While I do feel bad for the owners in this review thread, you do have to realize that your experiences with the Grand Marquis do put you in the minority among Ford Panther-platform car owners. Most, IE the vast majority, of Crown Victorias, Grand Marquesses, and Town Cars are very reliable, long-lasting vehicles. You need only look at the typical New York taxi to realize that. Time is money, cabs are kept rolling with multiple drivers in punishing stop and go traffic almost around the clock. Any down time for repairs eats into profits, so any car that can't cut the mustard simply will not be used for taxi purposes. Most NYC cabs are used police cars that may already have 1 or 2 years and 60,000+ hard-use miles on them before being painted yellow. They then go for another 3-4 years as a taxi, before being junked at the mandatory 5-year age limit with well over 400,000-500,000 miles on the odometer. These are solid cars.
I had my 92 till 200,000 miles and only got rid of it to get into a newer one. My 99 now has 140,000 miles and never a major issue. I am a mechanic and work on a lot of cars and these cars last. That's why cabbies use em, that's why cops use em and that's why a lot of mechanics like myself pick them up.
My wife has a 2002 Grand Marquis and I have a 1994 Grand Marquis - I firmly believe mine is better built and a far smoother ride than hers, however she likes hers better.
Just purchased a 2000 MGM. 115K miles. The car looks and runs great. I paid under $3000 for it. I needed a car and DID NOT WANT TO PAY BIG BUCKS given the current economic situation. I looked at a number of cheap Korean imports. Used 2004 Kia Rio, 2005 Hondi Accent. These cars had fewer miles, however the cars just seemed flimsy, and lacking quality. I owned a 1993 Lincoln Town Car a while back and it held up well. I feel that the big rear wheel drive Ford products are proven. They have a history of being the choice of Taxi, and Fleet services. (PLUS I LIKE THE RIDE, AND THE SIZE. Gas mileage is not bad either 25 highway, 18 to 19 city.)
You guys ain't kidding, this & the Town Car are probably 2 of the few AMERICAN cars you'll get over 200K on with routine maintenance.
Last night I saw a 2002 Grand Marquis on Ebay/Craigslist with 27,000 miles on it. I didn't wait to snap it up. The reason I did is due to the fact that I used to drive them for a living in law enforcement (Crown Vic). I know the abuse that these cars can take, idling for long periods, vehicle pursuits, and just running 24 hours a day. Ford built a very tough vehicle in these cars, and I think that a problem one is a fluke. I will be the first to admit if something happens, but after my experiences, I think I will be a happy owner.
Crown Victoria's and Grand Marquis really are the last of the dinosaurs...
These "dinosaurs" when properly maintained, will last for a lot longer than most modern cars!
From what I have learned from different Internet sites, the -96 up vehicles have far more problems than the early ones... (for example a plastic intake manifold that´s prone to crack at the least expected moment...)
I have a 1993 Crown Vic with a little over 200k on clock. Anything wrong with it?
Except for a slight oil consumption, nothing! (I have changed the valve seals on the right side, but still have to do the left...) Every thing works including A/C, power windows, power seat, cruise control, power antenna, You name it!
Parts are when needed extremely cheap, even after shipping it to me here in Sweden!
I have changed some parts just because I don´t like to be sitting as we say over here "with the beard stuck in the mailbox...). A new original "Bosch" starter didn´t cost much, and a new alternator didn´t either so...
Build quality in general of these cars... Well, it wouldn´t have passed any European or Japanese quality control when it comes to the fitting of details... But it works, that´s the most important thing for any type of machine!
It of course rides like a boat compared to modern cars, but I like it that way! It somehow stays on the road even on twisty parts, which is very annoying for anyone with a "sporty" car who tries to catch up...
Driving in extreme winter conditions isn´t these car's (or any other rear wheel drive car for that matter) favorite. Some extra weight in the trunk helps a lot though.
Most of my driving is highway, and I usually get 24-27 mpg, not bad at all for a two ton car.
Ford´s 4.6 liter is not known for extreme performance, but it can sure make this big car fly when needed...
Full throttle at 40 mph makes the tires squeal, and the take off from there is remarkable :-)
The only things I have changed for performance is putting a slightly bigger dual exhaust on it and a K&N air filter!
I just love this car, it stands out so nicely side by side with a Prius :-)