Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Present-Day Limousine?

Whether you’re going to the prom, conducting a mobile bacchanalia of a bachelor party, or seeing off a deceased loved one, you need to maintain a level of stylishness in your mode of travel. A limousine was originally a chauffeur-driven car with a typically enclosed passenger compartment and an open driver’s area. That allowed the operator greater visibility and access while also providing a distinct and evident class separation. The name derives from a type of clothing favored by residents of the central France region called Limousin.
In modern times the limousine has been most commonly represented by elongated editions of what were the last body-on-frame cars sold in America, the Panther-based Lincoln Town Car. Oh sure you can stretch a uni-body car, there are plenty of them around, but a stout ladder frame is the preferred way to go. Unfortunately for both the limo and livery industries the Town Car is no more. In fact there isn’t a body on frame car sold in America today. Also, neither Ford nor GM really makes a car of the size and gravitas (to some) of the Town Car these days.
That has resulted in a number of kind of oddball cars and even vans being proffered as Town Car replacements, and I don’t know if any of them really offer the sense of presence and celebrity that did the TC. What do you think, is there a car or truck out there that should become the new standard bearer for the Limo service? What do you think is the best present-day Limousine?
Image: globallimos

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39 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Present-Day Limousine?”

  1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    <img src="http://www.automotiveluxury.com/images/Chrysler/2009Chrysler300Limo.jpg&quot; width="400/">
    I don't hate these. It seems to work with the overall car.
    But for the recent crop of luxury, I'd go for the XTS:
    <img src="http://1-photos4.ebizautos.com/new-2014-cadillac-xts_limo–11294-10281156-1-400.jpg"&gt;

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      That XTS doesn't look right.

      1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
        PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

        [whispers]That's because it's longer.[/whispers]

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          I'd have to agree with dukeisduke, that rear window treatment is hurtful.

          1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
            PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

            I'm sure there's no way to get around that unless you want to make it a really slow arch for the length of the car. The one I saw in person, I didn't hate. I feel like it was shorter though, maybe that's part of it.
            In general, I don't like Limos though, so this entire post is like picking a politician. Which do I hate the least.

          2. dukeisduke Avatar

            The car appears to be curved, like a banana.

  2. OA5599 Avatar

    I see a lot more Hummer H2 limos than Town Cars, even though the Hummer died first, and less predictably (no time to stockpile for future use, like some police departments did with Panthers).
    The limo-bus seems to be the new trend.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://www.parkssuperior.com/images/superior-lincolnmktlimo.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    Can I just say, however awkward the MKT is, it gets infinitely worse when we try and turn it into a sedan?
    <img src="http://image.automobilemag.com/f/46969058+q100+re0/2014-mercedes-benz-s-class-side-static.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    That said, I'm short of leg, and don't like that many people, so a purpose-built limo is just sort of lost on me. One of these will do nicely.

    1. cosme Avatar

      Mercedes own this market aound the globe, except in the US, since long time. I am agree with you.
      <img src="http://images.caradisiac.com/images/5/2/8/3/15283/S0-Mercedes-Classe-S-600-Guard-Pullman-Limousine-68931.jpg&quot; width="600">
      Rolls Royce and bentley are good contenders too but they are way more expensive than a Panther based limo.

    2. salguod Avatar

      Considering the idea of a limo is lots of interior space, I find the idea of the MKT as a limo appealing. The additional height would make climbing forward of that rear door easier.
      That said, the faux sedan pictured above is ridiculous..

      1. Maymar Avatar

        I get the MKT as a livery car, the replacement for the black sedan (I will not call it a Town Car though, out of obstinate principle). It's weird and bloated enough stretched though.

  4. quattrovalvole Avatar

    There's a lot of engineering behind every car, especially structure-wise, so I'm always doubtful that cutting it in half and welding an elongated section in the middle doesn't compromise its structural integrity. Therefore I've never been into stretch limos.
    I got to ride in a stretched Town Car once, and I have to say that the normal LWB Town Cars ride better, feel substantially stiffer, rattle less, and are spacious enough for me.

  5. geistkoenig Avatar

    One prepared about as so:
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/tDTWuyW.jpg&quot; width="720">

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Usually, I downvote the commodification of women on principle. But I'd really like a lengthy conversation with Blake Lively.

  6. Devin Avatar

    Around here limos seem to be used entirely for ferrying drunk people around on pre-wedding parties. Thus, they're basically all buses filled with neon lights. Makes as much sense as anything.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      In some cities you can even rent street cars, circling from public toilet to public toilet…

  7. dukeisduke Avatar

    Nothing that's built nowadays, unless it's some Mercedes-Benz product. The other things built now aren't limousines – they're just stretched vehicles. Cadillac used to build true limousines, but that ended with this unfortunate creation, last built in 1987:
    <img src="http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/cadillac-1986-fleetwood-75.jpg&quot; 'width="600'/">

    1. boxdin Avatar

      I've been a part time chauffeur for years and back in the day I was assigned a car similar to the funeral car shown above. It was a terrible car mechanically, but w a 36" cut it wasn't ungainly like the longer ones, and it actually handled better than any long car I'd ever driven, and it fit in my garage which meant I washed it much less than other cars that had to stay outside.
      I liked it.

    2. Drzhivago138 Avatar

      You think that's bad? Check out this abomination foisted upon an unwitting public by Lee Iacocca at essentially the same time:
      <img src="http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/CC-106-104-800.jpg&quot; width="600">

    3. Vairship Avatar

      Looks like a decent Minivan/CUV alternative: plenty of room for kiddie car seats!

  8. LEROOOY Avatar

    I kind of think of limos as an accessory for bachelorette parties, or promgoers with well-heeled parents- now, anybody with their dignity intact would have a subtle black luxury sedan or SUV. Not an Escalade, a Tahoe. Not a G-class, an S-class. Definitely not a Hummer.
    <img src="http://photos.ecarlist.com/fl/XO/oW/ek/J2/hO/Qt/l2/g2/rk/SA_640.jpg&quot; width="400">
    Or maybe I've been watching too much House of Cards.

    1. Devin Avatar

      That's more crooked senator trying to hide all his kickbacks.

  9. Sjalabais Avatar

    I feel like my role here would be to post the currebt Nilsson:
    <img src="http://www.nilsson.se/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CF018982.jpg&quot; width="600">
    …but ain't that ugly? The thick pillars would have been disguised better on an all black car, windows included.
    Breaking the rules and going vintage is so much easier:
    <img src="http://automobilesdeluxe.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/volvo-740-stretch.gif&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://www.carfolio.com/images/dbimages/zgas/models/id/20568/1975%20volvo%20264%20te.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. Preludacris Avatar

      Some black paint on those pillars would go such a long way!

    2. quattrovalvole Avatar

      That 240 actually looks…. acceptable.

        1. quattrovalvole Avatar

          So it's a car for down-to-earth dictators who find the 600 Grosser to ostentatious?

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Something like that. Save on maintenance and keep them in the background….
            Volvo has a somewhat weird history of not-so-smart dictatorship trades: http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-owes-sweden-e

    1. Krautwursten Avatar

      And yet it will make the same sound as a plumber's van when you open the sliding door.

      1. hubba Avatar

        If he's opening the door himself, his life took a wrong turn before he got to this point.

  10. hubba Avatar

    In a very upscale area, I'd have the S-class Maybach with as much exterior trim delete and/or "standard" M-B exterior trim swapped in place as possible.
    For an area where houses cost less than a Maybach, I think I'd stick with an old Town Car L and pay whatever it costs to keep it from rattling like an old taxi.

  11. mr smee Avatar
    mr smee

    Definitely the black Tahoe or S-class, Vanden Plas Jag or even Town-Car in a pinch. But NEVER a stretch.

  12. craigsu Avatar

    Way back when Ford announced the end of the Panther platform I was interviewing for a job as a chauffeur. One of my questions was what the company was going to do when Town Cars were no longer available. The fleet manager said they would keep them as long as they were allowed in service. Turns out that a few months after I started driving for them our local municipal cab authority decided that taxi and limo fleet cars could be no older than 4 model years. Just recently I saw the company's first Lincoln MKS Livery sedan (6-inch stretch) in service. It wasn't bad looking except for the already awful grille but it's no Town Car. As I recall from Fall 2010 the car that generated the most buzz at the National Limo convention in Vegas was the introduction of a 9-inch stretch Toyota Avalon. I have yet to see one on the streets anywhere.

  13. Rover_1 Avatar

    Maybe in the new age we're in, the limo industry will tun over a new leaf.
    <img src="http://nissan-leaf.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Leaf-Limo-artist-sketches.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Or if you have to bring your own generator with you.
    <img src="http://labadieauto.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/6-door-prius-001.jpg?w=490&quot; width="500">

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Finally. Space for a total battery invasion!

  14. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    To this day, the W126 limos are tough to beat:
    I've ridden in the back of one…driven by my father. It was surreal.
    Helped I was 21, or so.
    Of course, if you're gonna do it, do it both OEM from the factory, and with proper style!
    <img src="http://www.globalcarslist.com/data_images/gallery/01/cadillac-fleetwood-stretched-limousine/cadillac-fleetwood-stretched-limousine-11.jpg&quot; width="400">
    This is as close to present-day as I'm interested.
    And if that's too old…
    <img src="http://www.rossauction.com/topics/cheyenne lodge/albums/jewelry/full/LIMO.jpg" width="400">
    I will always want to take a six-door version of the final-gen Fleetwood and 'amino it.

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