Mercury's Grand Marquis and Lincoln's Town Car are the only six-passenger rear-wheel-drive sedans sold in the U.S. with V-8 engines and traditional body-on-frame construction. Their sister vehicle, the Ford Crown Victoria, is now only sold to fleets. The Grand Marquis' 4.6-liter V-8 produces 224 horsepower and can run on E85 ethanol. Little has changed for 2008 beyond the tweaking of a few option packages.
Two Grand Marquis trim levels are available: GS and LS. LS sedans include an overhead console with a compass, map light and universal garage-door opener. The Palm Beach luxury package for the LS carries on into 2008.
According to Ford, 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. With optional side airbags installed, the sedan has also earned five stars in side-impact testing.
Lightweight hydroformed steel sections are used for the front rails of the full-perimeter frame. Standard 17-inch wheels are installed, and 16-inch wheels are optional.
Measuring 212 inches long overall, the Grand Marquis rides a 114.6-inch wheelbase and stands 58.3 inches tall. Rack-and-pinion steering includes speed-dependent variable assistance. Options include a full-size spare tire.
For 2008, three new option packages are available. The GS Comfort Appearance Package has leather-trimmed seats, a power driver's seat and 16-inch painted aluminum wheels. A GS Confidence Package includes power, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps and traction control.
The Grand Marquis can hold up to six occupants. The trunk's cargo capacity is 20.6 cubic feet. Liftover height is 26.8 inches, and a trunk organizer is optional.
Standard equipment for the GS includes keyless entry via a fob or door keypad.
The LS adds traction control, power heated side mirrors, leather seating surfaces, power-adjustable pedals, an auto-dimming mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, among other features. The LS Travel Package adds a cassette/single-disc CD player and a conventional spare tire.
The Palm Beach package adds various unique interior trim accents and badging, as well as power heated mirrors and side-impact airbags.
Under the Hood
The 4.6-liter V-8 develops 224 hp and teams with a four-speed automatic transmission. Traction control is optional, and the engine can run on E85 ethanol.
All-disc antilock brakes incorporate electronic brake-force distribution. Side-impact airbags are optional. The Palm Beach package adds side-impact airbags.
Fans of traditional rear-drive sedans don't have many choices today. Fortunately, the Grand Marquis is a reasonable one, offering a comfortable ride, satisfactory performance and ample space. These attributes, however, are accompanied by tepid handling.