I had a 2002 Grand Marquis LS with the wood grain steering wheel and digital dash along with every possible option. 150,000-miles was time to get a new one. My wife gets leery of any car with over 100,000-miles, even though we had never experienced one problem with the 1995, or this 2002 Grand Marquis.
This 2006 is also fully loaded, but it is not half of the car.
For starters Ford cut out the pull handle to close the door from inside. In 2002 they had one on the door’s arm rest and one attached 4/5 of the way up the door.
The rearview mirror is cheapened with no LED to tell when the auto dim mirror is on.
The glove box just basically falls open when opened. The 02 came down gracefully and slow.
The steering wheel on the 2006 is ugly and the radio controls are super hard to use and push down. The 02 was super easy to use and looked so elegant.
The leather is much harder on the 06. The crease above the rear wheels has been eliminated. The tag now has only one light bulb and there is no key hole in the passenger side door. And the key hole on the driver’s door no longer lights up which the light made it easy to see and added heat to thaw out a frozen lock. I use the remote, but it was nice to have that stuff.
The space between the left of the driver’s seat and the driver’s door has been eliminated. I cannot put my hand on the floor while the door is shut to lift my self up and slide on over into the seat once I shut the door. I have to put my elbow on the door’s arm rest and pick my self up a bit while I slide in. The door panel pops and I hope it will hold up to my weight.
The only interior colors now are charcoal or tan. In 02 I could order basically any color including dark navy blue.
The 2006 has thinner carpeting and the interior just looks cheaper. Even the owner’s manual is now missing the crushed velvet covering along with the inside of the glove box. Now the contents of the glove box slide all around while cornering.
The dash is much harder to read. One thing that has been added was heated seats over the 2002 and side airbags.
We even considered switching to a Buick or a Toyota Avalon, but ultimately for the cash the Grand Marquis was still the best deal for the money, only because we got a fully loaded one for under $24K. The same Avalon would have been over $35 and the Buick would have been $29K.
This 2006 Grand Marquis is still a smooth rider and gets a very respectable gas mileage for its size.
The trunk is the largest of any car that we looked at and the front seat in the Grand Marquis has the most usable leg, hip, and elbow room of the three, but the Grand Marquis has the least rear seat room. The Avalon was superior in the back seat.
As far as safety. The Grand Marquis feels much safer than the Buick or Toyota did. The Grand Marquis is rated 5-starts in all five categories, which virtually no other cars achieved.
The body style of the 2006 Grand Marquis is very dated, but we don’t really care about that. The Grand Marquis is still a graceful car that holds its own.
As far as taxes and insurance, the Grand Marquis is way cheaper than the Avalon or that Buick that we looked at. I can't even remember what it was called, but it was a top of the line one that replaced the LeSabre.
Before we decided to get a new Grand Marquis, we would not even have considered another type of car, but when we first saw all the cheapening of the 2006, we looked at other makes.
By the time we decide to get a new one in a few years, Ford had better improve the Grand Marquis, or we will look else where. I guess that we will wait and see what Ford does.
Also the lights on the doors that come on when the doors are opened have been cut as well on this 2006. I can’t remember if the 02 had them, but as we looked through old photos we saw that the 1995 Grand Marquis had them.
I would buy another one today and maybe next year, but in five or six year, we will see.