1998 Mercury Grand Marquis

Change year or car

Change year or car

$22,090

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • GS

    $22,090

  • LS

    $23,990

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis trim comparison will help you decide.

1998 Mercury Grand Marquis review: Our expert's take

By

I’ve been wrong these last few years.

Until very recently, I thought the old bench-seat-and-column-shifter routine was outdated and useless.

My argument: The senior drivers who buy the few remaining cars with this old-fashioned interior don’t need bench seats anymore because their offspring have long since bolted, and any passengers would likely ride in the back.

Turns out there’s another use for bench seats, one that I had forgotten about.

On a recent Saturday night, I took my girlfriend and her daughter to dinner. On the way back, my girl-friend asked if there was a seatbelt in the center of the Grand Marquis’ bench seat. There was. And within moments, she slid over and buckled up. Instinctively, my right arm went around her, and at that instant, I knew why some people refuse to give up their bench seats and column shifters.

Your significant other can’t put her head on your shoulder very easily in a Camaro, BMW or some other model with bucket seats.

Hey guys, let me tell you something: Having your lady sit next to you is a darn nice way to get from point A to Point B.

Long live the bench seat and column shifter.

PERFORMANCE, HANDLING

Mercury outfits the Grand Marquis with a powerful 4.6-liter, overhead-cam V-8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine is rated at 200 horsepower. If you order the special handling package, which our dark blue test car had, horsepower is bumped to 215.

Lexus is the first thing that comes to mind when you start the engine. The Mercury engine runs almost as smoothly and quietly as the renowned Lexus V-8. It provides strong, but not overpowering, acceleration and refined performance at all speeds.

The four-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. A button at the end of the column shifter lets you disengage overdrive, so, if you’re towing a boat, you can keep the transmission from shifting into fourth gear.

Although it’s no sports sedan, the Grand Marquis does offer a very stable and solid ride. You might expect a big, rear-wheel drive sedan like this one to wallow around corners. It doesn’t. The body doesn’t lean or roll much as you round a corner. The handling package adds stiffer springs, better wheels and tires and air suspension in the rear that keeps the car level when loaded.

The power-assisted steering is designed for ease of use. It doesn’t take much effort to turn the wheel; in fact, you can do it with one finger. The power-assisted, four-wheel, anti-lock brakes work well. Traction control is standard.

FIT AND FINISH

Our test car had one of the nastiest flaws I’ve seen in any new car in years. A plastic trim panel on the outside of the passenger-side front door rubbed against the fender whenever the door was opened.

Obviously, all Grand Marquis don’t have this problem. But it was disappointing that a panel installed so badly could have slipped through the quality control inspectors at the factory and then been missed at the dealership, where the car is supposed to be cleaned, inspected and prepared for sale. I imagine a customer would be livid after spending nearly $30,000 for a car and then finding such a defect, no matter how easily fixed.

Were it not for that one flaw, I’d give the Grand Marquis very high marks for quality. Mercury has done a fine job sealing out noise from the suspension system, tires, road and wind.

Adding to the ambience of the quiet ride are those front bench seats, which in the LS model come with leather and are electrically adjustable. The seats are excellent. You don’t sink into them. They’re firm without being uncomfortable. Inflatable lumbar supports help keep you free of fatigue for long periods behind the wheel. Three people can sit up front comfortably.

The rear seats also are comfortable. There is ample head, leg and foot room in the rear for three passengers.

Mercury furnishes the Grand Marquis with plenty of equipment, including a six -disc CD changer mounted in the trunk, a full array of power accessories and a computerized air conditioning system. Buttons on the steering wheel operate the cruise control.

The digital gauges in the instrument cluster are bright green. The speedometer shows the speed in large numbers, so there’s little excuse for speeding. A bar-graph fuel gauge show how much fuel is left in the usual way and also shows how many gallons.

All in all, the Grand Marquis is a pleasing car to drive.

1998 Mercury Grand Marquis

Base price: $23,790.

Safety: Dual air bags, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Price as tested: $28,415.

EPA rating: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway.

Incentives: None.

Truett’s tip: The Grand Marquis is a big, comfortable American car with a high-tech, overhead-cam V-8 engine and plenty of creature comforts.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.2
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.9

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Most reliable car I've ever owned

Bought my used Marquis for 800 $ , 144,000 original miles. Its exceeded my expectations, very easy to work on . Would recommend for long trips. The previous owner had another car and wasn't using my car at all. He basically left it sitting for what seems an eternity. I thought it would need a few things before I drove away , surprisingly not I drove it home the same day . The only thing that bothered me was the leather seats , I switched them out for cloth seats and it feels much better. It does waste a good bit of gas but I'd say its worth it . Ps. Paying homage to one of the last rear wheel drive v8 sedans 👍

4.6

Love the ride, comfort and style...

Brought vehicle at a steal of a price. Was pleasantly surprised...has never let me down. It is easy to maintain. Gets well above estimated EPA mileage, esp for it's age...currently has all original 195,000 miles on odometer. The only drawback for this car is the recirculating ball steering under front end. The majority of weight is in front of car and factory ball joints are sealed. For the money, could not ask for a better car. The 4.6l SOHC engine may not be a power house but it is very durable, smooth running, and decent on gas for a car this size. Wish they were still making these vehicles.

4.3

Most reliable car I have owned..can't ask for more

This car met all my needs..plenty of legroom..very comfortable.very reliable.very durable and spacious.the smoothest driving car I ever owned.It never let me down! Worth every penny

See all 13 consumer reviews

Compare the competitors

1996

Ford Crown Victoria

$10,065

starting MSRP

2011

Mercury Milan

$22,025

starting MSRP

2005

Mercury Mountaineer

$30,035

starting MSRP

See all 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis articles