By on May 6, 2006

 Way forward. Bold Moves. Screw that. If America wants a bold, innovative car, they'll buy a Toyota. If they want something honest, inexpensive and comfortable, they'll buy a Ford. If they want an honest car with added spizzarkle, they'll spend a little more for a Mercury. Well, that's how it used to be, until Ford started building sub-par Japanese wanna-be's. Thankfully, the Blue Oval offers at least one rear-wheel drive automobile that stays true to the company's roots: the Mercury Grand Marquis.

Park the Grand Marquis next to its foreign counterparts and it's clear that the American luxobarge ain't livin' large no mo'. Snout-to-tail comparisons with a Camry require measurements smaller than a foot; millimeters differentiate their relative heights. Fortunately, the Marquis' ping-pong table hood and aircraft-carrier rear deck survive into the new millennium, while its broad shoulders continue to evoke memories of Officer Badass. Although the Marquis' police-a-like shape sends shivers down the spines of Boy Racers, the car's basic design is wildly inoffensive. This despite a new-for-'06 schnoz that blends-in about as well as a Speedo-wearing fat guy in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

 The Grand Marquis' soft-touch keyless entry system ensures that its well-aged core clientele never lock themselves out, or loved ones in. (Take that, OnStar!) Even better, its portals swing open with all the reassuring monumentality of an '80's Mercedes S-Class. Once inside, the barge's beltline makes for excellent visibility and ensures easy parking maneuvers for one so broad of beam (the car, not its driver). Although the luscious nomenclature evokes memories of "Studio 54" decadence, the Grand Marquis' cabin sports a cabaret of dull and brittle coverings– in stark contrast to the fake tree trim glowing with radioactive glee on the car's massive dash.

The Grand Marquis' appointments can't hold a candle to a Camry's, but the big Merc is still leagues ahead of the Chrysler 300's blue light special. A pair of indulgent seats offers another clear advantage. Fold the deeply padded armrests and a spare bedroom awaits episodes of marital distress. Or perhaps a second honeymoon with the cavernous backseat? Six-passenger seating in a sedan is a forgotten delight, and beats the third row penalty box found in any similarly priced SUV. Crank up the tunes and feel the bass booming from the bowels of Mercury's Brick House trunk. The Commodores never sounded so mighty-mighty.

 The Marquis keeps the muscle car flame alive with a redesigned analog gauge cluster, complete with its first-ever tachometer. Fire-up the cammer V8 and a distant rumble filters in from the ghosts of big-block Cyclones and Marauders. Although the Grand Marquis' mill only musters 239 horses, there's more than enough torque to take the "grind" out of the daily. Four gears are all you get (only one less than you really need). If you're young enough to read this site on a regular basis, or old enough to remember the Blues Brothers, you'll want Mercury's little known police package: cop engine (dual exhausts), cop tires (speed rated), cop shocks (monotube dampers) and cop suspension (revised front coils, Watts-link rear with heavy duty air springs and bigger sway bars). Evo's keep on frontin' but that guy in the Camry is toast.

Yank the column shifter to first and hammer the throttle. The Marquis' composed suspension, marginally-involving steering, torquey mill and RWD orientation make it an honest-to-God hoot in the corners. Pseudo-Super Troopers whose courage exceeds their skill benefit from the Marquis' five star crash test ratings. Credit the same brick shit house construction for the smoothest ride in town: hydroformed components on a body-on-frame chassis. Pot holes, speed bumps or subcompacts are a distant blip on the butt radar. Factor in a solid 21mpg (on regular gas) in mixed driving, and rough-riding, gas-guzzling SUVs hang their heads in shame.

 Obviously the Grand Marquis is no match for a stick-shifted V6 Accord or Altima. But the Marquis ushers the family to grandma's house in far greater comfort. And, lest we forget, the Marquis' price lines up against baseline, four-cylinder versions of those wrong-wheel drive whips. According to the official Mercury website, the last of the Great V8 Interceptors has $5000 on the hood. And the deal grows sweeter down at the showroom. Hell, they're giving them away!

So why are Matlock fans the only people buying Mercury's Grand Marquis? Clearly, Ford turned its back on the old soldier; their press gang can't even be bothered to update the website with photos of the Marquis' analog instrumentation. No matter. It's time for pistonheads to reclaim old-school American cars for their own. The fact that Ford is killing this platform for some weak-kneed front driver only makes the Grand Marquis more desirable. And don't forget: it never hurts a speed demon to look like a cop.

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68 Comments on “Mercury Grand Marquis Review...”


  • avatar
    Lesley

    Damn – I wanna drive it!
    Don’t really want to be seen in it though…

    • 0 avatar
      koshymathewyahoocom

      Great article. Most of the Gen Y who dont want to “be seen” in a Grand Marquis have not even come close to driving one. Keep up the support Sanjiv to supporting great american cars.

    • 0 avatar
      koshymathewyahoocom

      Sanjeev, is there any explanation about how the Grand Marquis 4.6 litre engine delivers better Gas milage than a 3.3 litre Dodge Grand Caravan? Would love to know. Its mind blowing how it does that. And the air conditioner is the best. Its like a room air conditioner and the engine does not even notice it!

    • 0 avatar

      koshy, I can answer the fuel economy question for you….the 4.6L motor makes far more torque at low RPM than the Caravan V6, and it can therefore cruise down the highway at lower revs. Ford has chosen appropriate tall gearing to exploit this advantage.

      Combine that with less aerodynamic drag, and similar weight to the not-so-mini-minivan, and the big Merc is indeed surprisingly efficient.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    I’m on my 2nd Grand Marquis, and I just turned 40 years old. I’ve got a very hard to find Grand Marquis LSE with the bucket seats and console, and the 235 hp engine, dual exhaust, and 3.27 rear end ratio.

    My old one was 12 years old when I sold it for this one (used, depreciation is a killer), and there was literally nothing wrong with it other than a little oil burning. Haven’t had a single problem with the 02 either.

    Great cars – I tell my wife they are so square, they are hip.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Ah, there’s some action in the comments section! I remember the LSE, neat option. I prefer a split bench and column shift on these suckers, makes them more unique in this age.

    Here’s a little update on my end: helped a little old lady co-worker of mine find a new car, wound up looking at a mint 2002 GS model. It had absolutely no options (aside from its non-fleet color and wheelcaps) but she took one look inside and thought it was fully loaded! Power windows, locks, drivers seat, cruise, abs, etc…

    The Panther chassis’ bang for the buck is truly amazing. Not to mention they’ll last longer than most American marriages.

  • avatar

    Scary thing…more and more twentysomethings are getting into Panthers in my burg. I saw a kid-maybe 20-with one in gloss black and white, like an unstickered Highway Patrol car. It had presence…so much that I almost forgot the basic bones date to the Carter administration!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Yup, kids are getting into ye olde Panther. Old people aren’t the only loyal Panther fans. They are a great used car value and you get V8/RWD in a safe car without the high insurance premiums(?) of a Mustang or Camaro.

    When these kids get real jobs/careers, they might actually buy a NEW one, provided they ever get a significant re-skin and modern interior goodies.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    dont under estimate those 3.8 BUICK engines

    Sure they are durable, but they aren’t smooth and effortless like a 4.6L V8.

    4.6 > 3800

  • avatar
    theronr

    I’ve rented one of these and I think they are a pretty interesting concept. Having been mostly a small import car person I really liked the size and weight and glass-smooth ride of the car. Its really in need of an update though. The steering was wobbly, the solid rear axle was jiggly and I was always worried it would wander out of its lane (which is a real concern because it only just fits in a lane anyway!)Otherwise the handling is much more lively than you would expect and it doesn’t feel as big to drive as it looks.

    I was thinking maybe they could build an updated one on some of those explorer chassies that must be piling up at the factory right now. Its got the body on frame layout, rear drive, independent suspension, 4.6L v8 and 6 speed auto that would nicely update this car.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Amen to that.

  • avatar
    Lamborghini48907

    The Ford Crown Vic looks more like a cop than this, the rear fascia of the Grand Marquis I think is a little uglier than that in the Ford. Also, I really have to disagree about this car being that comfortable, the rear seats lack headrests, so after being in the back for more than 5 minutes your neck hurts like hell!

  • avatar
    86er

    This article makes me think of what the Caprice would be like today if Chevrolet had kept building it. They had an awfully good platform there, and many cops preferred it to the Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    VaderSS

    What sucks is that Ford was going to drop this platform when GM announced it was dropping the B/D body line, so Ford decided to soldier on, since it no longer had any competition.

    If GM had not blinked first, we’d of seen LS1 powered RWD Impala SSs. Oh well…

  • avatar
    86er

    If GM had not blinked first, we’d of seen LS1 powered RWD Impala SSs. Oh well…

    Yes, hope springs eternal that the ’09 and its SS variant will far and away exceed everything the 94-96 SS was, and still is to many pistonheads.

  • avatar
    86er

    It’s time for pistonheads to reclaim old-school American cars for their own. The fact that Ford is killing this platform for some weak-kneed front driver only makes the Grand Marquis more desirable.

    I’ve done my part, Sajeev. I am now the proud owner of a near-mint condition 92 CV. White leather and the whole nine. I wanted a car that was the anti-Civic (since I live in Canada and that’s the top-selling crowdcan) and boy have I got one.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    Good for you 86er, I am doing my part with an 05 Lincoln Town Car.

  • avatar
    86er

    Good for you 86er, I am doing my part with an 05 Lincoln Town Car.

    Thanks Gottleib, it feels good to be in the “Panther Club”.

    The plan for this car (with only 152,300 km on the odometer) is to drive it until my partner and I are more firmly established in our careers, and then, if potential $1.50/L gas prices don’t kill us, maybe get into a lease- buyback CV or GM.

    Or, as Sajeev mentioned, we might get a NEW one, provided an Interceptor or RWD Impala is on the market by then. I’ve got my RWD Dakota and my RWD Crown Vic now, and I’m trying to weather the storm.

  • avatar

    I own a Lexus LS, so I am accustomed to a comfortable, quiet ride and nice handling. When I have to rent a car, I prefer the Mercury Grand Marquis because it’s about as close as I can get to what I’m used to. Plus, there’s a lot to be said for its uncomplicatedness.

  • avatar
    bstoney10

    Speed, handling, Cost & Comfort. The V8 provides as much speed beyond the legal limits that you would like to pursue, with the ease and stability that keeps you confident,secure & safe. The acceleration may not match the luxery sport cars of today, but at the top end speeds it holds the road as well as any car I have ever been in. At a fraction of the cost I might add. The gas mileage is far better than SUV's & Trucks, runs on regular gas, and because the older generation usually occupy these vehicles the insurance is inexpensive. With the kids, I can use the car to haul the family in comfort if needed. Yea, I can be responsible, keep the wife happy, and set a good example for the kids. But when I need to get moving down the road, I want the speed and security of this monstor. Sure, old style, outdated vehicle are comments you may hear about this full size beast. That helps sell non essential products in new cars today. It also keeps the lines short for this vehicle, and the price very affordable. However, for driving performance this diamond in the rough will bring a smile to anyone who appreciates a dependable problem free vehicle year after year. Keep on laughing, but when you see that cop coming up behind you in your uroluxmobile, move aside cause it is just me trying to get my fix. HeHeHe!

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I’ve ordered a 2008 LS. Can’t wait…..but I’ll have to. Dealer says wait is 8-12 weeks.

    I recently went to the car show and I think cars much more expensive aren’t nearly as nice as Grand Marquis.

    Consumer Reports says the seat is uncomfortable. Well, I think the BMW, etc. seats are uncomfortable!!!

  • avatar
    theronr

    If you ordered it does that mean you are paying full price? I hope not because you should get several thousand below msrp on these.

    Renting a GM is what introduced me to large cars. I ended up buying a Charger recently. Love it.

  • avatar
    86er

    Congratulations bstoney10 and ionosphere on your purchases. Large car lovers shouldn’t have to make excuses for why they love the big iron.

    I have a 92 CV myself and thoroughly enjoy this vehicle, and I’m far from an old geezer!

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I’m not paying MSRP. Wife’s company is a Ford Partner and get the X-plan price, which is about the dealer invoice. Plus there’s a $5,500 rebate plus an extra $1,000 rebate if financed through Ford Credit.

    One thing that bugs me on the order form is something called LDMA of $700. This isn’t mentioned on webnsites like Edmonds when I checked.

    From reading online, looks like this is some type of fee for advertising that can’t be avoided?

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I’ve had my new Merc for a few weeks now. Sure love the legroom and big trunk. I still think it’s a much nicer car than others that cost as much or a little more, like Honda Accord.

  • avatar
    joelaterdayz

    I had the privilege of driving one of these two weeks ago while my folks were visiting. My father drove his ’07 Grand Marquis LS from Pensacola, FL to my place in Souther MD. He averaged 25 mpg for the entire trip. He let me drive it from D.C. to my house, which took us down the Suitland Pkwy and MD Rt. 4, about 60 miles. The seats on this thing are like a Lazy Boy and extended all the way out to the back of my knee. She’s a real highway cruiser; just accelerate to 60mph, turn on the cruise control, sit back and enjoy the ride. With the dozen stop lights between D.C. and my place tossed in, traveling over 60 miles at 60mph we managed 28 mpg. Not too shabby. I’m seriously considering getting one. Used ’05′s with under 30k miles can now be had for under $10k. Sign me up.

  • avatar
    plunk10

    ^^joelaterdayz, you passed my house on the way to D.C.

    I know someone who just purchased a 2008 Grand Marquis GS off of a dealer lot. Furthermore, a couple of 2009s were in stock. I don’t believe they are making the GS for 2009, and he didn’t want electronic HVAC controls that would break down the road. For the record, he already has 2 older crown vics with 312K and 379K miles respectively.

  • avatar
    559806

    My 2003 Grand Marquis LSE is my 5th Panther and is the best of them all. It now has over 157K miles (115K of them on the same set of Michelin X radials), it uses no oil, and runs like a new car. 300K here I come.

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I’ve had my 2008 a year now and I love it. Wish I had gotten big Detroit iron years ago. Suv’s, crossovers, blah. You all can keep those ugly beasts. I do want to be seen in mine. Not embarrassed at all and I’m not an old codger.

  • avatar
    jdj32433

    I just got a 2008 LS in Norsea Blue with the 9 spoke chrome rims and love it. I wish I had bought one of these a long time ago. I am 43 and have driven many cars from 60′s models to the present and I really appreciate Mercury for keeping these wonderful autos in production.

  • avatar
    Kyberkhaos

    I was shopping around for my first car, starting around last august. Looking around town, seeing all these imports, disgusted at them. Honda’s, Toyota’s, Nissan’s. I went to a couple car lots, told the guy I wanted a big car, automatic, V6+, 4dr, domestic,under 80k miles, and under 6 grand. The first thing he showed me was a 1992 import coupe, stick, 4 cylinder, and 112k miles. I saw the Grand Marquis (which i ended up buying), fell in love with it. 50k miles, 1999 GS, all for $5550. Thing’s a tank, im going to use this till it croaks.

    Great cars.

    Sure my highschool friends all want coupes, but you can’t fit 7 people on a friday night in a coupe. You can easy get 7 in an MGM, then 3 people in the trunk. 4 if they are uncomfortable!

    American Ingenuity at its best.

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    Good choice Kyberkhaos. Welcome to the panther club.

  • avatar
    jenkinate

    Happy to say I’ve stepped up to the plate and into an ’06 LS. Totally impressed with this car and the incredible used car value. I shopped all over LA/San Diego and found a dealer to pay off my Civic Si and I’m happy to be cruising American once again. Best car I’ve ever owned. I’m also not an old guy but smart enough to know value, style and function, and you simply can’t beat a used LS on any of those fronts. This completes the family Trifecta of Ford products — wifey drives the Escape Hybrid (she’s green…whatever…), and my weekend ride is an ’84 F-250 4×4, 460ci. Saving the planet one car at a time.

    Go Mercury.

  • avatar
    ian zian

    i’m 28 yrs old and i love my 2008 grand marquis ls. while everyone else is being eco friendly with their fiber glass and aluminum prius,civic,insight, with cars that if you lean on them wrong they dent i’ll stick with my five star crash test rating tank. it’s perfect for a family car and fast enough to get out of the on ramp and on to the highway. minimal dash controls enables me to keep my eyes foward instead of trying to find the radio controls among the numerous other unneeded crap in newer cars. i’m sad to see that mercury will no longer be making these wonderful cars. when i ask the local dealer why he simply replied our target customers(55 and over) are dying out. i told him this is not a grandpa mobile it’s a legacy that has made your company millions. so why not keep it instead of tossing away like yesterdays garbage. i mean it’s not like a pontiac you drive it two years and your up to your knees in repair bills. if it’s not broken don’t fix it and definitly don’t trow it away keep it simple. thats the mercury grand marquis way. after 2009 the money maker of the mercury line will be gone but not forgotten

    • 0 avatar
      Catherine

      Whoever said the target market for this car is dying out is an idiot. In fact, the Baby Boomer crowd is a huge demographic. Sounds to me like they just need better marketing. Some people are afraid of driving (and especially trying to park) a big car, but if they’d just give it a try they’d see that their fears are unfounded. The only thing that scares me are reports of gas tank explosions when hit from behind at high speeds. This was a big controversy when I was still working as a cop; there were a few guys around the country that were killed that way while working on the freeway.

  • avatar

    I’m both shocked and excited to see that this review is still getting comments, over three years later. Me thinks the Taurus, Sable, etc. won’t fare this well once the marketing dollars from FoMoCo run out.

  • avatar
    ArBee

    I just picked up a 2008 Grand Marquis GS last Thursday. Pristine 29,000 mile car, dark Toreador Red with pale tan leather and all the options. I can tell this is going to be a long, beautiful relationship. Grab ‘em before they’re gone, guys.

  • avatar
    TEXAS-T

    I’m glad to see that I’m not crazy. I’ve been telling Ford to do more research and they will find out, that dropping the CV and MGM will be another huge mistake again. My mother in law turned me on to the panther when my concorde died and I drove hers for two weeks and I just had to get my hands on a Grand Marquis. I’ve had this car 5 years now. I usally get a car every 2 years but, I will drive the wheels of this thing. My MGM has the factory dual exhaust and handling package. You just can’t beat it for the money when you consider the ride,power,fuel,and the in laws as well as the kids. My wife didn’t like it due to the Grandpa image till she drove it. Guess what ? We use my car for everything. Keep buying up those Panthers!!!

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Love these cars! Smooth, roomy, comfy, and bulletproof. All for the price of a Civic! Oh, and the way people move to the right when you come up behind them is quite amazing. ;-)

  • avatar
    TycoonTodd

    These are the ultimate car. The auto representation of the American Dream. We want Big families, houses,and Pocket Books. These cars get us there and in a hurry if you want it to. You can build em’ H.O. Style, pimp it out, or Old Fogey em’ and yell” ya young whipper snappers!” out the window at the punk passing you in his pimped out H.O. MGM or CV. I am partial to these cars. I learned to drive in MGMs.  My sister had a 69′ with the 460 and that thing would cruise and very nice and comfortable. my mom had a 79′ I drove it more out of style than the baby poop yellow it was painted. I now have a 90′ my wife hates it!  It needs exterior work but when you pass people on the hwy and you get that look. Theres nothing like it. Ford should read these forums and realize that its not just senior citizens that love these cars. There is a market and especially if they ad Horses and sleek trim and dark colors and chrome rims. I know a whole nation of delinquent suburbanites who would pimp that whip. 09′s sound nice but I won’t own one till there classics probably, and need work!

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I love my 2008 and plan to keep it forever, if it lasts.  I am confused regarding Consumer Reports magazine.  In it’s new car reviews where it listed every 2010 car, it makes no mention of a 2010 Grand Marquis or a Lincoln Town Car.  Mercury’s website shows a 2010 Grand Marquis, yet CU acts like it doesn’t exist.  What gives?

  • avatar
    TycoonTodd

    The rumor on the street is that production of the Grand Marquis will end this year. How true that is I’m not sure. But you know how it is. Out with the old and in with the new!!! If they go I would hope they’ll bring em back after over all sales go down and maybe they’ll ad a “Green” touch or maybe some more power!!!!!! Or they’ll bring it back with a different name and then when it still not selling they’ll give its identity back. Like the 500 or other wise know as the Taurus.

  • avatar
    559806

    In November at the Edsel event at the Louisville Assembly Plant the plant manager addressed our group and spoke, among other things, about the new Taurus. I told him I thought Ford is making a big mistake in dropping CV/GM. During our later tour and lunch, many of the Edsel fans told me they feel the same way, and several of them are current CV/GM owners. I told them I planned to go try on a new Taurus before I went home, just to be sure of what I already knew; the interior is way too small for me. I went to a dealership the next morning in Tennessee and sat in the Taurus. My long leg was squeezed between the wheel and the console. I literally can’t drive it.
    I believe each of us larger/taller persons should visit a local Ford dealer and show the salespeople that we can’t drive the Taurus; that we will never buy it. I know several of them hate to see the big cars go, and maybe they can help us by getting the dealers to push for continued production.

  • avatar
    ionosphere

    I’m confused, because the Mercury website shows a 2010 Grand Marquis, but the 2010 Consumer Reports buying guide does not list such a car, as if it does not exist. It’s also funny that the 2010 Grand Marquis, if it exists, has LESS features than my 2008 LS, and at a higher cost, as well as it having less options. For example, the 2010 model does not have a compass/garage door opener, does not have 6 CD changer/premium stereo 8 speaker/subwoofer option, does not have trunk organizer option, etc. and has less color options. What the hell? Ford made the car worse instead of better? Great work Ford! So glad I got mine in 2008, before they made it worse. Had mine almost 2 years now and I absolutely love it. The Ford Taurus is a joke. Costs more than Grand Marquis and is cramped.

  • avatar

    I LOVE this article!!! And yes I do remember the Blue Brothers! I owned a 93 GM LS luxo-liner and I really liked it. It had all the options dual exhaust etc. The gripe I had with it was the teflon of death valve seals. But she still had a pant load of a power.

    Anyhow, she started pushes more blue but was not dismayed. I had to find me another one. Well thankfully Budget car rentals had 1! Just as ginormous as the 93, this 07 had just about all the same options but no dual exhaust :(

    So me and the dude go for the test drive and I looked at him and said just going to give a ‘er a quick punch. OH YEAH! damn near crapped myself. Even with the single exhaust and lower HP, I guess the newness of the car let it have a bucket load of life.

    I have always drove Big cars with RWD. The only other car i loved more then both the marquis’s was my 80 town car.

    The other big thing is that I paid dirt for the car. got it in 2k10 and it 17000 miles on it and thats about what I paid!!

    Funilly enough, the car had some minor issues and budgets “30 day we’ll make it right” thing allowed me to get picky. They fixed everything. The Ironic thing was they gave me a Kia? with similar options.

    Oh man, what a piece of sh*t!! No power, felt like i was sitting chevy sprint. And even tho it had the similar options, they were cheezy. Any how get the car back and life is good.

    Its a beautiful car, amazingly easy to handle part etc. And of course with Fords “On demand power” philosophy its a great ride.

    Only 2 things bug me, the engine noise is noticeable and the trim level is a bit too plasticy. But I love the new info center the tach threw me off but whatever.

    And yes, the person who mentioned youngin’s are driving them, your right. I saw this nicely pimped out one, all black, with HUGE good lookin chrome rims and low pro tires. Looked really sharp I have to admit.

    In conclusion, with the limited amount of driving I do, this is easy going to be my “10+ year” car.

    Jim

  • avatar
    EHJ710

    Finally went and did the right thing and bought a lightly used one from my local Ford Lincoln Mercury dealer – a 2009 ex Hertz rental with 24000 miles on it a Nautica Blue metallic one. I accessorized it with a police interceptor dual exaust and a full size spare tire like the interceptors have and a matching wheel to match the other three tires.

    Reading this article back in ’06 had refreshed my memory of the great 1982 and 1988 Crown Victorias I had owned.

    Drive report:

    Just got back from a round trip, from near Reno, to Los Angeles and return, in about 24 hours or so.

    This was the first long time adventure with it, and since I bought it on February, have done over 3,000 miles on it, and am well pleased with it over all.

    Per its computer, 20.2 mpg overall.

    Incredible room inside, head, leg, shoulder, arm, everything, great for long distance cruising;

    No drama, even when once I wound it to 110 mph on a deserted straight stretch of highway (with the dual exhaust on it, and loaded with luggage)

    A bit large for city maneuvering and fast parking in Los Angeles, not like the other car I have, a 1991 Mercedes Benz 560SEC AMG coupe, which is like dancing with an old, fat woman that can dance REAL REAL good!!!

    The ’09 Grand Marquis is NOT meant for high speed emergency manuevers, whereas my Benz is really great at them, once at 70 mph I was behind a flatbed that began spewing off empty 55 gallon plastic drums off the back without warning, I actually managed to steer back and forth throw that nightmare and never even hit a single one, the big Mercedes are incredible high speed handlers.

    Having owned a 1982 and a 1988 box Crown Vic for years, and loved both, the improvements in Performance, handling steering and stopping since then are just incredible.

    I drove it in all weather. Does pretty well in rain, and at 5am this morning, very tired, hit, on the last leg, a ferocious snow storm, with just the factory Michelin Energy LX tires, and barely able to see out, and almost in a white out, the car was almost at the limits of adhesion, very unlike the 2008 Subaru Outback AWD wagon that would shoulder through this with aplomb, I had NEVER driven through snowstorms this bad, where the snow flew horizontally at high speed, like being on a bad acid trip in the Kubrick 1968 movie “2001″ — very scary in any car, so I just went 30 mph and made it through.

    I *DO* wish the windshield wipers had a higher top back and forth speed, and a 4 speed “slap shift” feature, which my Outback had, and I used a lot, and to good effedct.

    The instruments are logically placed and quite intuitive, though the mileage and computer readouts in daytime are so faint as to be unreadable.

    For undramatic long distance cruising, this one’s hard to beat.

    I like its looks and think, even though it was built across the bridge in Canada at the STAP, it’s very much the quintessential AMERICAN car, a BOF, RWD, big V8 engined, roomy car that looks and feels just “right” to me.

    Dollar per mile to run, they will beat any foreign or domestic sardine can, even those horrible, cramped, buzzy little 4 cylinder front wheel jobs that sound like a vacuum cleaner with a leaky cannister when you stomp on the gas.

    With new front floor mats, a dual exhaust, full size spare tire, dealer mud flaps, and a nice spare tire cover, I have now fiinally and quickly pretty much accessorized it to my personal tastes, though later on I will look for CVPI swaybars, springs, and shocks, when the factory warranty is done.

    This is a car to enjoy and pile on the miles, seeing our great country.

    Even though its only been a bit over a month, I am VERY pleased I bought this car.

    The title hasn’t arrived yet, and I detailed it. They look dorky, but the mudflaps do a wonderful job of keeping grit and filth off the fenders, so I highly recommend the dealer ones.

    5 seconds after the car is put in drive and moves forward, all four doors lock automatically with a loud sound that sounds like gun shots. I can’t get used to that.

    Mine is a fleet (a one year old ex Hertz rental) model with “ultimate edition” badges on the fenders- whatever that means — so it has no fog lights, just blacked out spaces where they should be, which I would like to address one day, and also is decontented with no automatic parking brake release. Only a single CD player, but I will add an ipod hookup one day. The “Upscale” stereo plays cassettes, so the car is seemingly marketed to real old people who have large cassette collections..Like, errr, me!!!

    I don’t prefer leather surfaces, but they DO clean easily, and so far, work well for me.

    Have NOT figured how to adjust the lumbar switch, there is no difference, maybe it is broken? How can you tell? The car is still under warranty bumper to bumper so maybe I should take it to the dealer?

    • 0 avatar

      One suggestion, EHJ710, and that’s just to find a cheap car-kit CD player with the tape deck adapter.

      The tape adapter has a headphone jack that plugs into your digital audio player, iPod, Zune, whatever, no messing with wiring stuff in, or replacing factory head units. Good luck!

    • 0 avatar
      jimjennings

      You can get a PDF version of your User Manual here: http://www.motorcraftservice.com/pubs/content/~WO9GRN/~MUS~LEN/41/09grnog2e.pdf
       
      You car is programmable.
      You can turn off the Auto-Lock feature.
      Here is how you do it:
      Deactivating/activating the autolock or auto-unlock feature
      Automatic door locks can also be turned on/off through the following
      procedure:
      You must complete Steps 1-7 within 30 seconds or the procedure will
      have to be repeated. If the procedure needs to be repeated, you must
      wait at least 30 seconds. Note: Before following the procedure, make
      sure that the ignition is in the off position and all vehicle doors, the
      hood, and the decklid are closed.
      1. Turn the ignition to the on position.
      2. Press the power door unlock control on the door panel three times.
      3. Turn the ignition from the on to the off position.
      4. Press the power door unlock control three times.
      5. Turn the ignition back to the on position.
      6. The door locks will lock/unlock to confirm programming mode is
      entered/active.
      7. With the ignition still in the on position, for the autolock feature,
      press the unlock control once then press the lock control once. The horn
      will chirp once if autolock was deactivated or twice (one short and one
      long chirp) if autolock was activated.
      For the auto-unlock feature, press the lock control once, then press the unlock control once. The horn will chirp once if auto-unlock was deactivated or twice (one short
      and one long chirp) if auto-unlock was activated.
      If any door, the hood, or the deck lid is open, the horn will chirp twice,
      and the procedure will need to be performed again.
       
      I hope this helps!!
      jimjennings@yahoo.com

  • avatar
    Nebula7

    I love my 03 Marquis, I’m 18 and proud to own such a fine car, people need to give it a chance, I need this thing to last me awhile so I take extra care towards it, I do all my own work, put my own dual exhaust system on and it sounds meaner than a mustang now, I get about 20mpg city and 32 highway, (55 mph) I noticed that’s the best speed even though it annoys other drivers, if I go 60 I only get 29 pretty big drop so I drive how I want not how other people want me to.

    • 0 avatar

      Congratulations Nebula7! ’03 was the first year of the upgraded suspension (in case you didn’t know).

      I’m a member of a forum for these, and the older Grand Marquises & Crown Vics http://www.grandmarq.net . You should come hang out and if you have any questions, there’s usually someone around with sage advice, or helpful guesses.

  • avatar
    jimjennings

    I wanted a rear wheel drive car with a V8 and Leather. Unfortunately, my budget was under 10K. I shopped on and off for over 6 months looking for the right car.
    I looked at the Lincoln LS’s and found several had transmision problems. I looked at the Chrysler 300. I looked at the Dodge Charger.  What did I end up buying?
    I bought a 2004 MGM at the end of July with 42K miles on it.  I found it sitting on a Volvo dealers lot. He sold it for 2K under blue book retail. My banker financed it at 100% (the Volvo dealership couldnt get me financing because it was an ’04). At some point it had a Landau Top/Simulated Convertible Top installed with Chrome Presidential Badges.
    http://www.bobstopshop.com/index.php?cPath=51_40
    It makes this car look REALLY sharp. Anytime I park in front of someones house I am asked whose Caddy is parked out front? I just laugh and say oh yeah, thats my new car!
     
    It is now Thanksgiving and the Seattle Metro area just went through a Snow and Ice storm that is very unusual for this region. I have a 30 minute commute and it would have been impossible without Traction Control. I went and played in an empty parking lot with the traction control off and I couldnt believe how big a difference it makes. ITS HUGE!!
     
    I have to say I am really enjoying my Land Yacht and I love cruising down the Highway with it in complete safety. Good weather or Bad!!
     
    jimjennings@yahoo.com

  • avatar
    Grant L

    Imagine a parallel universe where the two best selling cars are large, rear-wheel drive Ford and GM sedans, each of which gets about 25 mpg, and Toyota has been unable to penetrate the market:
    http://www.carsguide.com.au/site/news-and-reviews/car-reviews-road-tests/holden_commodore_veii_vs_ford_falcon
    Perhaps the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join them” approach has something to do with the demise of the big 2 in North America.

  • avatar
    treadmarked81

    I have had my Marquis for a little over two weeks. I spent a 6 hour drive in my 24 year old brothers 02 Crown Vic…I was a man convinced. I have always loved the big American road crusiers and having owned many large v8 sedans such as 2 devilles, a 79 Lesabre, and driving my partners 06 300 touring, I had to have another. I searched the local dealers and found a 1 owner 2000 LS in dark red with tan leather with air ride and the handling pack showing 60,900 miles. The only downside was it had no CD player. I solved that with a trip to the local boneyard and with little effort installed the factory trunk cd changer and wiring harness into my GM.

    That being said, I am aware of the popular stigma that a young guy, (I’m 29) has driving an “old codgers” car. I don’t care… Even my friends that are in their twenties compliment the ride and comfort the car gives the occupants. I had my partners mom, aunt, and cousin all in the back seat on a drive and they could do nothing but rave about the car. Not to mention its no slouch if you bury the pedal. Its the perfect counter-part in the driveway parked next to my 62 Galaxie 500. A mix of old and new. The gas mileage of 30mpg’s on the highway only make my smile bigger.

  • avatar
    koshymathewyahoocom

    WHAT DO YOU GRAND MARQUIS OWNERS GENERALLY THINK ABOUT TAKING THE CAR TO THE FORD DEALER FOR REGULAR MAINTENANCE. I THINK THEY HAVE ALL THE PROPER EQUIPMENTS TO DO REGULAR MAINT. OR IS IT BETTER TO TRY THE TAXI SPECIALISTS WHO ARE SUPERB WITH GRAND MARQUIS AND TOWN CARS?

  • avatar
    ArBee

    I use my local Ford-Lincoln dealer for routine maintenance only. If anything more involved was to crop up, I have two very good independent shops in my area that I would choose first. However, I’ve now had my 2008 MGM for almost two years, and it’s running like a big, smooth, leather-lined locomotive. God, I love this car.

  • avatar
    luuty3

    What an awesome article!!! Finally, I found some like-minded people who know what a quality car is when they see one! When I was a kid my mom drove a baby blue ’92 Grand Marquis for years. In 2011 when my old Chev Malibu blew up, I was in need of a reasonabaly priced, practical car that would give me years of reliable service. When I saw the ’08 Grand Marquis on the lot, I knew it was the car for me!!! I absolutely LOVE my Merc! And it really breaks my heart that Ford has stopped making these beautiful cars and that the Mercury brand is no more. I love the simplicity of my car, I dont want the dash all cluttered up with useless crap. My car is my daily driver, but I plan to keep her on the road for years to come! I have no desire to drive anything else. And about it being a “Grandpa” car, I bought this car just before my 24th Birthday. I only wish the rest of my generation would appreciate how great these cars really are. End of an era.

  • avatar
    JazzerSA

    What a hoot (and pleasant surprise) to find this site and this excellent review of the Mercury Grand Marquis!

    After recently totaling my beloved 2003 Thunderbird convertible in a bad accident – and after grieving over it (I loved that car) – I collected my insurance settlement and went shopping for a more “practical” car. And, because the accident scared the hell out of me, I wanted a larger car. I test drove several Chrysler 300s and other sedans. Then I noticed a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis (only 38,000 miles) on the lot and asked the salesman if I could take it for a spin. He said, “I promise you that once you drive this car, you won’t want the Chrysler 300.” I didn’t believe him, of course. But he was right! SO right!

    The ride is incredibly smooth and quiet, the V-8 engine is very powerful, the creamy off-white leather seats are enormous and comfortable, and even though the car is basically a land yacht (I believe it seats 125 comfortably with room for 18 in the trunk, it handles easily.

    Driving this thing is a DREAM!

    I always thought this kind of car was for oldsters. I may not be a spring chicken anymore (I just turned 50), but I believe that drivers of all ages would enjoy this car! It reminds me of my childhood and teen years when all the cars were huge.

    I am a convert, that’s for sure. I always drove sporty smaller cars, including the Ford Mustang, the Chrysler Sebring convertible, the Ford Thunderbird convertible, etc. (I’m 6’2″, so the T-Bird was a bit of a stretch.) I loved how they looked and felt pretty snazzy in them. (Especially the T-Bird.)

    But when I got behind the wheel of this monster and realized I would be safer, enjoy a quieter and smoother ride, and still get about the same gas mileage as my T-Bird, I was sold.

    Also, I bought this beautiful car (metallic silver that seems to change color in different light)for a grand total of $14,300 (tax, title and license included) and drove away feeling great.

    I can’t wait to take the car on a road trip. It’s really fantastic.

    Until I bought it, I had no idea that the Mercury line had been discontinued. What a shame. This is a fabulous car that harkens back to the Golden Age of the American automobile.

    I love it.

  • avatar
    ArBee

    Welcome to the club, JazzerSA! I too drove smaller cars for many years, but found myself completely beguiled when I test drove the ’08 Grand Marquis that I ultimately bought. Yes, get it on the road as soon as you can, and enjoy the comfort and effortless cruising. I’ve had mine since October 2009, and it’s still a love affair.

  • avatar
    Pennyanman

    on my 3 rd GM, a 2000 LS. @ 215k mi. still getting over 27.5 mpg hwy (I’ve seen as high as 29.5 mpg on a LONG trip) Changed rear springs to tow my 3000# vintage powerboat with 250# tongue weight which it does very well. @ 198K took 800 miles rt to a lake in upstate ny. Towing the boat still got almost 16MPG with OD off. Two things to note. Still running original transmission, (added cooler when car was purchased at 72K) & using about 1/2 qt oil in 4K mi. I find MOTORCRAFT OIL FILTERS are a must to prevent valve clatter @ startup. These cars are about as tough as you can get. I may consider a newer GM after I get to 300K miles. I won’t ever drive anything else…

  • avatar
    CrazyTrain

    My brother has a 2000 MGM that belonged to our dad and it still looks new today (2013), and I had a 2003 MGM that I loved before it met an early demise, so when I wore out the Accord which took its place a later-model Panther was what I wanted to replace it with. Enter a loaded 2008 Crown Victoria with 27k miles which I bought from the proverbial little old lady. I’ve had it a week and it feels just like home! I found this thread because I was surfing the net and wanted to read something that would let me enjoy the car while I was stuck at work – a 9-year-old thread that is still going strong! That should tell you something about these cars. As a kid I grew up with big 60s-70s American cars and this is really the last one of that type – live rear axle, full perimeter frame, front engine V-8. Most of us don’t even know what we’ve lost. I can’t wait for my first road trip 

    • 0 avatar
      Panther Platform

      Hope you are enjoying your Crown Vic.

    • 0 avatar
      Craig623

      Picked up a 2010 MGM on October 12th, 22,400 miles. Cost $16,811 plus the tax and license. 4 weeks later I could not be happier. Mileage has been about 15.5 a gallon. The only problem I have is when I’m driving this beauty I feel like I’m laying in my Barco-Lounger floating on air while I’m moving through space and time with no effort at all. I should be doing something besides enjoying this so much. I have to remind myself not to take a nap. I could not be happier. This car is going to have to live out outside. In Minnesota with all the road salt and spray. I just hope I can keep the body intact for ten years or so. i only drive about 4k a year.

  • avatar
    Panther Platform

    Enjoying my 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE with bucket seats, console shifter, dual exhaust, and aggressive gearing. Air ride converted to coils and it has 73000 miles. My daily driver/commuter is a 2011 Ford Focus (nice car); I drive the Merc on the weekends and trips.

  • avatar
    chlyn001

    I’ve been a fan of big Fords and Mercs (and even Lincolns I guess) for years and years. As a kid, the family mechanic told me to quit drivin junk and to just get a nice LTD and forgetaboutit. Good advice as I have saved mucho denero following his expert direction. I skipped car payments in the 80s and 90s by driving 70s LTDs and Grand Marquis. Extremely reliable cars even when they were 15 and 20 years old, I have to say. Hell, they were economy cars since they broke down rarely, and they weren’t really all that bad on gas either. I finally bought a new Sable in 2000, and I did like it even though I was kinda thinking it was a bit small. For real. I tried a few Buicks and eventually, I moved up to a 2005 Grand Marquis Ultimate and I shoulda stayed right there. But when I came down with “camper fever”, I convinced myself I needed a truck to pull my new little camper around. The local Ford dealer had great deals, and I traded my Grand Marquis in for a 2011 F-150 XLT Supercab. And then I thought maybe I needed an economy car too, so I bought a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and I was getting 40 MPG. Not bad, and it was a fine car, but the gas savings still didn’t make the payments I guess. Finally, I decided I am more a “hotel guy” than a “camper guy”, and so I sold the MKZ to a friend, sold off the camper to an old grandma and traded the F-150 in for…. you can guess what. I am now the new proud owner of a “new” 2006 Toredor Red, Grand Marquis LS Premium w/ leather and only 39K miles. It’s gorgeous, and I feel like I’m back home again after a little bit of a journey. And it’s good to be back. I don’t think I will stray again for a long while. Why would I? Sure Ford coulda improved on the panther cars, but you know what, for the money, there is nothing better on the road. I just wish they woulda kept on refining them, bit by bit, for a few more decades.


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