assuming that the price on the STS is about average.


Sounds like choosing between Brussels sprouts or Lima beans. Are these really the only two cars for sale? How about a Lincoln Town car?



Let me throw in an even newer Crown Victoria…a “million” :slight_smile: retired folks can’t all be wrong.
It’s luxury to them.


1 vote for the cadillac–especially if the lincoln has the air suspension. The air suspension system is problematic and expensive to fix or replace.


I’m biased as I now own my second Mark VIII and they’re the most reliable and comfortable cars I’ve owned in my entire life. I’ve even had people come up to me several times in a parking lot or while getting gasoline and ask me about mine while telling me they used to own one and regretted ever getting rid of it.

The air ride can be a bit pricy to repair IF a major problem develops but the air ride system is actually a good, reliable system.
What happens over time is that solenoid O-rings harden and leak (easy fix) or the bags develop dry rot and leak just like old tires.

The only reason the Lincolns get the crummy air ride rap is simply because FOMOCO produced far more cars that had air ride on them. Lexus, Range Rover, Subaru, etc. all suffer from the same dry rotted bags, satured driers, etc faults. The only difference is they only offered this for a very few years so the bad press is minimized.

If you do your own maintenance work and if you owned a Lincoln that needed a bag and/or strut replacement then it’s really not THAT expensive to fix.
You can get a full set of new bags for the rear and full set of bags/struts for the front for about 700-800 bucks and they’re all easy to change out.

Like with any used car, an inspection should be done and a thorough test drive is in order.