The wit, wisdom, zen, and philosophy of Paul Diamond Blow.

Car Review: The 1995 Ford Thunderbird LX
I'm a Jet Rider in My 1995 Thunderbird, a sweet, cruising machine!

by Paul Diamond Blow

I've owned my 1995 Thunderbird LX with the 4.6 V8 for over five years now, and I must say so far I am very pleased with this car and the more I drive it the more I love it. After my ride of 12 years (a 1984 Cutlass Supreme) went to Car Heaven, I decided I needed a newer model car that was both reliable and had good looks, which was tough to do since most cars made since the '90s just plain don't turn me on. The Thunderbird is one of the better looking modern cars around so after researching the car online and finding mostly good reviews of the car, plus the fact that you can find them used for relatively cheap, I decided to buy one. I bought mine in 2006 for $3000 with 85,000 miles on it.

The Thunderbird LX is a very, very comfortable ride. It is quite roomy, and the seats are cushy yet firm. I'm 6'4", and I can sit up straight in this car without scraping my head on the roof. There's enough room in the back seat for three people, although the middle of the back seat has a cushy hump. The trunk is large compared to most modern cars, (I'm a musician/guitar player, so having a large trunk for transporting gear is important to me) but I was disappointed that I couldn't quite get my large guitar amp cabinet all the way in the trunk. However, there's so much room in the back seat, I can easily fit it in there. This Bird has sexy, sporty looks -- mine is white with a rear spoiler and a sunroof. It actually looks like something NASA would have designed, like a space shuttle on four wheels. The console is nicely designed and includes a tachometer and gauges for oil pressure, the alternator, and a temperature gauge. Mine came with a cassette player/radio with nice sounding speakers: two in the doors and two speakers in the back.

Driving this car is an extreme pleasure. This car is a real sweet cruiser, the sweetest ride I've ever owned actually. With the V8 it's got tremendous power (which I've never fully taken advantage of) and it doesn't take much gas to get it up to cruising speed. Merging onto the freeway is no problem at all, no worries. It handles very well and is also the quietest car I've ever owned --you can barely hear the engine idling--but you still get a nice "growl" when accelerating that lets you know you've got the V8. Another nice thing about the V8 engine is that it's easy to work on for the average do-it-yourselfer as far as changing spark plugs, changing oil/filter/ water pump, etc., etc. The parts aren't hidden away or hard to get to like a lot of other modern engines.

I went with the 4.6 V8 engine mainly because according to many online reports the V6 models have head gasket problems, but I have been pleasantly surprised that I get 18 mpg gas mileage overall, and around 30 mpg on the highway. Much better than my V6 Cutlass ever got, and with much more power!

This car has proven to be a reliable ride over the past two years, but I have had to replace the mass air flow sensor twice now, which I was able to do myself. I also had some EGR problems which kept turning on my "check engine" light and I had to have all the EGR components replaced. (note: the mass airflow sensor and the EGR system are the main problems on the 1995 Thunderbird according to Consumer Reports). The only other problems I've had with the car have been minor electrical issues: power windows that don't always want to roll down, a power antenna that only sometimes goes into the off position. Which brings up my only beef with this car (besides not being able to fit my large guitar amps all the way in the trunk) is that it has power everything -- power windows, power antenna... which means eventually the motors for those will have to be replaced. Of course, that's how most cars are these days. The car also consumes some oil -- I've been adding about a quart every 1,000 miles -- but I did read an online report that said the Thunderbird V8 engines do start to consume oil at about the 90,000 mile mark.

Overall, this car is a very nice, comfortable cruising machine with sporty looks, lots of power, and a low price. I give the Thunderbird three thumbs up.

2023 update:As they say, all good things must come to an end. 2021 was not a good year for my 1995 Ford Thunderbird. After it hit 150,000 miles it was one thing after another going bad and needing to be replaced, so in the end I used it as a trade in to buy a newer car -- a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix with only 28,000 miles on it! And THAT car will be my next review!