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This is the last of the big, rear-wheel drive American sedans. Comfy seating for six and cpapable handling, with the performance and handling group, and an incredibly low price make this car a winner for police departments and cross-country cruisers.
Muddled interior ergonomics make some of the controls awkward to operate.
Available Crown Victoria Sedan Models
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After a mild facelift last year, the Crown Vic soldiers on with a few color changes, improved power steering and the addition of rear air suspension to the handling package.
If you've been pinching your pennies to buy a new full-size, rear-drive American sedan, we hope you like Ford. The gang at the Blue Oval are the only ones building such cars these days. Decades old technology allows Ford to keep the prices low, and the car is a favorite among fleet buyers for taxi companies, police departments, or just those who need space and towing power who don't want a minivan or pickup truck.
This grand dame of the Ford lineup received a mild makeover last year, so changes to the 1997 model amount to the shuffling of a few packages and the changing of a few colors. Added in mid-1996, the natural gas engine remains an available, if pricey, option. Amazingly, this engine makes the Crown Victoria the cleanest burning combustion engine sold in the United States. Something to consider if you need a full-size vehicle, but don't want to tick-off your Greenpeace neighbors.
These days, the Ford Crown Vic and its Mercury Grand Marquis stablemate offer much more value than most compact and mid-size cars that are being peddled at your local auto mall. Think about this: the Crown Vic costs just over $26,000 fully loaded with electric everything and a leather interior. In contrast, a similarly equipped Toyota Avalon runs more than $30,000, and the much smaller Toyota Camry XLE costs $25,000; despite a wimpy (in comparison) V6, tight seating for five, and a comparatively minuscule trunk. Sporting a big car floaty ride and twitchy chassis dynamics at speed, the Crown Victoria is nonetheless comfortable. The handling and performance group adds a few horsepower and improves the car's stability in the twisties; we recommend it to anyone who enjoys back-country highways more than mind-numbing interstates for their family vacations.
So, if you're one of the few people unwilling to pay for a sport utility's high insurance premiums and abysmal gas mileage and if you just can't stand the idea of a minivan this is about your only choice. That's OK though. Unless you can get you hands on a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, we think that this is the best full-size car value on the market.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.