Study: Older people prefer Cadillacs, Lincolns and Buicks

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 13, 2011

The top 10 list of the most popular cars for people who are 65 years and older is dominated by Cadillacs, Lincolns and Buicks. The fact is that if the seniors didn’t support these models, many of them would already have been scrapped. For a large proportion of these models, up to 90% were bought by the older buyers. TrueCar.com compiled these figures after having monitored sales for the last couple of years.

Analyst Jesse Toprak said that there’s a tendency for seniors to continue to patronize the cars they know from when they were a lot younger. A surprising entry on this list is No. 6 Hyundai, which is definitely not an old favorite. However, seniors have come to love it due to its relatively low price that could drop to as low as half of what the others have.

Hyundai is also different from the other models on this list as it doesn’t depend much on seniors to survive. The top five cars on this list would be cleaned out without the seniors’ loyalty.

Here's the list, followed by the percentages of each car that are bought by seniors: 1. Lincoln Town Car, 90 percent; 2. Buick Lucerne, 87 percent; 3. Cadillac DTS, 85 percent; 4. Cadillac CTS, 74 percent; 5. Cadillac STS, 71 percent; 6. Hyundai Azera, 25 percent; 7. Chevrolet Impala, 51 percent; 8. Buick LaCrosse, 59 percent; 9. Lincoln MKZ, 54 percent; 10. Toyota Avalon, 54 percent.

Compared to the previous version, the new Town Car is wider by 2 inches but shorter by 3 inches in terms of overall length. It is however taller by 1 inch and is heavier by 600 pounds. Wheelbase is a bit longer as expected from a Town Car made after 1997.

The more boxy design that was standard during the 1990s was replaced by a design scheme that shows more curves as well as having those cat-eye headlights, pursed lip grille, and the trunk lid that slopes downward.

It is not only the exterior that was revised since there was also a complete redesign for the interior. Both instrument panels and the door were redone. The same is true for the controls, switches and even the radio face. Meanwhile the controls for the power seat are now located on the door panels. Showing a new design are the door panels where wood trim and the Lincoln emblem were added as well.

Wood trim was also placed on the dashboard, which also experienced a redesign. For those who have had the chance to own Town Cars going as far back as 2001, a factory option was offered wherein the legroom in the rear seat had an additional 6 inches. This was known as the “L” or the long version. In addition to the extra legroom, passengers in the rear were treated to further amenities like the one-of-a-kind switch that when pressed moves the seat of the front passenger forward to give that additional legroom in the back.

It was during the late 2000s when a Touring Edition was offered that had the Modular V8 engine much like the Town Car but this version delivered more output at 235 hp. While it also has the dual exhaust pipes, the distinct alloy 16-inch wheels allow larger tires to be fitted. By 2003, there was a minor redesign in the body as the hood ornament was fitted again.

However it would also be in this same year that the Cartier trim package for the Town Car would be its last since initially offered back in 1981. When the 2004 model year rolled in, the Town Car was now referred to as “Ultimate”. Though it would still be offered for the Signature variant, it was possible that the reason why the Touring edition was eventually dropped was mainly because the 2003 Town Car had better handling compared to the Touring edition released the previous year.

This same Town Car would be equipped with the new 4.6-liter V8 engine having an output of 239 hp. While the exterior experienced a number of changes, nothing was done for the interior until 2003. It was during this time that an analog clock was now included inside plus the more brushed sating metals. The radio face, where the climate controls were also placed, underwent a redesign but the Lincoln emblems that were placed on its door panels were however removed.

Once the 2005 Lincoln Town Car came in, the Ultimate trim level was removed and replaced with three trim levels. These were the Signature, the Signature Limited, and the version that had a longer wheelbase, the Signature L. The trim levels were again changed. Thus the 2006 Town Car now offered 4 trim levels that included Signature, Signature Limited, Signature Designer, and Signature L.

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