I'm planning on buying a late model Marquis this week to replace my VW Passat wagon (2003) with 106,000 miles.
I really love my VW. The finish overall, and the general impression of quality is very high and nearly equivalent to my previous 535i BMW, as well as my even older Mercedes 300. It is fun in the corners up to about eight tenths lateral g's. Trouble is that in the last 10,000 miles my VW has come to require $5,500-6,000 in out of warranty maintenance. Breaks my heart. Had I done my research I doubt I would have bought it.
Now that I'm a family guy I like to travel more with my kids. The VW was really great for this, but left me stranded twice in the middle of nowhere with two young daughters. After I started having breakdowns, I started researching and found a lot of other folks had the same exact issues with VWs. Even the guy who sold it to me left the dealer, due to how many folks were unhappy with the needed repairs, (so he said).
The reason the Grand Marquis, and cars like it are so reliable, is that the parts are so under-stressed. To get high specific power output from smaller engines requires getting more work out of the parts. Hence, turbos and superchargers, aggressive cams and multiple valves put addition strain on internal parts to generate more power. Firmer suspension takes more abuse and so-on.
I find that there are no cars that function so well for my intended purpose, as the Grand Marquis. It is ideally suited to American highways. Long straight and boring driving, traditionally ensconced in supreme isolation and comfort.
In the past, I was raised with mostly European cars and I've owned mostly European and Japanese cars and prefer the supportive (some call them too hard) seats and grippier side bolsters. I also love responsive handling and direct steering. I've owned a number of European vintage sports cars, and consider myself somewhat of an aficionado.
I readily agree with both sides of this discussion. Take the Grand Marquis for what it is, a (dare I say it) Classic American dinosaur that has attributes from an age gone by, but whose qualities still have useful value today, (at least in this country). Some of the interior materials on the ones I've looked at are second rate compared to most modern cars, but they aren't really offensive either. I never dreamed I would find such cars so interesting or compelling. You can be sure that I'll always keep something far more sporting as a second car though.
A lovely bit of nostalgia that Grand Marquis... even if I wasn't there to remember the "good old days", I can still have a sense of it today.
I thought Europeans drove Corvettes. Sales are up 300 percent.
You know, since you're from the UK, the Mercury Grand Marquis is a large car, since it's "too big" to drive on the roads there, for your roads are smaller than the U.S. roads. A Ford Fusion (comparable to the Volkswagen Passat) would be a large car for you folks.
This Ford product is a benchmark in its class; you wouldn't have liked the Charger/Chrysler 300; it's hard to get in and out of, visibility is horrible, and it "guzzles" gas. The Mercury doesn't; it can get up to 31 MPG on the highway, when driven properly. The Ford Crown Victoria is a similar car, but drives differently.
I cannot believe that you were disappointed by this fine car. I've driven a Grand Marquis multiple times, and it's a treat to drive one. If you can't afford a Lincoln Town Car, the Mercury Grand Marquis or Ford Crown Victoria is just as good for less money. You can't compare a Passat to a Grand Marquis; it's like comparing an apple to an orange.
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