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2008 Mercury Grand Marquis

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2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


This is it folks. If you want to drive a traditional six-passenger, rear-wheel-drive, live-rear-axle, body-on-frame, V8-engine four-door sedan, the Grand Marquis is the last one on the market. Mercury's luxury cruiser shared a common platform with the Ford Crown Victoria and, to a lesser degree, the Lincoln Town Car, both of which have been sent out to pasture. The Grand Marquis' Mercury bloodline gives it a more upscale appearance than the Crown Victoria, yet its price tag stays far south of last year's Town Car. The Grand Marquis' huge trunk is exactly what many golfers love about this car; that and its pillow-soft ride, wide and comfortable seats and easy-to-understand dash layout. And you absolutely cannot discount the relentless durability of these cars, as proven by millions and millions of miles of service in the brutally harsh treatment dished out by taxi fleets and law enforcement agencies.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been saving your pennies to purchase a Lincoln Town Car, but waited too long, try taking a spin in a Grand Marquis. Six-passenger seating and a pillow-soft ride are the main highlights, and the trunk is huge.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Grand Marquis is a big car with a long hood and a big rear deck, and it can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. The rear-wheel-drive layout is not as desirable as front-wheel drive when it comes to getting around in rain and snow. Don't look for side-curtain airbags to protect the rear-seat occupants; the Grand Marquis doesn't offer them.

What's New for 2008

The Grand Marquis carries over largely unchanged, offering three new package options: GS Comfort Appearance Package, GS Confidence Package and the LS Travel Package.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The Grand Marquis' velvet-smooth V8 provides excellent pulling power in the form of strong low-end torque, making it terrific for easy, effortless driving. The Flex Fuel V8 can run on straight gasoline or E85, a mixture of ethanol and gasoline. The Grand Marquis' electronically-controlled four-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts, and its overdrive gear allows the full-sized Grand Marquis to earn an EPA highway estimate of 23 miles per gallon -- far better than most similarly-powered SUVs. Many owners actually report beating the EPA highway number on interstate-type highway cruising, as once the Grand Marquis gets up to speed and into overdrive it's working very easily.

Favorite Features

Wide Body
The Grand Marquis' wide body allows for spacious front seats with dual armrests.

Rear Air Suspension
Heavy loads are no problem thanks to the auto-leveling rear air suspension.

Vehicle Details Interior

The Grand Marquis' interior includes revised door and dash panels, high-back seats with dual armrests and seating for six (although, in all honesty, five is a more realistic figure). Overhead, an available convenient console displays outside temperature, time and a compass. In the dash you'll find automatic controls for the air conditioning and headlamps. Palm Beach Edition cars feature standard side-impact airbags, satin appliqués on the dash and door panels and the Palm Beach logo adorning the dash and embroidered on the cashmere leather seats. Although the Grand Marquis' trunk is huge by most standards, the lack of a rear-seat pass-through means cargo cannot exceed the compartment's 20.6 cubic-foot capacity.

Exterior

Although basically a clone of the now defunct Crown Victoria, the Grand Marquis has a flashier grille and tail lamp treatment that leans more toward the Lincoln family than Ford's. Except for a few inches here and there and some luxury features, there is not a huge difference between the Lincoln Town Car and the Grand Marquis. The long hood and rear deck will put even the best parallel parking expert to the test; ironically, one feature that would be quite helpful on this giant -- rear park assist -- is not available. The driver's-door external keypad is a convenient feature, allowing access without needing to carry the keys.

Notable Standard Equipment

The Grand Marquis is offered in two trims: GS and LS. The GS includes air conditioning with air filtration, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, power locks, power mirrors, power windows, illuminated entry, AM/FM stereo with CD, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, cruise control, tilt wheel, keyless entry with driver's-door keypad, auto-off headlamps and full wheel covers. The LS adds 16-spoke alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, overhead console, leather, eight-way power passenger's seat with lumbar support, traction control, automatic air conditioning, auto-dimming rearview mirror, fold-down rear armrest, rear-seat reading lights, power-adjustable pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Notable Optional Equipment

Options include heated front seats, Audiophile stereo with six-disc CD changer, front side-impact airbags, power moonroof and power heated side mirrors and leather (these latter two on the GS). There are also a variety of convenience and appearance packages.

Under the Hood

The Grand Marquis' big V8 fits this car like a hand-tailored suit. Smooth and powerful, with proven dependability and surprising fuel efficiency, Ford's 4.6-liter modular V8 is the best engine ever to grace a Grand Marquis.

4.6-liter V8 Flex Fuel
224 horsepower @ 4800 rpm
275 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/16 (E85), 15/23 (gasoline)

Pricing Notes

The Grand Marquis GS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $26,000, while the more luxurious LS starts closer to $29,000. As changes in market conditions can affect pricing, be sure to check the latest Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are typically paying. In the ever-important world of resale, the Grand Marquis does not hold its value as well as some newer sedans. Over a five-year period, the Grand Marquis is expected to retain less of its value than the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon. However, based solely upon how much car you get for the purchase price, the Grand Marquis does, in all fairness, represent an exceptionally good value for the money.

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