1997 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4.6L V8 from North America
Cheap, reliable, and best of all, PAID FOR!
Water pump right after I bought it.
A/C system repaired once when I bought it, once last year.
Radiator replaced 2 years ago.
Radiator fan partially failed 6 years ago.
Exhaust replaced 2 years ago.
Other than brakes and tires that normally wear out, nothing major has ever gone wrong.
Police and taxi cab companies have used these cars for one reason; they can take some of the most abusive, neglectful, and harshest conditions, and shake it off like it's nothing.
I've heard some say these cars are slow, but I've driven some of the ones from the 1980's, and even with the old 302 V8 they had plenty of low end torque to snap you back in your seat. You will not beat a Mustang GT or a Z28 in a race, and the car was never designed to in the first place. Even the 1992-1997 models have 190 HP and close to 300 lbs of torque; plenty of power for normal driving conditions, and even passing on two lane roads. If you plan to drag race, then yeah the car may be a little slow.
They may not exactly be chick magnets or the most stylish things out there to some, but with reasonably good maintenance these cars are more than capable of reaching 300,000 miles without major problems. And when they do break down, parts are cheaper and work is much less labor intensive than newer cars. The Mustang used essentially this same engine until 2010, so there will always be parts readily available if you ever do need them.
They are roomy, comfortable, smooth riding, and cheap to insure. Fairly safe in a crash, even given their old age; back in its time it had one of the highest crash ratings.
The only place it will pinch your pocketbook a little is gas mileage, and even considering their massive size, 23-26 MPG on the highway is not bad at all in my opinion.
They are rear wheel drive and a little hairy taking off on ice or snow. Some good old fashioned snow tires and some weight in the trunk will take care of much of that problem.
My car does not have traction control or anti-lock brakes, but I have never had a problem unless the roads are glare ice or nearly impassable with snow drifts. There was a time not too long ago when you actually had to know how to drive in adverse conditions, and not expect the car to do everything for you.
Other than the problems I mentioned above, my car has barely hiccuped once, and I will drive it until either the wheels fall off or I find a newer Grand Marquis, Crown Vic, or Town Car in better shape!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th October, 2013