A new frame, suspension and steering system were the major changes in 2003 to Mercury’s Grand Marquis full-size sedan. Some equipment revisions and a light exterior and interior face-lift highlight the changes for the 2004 model year. A CD player replaces the cassette unit on base GS, GS Convenience and LS Premium sedans. The modified overhead console contains a compass and garage-door opener. An enhanced GS two-tone color package and a new Limited package are available. Side-impact airbags, a moonroof, laminated side security glass and heated front seats are optional in 2004.
The Grand Marquis and similar Ford Crown Victoria are the only six-passenger rear-wheel-drive sedans with V-8 engines and traditional body-on-frame construction sold in the United States. Two versions of the Grand Marquis are available: GS and LS. The LS comes in Premium and Ultimate trim levels, and the GS is available in base and Convenience trims. Close to two-thirds of recent Grand Marquis sales have been LS editions. According to Ford Motor Co., every Grand Marquis since 1996 has earned five-star ratings for the driver and front passenger in frontal-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Styling changes to the grille, front fascia, headlamps, integrated cornering lamps and taillamp lenses took place in 2003. Lightweight hydroformed steel sections are used for the front rails of the full-perimeter frame. Standard tires measure 16 inches in diameter, and aluminum wheels are optional. An optional handling package includes a rear stabilizer bar, rear air suspension and aluminum wheels.
Measuring 212 inches long overall, the Grand Marquis rides a 114.7-inch wheelbase and stands 58.3 inches tall. Rack-and-pinion steering includes a speed-dependent variable-assist feature.
Burl woodgrain trim decorates the 2004 instrument panel. The trunk can hold 20.6 cubic feet of cargo. The liftover height is 26.6 inches, and a trunk organizer is optional.
Standard GS equipment includes a CD stereo, an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, air conditioning, keyless entry, and power windows, locks and mirrors. A power passenger seat, electronic temperature control, a handling package, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an overhead console go into the LS sedan. Convenience, Premium and Ultimate packages are available. The new Limited package for the LS Premium includes heated seats, side-impact airbags, two-tone Parchment leather seating surfaces, nine-spoke wheels and a conventional spare tire.
Under the Hood
In standard form, the 4.6-liter single-overhead-cam V-8 engine develops 224 horsepower and 272 pounds-feet of torque. Models with the optional handling package get a more potent 239-hp version of the V-8 and dual exhausts. Both engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission. The standard rear-axle ratio aims toward frugal fuel economy, while the handling package includes a different ratio for improved acceleration from a standstill. All-speed traction control is included with Grand Marquis option groups.
Standard equipment includes dual-stage front airbags and all-disc antilock brakes that incorporate electronic brake-force distribution. Side-impact airbags are optional. A dual-rate brake booster automatically supplies full braking power in a panic stop.