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Thousands of Floridians can't be wrong! A Lincoln Town Car at Honda Accord prices.
Plenty of interior room, upgraded horsepower for 2001, comfortable ride, excellent crash-test ratings.
Large size makes it difficult to park and maneuver, not much rear interior storage space, lack of refinement, squishy ride unless the optional handling package is ordered.
Available Grand Marquis Sedan Models
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Power from the V8 engine is improved. The interior gets minor improvements and an optional adjustable pedal assembly. Safety has been improved via a crash severity sensor, safety belt pre-tensioners, dual-stage airbags and seat position sensors.
If you've been pinching your pennies to buy a new full-size, rear-drive American sedan, we hereby offer the Mercury Grand Marquis. It's mechanically identical to the Ford Crown Victoria; Ford and Mercury are the only brands building such cars these days.
Decades-old technology allows Mercury to keep the prices low, and the car is a favorite among people who need space and don't want a minivan or sport-ute. Think about this: the Grand Marquis costs less than $30 grand fully loaded with electric everything and a leather interior. In contrast, a similarly equipped Toyota Avalon runs several thousand dollars more.
The five- or six-passenger Grand Marquis is available in either GS or LS trim. Both have similar levels of equipment, though optional features like automatic climate control, a power passenger seat and a leather interior are only available on the LS model.
Both versions get mild interior updates for 2001. Storage pouches have been added to the front seat cushion, and there are new traction control, headlight and fuel-door release controls. The best addition is the optional adjustable gas and brake pedal assembly. These pedals can be moved up to 3 inches towards the driver to improve comfort and to keep shorter drivers from sitting too close to the steering wheel-mounted airbag.
The Grand Marquis was never a slouch in terms of acceleration, and this year Mercury has bumped the output of the 4.6-liter V8 engine to 220 horsepower and 265 foot-pounds of torque. The only transmission offered is a four-speed automatic. For even more horsepower, wait until later in 2001 when the special-edition, supercharged Grand Marquis Marauder becomes available.
In stock trim, this Merc drives and handles like you would expect a big American sedan to. It's comfortable, but it's all too happy to float around over bumps. The handling and performance package adds a few horsepower (240, rather than 225) and improves the car's stability in the twisties; we recommend it to anyone who enjoys backcountry highways more than mind-numbing interstates for their family vacations.
And if you do plan to haul around a family, you can sleep better at night knowing that the Grand Marquis scores well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests. Last year's models did very well, so the 2001 safety improvements (a crash severity sensor, safety belt pretensioners, dual-stage airbags and seat position sensors) should make the Mercury even better.
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, we hope that you like the Grand Marquis. It's your only choice for a premium brand, full-size, rear-wheel-drive sedan.
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.