17th May 2011, 12:48
Ford stopped making the Crown Vic for a reason: It's totally antiquated. Yes - it's true that some V8's can get fuel economy well into the mid-20's. But at the same time there are many 4 cylinder engines getting close to 45MPG. A car that gets 25 MPG might as well be a car that got 12MPG 10 years ago: the cost of fuel has risen dramatically.
Also - the argument that a more complicated car is not going to last as long - I guess because people are less inclined to learn how to fix them - isn't a valid argument. It used to be that old cars rusted out fairly quickly, and that certain components like wheel bearings, chassis joints, steering components and so on wore out quick as well. There has been vast improvements in metallurgy and material engineering over the years. My Toyota truck is now going on 16 years old. The paint and frame are still virtually new looking, with not a bit of rust or corrosion.
Additionally, today's cars in regards to complexity aren't far removed from cars made 30 years ago once emission equipment became mandatory. 30 years ago cars had on board computers, a series of sensors, catalytic converters, O2 sensors, and so on. So to do today's cars and the Crown Vic as well. In other words, it's not like new cars are really all that different. We own a Tacoma, a 98 Avalon and a 02 Prius. I can work on all 3 of them. My Brother owns the Avalon. It's approaching 300,000 miles. Despite its technological complexity and unibody construction, the car has held up fine. The Prius has as well. Sure - it's different than other cars. It has 2 coolant systems and a pressurized transaxle. It took me awhile to get used to servicing it. But I can easily work on it just like any other car. But the bottom line is that technology doesn't = bad quality. Most technology is developed to improve upon whatever its applied to. At one point the Model T was superior to the horses it replaced. It was then "Modern technology".
Lastly, given that most people don't work on their cars, and in many cases neglect them for years on end, is perhaps testament to their increased quality. I also own a 55' Ford Fairlane as a sort of run around town car. It requires constant maintenance. This was a given back then. The image of a Father and Son working on the family car over the weekend was far more common. It was this way because it was required. Nobody does that anymore, and yet somehow most any car these days will run for 200,000+ miles without a hitch.
19th May 2011, 10:49
But 'antiquated' is better, given that everything is going downhill. Just because the standard of living is plummeting and we're lucky if we can afford a 4 cylinder plastic bubble nowadays, this doesn't change the fact that the Crown Vic was a better car.
However your point is well taken - the new poverty means that Ford and other automakers cannot sell anything good anymore, because people simply can't afford it.
19th May 2011, 15:23
Loving these cars really has nothing to do with such things as practicality... (in my world that is...).
- Compared to newer cars, it hasn't got the greatest mileage. (As said in a comment above, around 25mpg highway (10 liter/100km) But, that was great back then for a car this size!
- Handling and brakes are good enough for any type of normal driving. Mine is the civilian "LX", which has a lot softer suspension than the police cruisers (P71's).
- Winter conditions are not considered a big rear wheel drive cars best friend, but in fact it does pretty good.
Some extra weight in the trunk (and what size of a trunk that is), and a little less weight on the throttle makes the trick... We had a really bad winter over here in Sweden this year, but I never got stuck.
- Safety isn't too bad, but most of the late model cars (even pretty small ones) in fact do better in a crash tests... (Hate to admit this though...)
- To repair this type of car after a smaller accident is extremely cheap compared to unibody constructions; that's the main reason for the US police force to keep loving them...
- The overall comfort is in my opinion great, considering the basic construction of the chassis. It does send some shuddering through the car sometimes (because of the live rear axle), that you will never experience in for instance a Mercedes or BMW.
- But, suspension parts for those when needed, are in a totally different price range than the Ford. Just got new original Motorcraft gas shock absorbers for the rear. The price? $16.50, and that's for the pair!
- The leg room in the back seat is OK, but not great for a car this big.
- The fit of body parts is not even close to European or Japanese specs, but what the heck, it runs!
- My Crown Vic -93) has about 195K on the odometer right now, and absolutely nothing is wrong with it! (except for almost 20 years of normal wear and tear). It still looks very presentable though.
- Absolutely no rattling or other unwanted noises going down the road; at 65 mph it's dead quiet!
- Total economy on this car = Great! It does use a little more gas than most modern cars, but with no deprecation, cheap parts, and me being able to fix almost everything myself (without any expensive tools or a special computer), it just works out for me!
- Would I change this to any newer automobile in the nearest future; don't think so!
20th May 2011, 10:51
My annual Consumers Report Annual Auto Guide that comes out every year in April has a section in it for the best used cars under $4,000 dollars, and the Ford Crown Victoria 01-02 is there... What a great sleeper car at a great price...
25th Feb 2012, 19:07
I finally have decided to get rid of the Crown Vic this week. I took it in for a service, and my mechanic basically said it's too dangerous to drive. The reason is excessive damage to the undercarriage due to road salt. Anyhow, I've known this mechanic for years, and he's always been trustworthy, so I'm going to listen to what he says - I think it's time for a change now anyway.
As to what to replace it with... well, I have a few cars in mind. I really like the new Buick Lacrosse, but I have this feeling it isn't going to be a reliable car in the long run. Funny, because most old Buicks are VERY reliable, but GM crammed too many gadgets in this one... it is the most beautiful Buick ever in my opinion though!
I've also flirted with the idea of getting a recent model Town Car... I know I could probably get a phenomenal deal, but I want more power this time around. Also, do I REALLY want another big car in this day and age?
I also like the Lincoln MKS Ecoboost, but not sure if I can fork out that much money for a new one, and I'm also not sure if it's going to give me problems in the long run. Ford makes beautiful cars now, but honestly, the quality isn't the same...
Next on the list... A Volvo S40 T5 R design. I know it's a random choice, but again I think it's an excellent used value. I could probably pick up a used '09 or '10 model with hardly any miles on it for like 12 or 13 grand. The Volvo turbo is a good engine. I like the classy look of the S40 too.
Finally, there's another part of me that wants a Mustang, but I'd have trouble deciding whether to get the V6 or GT. So... I'm open to suggestions!
Oh... the Crown Vic has around 230,000 miles on it now. And I sold the 2009 Civic Coupe because I hated it so much!